How many of you grew up living with your grandmother? I was one of those lucky children that had the opportunity of growing up with my loving grandmother. The greatness of having a grandmother living with you is not just the time and care they give you when they are around but rather the little teachings that come along the way too. My grandmother’s sister passed, and my mother felt that my grandmother needed support to cope with some of her sadness. Little did we know that my son my husband and needed some of her tenderness, love, and care.
Our house is very small; we live in a two bedroom, one bath, one-floor duplex. We were just starting to get our son used to his bedroom/playroom. However, when the news came that grandma would be arriving, we moved the bedroom around to make sure she would be comfortable and wouldn’t trip on any of my son’s toys. We spoke to my son, then just barely two that “Abuelita Lupe,” his great-grandmother would be arriving. The first few days were filled with excitement and sadness. My grandmother was still mourning the loss of her sister, as for ourselves, we were going through a rough patch in our marriage.
A New Change
As the days passed, Christmas and New Years went by. We settled into our daily routines. My husband had never lived with any relatives before, and I had lived with my grandmother until I was 28. I, however, had never had a relative live with us as a mother. Grandmothers have a way of softening things up, and opening your eyes to situations that are happening around you that you didn’t know were happening. She carefully would mention that I was a little bit stressed, I perhaps raised my voice a little too much and was a tad bit demanding on my husband.
The Hard Conversation
After having my son I experienced a few months of postpartum. Hubby began working nights, his mother moved in with us for a while and we were learning to be parents. After two years with our heads down in parenthood, we realized we were in a rut. You don’t often look at your marriage in a mirror and see what is happening. You live in a marriage and feel you are surviving. Perhaps you feel and think that is the way it is supposed to be.
My mother, drove up one day after having spent a weekend with my grandmother. We had one of the most serious conversations I had ever had with her. She told me that my husband and I were struggling. That we yelled and were rude to each other. That we needed to pay attention to what we said, how we acted and how we were around our son and my grandmother. Anyone in my shoes would have gotten mad but I felt relief for the first time. Relief that I could speak to someone about my marriage.
Our Tense Marriage gets some TLC
My husband and I decided to take a weekend getaway and talk about our marriage. We spent time together and enjoyed deep conversations about what was happening. Hubby was brave enough to tell me what he wanted and what I was doing to damage our marriage. We came up with a few solutions and changes as to how we would be in the house and with each other. However, my grandmother, on the other hand, learned our routines and began to stay with our son when I had to go to work. We now were also able to go out on dates, and hang out with her and our son on the weekends. Because yelling makes everything tense for everyone, we work on walking away when we are upset. This medium eventually showed positive results in our relationship.
Grateful for Grandma
“Grandma, pachita please.” These are the words I now hear from my two and a half-year-old old son tell his great-grandmother on a daily basis. I couldn’t be happier to have my grandmother live with us for a short time. We feel so lucky that she has stayed for as long as she has stayed. Emotionally she has helped us reconnect with each other, she speaks very softly and doesn’t raise her voice. She does more than we ever would have imagined to support us with our son. Mostly, she gives us time with one another. Not having family in town makes it hard. Grandmothers have a sense of magic that help any situation workout. It is incredible how one person could change a marriage and your outlook on life. We love Abuelita Lupe and hope she stays with us for a little while longer.