A new development this past week is that we’re about to gain boarders! Dave’s step-niece lives up in Queensland with her dad (his sister’s ex). Now she’s turned 18 and finished school she wants to move back down here to be with us, but the catch is she also wants to bring her boyfriend as well, and there’s no room for them both at Cath’s house, even if she was willing to have the boyfriend living there, which she’s not, for perfectly valid reasons.
The niece’s situation in Queensland is just getting worse and worse so last week she emailed Dave and asked if he “had any ideas” what they could do for accommodation. Long story short (and possibly in a second post because I’m having a lot of oh fuck oh fuck what have I DONE? thoughts about it) we agreed that they could stay with us for up to 3 months so they could get themselves sorted. The caveats were:
- They have to be trying to sort themselves out, whether with jobs or getting into Uni/TAFE, not just hanging out at our house.
- They have to contribute something to the household. Dave wants money towards food, but if that’s tough for them then I’d be more than happy with a bit of a hand with the housework. HOWEVER, her father used to treat her like Cinderella so I don’t want to risk doing that.
- They will be boarders, not guests. So we won’t be pampering them and conversely won’t expect them to hang out with us in the evenings. We won’t be parenting them either, so if they want to be moody teenagers they can do it in their room.
- My mum wants to come stay around mother’s day so they have to wait until after then.
- Now that Cath knows they’re coming, she’s happy to take them for meals and sleepovers, plus another good friend has offered a spare room occasionally.
We’re lucky that our house basically has three living areas, plus their room, so we should be able to coexist without getting on each other’s nerves too much. The tricky bit is their room, which is our spare room or more accurately, MY DUMPING GROUND. When mum comes to stay I can generally excavate enough space in the middle for her to stay a week or so, but these kids, they’re going to be here for three months. It needs to be their haven, not a before shot from Hoarders.
The night after we said they could stay I was up at three in the morning worrying about this. I have been trying to organise and declutter in there with mixed success, but now suddenly I need to step it up a notch and not just get rid of the stuff that should go, but find new homes for everything else. And I don’t HAVE homes for everything else, that’s why it’s in the wardrobe and the dresser holds my craft and stationery stash and Bianca’s too big and out of season clothes and you know? That feels perfectly okay and normal until suddenly we grow two extra people who want to put their own clothes in there…
I am trying to feel energised about this, not stressed. I’ve gone through B’s clothes and my stashes, and though they’re still in the dresser they’re now in a state that I’d be happy putting them in plastic bins in the shed. Now I’ve got to go through the wardrobe and with a stern eye get rid of stuff we don’t need instead of keeping things just in case. It’s pretty exciting to think I could manage to get rid of that stuff. It could be clear in there! I could let go of all that guff!
Yay, I’ve managed to talk myself into being excited. What a great impetus to get it sorted out! It’s not the project I wanted to be working on, but at least with a deadline I might even get somewhere this time…
(Gonna post this quickly before I go back to thinking oh fuck what have I DONE?)