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Moving Back with Mom
April 23, 2012 |
My husband and I and our two children (ages 5 and 7) are facing difficult financial times (I know, we're not alone). To avoid a possible foreclosure on our home, we are selling it and moving back in with my mother temporarily. My mother is sweet and caring but can be a bit noisy and interfering when it comes to my children. Do you have any words of wisdom (or encouragement) for a woman who will surely be losing her mind shortly (my mother can drive me crazy)?
Apprehensive in Texas,
This is your advanced course in social skills, Christy, and it will make you an even better person than the fine person you are. As a guest in your mother's home, you surrender a degree of adult autonomy and you must respect that it is her home and you must yield to her authority. No shrieking, no door slamming, none of that. If you're angry, slip quietly away and take a brisk walk and curse to yourself. Passive resistance can be a good technique, and also Killing With Kindness, or Extreme Courtesy. You need to be protective of your husband, whose feelings are delicate in this situation, and you need to protect your children from family conflict. But your mother has to have the right to direct and discipline young children in her own home if you aren't present and maybe even if you are. You have to respect her standards in her home: it'll be a good lesson for the kids to understand this. Expect the best and ignore the worst and you stand a better chance. This is a story that demands a heroine and you're her. Simple as that.
When I was 25, my young wife and I lived for a couple months in her parents' basement and her mother was a tower of kindness. St. Marjory. And when you're back on your feet and in your own place, you'll look back on this as a remarkable chapter in your family's life.