Living Close to Family

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Half a mile…that is the distance between my house and my parents’ house, and I (and even my husband) couldn’t be happier!

After graduating from college, I moved back to Charleston. As an only child, I always wanted to live close enough to my parents that I could see them at least a few times a month. As my husband and I started having kids, I loved being in the same town as my parents because it was important to me that my parents had every opportunity to be engaged and watch my children grow up.

But I never had ideas of living in their neighborhood. 

A new perspective

It wasn’t until I watched the relationships between my parents and my kids grow that my heart started feeling different about this. Add this on to the fact that our previous neighborhood didn’t have any amenities, and we all know how glorious (okay, maybe even required), having a pool during the summer months in Charleston is. We frequented my parents’ neighborhood pool throughout the summer and having grown up in the neighborhood, I was familiar with all of the great, family-centric aspects of the neighborhood. Every trip to my parents’ house had us thinking more and more about the attractions of their neighborhood and before we knew it, the thought of moving to their neighborhood became more of a desire in our life plans.

Thoughts of being able to take a family bike ride to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner; to cheering on my kids as they swam on the same neighborhood swim team that I did growing up; to hearing their crabbing and fishing stories on the same neighborhood dock that I frequented when I was a kid, all sounded like memories I would love for my kids to have. Life is busy and as I’ve gotten older, my focus is pristinely focused on my family (this includes my sister-friends and their families too), and spending quality time with each other. There are a lot of great things life has to offer, but being able to be with those you love is such a huge blessing. I have the rare opportunity of being able to live close to my parents, and I wanted to take advantage of it.

A new chapter

So we ratified a contract on a house in their neighborhood, put a for sale sign up in front of our house and began preparing for a new chapter. And now we have lived in the same neighborhood as my parents for four months now and are so happy. The relationships with my parents have only grown richer. The relationships with my parents and my children continue to get cuter and cuter.   The opportunity for more impromptu family time has expanded. The comfort in knowing that my husband and I are close for when the time comes that my parents need a little extra help is nice, as well as knowing they are close in case we needed a few extra hands.

I love driving by my parent’s house and hearing my kids yell “Hey Bebe, hey Grandpa” out of the car window. We enjoy taking family bike rides to the park and sports fields and then hanging out on my parents’ porch eating ice cream from the ice cream truck. We all love being close together—it has had positive impacts on each relationship in our family. My mom and I are closer than we’ve ever been. My oldest son gets to spend more time with one of his favorite people—his grandpa. My kiddos are so happy to have their Bebe and Grandpa able to attend their extracurricular activities.

Thinking about moving close to your parents or having them move closer to you and your family Do it! Living near parents or in-laws gets a bad rap, but if boundaries are respected, I truly feel like everyone benefits, especially your children. I mean how cool is it that they get to live close to their grandparents and see them regularly? I love thinking about all of us being able to grow older together, basically next door to each other, and all of the memories that we’ll make throughout the years.

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Melissa Butcher
Melissa recently resigned from her career in higher education and was promoted to her new title as Dr. Mom to two-under-two. Her quest to have a family involved a long road of infertility struggles. She has a son named Rowan who is 21 months old and a girl named Ildi who is 6 months old. There is never a dull moment in the Butcher house with two-under-two. Their days are fast, dirty, silly and tiring, yet also imaginative, magical and memorable. Melissa is passionate about conquering every great moment as well as the challenging moments, with love. She truly embraces the Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love” especially in moments when she finds herself gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths during the blissful chaos occurring in her home. She enjoys reading, baking, decorating cakes, walking, biking, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. She also enjoys writing for infertility and adoption focused organizations, striving to serve and support families pursuing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to achieve their dreams in becoming parents. In writing for Charleston Moms Blog, Melissa hopes to bring Moms together in enjoying and laughing about the special and comical moments of being a mom as well as providing the comfort and support that all Moms need on this journey we adoringly call Motherhood.