As many of you know, I'm part of an international family. That means I was born in one country, my wife in another, and we have blended together our cultures and traditions and made something of a hybrid family in this country. We are soon going to take that to the next level.
My mother-in-law will retire from her job in a few weeks and will begin the next phase of her life. She has applied for and received her U.S. Greencard allowing her to come and go as she pleases and in a few months, she will be coming via a one way ticket for an undetermined length of stay.
In the Philippines, it is common for parents to live with their children in retirement but not so much here in the U.S. though from what I have read on the subject, that is changing rapidly. I think that is why a part of me is instantly scared at the thought of living for an extended length of time under the same roof as my mother-in-law. The only thing scarier would be doing the same thing with my parents! But there are lots of advantages to this kind of living arrangement which I suppose is why it is becoming more popular here.
The biggest advantage is that there is more of a village to help raise our children instead of just myself. Not only does this give my wife and I a little more freedom to do some adult oriented things without having to track down a babysitter who you trust with an infant, something we have yet to do, but it frees up time for me during the day. I will be able to speed up some of my plans for fixing up the house and perhaps starting up a business of some sort. Of course, both of those things are easier said than done.
Right now, we don't know if my mother-in-law is coming over for a month, months, or forever. I don't think she will stay longer than the winter myself because she still has a son and three grandchildren back in the Philippines (along with siblings and their families) and I think the winter will be pretty hard on her. I remember how hard it was on my wife when she first arrived here and she only had to live through a couple months of it that first year before spring arrived. Saying that, she may just stay here until the first cold snap hits and then skedaddle for warmer tropical islands like back home. Time will tell.
But I do know, the past year of my life has been full of lots of major changes, enough for a lifetime, and they are still not over with. It is a good thing I am a fairly adaptable creature!