Do You Want Your Parents Living On Your Same Street?
How Close Is Too Close? Would You Want Your Parents To Live Within Walking Distance From You?
This question came up this morning on my radio show because of a survey from Ally Home that says out of 2,000 Americans, 57% would not want to be that close. So what is the perfect distance? The most popular answer was 15-45 minutes away because you can still see your family whenever you want but they can’t just pop in all the time.
My first gut reaction during this conversation was to say, “Walking distance is too close.” But, the honest truth is I would love to have my family nearby. My husband, Billy, and I got married and moved away from all of our family immediately for my job. It was nice to have privacy, especially being young newlyweds. We were like real grown-ups completely on our own for the first time. However, I quickly realized that it was very lonely without familiar faces to enjoy an occasional dinner with or a parent close enough you can borrow stuff from them.
The really hard part was when we started having kids. I didn’t know a lot of people in Kansas City yet. I had work friends and casual neighbors but nobody that I would either trust with my kid or if I trusted them…I didn’t feel I knew them well enough to burden them with a babysitting request.
I can’t stand it when anybody just “drops by” including my mom. Still, I miss having her in the neighborhood across the street from my house. She moved to Shawnee, KS when my kids were around 3 and 1. It was such a blessing and a relief to have a helping hand. Nana could pick up the kids from school or sleep over with them if I had to travel for work. She was here long enough to get my boys through that “little kid” stage but she recently moved back to Oklahoma. Once again, we are alone in Kansas…just the four of us.
Now Chase and Christian are 18 and almost 15. They don’t need a babysitter or someone to help drive them to after school events. But it would be nice if the grandparents didn’t have to drive five hours to see their musicals and band concerts. We have so many siblings and cousins that we never get to see. And we are REALLY spread out…Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, California and even Norway.
I may not want them on my street but I wouldn’t mind having them in the same city…as long as they call or text before ringing my doorbell.