…and my dad too!!
After another amazing week with my parents in town, I’m pretty emotional today as they head home. Each time it’s equally as difficult to say goodbye for all of us. It goes beyond just being sad because my mom and dad are leaving. It goes beyond them having to say goodbye to the girls who are growing and changing every day. It’s beyond the sadness and tears. Frankly, it’s that I want them here not just because I love them, it’s because I love the extra help!
The older I get, I can’t seem to understand why our culture is so determined to measure adult success as the ability to live (and thrive) with nearly complete independence. It seems as though our country has reached a point that the overall consensus is that successful “adulting” means that you can work a full time job, run a home, raise a family, and take care of your physical and mental health all without consistent help from anyone outside your household. Aside from the occasional help from friendly neighbors, close friends, or extended family, we’re pretty much alone in our households for all the day to day craziness. The thing is, I still feel like I’m successfully “adulting” even though I want (Ok… NEED) my parents around.
When my parents are here for the week our whole home is more peaceful. We don’t rush as much in the mornings because we have extra help. We don’t feel guilty if we have to be home a bit later because we know the girls are home and being cared for. We eat homemade meals that are cheaper and healthier than eating out because, between four adults, we can always find someone with time to cook. We have four sets of adult hands to help with dishes, laundry, dinner, general house cleaning, and most importantly… raising kids.
I don’t feel at all like a failure as a career woman, a parent, a wife, or an adult saying that I prefer to have the extra help. I LOVE the extra help. I LOVE the relationship my girls get to have with their grandparents. I LOVE getting to share parenting with my own parents. I LOVE that we can take turns getting up early with the girls (who are bound and determined to never let us sleep in again). I LOVE that the overall stress and pressure of this world is reduced. I LOVE all of it! Frankly…. I need my mom and dad!
“It takes a village.” That’s the old adage that we’ve all heard a million times. I think, that for the most part, people believe it too. For some reason (far beyond my understanding) though, we have reached a point in our country where multi-generational homes are far less common, and perhaps even viewed negatively. What’s that about?
Don’t get me wrong, I get that spouses and families need some space. I get that my husband and I need time together, just the two of us, just as my parents do. But I think we could work all of that out, and man, it’d be so worth it!
I’m sad my parents left because they’re so fun, amazing grandparents, and I love them dearly. But beyond that, I’m sad to not have them around for the help and I’m more than willing to admit it! I’m a strong YES for multi-generational homes becoming a part of American tradition. A home with multiple generations, all living and growing together, and cohesively raising younger generations, now that sounds to me like true successful adulthood.
I guess all that’s left to do is pack mom and dad up and find a bigger house!!