I realize that this is a unique story, but I also think that it can apply to many people out there with awesome parents. Once upon a time, a young lady married a man from Mexico and moved there to live. They had a happy* marriage and then had a little baby boy who was the joy of their lives. Then one day daddy came home with grave news: he had been laid off and wouldn’t be able to support the family until he found a new job.
He diligently looked and looked for a good job in the area where they lived to no avail.
Fast forward a few months and we – oh, yeah we are the family in this story! – are in the great U.S. of A. applying for immigration work status, living with my parents, who are such hospitable people that they are also putting up my sister, her husband and their two kids while they remodel their house (a process that has been going on for about 6 months now). And did I mention my mom does daycare for two more kids during the day?
You may be wondering if this article should be titled “How I Went Insane yet Avoided Death.” Thankfully, we are more optimistic people** and are looking forward to a future filled with opportunity and financial gain.
Sidebar: I’m kicking myself for seeming to give up on my blog for a while, it is extremely helpful to have my 12 year-old niece constantly reminding me of my failure to write, and then telling me about the success of other people because of their consistency. Ok! I get it. End sidebar.
We moved in with my parents for the following reasons:
- Unemployment. The amazing financial discovery I made is that an income is necessary to pay the rent.
- Few to no other options. We were offered a room by my brother, but then he said something like “You don’t mind a tub in your bedroom do you?”
- To save money.
It’s that last one that I want to hit on with you, my dear reader. Asking for help is sometimes the only recourse, and when you do, take full advantage. It sounds like mooching (90s slang for taking all you can get on someone else’s dime), but if you are in the pits, you have to start growing the peaches somehow. Don’t piddle away the opportunities, part time or full time.
Imagine that a friend is in trouble with the law, nothing major like double homicide, just a warrant for some dumb decision they made in the past. They come to your house and ask to hide out for a while. This may be the worst example in history. You let that friend stay with you and they begin to use the internet and the extra resources they have because of your generosity to start getting legal counsel, finally after weeks and weeks they go to court, pay the fine and don’t have to run from their problems anymore. Compare that to someone who hides and hides and hides on your couch for years. I say, take advantage my friend, but don’t abuse.
Also, on a different kind of survival note, be incredibly fierce about defending your marriage and the way you are raising your children. I said fierce, not forceful. Be kind about letting people know what you prefer for your children, and what kind of privacy you need as a married couple, if it comes to that. Thankfully, we only have one nephew that feels free enough to waltz in our room whenever he needs my iPad or something important like that. Otherwise, we are pretty much left to ourselves.
If you are not given your privacy or your preferences are not being respected by the other people in the household, this could get hairy very quickly, but hang in there! Remember that your grateful attitude should always outweigh your annoyances with the inconvenience because let’s face it, they are helping you, but it is still a sucky situation to be in.
You are welcome to ask me questions about how we’re handling it. Sometimes excellently, other times not so well, but I always default to trying to remind myself “They are helping us.”
*a lot of work went into the happy
**a lot of work goes into being an optimist