I thought my husband would be normal.
Oh how wrong I was.
Well, marriage could be easy and my husband could be normal - under different circumstances.
We've lived with my parents-in-law for almost three years. One month shy of 36 months. Am I counting. Of course - who wouldn't be?
We've been married for 27 months. I've said it out loud now - we've lived with my husband's parents longer than we've been married. No wonder I don't find marriage easy.
Don't get me wrong - we're very fortunate. We live in our own space with our own courtyard. But there comes a time when you need your privacy - for yourself, for your family and for your love life. And we don't get it. I have a plethora of stories (which I will slowly unburden) that cover a myriad of topics. In 36 months, I've collected a whole heap of fodder that could one day become a - WHY YOU SHOULDN'T MOVE IN WITH YOUR IN-LAWS bible of sorts. I've googled on countless occasions so I know there's not one already available.
Raising two children with grandparents next door could be good. It could be good. Everyone assumes we have babysitting on tap. We don't. For one thing, I would hate to abuse that, and secondly - it's just not available.
Raising two children with grandparents could be good - except for the over-parenting. I see myself on the front line of parenting, we have our own way of disciplining, our own way of creating our family-life - they sometimes tend to over-ride that. Hey - chocolate cake for breakfast - of course (and there's me in the background saying - heck no, not on your nelly, not unless I want him bouncing off the walls tenfold).
Living next door could be convenient - except for all the interruptions to every day life - including your mother in law walking in while you're in the bathroom. Hey - no one could make that up. I couldn't look her in the eye for at least a week afterwards.
Or when she just wanders into our bedroom unannounced to see our baby, and subsequently wake her.Living next door could be great, through rose-coloured glasses. But when there's the constant threat of invasion - and I don't mean just a head around the door to say hi - it smashes those rose-coloured glasses into a trillion pieces.
So after this length of time, we've started looking for a place of our own. Sadly, not to buy, but to rent.
I started this search with so much verve, butterflies in my belly.. Now they've petered out and feel as though they've become just fragments of wings being blown in a flaccid breeze. The reality of the price, the spaces available, damn fool - it's a misery.
We looked at two places on Saturday. The first was great. Wooden floorboards, great layout, awesome garden, big shed (because all men need a big shed). But I didn't feel the zing that I ordinarily feel when I fall in love with a prospective house.
The second place was great on paper. Great in the pictures. But those real estate agents are tricky fools. Wide angle lenses, talking the place up. The bedroom was barely big enough to swing a cat around. The current tenants were in the living space, barraged behind a wall of packing boxes watching golf. I know this shouldn't taint my view. But - it does. And they also had a concrete bull dog at the front door. Wrong in so many languages.
There's also the reality that if we move out now, I have to start working again, pronto - which isn't looking that attractive given we've got a 5 week old baby. So I think we just need to sit tight and ride out the waves for while longer. However crazy that's going to send me.
Hey there's always expensive therapy.