I live with my parents, and I love it… most of the time.
When I was 16, I’m pretty sure I uttered the words “I can’t wait to be 18 so I can leave this house!” (Haven’t we all?!?)
Well, here I am 15 years later. I still live with my parents, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Before you start thinking that I’m mooching off my parents, I’d like to clarify, I am not. Before my son came into the picture, I lived in my own place, with my husband. Once I got pregnant, we started talking about buying a two-family home together, since my mom would be helping with the baby. (In case you’re wondering, she did volunteer, I didn’t coerce her!)
So, a few months before turning 30, I became a proud homeowner and my parents became my neighbors. Instead of paying a nanny (or daycare) and paying rent on an apartment that wasn’t mine, I was investing in real estate, securing our future (because you know, rents are going to keep going up, and my mortgage won’t!) and I’d be close to my parents. Of course, if someone had said to me, this is what you will be doing when you’re an adult, I would have laughed so hard I would’ve probably peed in my pants.
When you’re a teenager, all you can think about is moving away, where no one will tell you what to do, or even better – what not to do! But I do love living with my parents… most of the time. Like 97.5 percent of the time; the other 2.5 percent they kind of get on my nerves. (But what is 2.5 percent in the grand scheme of things, really? Nada!)
We each have our own apartment, so, estamos juntos pero no revueltos. Together, but not all scrambled up… we all have our privacy. But it’s not all rosy all of the time. Parents have opinions, and, of course they (or so they like to think) know best.
One day I stayed out past Enzo’s bedtime and my mom (AND MY DAD) called to say that it was so late (seriously?! It wasn’t even midnight… and I NEVER do that) and ask why was Enzo still out? (You’d think I was taking him to clubs every weekend.) Then there are the silly questions like “Where’s Enzo?” Me: “Sleeping.” “Did you feed him?”
First, I’d get mad she was even asking. But now, I’ve changed my strategy. Now, I say something like, “No. no. I just threw him in bed with no dinner or milk. He had eaten plenty today anyway.”
My mom may say things that are a tiny bit annoying, like reminding me how messy and disorganized I am (she’s right) or obsessing over my curtains (or lack thereof).
But she does come to the rescue if I run out of milk or toilet paper. (Both of which do happen.) She also shares her food with me. And sometimes, there is nothing greater than the comfort of your Mami’s cooking after a long day.
Even with the tiny things that drive me crazy, I do love our living arrangement. One of the most important things for me is that Enzo speaks Spanish, and that he learns about our cultura. Living with my parents definitely helps– Abuela makes seco de pollo, Quaker and other treats, she plays cumbias and watches novelas. Papi watches fútbol (and novelas, too!) and feeds him Ecuadorian cheese or rosquitas. Enzo looks forward to Papi coming home from work so they can go for a walk. There is major bonding going on and that is priceless.
Living with your parents is not for everyone… But I love living with mine. The question for me is not how can I live with them, but rather how am I going to live without them?
Diana Limongi-Gabriele works hard juggling a full-time job, motherhood, family, grad school and her blog, LadydeeLG, where she writes about issues she is passionate about, including teaching her son Spanish, motherhood, parenting, Latino issues, good quality food and women’s issues. Diana is a regular contributor for Mamiverse. She has an MA in Migration Studies, and is pursuing an MPA in Nonprofit Management. Her most important job however, is being mommy to Enzo, a French/Hispanic/American (one day trilingual) 2-year-old boy. You can connect with her via Twitter, @dianalimongi or on Facebook.