A few months ago, I was struggling. Struggling with living with my parents. Struggling with the kids. Struggling with my routines. Struggling with having a place to put things (I know it's not the biggest deal to not have a place for everything, but having three small children and working a full-time job means we need to be organized and efficient). Just struggling.
I haven't lived with my parents since I was 17. I moved out for college and never moved back home. I'm so thankful that my parents opened their home up to our crazy family of five (plus two dogs), but I would be lying if I said that moving in as a thirty-year-old with my own family and structure and routines wasn't a ginormous adjustment. I haven't had to run decisions or scheduling by my parents for 12 years and suddenly I was asking my mom what she was cooking for dinner, running my calendar by my parents for scheduled therapy appointments, feeling guilty if I even wanted my dogs to come in the house, and asking permission to have friends come over for lunch. So, while I was immensely grateful and feeling so blessed that my parents were willing and able to let us live with them, I was also struggling to redefine my life and my role as a mom. It's an odd thing to be in charge of three small people (plus one big person, my husband) and also have to ask my mom if we could have a particular thing for dinner.
I can only imagine the other side of it too, though: my mom having to suddenly adjust her schedule to allow for our weekly therapists to come into her house; having to think about what to cook for dinner that will accommodate me, Mr. Howard, AND our three kids; and having to let us know when they're running to the store or even going out to dinner. That doesn't even include having five people move into your house and touch/move all your belongings when they're putting away dishes or straightening up the house. We've had to rearrange their furniture (putting a bed in their pool table room), buy additional furniture (clothing racks for our clothes), and take over their family room television when Connor's watching cartoons on the weekend. Their life has been just as flipped upside down.
But slowly, over the past month, we've gotten into a routine. I have a place for our things. I know how to put away dishes in the kitchen in their proper place. I know what my role is with the kids and when to say, "Hey, Mom and Dad, I'll take care of disciplining the kids." It isn't perfect and I'm not always the best at communicating, but we've figured it out. I told Mr. Howard just the other night that while I'm thankful we're moving into our new house soon, I actually think we've got it all figured out so much - that I could live with them for several more months (don't worry, Mom and Dad! We have no plans to stay).
Have you heard the quote, “Often the right path is the one that may be hardest for you to follow. But the hard path is also the one that will make you grow as a human being.” Karen Mueller Coombs. Boy have I grown and NOW, now there is so much that I'm going to miss.
Since we're only going to be living with them for the next few weeks, we've taken advantage of their wonderful backyard. They really do have the best area to ride bikes (nice, big, mostly flat, paved concrete). The weather here in California has been so nice the past few weekends and we've really prioritized going outside with the kids.
This was Mr. Howard and my view a few weekends ago:
I posted this on instagram, so if you follow me @thehowardbunch you've already seen it. But it was too cute to not to include again.