Thursday, March 26, 2009

a House of Family

Living with extended family has been a trend in my family for as long as I can remember. My grandparents on my dads side did it, and my parents did it (well lived next door to my grandparents) and I have to say it was so great growing up and being so close to my great grandmother to just be able to run nextdoor and go visit. It was difficult seeing my grandparents on my moms side and it kind of saddens me (we are very close now) but how much time and experiences I feel like were missed. I never thought I would have that or be able to give that to a family that I will one day have. I'm sure most of you know this, but Martin and I live together in a two family house with his parents below us. We have our own bathroom, kitchen etc but we do run into eachother pretty frequently and share a laundry room and they help us alot with taking care of our puppy lealu while Martin and I are at work. I have to say the first year or so was very difficult for me to get used to. It was like living with new roomates, only these roomates Martin had known all of his life and I had just met, so it seemed to put alittle divider between us sometimes. However after getting married for some reason, it has solidified our life together in such a way so that family has just seemed to be become "family" to both of us, with us more at the center of the family. And although there are times when I want to scream because there always seems to be someone around, (which could be what my grandmother and mother went though!) I have to say that I've somehow, and I really don't know how its happened just woke up one morning and it suddenly wasn't such a bother but more of a comfort. I've grown a bit used to having that type of living situation, where some family is always around and it is such a help as well as a comfort. Maybe I never felt this way before, because I didn't really consider, before we were married, his parents "family". They've also seemed to become more special to me than the "shoulds" of life...(I always think about the shoulds, should move out, should do it on your own, should be self sufficient, should not depend too heavily on others). For example, I'm going to one of my best friends bridal showers this weekend and Martin is going to our lakehouse with his parents and his mom has asked me if there is anything I'd like her to do while she's up I asked her to organize something for me that I wasn't able to get to while up there last weekend or...she'll help with the laundry if I forget to take it out of the washer and throw it into the dryer, or if I'm running late, Martin's dad will drive me to the train...or for our birthdays, it was so nice when having dinner with them just meant going downstairs and having a few glasses of wine just to have to walk upstairs instead of driving an hour away. All of this things that I'm so grateful for. I feel like I've also gained more of a respect and friendship with elderly people. Before living with them, (and I'm just being honest here)I felt like I didn't really want to spend time with elderly people because they weren't a part of my life and were a part of this whole grouping of people who I just deemed having, well, all the traits you consider elderly people of having, and now I feel like I've learned more about how to look at each person as an individual special person instead of a grouping. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm surprised that this feeling of difficulty has, on its down, changed into something that I'm now appreciative of. Isn't that funny? When something you thought was a bother and now is a joy to be a part of?


  1. That is super. In a lot of countries, especially Asain ones, living with the older generation is just considered normal. I think it's beautiful when young and old generations of the same family stay close. And it's especially wonderful that you feel so close to Martins parents, after initially having a harder time with it.

    It must also be a comfort for Martin and his parents, that although he got married, they can still be just as close both emotionally and physically to eacthother as they were before. It must be hard on parents to let their kids go. And in a way his parents dont need to do that- and that must be nice for them. I know I hope Molly lived with us forever!!!

    Sending you hugs! Neat blog!!

  2. thanks girlfriend!! yeah i definetly did have a harder time in the beginning (lol you remember!) and i'm sure things will be annoying, but thats family I guess lol:) I've heard about that in Hindu families also, living with older generations...I didn't know that about Asian though, cool!

    awww, that would be cute, you know she might live with you guys forever! my ex (noah)'s sister lived with their parents with her husband and had three kids!

  3. I"m so proud and impressed Nicole, that you've warmed up to them as family also. I suspect that your history of living with extended family has really helped you transition and I'm impressed.

  4. thanks girlfriend!i think you're right, the extended family part must've helped alittle:)


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