I overhear other mommies talking about her weekend plans thanks to “Mimi and Papi” “Grandma and Grandpa” while watching there kids. I see grandparents walking with their grand kids to school as I frantically wrangle my kids into their seats, throw a Pop tart at them barely making it to the School in time to shove my son and daughter out of the car.
I have friends who drop their kids off at a family member’s house while they run to the store, appointments, anywhere. Whats that like my kids go everywhere with me. Not by choice it’s just because we have no family around.
I chant, Must be nice. when I see friend or even strangers with help like that because I can’t even fathom having that kind of help and support.
I often wonder how much easier life would be if I had even the smallest amount of help. Real help. The kind of help that is consistent and reliable and guilt-free. And sure, we all have people we can call in an emergency. I have less then 3, but how many situations are actual emergencies? Not very many.
Most days there is an overwhelming sense of “I am alone in this but I have to keep moving on.”
And you know what is really awesome? Going to adult events with 2 kids in toe and a bag of snacks that you pray will keep your kids happy for five minutes. It never works Ipad to the rescue. My daughter whines obnoxiously because she wants to be part of everything she has FOMO. Meanwhile, my son will throw crackers at his sister and laugh when I make a stern face at him.
I can’t count the number of times I have taken all of my kids to appointments they shouldn’t have been to sorry.
Dental visits have been reduced to absolute necessity — as in I can’t chew on the left side of my mouth, I should probably get this looked at. What are regular teeth cleanings and annual physicals anyway? Something for Katy Perry, I suppose. Because regular things become luxuries when you’re a parent of kids under the age of 13.
Last year on my birthday I had the privilege of hauling my kids to the ER even though only one of them was sick.
We are fortunate to have a babysitter sometimes. When we finally decide I am completely overdue for a date night or have something that I absolutely cannot take the kids to, I splurge for a night out. But wouldn’t a free night out be nice? A night when you aren’t on the clock like Cinderella? To just call your mom, dad, brother, sister, or in-laws because you know that they would love to spend time with your kids just as much as you would love not to for just one night?
The worst part is, our kids are missing out more than we are. We know they see other kids’ grandparents at their school events or at sports. And when we visit family, I get a glimpse of how life could be on a regular basis if we lived near them. I think of all the extra love and attention they could be getting, that their friends are getting. And how nice it would be to spend birthdays and other holidays with cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Yes, not all families are great. Some people would rather not live by their family. I get it. But if you have family you would actually love to live near, living far away feels like a huge, wasted opportunity to both give and get support.
I know, I know. Things could be far worse. But it still sucks.