Monday, July 28, 2008

family ties

I never understood young adults who complained about seeing their family. I see this more on television and in movies, but I've also heard friends, coworkers, classmates, and even professors complain about not wanting to go visit their family.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I'm beginning to understand this phenomena. I've just spent the past weekend at home, and tonight my dad is coming down, and Tuesday my mom is coming down to help me move and will probably stay through Sunday. I'm really grateful for the help and know that this will be a good time, but part of me is groining, "Too. Much. Family. Time."

It's not that I don't enjoy spending time with my family or don't want to receive what they're offering. I'm just realizing that when they come down here, especially during the week, I feel like my space is being invaded. When I asked my mom to come down and help me move, I only asked her to come for the weekend, but then she suggested coming earlier to help me pack. I explained that would be fine, but I would be busy and wouldn't have a whole lot of time. So, she decided to come on Tuesday night, so she can spend Wednesday and Thursday helping me as well. It's a great idea in theory. This past weekend, my mom asked me for my schedule for each day this week. As she was writing it down, she explained, "You're really busy! When are you going to have time to pack?" "Erm, well, I have a little time Wednesday afternoon, and a little time Thursday morning, and then more time Friday afternoon and evening." "Yeah, I guess we'll just do most of the packing on Friday." Which is what I'd said all along. I'm sure we'll get some stuff done on Wednesday and Thursday and it will make Friday less stressful.

I like my space. I like having visitors, but I prefer them to come on the weekends when I'm less busy and can actually be a good hostess. And during the week, I'm so busy and all over the place, that hosting someone is just kinda stressful. Though my mom insists that I won't have to entertain her during this time and that she understands I'll be busy, I still feel guilty for not being around to spend time with her. Especially when she exclaims, "You're busy!" as if this surprises her.

Alright, just had to get that off my chest and into the blogosphere. Part of me is dreading hosting my family all week long. But I really need to put that aside, and be grateful for the help they're offering and the good times that we will share, when I'm not at work, seeing clients, studying, at a meeting, or with my church group. And I'm a big girl. I can put aside my needs for space and privacy and freedom for this one week and allow my family to invade my life down here. Honestly, pretty soon the fall semester will be starting and I'll be even busier and have less time to make it up to see them. While I complain, I do want to put aside my selfishness and cherish the this opportunity to spend time with my family. And I can't do this on my own. My natural inclination is to get riled up at this perceived threat to my independence and feel anxious and complain, but I need God's grace to override my natural reactions. And this threat to my independence is probably a lot of what these feelings are about. I have a hard time admitting that I need my family. I need to let go of my pride and surrender this.

1 comment:

if walled in climb up said...

Maybe nobody likes to admit it, but we all need our family once in a while. Look at people having babies. Even if they're independent, married adults I would be shocked to hear about a mother of the new mom who didn't immediately fly down and help the new mother for the first few weeks or even months.

Hope you can enjoy your time with your family and that they can give you the space you crave.