Know what’s great? Parents who love you forever and always.
And not so great? Living with them for about six weeks while you wait for your house to be ready and that OCONUS shipment to maybe, eventually arrive in the US. Oh, did I mention that my two little kids, husband and dog are along for this ride? Honey, it’s a full house over here.
Help! I’m PCS Homeless & Living with My Parents Again
We’ve entered the stage of our PCS saga that I call “PCS homeless.” I mean, we have a house. I’ve got the address and even walked around inside once, too. So it’s not that I’m literally homeless.
It’s just that, well, I can’t actually live in my home currently. With in-between-tenant repairs, burning through some extra leave (I wish I had that problem) and waiting for our HHG, there’s not much there to live with. Plus, we’ve used all our hotel days for house hunting.
We’ve got nowhere to “officially” go right now, no place to truly call home. I’m so lucky that we have this option, that our families open up their homes and hearts to us for extended periods of time. Truly, I’m grateful.
But man, oh man. I am not meant to ever live with my parents or any adult other than my spouse again.
Negotiations & Expectations
Over the last decade, I’ve gotten used to doing things a certain way. I like things neat, uncluttered and extremely clean. Okay, as clean and neat and uncluttered as two little kids will allow me to be.
Visiting someone else’s home, living there semi-long term, is an effort in patience for me when it comes to organization of stuff. I’ve got a lot of zen meditation going on right now.
Clutter is a huge anxiety trigger for me. I feel unsettled and just off when things are scattered, not put away with order or purpose. When spills on counters aren’t wiped up with a sense of urgency, it just does something to my insides.
Living outside of my own space, sharing a house with my family again, is an exercise in tampering my own inclinations and expectations for how to organize things. I’ve got some thoughts – only some of which I act on. I’m hoping that they really like the way I reorganized their canned goods and snacks!
Falling Back Into Old Habits
Think about how you lived in high school, or maybe summer vacations. What did you act like? What were your family roles?
I was the semi-responsible one, most likely to avoid folding laundry when wrapped up in a good book.
Guess who has returned for a visit? Yup, that same high school-era persona.
I really love that my mom is making my eggs and coffee in the morning. It’s actually really great since she’s had a few decades to learn exactly how I like them (scrambled and cooked until not runny, but also not dry either). She’s got the kitchen fully stocked with all my favorite foods, too.
The added bonus is that now I can drink! Which means that Dad (and Mom, if we’re being honest) really likes to kick back and rehash the good times over some wine. It’s a welcome change to getting grilled for staying out late on Saturday nights.
I love all of this, it’s comforting. But at the same time, I need to stay Mommy to my own kids and I can’t do that with high school habits kicking around again. It’s so hard to find that balance between who I used to be the last time I really lived here and who I’ve grown into over the last decade.
My mom gives the best advice. She’s always so good when I need someone to talk me off the ledge or when the kindergartner has asked 1 billion questions before breakfast.
Except that now I’m here pretty much 24/7 and I get all the advice all the time. Before, I had to call her first. I was ready for advice. I needed advice.
Right now, I’m reminded constantly that “they’re only little once” while at the same time being told to “follow my passions.” Maybe law school? Yes, that’s an actual suggestion from the same person who also just told me to treasure every second of my kids’ lives.
We’re also two sets of grown adults, with parenting experience, all jumping in to parent two little kids. At once. It gets testy at times. Like when I say no ice cream unless you eat your veggies, but Grandpa is secretly winking at Mr. PreK. He knows he’s getting the sundae later. And so do I.
I’m so glad we have a safe place to land while we’re between homes. It’s nice to feel cared for and loved 24/7. It’s also a little overwhelming and challenging, too.
So here I am: living with my parents over a decade after I last officially, really lived with them. With my two little kids, one tall husband and a tiny little dog tucked in with me. And it’s getting tight up in this house.
Where do you head when you’re in-between homes due to PCSing? We’d love to hear your advice to make sharing space with family a little less tense!
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