Since my baby boy was born, I’ve been living with my parents (or it’s the other way around – they are living with me). We all live together in a two-room flat. I share the bedroom with my boy, and my parents sleep on the bed couch in the living room. I know that in some parts of the world, it’s normal. It’s not that usual in my part of the world. Family don’t live together for too long. Parents don’t come back to live with their children when they are getting old. But more and more often, children come back to live with their parents, after leaving home to study. They even come back with their kids or spouse. This is due to unemployment, real estate prices, life getting more and more expensive.
I was not ready for this. I was not ready to sign for it. But I was not alone. I had a little one to take care of. And I was on my own, separated from the father of my son. I had an entire life to rebuild. I needed help. I could have asked other people for this help. But they’re my parents and at the time I came back home, they were the only ones who could offer me the support I needed. My parents don’t care much about travelling or enjoying time together. They are family people, and they were delighted to be there to help me raise my little man.
So we started a new life together, sharing each moment, each joy and nearly each moment of pain, doubt, worry.
When it was becoming difficult for me to handle everything, I only had to look at my son’s face and see how delighted he was to have loving people around him. I only had to look at my mum and dad and see how much they enjoyed being with their grandson.
Day after day, it helped me to accept my situation.
Kids need love and support, and the knowledge that no matter what, we’ll be there for them. Kids need encouragement and the knowledge that we have faith in them. My son does not get this from his dad, because he does only sees him twice a month, for two hours at a time, under supervision. Without his dad being around, I am happy that he still gets a role model in his granddad. He is growing up in a secure environment, a much more secure one than the one he would have known if me and his dad had stayed together.
Whenever I feel like I want another life, whenever I feel squeezed and under pressure, I remember what the paediatrician told me:
“You are giving the best to your child. I can understand it’s hard for you. But for him, it’s all good. Under three years old, he needs this closeness. He feels secure this way.”
So what’s good for him make it bearable for me. Even if some days I wish for both of us to be on our own, so I don’t have to make efforts and compromise every single day (this is another story).
Do you feel like you could live with your parents again? Or is it natural in your country for all family to live together? If so, do you have your place as the mother of your kids or do you fight to find it?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Marie Kleber of France. Photo credit to the author.