So. Just to warn you, I am going to go all personal here today. If you don’t want to see my dirty laundry of the moment, avert your eyes and move along.

For any of this to make sense, you must know a small amount of the drama at our house. Quick background: Rob and I are taking care of 3 elderly, special needs parents who live in a nursing home a mile from our house. We are daily on the phone, at the nursing home and running errands for at least one of them. Thanks goodness they are all in the same place.

We also have our three college-attending kids at home. They all go to school and work, which means they are only home long enough to make a mess, eat all the food and use up the hot water, leaving behind a trail of dirty towels and empty toilet paper rolls.

We also have the privilege of helping our daughter raise our granddaughter in our home. I am the primary full-time childcare provider while our daughter is at school and work.

Both Rob and I work more than full-time jobs. He leaves early in the morning, gets home late and often works on the weekends. I do my office work in the evenings, weekends and at 2am when I can’t sleep.

Recently one of our kids accused Rob and I of slacking as parents because we don’t have Family Home Evening like we used to when they were kids and we aren’t spending quality time with them, ala Norman Rockwell Dinner Time Hour. I admit both Rob and I didn’t handle her accusation well. We laughed at her. I shook my head in disbelief and reminded her that she is officially a grown up and can take responsibility for herself more. I also pointed out that the Good Old Days of her childhood were that way because we had complete say over who did what and when. Now our front door is a revolving door of crazy schedules and Rob and I feel good when we see the kids once a week, let alone doing extended family visiting.

Our dear sweet, diligent daughter reminded us of the prophet’s teachings regarding family scripture study, family prayer, Family Home Evening. She wanted us to know we need to do a better job as leaders in our home. Luckily Rob is a strong, quick man and restrained me before my lunge forward reached our daughter’s neck.

I remember as a young married adult going home to visit and thinking my parents were wasting time watching entirely too much tv. I also thought that they let a lot the “rules” of the house slack off. They ate supper in front of the tv on trays instead of at the table and didn’t even bother with real plates. Mom said since it was just them, there was no need to use dishes that had to be washed. Paper plates were fine. Paper plates! The world was going to heck in a hand basket.

I officially repent of any/all judgments I held against my parents as they transitioned into being empty nesters. I only wish my nest was empty, too.

Anyone have advice, wisdom or empathy on this subject? And don’t’ bother telling us to kick the kids out. For lots of reasons I won’t bore you with, they are all here for at least another year or two or three. Shoot me now.