Thursday, July 29, 2010

The BIG favor

So- I'm completely stressed and anxious. I probably will be for the next month or so given the big favor I've agreed to.

Here's my story...

I have a cousin- we are the same age but at completely different places in our life. She chose to get married when she was 17 and now has 2 beautiful boys (one has T1). Her husband was also very young when they got married, but the reason they chose to do so was because he joined the Marines.

They have moved ALL OVER the country- mainly living in California for the past 6 years in different places, never fully getting settled. I am grateful to say thank you to my cousin's hubby (BG) for his 3 tours of service in Iraq. I am completely and utterly thankful he has made it home 3 times with no more than a back injury.

You have to keep in mind through this story, that although my cousin and I talk on occasion- she's been gone for nearly 8 years. I've only met BG twice in my entire existence and the last time was 6 years Hubby has never met him.

So, my cousin and her beautiful family have moved back Indiana- about 3 hours away from Hubby and I. She called me very unexpectedly on Monday and I was excited to return her call. They are currently living with BG's father and struggling to get on their feet (very sad- especially after 8 years of service).

Cousin: "Hey- I have a really really big favor to ask of you!"

So she asks me......BG is really struggling to get a job- he needs a license to work as a civilian- his 8 years of service does not get him a job in any company because he needs this specific license to operate heavy equipment. He needs to go back to school....there's a class in my city...

Can he come stay with you guys for 3 weeks?? It will be the end of August or end of September.

My initial reaction was of complete horror....especially since we are in full force baby making mode....kinda disrupts the plans here...maybe.

I told her I would call her back after the Hubby and I had a chance to talk.

What are we supposed to say??? They really need some help and here I am being selfish...nervous...anxious about bringing a family member (yet a complete stranger) into my home. I talk to both my parents and the Hubby and decided that it would be fine after we set a few ground rules.

Ground Rules:

1. I don't cook much....I will clear a shelf in my pantry and he's on his own for food (nor can I fund another eater in my house as we are saving for baby).

2. I'm not getting cable for his room- but when I get home from work- I want to be able to watch what I want on TV in my own home...(what would I do if he's chillin in front of the TV all day)

3. He needs to drive home on weekends- Hubby and I need some space and time- plus we have plans every single weekend....I don't want to feel like I have to entertain.

So- those are the ground rules we kinda discussed...I call cousin back....

I announce that we "gladly will host BG and welcome him into our home."

Her response- thank you- He'll be coming up on August 8th

WTF!!! August 8th- that's basically next week- I thought she said end of August at the earliest- so I question her...

Her response is that he got in the earlier class and it starts August 9th...he's going to come up Sunday night (the 8th) to get settled.

So- I tell her about some of the ground rules....mainly that we expect him to return home on weekends (I left the other 2 out). She then tells me that her and the kids will most likely come up and visit for a few days while he is here...A FEW DAYS? What the fuck is that all about? We have plans during every single weekend...and I'm not giving her full run of my house while we're goine...and 2nd...I have to work! I can't just drop everything and accommodate their instant desire to visit- she didn't even ask.'s the kicker folks! She asks me "I have one more HUGE favor to ask of you!"

I brace myself for her question- "He needs another certification class immediately after he comes for the first 3 weeks....would it be possible for him to stay an additional 3 weeks for a GRAND TOTAL of 6 weeks?"

6 FUCKING WEEKS~! ????? NO way....that's an eternity with someone you've never met- and making....frustrating!

I tell her that I need to discuss with the Hubby and "let's just see how this goes first."

So- now we have company coming to live with us for a definite 3 weeks. We've decided we're going to turn down the 2nd 3 weeks and request he stay somewhere else- she did offer he could stay in a hotel.

I'm losing sleep over this....anxious all the time....and nervous. I think it's mainly because I don't know what to expect.

I feel like I'm being a bit selfish in that family needs to help family- but in my opinion- 6 weeks is a long time.

But...he did serve our I'm torn....

But....what if my cousin comes up with the kids....I can't put my life on hold.

Oh what to do, what to do? I'm completely sick over this.

What would you do? What ground rules would you set? Am I being selfish or reasonable?


  1. Ughh Brooke. No wonder you are stressed. Honestly? Even if it were my family's hubby, I would say no. To all of it. You are in baby-making mode, and you don't want to be stressed out then. You need to focus on yourselves. I would call her and say, "You know I love you, but with all the changes and requests, it's just not going to be possible. None of it. Sorry." Just be prepared she might not understand. And even if she gets mad... oh well. She should have handled it with much more consideration for you and your honey.

  2. Brooke, I think you are doing the right thing to allow him to stay with you guys. Especially if they are struggling financially - image the bill to stay at a hotel for all that time? That would be crazy expensive. As long as you have the space to accommodate him (ie. guest room) I would say let the guy come - like you said, he is family.

    And I don't think he'll get in the way (if he does then you can have a chat with him then). I'm sure he'll be humbled to stay with you guys at all and so he won't be rude. Again if he is have a chat with him. And it was probably wise to leave out the other 2 ground rules... it's what you wish for and you can maybe let him know: "Hey for food I don't cook all that much so feel free to stock up this shelf I emptied for you, and use the kitchen. The dishwasher works like this (or the dish soap and sponge are here - that will hint that you want him to do his own dishes). Again something that I would expect a house guest to know and offer to do.

    And about the TV - that is a fair concern. I would say "Hey if you want cable in the guest bedroom we can get that for you if you'd like to pay half (since he leaves in 3/6 weeks and you still get to keep the cable in your guest bedroom)." I don't know how else to say it so it's not "that's my remote control, please find some alternate entertainment"

    And finally about the cousin and the nieces/nephews coming with her every weekend to visit daddy - let them know that you have plans such and such a weekend but if they wanna go to the zoo (or something) for the afternoon with you guys on the first Saturday they come up that is a possibility." And then make your plans and don't feel bad about being away or whatnot.

    I think you are being very sacrificial in welcoming him in your home. I'm sure it's a stretch for anyone to do that and I admire you for it. It's what I would do.

    PS You and I were both diagnosed about the same year about the same age ( Diagnosed AUG 2005 - I was 20 turning 21 that year in NOV) Funny eh? And I am preggers now and have a little almost-3-year-old at home. You can do it! It's tough but totally doable. (SORRY ABOUT THE LONG COMMENT - it's my first "HI" to you)

  3. Difficult one... Don't think your ground rules are unreasonable. And also, going from 3 - 6 weeks, and then adding more people to the mix with the "whole family" is quite a bit.

    An don't think of yourself as selfish - you need to be. Sometimes one needs to think of oneself first (a LOT of the time really), because who else will??... Easier said than done though!

  4. Yikes, that's a tough one... I think you should try it out for the first part like you said and see how it goes. I also think you have the right to set any ground rules you want. If they can't live with those rules, they'll have to find other arrangements.

    As far as the rest of the family visiting, if you really can't handle that, you just need to tell her. Say you're happy to help out with her husband while he needs a place to stay, but you really can't accomodate the whole family. You could also point out that on weekends, he'll probably miss his house and family and that you feel it would be best for everyone if he could go home on the weekends.

    And, you never know, he could be a total delight and all of this worry will be for nothing, but I completely understand! I'd have a panic attack if someone was going to stay with us that long. I hope you come up with a good solution!

  5. @ Katie- thank you so much for your support and your kind email!

    @ Rebeca- those are some great suggestions- I'm definitely going to use some of them...especially the cable one....then again...I don't know if I mind if he watches television- I'll just blog! Funny how much we have in common about diagnosis- it was difficult, but nice to see others have gone through the same thing! I follow your blog and enjoy reading about your family!

    @sweets- thanks for allowing me to be selfish! I guess it's good to hear that it's "Okay" sometimes!

    @ Annie- You are right- he could be a total delight- that's going to be my attitude!

    The Hubby and I are dealing much better right now after talking with a few other family members- I do have some concerns...but I think the hyperventilating is over...but I'll keep you posted! Thanks again everyone for your thoughts- clearly I can't openly vent about this to just anyone- so this has been a huge source of stress relief!