F.G. asks from Kerrville, TX on July 10, 2008
Living with Parents
My husband and I are currently SHARING an apartment with my parents. we all moved in together at the SAME TIME. We pay HALF of EVERYTHING. we are ON the LEASE as well. This is just as much our place as it is theres
the problem is that my parents insist that we keep my son confined to the living room. I used to have it gated off so he could get to me at any time and i closed the doors to the other rooms. Our apartment is a 3 bedroom apartment over 1000sq ft. its NOT small. I dont see why he has to be confined in a little place, it really bothers me, i want him to be able to reach me and be near me whenever he wants.
I have tried explaining this to them but they dont seem to get it.
I dont know what to do, we cant afford to live on our own right now, our finances dont allow it.
getting our own place is NOT an option at this point we are locked into a year lease, also my parents CANT afford a place of their own either as they are trying to sell their house in NM (we're in texas).
D.C. answers from College Station on July 12, 2008
I had a "living with my parents" stage, though it was before I got married. My dad told me one time, "you are in MY house and you need to show respect and follow MY rules."
I kind of imagine that the living room is the only room your parents feel is safe (child proofed or whatever). If you are watching 2 other children during the day, I infer that they have to follow the same rule. And do you offer this "watching" service with a fee? Please don't be doing it for free!
A baby monitor might do the trick of allowing your child to "call you" when you are in another room. You might get one donated to you or find something similar that is low in cost.
I don't necessarily find it bothersome that your parents insist that your son stay in the living room; but I do when they say he can't be near you when you are out of the living room. My youngest son got the ability to get out of my sight in the blink of an eye or "quick as lightning," so I would understand keeping children from wandering around unattended (the attempt to clean Sharpie marker off of a wall was NOT fun or worked very well).
Maybe you can come to some sort of peace with your situation given all of the responses you have received. I also know many mothers who believe in "Attachment Parenting" that they would be appalled that your baby is kept away from you. He can only cry to get back to you, since he can't call your name yet. Answering that cry quickly is one of the foundation principles of Attachment Parenting. You give your son the comfort that he is not alone, that he is loved and that he is special to you. A care-giver can do this, but not nearly as well as the actual Mom.
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A.W. answers from Houston on July 10, 2008
This may sound crude but, you need to get a job and move out. 1 bedroom apt are not that expensive. That is all you need until the baby turns 2yrs. Get all bills paid. Go to moveforfree.com and list the price you can afford and the area. We lived with my husbands mother and it was horrible so I had to get off my butt and get a real job and my husband had two jobs. Now 13 years later and we both work 1 job and have 2 vehicles. You can do it trust me.
W.C. answers from San Antonio on July 10, 2008
I don't understand the reasoning. Can you explain more? If they don't want him in THEIR room, I can understand that. How many rooms does the apartment have? Most are a large living/dining room, kitchen and bedrooms. I'm confused.
R.W. answers from Corpus Christi on July 10, 2008
I feel for you!!!!! You will have to accept it for a while.........I'm not saying it's right, but it is their home! I just hope ya'll are saving money to get the HECK out of there. I wish you the best!!!!!!
D.G. answers from Houston on July 10, 2008
It might be time to look for new roommates. In the meantime I would be looking for lots of opportunities to head outdoors or on playdates to give your son a chance to roam around and explore. And to get some breathing room/ separation from the folks.
You could also talk to your parents about why they only want him in one room. Is it because they are concerned he'll make a mess, or the apartment isn't childproofed, or are they concerned he might be unsupervised...? If you know the reason you might be able to alleviate some of their fears.
H.P. answers from Houston on July 10, 2008
Okay, why only the living room? Is he always getting into stuff? Are his hands always messy? Do they have their "nice things" in other rooms? Did you move into your parents' apartment, or did you guys move in together?
In which rooms are you wanting your son to be able to "reach" you?
Even if it's their apartment, you have a right to question their decisions. People don't like to question their parents, but you're not a little girl anymore, and you're the one responsible for gaining the information that you want/need. At least that's what my therapist says--lol. Also, you're a mother, and you're responsible for doing what you think is best for your son (more than your obligation to obey your mother); so find out why and try to have a conversation about it. It might be all about control, or they might have a legitimate reason that you can work with.