Have you ever had roommates? Did you have a good experience? I’ve had good and bad experiences. As a married woman with a family of my own, it’s easy to forget the days of living with roommates and the inevitable gamble you take when choosing one. When I was young and single, roommates was just a fact of life. It’s not like I could afford an apartment on my own, so splitting the rent with 1 or 2 or 6 girls was just the way it was. Yes, once I lived in an apartment with 6 girls. There were hard times of course, but mostly – I had the time of my life. When I was 21, I lived with my best friend and we made amazing roommates.
We did everything together, and had a great time living side by side. Until one day we didn’t anymore. It all went downhill in a big, fat hurry. No one can say what changed or why, but it nearly destroyed our friendship. (Don’t worry – we recovered and all is good in the world because we’re still besties.) But let’s just say that the idea of “roommates” can make me a bit… hesitant. So when Tim and I realized we were getting some, it was a little nerve-wracking.
A few months ago, Tim’s sister and her husband decided to move cross country and live here in Texas. We were very excited to hear the news! They have two little girls, one that is just 2 days younger than our D.O. and another who we hadn’t even met yet, who is almost 10 months old. We loved the idea of having some of his family close by and that Dom would be able to get to know his cousins on Tim’s side. Well as time passed, it became glaringly obvious that finding a place for them was just not going to be an easy task. Because they hadn’t quite decided what city they wanted to live in, or what job he would take – it was hard to commit to a lease somewhere. And as Tim and I talked about it one night, we tossed around the idea of offering to let them live with us for a bit until they figured out their next move. We were very hesitant… should we mention this idea? Dare we even say it out loud??
Call us brave, or call us stupid… whatever – we mentioned it. It wasn’t well-received. Not that they weren’t grateful for the offer, but seriously? Who would WANT to live with someone else? I didn’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to either. But I felt good – I offered. Now they knew they could stay here if they needed to. I had done my part and helped relieve their stress at least a little by letting them know they had a place if necessary. Well, a few MORE weeks went by and still no promising places or decisions. And guess what? They took us up on that offer. The one we were afraid to give, and they were afraid to take.
Don’t worry – I can see that you’re nervous, but this story has a happy ending. They moved in about 3 weeks ago – and my house has never run so smoothly. Apparently, it’s not actually hard to be a SAHM and keep a perfectly clean house with dinner on the table every night. At least not if you’re Jenny. This girl is like a machine. She even folds my laundry! … I gotta say, I did not see that coming. We decided on a trade – she would watch D.O. for us during the day, in exchange for living with us for free. But we are getting so much more from them! Babysitting is just the beginning. She grocery shops, and cooks and cleans and takes great care of my little man. It’s been such a blessing having them here with us.
Let me tell you a secret – I NEVER WANT THEM TO LEAVE.
I know what you’re thinking. “There’s no way you actually want them to stay forever.” You would be wrong. :o) Okay, fine in all seriousness – no, of course this is not a permanent situation and perhaps knowing that is part of what makes it so easy to do. In all things there are pros and cons. I believe I’ve made the pros pretty obvious. So to balance out the post, I’ll share some cons. I think the hardest part of having them here has been bedtime with the kids. They made their little space upstairs in our loft. They have two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living space up there all to themselves. The issue lies with Dom’s room being up there also, so we have to walk through there to put him to bed each night… and that’s not even the big issue. The problem is that Dom knows people are awake up there and it’s wreaking havoc on his bedtime routine. But that’s an adjustment we can handle and he’s already showing signs of figuring out the new routine. And of course, it’s loud and chaotic sometimes with 4 adults, 3 kids and 4 dogs… and I’m sure at some point, each of us could use a little break in our own space. But the nice thing is that we have a place to go, and be alone – so in all honesty – this has been a surprisingly lovely arrangement.
I know that Tim and I feel incredibly blessed to have them here. We recognize the many, many benefits we’re receiving because they’re here. All I can hope is that they feel comfortable and equally benefitted by being here with us. Short term or temporary – whatever you want to call it. I’m going to soak it up while it lasts! My kitchen has never seen so many home-cooked meals!