My Mom Doesn’t Live Here

Hello, WMAG Readers! School is starting, and life is getting more hectic (as if that were possible, given the summer my family experienced). Plus, I’ve been running more and more dry when going to the Tasty Tuesday well. So I’m going to put that feature on a short hiatus. I promise I’ll return when I’ve got some new ideas. Or maybe one of my fellow bloggers will want to post an entry every now and then. Have at it, ladies!

In lieu of Tasty Tuesday, I’m going to post about something that’s been bugging me lately. It’s been bugging me in an “I’m so jealous I could scream” type of way. I’m talking about the fact that I don’t have any family who live close by.

Here in Cincinnati, people tend to have lots of extended family within a few minute’s to an hour’s drive away. My friends are always dropping their kids off at their mom’s house, or having their parents pick their children up from preschool when they’re running late at work. These people get to actually have date night every now and then without having to hunt down a willing teenager and pay them more than they spend on dinner and the movie. And don’t get me started on the ones whose parents actually watch their children full-time, allowing them to work and save money!

My parents live in Kansas. When they want to visit me, they have to either take an airplane or drive an entire day. My mom misses her grandchild so much, she’s actually considered buying a house in Cincinnati, just so she could come and visit more. I, personally, love it when she’s here, because I save a week’s daycare costs and my husband and I get to go out without breaking our budget. I would kill to be able to call her up and say, “Hey Mom, something’s come up, hubby’s out and I need to run a quick, child-free errand. Can M come over for a bit?” Not to mention the nights when my husband is traveling and my daughter is sick. I’ve knocked on my neighbor’s door late at night once or twice, begging them to hang out in my living room while I ran to Walgreens for medicine.

I don’t begrudge my fellow moms their good fortune. I just wish I had a bit of it, too. I’m certain my mother wouldn’t enjoy watching my children full-time, nor would I ever ask her to. But I know we both yearn to have her and my father a little closer–for more quality time together and some much-needed babysitting!

15 thoughts on “My Mom Doesn’t Live Here

  1. abrightfuture says:

    Having family around is very nice — But I think it’s all a matter of perspective.

    As a single mom (and I know the other single moms out there would agree!), I think it’d be fantastic to have another adult in the house. To be able to run to the grocery store without packing up two kids, to go out for a run in the evening, to be the one for once who didn’t have to wipe the bottom, handle the bath or bedtime, etc. (And when that’s done then go clean up the kitchen from dinner!)

    When I was married, I longed to have my mom live closer, for all the reasons you cite. Now, as a single mom, I realize how good I actually had it. (In terms of having another adult around…certainly not in terms of being in an abusive marriage!)

  2. I feel you Sara, oh how I feel you.

    The whole “It takes a village to raise a child” theory. It really is true.

    When I hear about people who want to move from that support system, I’m like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” Then it’s “Don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone.” Or maybe that applies to both instances.

  3. My husband left for Iraq when my baby was 5 weeks old. He returned shortly after his first birthday. I can tell you that parents are wonderful, but when you are rocking a baby and need someone to bring you a pacifier, there isn’t anyone more special/useful in the world than “Da Da”!!

  4. I’m so, so, so grateful to have my mom nearby. It is a nice benefit. Get your folks to retire in the Nati! Then you’ll be living large.

  5. My family is all more than 2500 miles away, so I know how you feel. I have made my own “family” support system. They are like an extended family. We have friends who have kids and we swap off keeping each other’s kids for no babysitting money! If my girlfriend has something she wants to go do with her hubby, I just say, hey bring the kids here and she does the same. It is almost as good as the real thing.

  6. I’m very grateful to have my mom in town, too. It does help to have family near by to help. My mom still works full-time, so I try not to lean on her too much. But, I hear you about babysitting costs. The time’s we do need to pay somebody… it’s expensive.

    You know, you could set up a babysitting trade with a friend, like me. We’d be happy to watch Little One at least one night a month, if you’d return the favor.

  7. Wow! I am so with you! Our parents are so far away and although I feel blessed to have and involved husband it would be so nice to have a grandparent to take advantage of now and again! I feel so guilty asking friends to help us because they have family nearby and we don’t get to return the favor. We have yet to find that friend support network that Erin posted earlier about. I feel your pain!

  8. Hey, Cara – We totally might take you up on that! We actually have a wedding coming up and were thinking about seeing if you’d like to watch her in return for the evening when you went to look at dogs. Not that we have to have a tit for tat at all, but we thought we’d see if you were free…

  9. That’s right, I owe you! Call me up.

  10. Heather O'Donnell says:

    I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I just uprooted and moved 2000 miles to be closer to my family. It was killing us to not be able to have a date night because we never had anyone to watch our son. I am thrilled that my son will get to grow up surrounded my family, like I did. We had some great friends and church ‘family’ where we used to live, but it never compares to the joy on my son’s face when we get close to ‘gamma’s house!’

  11. Mairtin'sMom says:

    I was just thinking about the problem of living far from family over the weekend. My husband was hospitalized for two days after a Friday morning trip to the ER. My family is out of state and my husbands family lives abroad.

    Thank goodness I could bring my son to daycare on Friday for the ER portion of the weekend festivities, but after business hours and on the weekend I had neither childcare nor support. My husband is a very involved dad, so I really felt his absence over the weekend.

    Hospital policy indicated that visitors must be at least 14 years of age, but we were able to get permission to bring Mairtin to visit, provided we stayed in the visitor waiting area. He loved seeing his dad, but I question how amusing (and frankly safe) it was to bring a 10 month old to a hospital.

  12. Michigan Mom says:

    I totally know how you feel, we used to live in FL and all our family was in MI, where we grew up. Finally after 4 years, it got to be too much and we moved back. It was a very good decision, though we are still 2-4 hours away from our families. I still have the comfort of knowing though that I can call and someone can be here within a couple hours if need be.

  13. Jen Harris says:

    Love the site!
    It’s good to know that I am not alone in EVERYTHING you talked about.

  14. Marketing Mommy says:

    I could have written that rant. Our closest family members are a 10 hour drive’s away. We’ve swapped sitting with close friends, but it isn’t quite the same.

  15. I would go so far as to say that our similar situation definitely influenced decisions I’ve made about my own career. I struggle with that regulary, though stopping short of regret. I have friends/neighbors who match all the “types” you described; and, I’m not proud to admit bouts of jealousy myself. At the same time, I’ve run the different scenarious in my mind; and time and again, realize my little family here is actually doing pretty well. Also, being forced to get creative with childcare has helped us non-natives widen our circle of friends. Definitely no regrets there.

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