We have a good friend who's been crashing with his mother for a while. Lucky him, her home is big enough (okay, ginormous) that they don't get in each other's hair (usually). Spending a few days with my own mother, on the other hand, in the railroad apartment I grew up in, is a bit more of a challenge. In the hopes that I won't go all Lizzie Borden, here are some ways I've managed to negotiate it.
- Her house, her rules: There's no way I can argue with my mother that one remote would be easier than three. If that's the way she likes it, so be it.
- Change is not good: No, it makes no sense that the second living room is set up in such a way that no one ever wants to sit there and that it works more as a giant hallway than anything and yes, a new configuration would make the room more usable...it will never happen. Throwing out the pens and pencils in the telephone drawer that didn't work took a week of negotiation. Take a deep breath. Your visit is finite.
- Once a child, always a child: Yes, my mother will explain to me how everything in the house works every time I come visit even though I lived there for years and yes, she will check that I've done it right. I'm sure when I have children I will understand.
- If you put it down, it will not be in the same spot when you go to look for it: A newspaper, a cup of coffee, my earrings: if I put them down and leave the room, they will be gone when I return. This may explain why I go through so many cups of coffee when I'm visiting.
What are your tricks for keeping your sanity when staying with family?
[image of Lizzie Borden house from bootbearwdc's Flickr, with a Creative Commons License, some rights reserved]