You know that dream that everyone has of being a grown adult and then moving back in with your parents…and bringing your partner and 3 kids? Sure you do…it’s right up there with that dream of having extensive dental work done, or having your brakes fail as you drive down a mountain. Well this weekend I get to live this dream, because we are moving out of our house for 6 months while we have renovations done.
This renovation has been on the cards for the last two years, so to be honest I still don’t 100% believe it is actually going to happen. But if everything goes to plan, this weekend we will pack everything into boxes and move to Ivanhoe to live for 6 months*. So what is this going to mean? Well for one thing, the ride to work is going to involve a few more hills…and significantly fewer protected bike paths. My Friday run to work may have to take a hiatus. And my wife is going to have to brave Bell St. every day to take our son to school. On the bright side it may mean we have ready access to babysitters…and Christ knows it’s a lot cheaper than renting. But what happens when you feel as though your parenting is being judged 24/7? What happens when you eat dinner at 5.30pm and your parents eat theirs at a normal grown up time? Cooking two dinners is insane…but then so is making the kids wait until 6.30pm to eat…and expecting adults to eat their dinner half an hour before they get home. What happens when you want to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ but your parents don’t like it… and there’s only one TV?!
Of course I’m seeing this from the perspective of someone who is returning to their familial home…I’ve spent more of my life in this home than anywhere else. But my wife is moving into a house she’s never lived in…and with two people she’s never lived with. And my parents have done the hard yards of parenting…they don’t want to be creeping around the house trying not to wake kids up, or living in the abject chaos of young kids (parenthood is awesome in hindsight and a nice place to visit…but no one wants to live there!).
On top of this is the joy of incurring a level of debt that could at best be described as ‘crippling’…and at worst ‘Greece’.
But like one of those poor bastards you see charging out of a trench in WWII, we are embarking on this trip together (my family that is…not you…you’re only here to feel better about yourself by reading about my misery). I am under no delusions about how hard this is going to be…and I know that there are going to be times when I just want to crawl into a corner and weep. But at the end we will have an amazing house that the entire family can grow up in, and who knows, in 30 years time one of my kids may be asking if they can move back in while they are getting their house renovated. It will be a truly wonderful and serendipitous moment when I can put my arm around them, hug them close and say ‘No…I’ve converted your room into my cycling room.’
*It is highly unlikely it will actually be 6 months…the smart money is on ‘the term of your natural life’.