We’re living at my parents’ house in Essex for a few weeks, just while the husband sets up a few things for us in California – it’s almost moving time!
I’m guessing with Christmas around the corner, we’ll see a lot more of us heading ‘home’ to the parents – perhaps even to sleep in your old teen bedroom like me. There’s nothing quite like staying at your folks place to knock years off your age is there? It doesn’t matter how old I am, or how many children I have, as soon as I am ‘home’, I revert back to being somewhere in between 16 -18 years old – a result of nostalgia and the fact my parents, like most, will never stop treating me as their littlest one. This must make them feel younger too, so I guess it’s an anti-ageing win-win for all!
Whether it’s for a night, a week, or even longer, leaving your own nest for the comfort of your parents always comes loaded with ups, downs and just plain awkward bits. I bet you all can relate to a few of these:
THEY WON’T LET THE KIDS CRY: Did your mum or dad ever have that tone of voice that could make the hairs on your neck stand up? Mine did. You just knew you were in BIG trouble when you heard it. Well, that’s LONG gone. Granny and Grandad have fully retired from discipline school (I probably finished them off!). Not only do they never want to upset your little ones by telling them off, they just love to pacify them after YOU have told them off. They find it physically impossible to leave them sulking or crying on the naughty step – they will smother them in kisses and cuddles instead to ‘make it all better.’ If you look hard enough I swear you can almost see the smug little gleam in Maia’s eyes as Granny tells me ‘she didn’t mean it….’
SEX ON TV: Turns out you never mature in this area. I’ve just started watching Narcos with my parents in the evenings. What a show! But seriously, can we just stop with all the steamy sex scenes? Nothing makes you feel more like a teenager than squirming on the sofa next to your parents while Pablo Escobar gets down and dirty in Colombia. You are always guaranteed a few awkward TV moments when staying with your folks, but why is it that sex scenes last 300% longer when viewing with parents? #sofapleaseswallowmewhole….
THEY WON’T LET YOU COOK: Not that you mind, but you do feel a tad guilty playing guest for your whole stay. Maybe it’s because Mum still sees me as her little girl that she’s forgotten I’ve learned to cook beyond beans on toast. Either way, this is a perk I say, so sit back and enjoy every mouthful of your childhood favourites! In return I’ll answer all their techie questions for the new gadget they have just purchased (and will probably never use!)
THEY WON’T LET YOU DO LAUNDRY: Again, I’m not complaining here. Aside from your Dad handling your pants (after two kids think Bridget Jone’s pants as opposed to racy!) this is definitely a pro. What laundry witchcraft do parents use to make clothes feel and smell a million times better than when you do it yourself at home?
BATH TIME: Is it me or do baths always feel better at your parents’ house too? I had my first enjoyable bath in probably three years yesterday. Amazing. I felt like Dorothy in my cosy red slippers afterwards, tapping my heels chanting: ‘there’s no bath like home, there’s no bath like home….’
THEY MAKE YOU A TIDY FREAK: In my own house, to save sanity, I would do just one big tidy up at the end of the day rather than tidy as we go. But you can’t do that at the grandparents’ house – all those flash backs of your mum telling you to tidy your room come back to haunt you! You find yourself chasing your tail as you tidy up things / wash up things immediately. The kids love watching that game…. it’s like a game of parent ‘fetch’.
THEY ARE THE BEST, MOST LOVED BABYSITTERS: Not only are they free of charge, but they almost shove you out the door for an evening in order to spend some quality time with the grandchildren. The kids won’t go to bed on time guaranteed, but they’re happy, and you’re happy. All that’s left to worry about is coming home and pretending to your parents that you’re not drunk…. after all, you never get too old for the ‘I’m not drunk’ game either!
WE WOULDN’T HAVE THEM ANY OTHER WAY: Overall there’s definitely more pros than cons re: crashing with the parents. The 16 year old inside of me might be rolling her eyes at her mum during the day, but the 33 year old is secretly loving every extra second she is spending with ‘Big Maz’ and ‘Rodders’ before she flies off to California. I’m going to miss them and all their little ways so very very much! Mum, Dad, if you are reading this, we wouldn’t have you any other way. We all love you to the moon and back – don’t ever change! X