Jenny Halteman
October 04, 2015 6:55 am

Moving back in with your parents is often seen as something to be ashamed of. I think people are afraid that society as a whole will look at them as failures who couldn’t get their sh** together. They’re afraid of people wondering if you lost your job, if you couldn’t pay your rent, or if you were just so sick of eating ramen that you were about to snap.

My husband and I loved our life in Boston. We were in our sixth year of living aboard boats and had just upgraded to a huge, fancy 46′ sailboat that we were renovating ourselves. We had an amazing group of friends. My husband was just about to get a huge promotion at a prestigious museum.

But when we had our baby girl we all had a tough time because our families lived halfway across the country. My parents (who still have dial-up Internet, no joke) would have to drive a half hour to my aunt’s to use her computer so we could Skype. Half the time my infant was pitching fits so essentially my mom would just watch my baby cry.

The distance was terrible. The Skype visits, which should have been joyous, made me even more depressed. My little girl was growing up without her grandparents, and vice versa. We flew home every chance we got but the trips were expensive and layovers with an infant were stressful. We were rarely able to visit for more than a few days and the trips were always whirlwind.

While trying to plan a visit for the holidays, my husband and I made a drastic decision. We wanted to move back to Michigan and essentially restart our lives. The idea was a little crazy due to Michigan’s ever-struggling economy (and the fact that the same day we found out we were going to have another baby) but we planned to do some freelance work to keep up with the bills until my husband found a job. We had everything planned except for one major flaw—we had nowhere to live. We considered a random apartment in a random town, but we didn’t know how long the job hunt would take. A month? A year? It was hard to say. Getting stuck in a lease was just not an option.

So, we did what most successful grown adults (with a child! and a baby on the way!!) would never consider—we asked my in-laws if we could move in with them.

They were stunned, as was the rest of our friends and family. Our latest boat and my husband’s job made everyone believe that we were settled Bostonians for good. So yes, they were stunned, but thrilled. My father-in-law immediately built us a bedroom in the basement (which was far larger than any of the boats we lived on) and my husband’s grandfather bought us a welcome-home gift, a new TV.

My daughter absolutely loved living with grandma and grandpa. Their bond grew immediately. I was grateful because my pregnancy was leaving me bed-ridden and I was unable to care for my daughter or myself for over a month. Their support allowed my husband to job search while I was a sick pregnant pile, and our daughter happily played with grandma and grandpa. We also saw my parents incredible amounts, and no dial-up connection could spoil our plans of seeing each other anymore.

My sister-in-law, Angie, was also living in the house at the time, and the days spent with her were unforgettable. She was my daughter’s namesake. The two of them loved spending time together, watching movies from the ’90s and goofing off together.

Six months after we moved out, Angie was tragically killed by a drunk driver and those few short months of being under the same roof brought us all together, hopefully giving my daughter memories of her aunt that will never be forgotten.

When my husband got the call that he was offered a boatbuilding job exactly halfway between my parents and his we were thrilled but sad that our few short months of living in a multigenerational home was cut so short.

It has been two and a half years since we lived with them, but those months together brought us closer together as a family and I wouldn’t trade those few months for anything.

(Image via 20t Century Fox)

Related:

On moving back in with my parents at age 30

How to survive moving back with your parents

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