I was thrilled to be featured on Life By Me, last week. I really love talking about multigenerational living as a way to create the life you want. The life what that will live up to your personal expectations, allow you to thrive, and provides room for you do life the way that fulfills you.
The feedback and responses were positive and supportive, and then there were some comments that fit in the “other” category. Why “other”? Because I don’t know exactly how to classify these types of comments and inquiries.
Here are the top five from the “other” category:
- It’s great that you have that help. Do you feel like you are giving up a lot as a mom?
- Your family sounds wonderful, but I think I would feel like I was slacking as a mom, if I had that set-up.
- Do you feel exposed and judged to have that other set of eyes in your home?
- I think I would be admitting failure if I needed a live-in grandmother.
- How do you give up so much control?
I sat with this feedback for a while. I didn’t spend time analyzing my life based on it, but I did wonder why these female commenters were in a space I would describe as self-judging?
Where is it written in stone that a mother has to do everything in her household to be enough? Where is it stated that asking for help means you are lacking? Where is it posted that having an extra set of hands means you are failing as a good mother or wife?
[If anyone can point me to these rule sources – I would appreciate it.]
I shared this feedback with my mother-in-law to get her take on it. She said she was a bit surprised that “modern women” would feel this way since there are so many more options for women, now, than my mother-in-law felt were available to her. She flipped her hand up, dismissively, and said, “Seems like they are the ones with the issues.” She also said she was pretty impressed with me for being so empowered to figure out how I wanted to run my family and go for it.
I have never heard her say anything like that before. Her comment made me feel smart; smart in that I am empowered and I get to decide how I want my life and family to run. I get to decide how I want to enjoy parenting. I get a say in whether I want to be a duty-driven mom or a mom who has time and freedom to play with my kids – and not just get stuff done. I get have my kids grow up with their grandmother so they can appreciate her and spend lots of time with her. I get to support my husband by having his mother with us – so he doesn’t have to wonder if she’s being well cared for. I get be a relaxed wife, which benefits my husband, because I’m not frazzled and stretched too thin. I get to create a multigenerational home, write about, grow from it, work through whatever sh*t that comes up, and empower other people who are considering a “new”clear family lifestyle.
Whether women and/or moms opt to have a multigenerational household or not – that’s totally up to them. I encourage them to let go of the superwoman cape and to take up the sane living badge – and to ask for help in whatever areas they need. Each of us can create our ideal life and it doesn’t matter what “other” comments are thrown at us – we can choose.