Do you want your parents to live with you to help you with kids and around the house?

Alexei Sorokin
5 min readDec 27, 2021

My mom’s visiting now from Russia. She and my stepdad come twice a year — for a couple of months in the summer and three weeks in the winter.

On the one hand, her visits are pure bliss. She loves her grandkids (four of them!) so there is love and warmth. And for my wife and me it’s like a vacation! The house is always clean, the food is always ready. No last-minute cooking, grilling, or grabbing a takeaway.

Look at how my mom spoils the kids with her cooking! Fairytale babushka!

And here is a picture from the last summer — we spent a lovely day in San Diego (my daughter and wife didn’t make it to this picture!)

On the other hand, it’s complicated. Several times I tried to talk my mom into leaving Russia and moving in with us. It’s a selfish plan, no doubt. In fact, I don’t even have a plan. For years my wife and I have been managing our big family without any help; we struggle often but we’re doing ok. Of course, there are many moments when we think how much easier it’d be if we got help from our relatives. We know a couple of families — our friends, of our age — whose parents live in the same house or a few miles away. These friends get a lot of help! We are a little jealous!

Despite her enjoyment of her visits, my Mom is categorical about making a radical move. She says that’d mean committing her entire life to us and she doesn’t want that. She also comes up with a number of other reasons. She says she has friends in Moscow she’s attached to. That I don’t believe. I know her “friends”. It’s a single friend with who she’s been close for decades — that much is true. But they barely see each other, maybe once every few months. Then she says her husband, my stepdad, has a job (he works at a school, as a facilities manager) and she’s not ready to ask him to make sacrifices. That I doubt too. I know my stepdad very closely; I’ve known him for decades. Yes, he’s super hardworking but he’s making a pathetic one thousand dollars at his job. I don’t think he’d mind making a move if it weren’t for my Mom’s stubbornness.

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day.