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My father-in-law is coming over, tomorrow. He’s going to help my husband with some of the little and not-so-little tasks that have been making him insecure, and me rather cross, for the past few months.

I cannot express to you how embarrassed I am, at the thought of someone who lives in his house (desirable location, large and well-decorated, with a garden and several bedrooms, what an estate agent would refer to as, “finished to a very high standard–early viewing recommended” if it went on the market) looking at my house. Don’t tell me he’s family–I know he’s family–I’m still ashamed at just how much is wrong with this place.

I spent 6 years doing a 3-year university degree, around my wonderful, very autistic children, and for what? To still be stuck in this falling-apart house, awake at silly o’clock in the morning, trying to talk myself into not being ashamed of the fact that I can’t study full-time or work at all, whilst caring for my babies properly. Dad (in-law) is going to see this house, and I will figuratively die of shame.

But. But, but, but. Even if he judges me, and my husband, and even the kids, I have no doubt that he will help us. Not with infuriating platitudes or enraging advice; he will help with actual, hands-on, practical assistance.

This is more than can be said of approximately 95% of the people who have seen the inside of my house. What’s even more than that, I imagine he will offer the help more than once, until the house is in a reasonable state. At the very least, after tomorrow, I’m sure we’ll have a toilet that we can flush using the handle, and a drainpipe that actually attaches to the house, again. 

For all these things, I am thankful.