When Family is Far Away.Casey Mullins
Cody, Addie and I moved from Utah to Indiana almost five years ago. We knew no one out here and we have no family nearby (aside from one of Cody’s aunts in Omaha which is still two states away.) Part of me was glad to be out of Utah and away from everyone I went to high school with but another part of me was scared to death, what if I needed my daddy?
When I became pregnant I thought it would be hard to be away from my family, especially after Vivi was born. There’s something about having people near you that are genetically obligated to help you and your children. But as I began laying out my birth plan I realized that I was relieved that I didn’t have to worry about family parading in and out of my hospital room (and for good reason, my boobs were out for my entire hospital stay whether there was a baby attached to them or not.) When a nurse told me she’d be happy to help if we needed to get rid of visiting family members I said “It’s really just us.”
She replied “That’s wonderful, it means you have to rely on each other.”
While we have had some visitors, it really is just us. And we really do have to rely on each other. I’ve never been so grateful for *my* family before. The family Cody and I started when we got married and added to with each of our girls. It’s enough of a battle between the three of us over who gets to hold/play with/look at/smell/kiss Vivi without adding in aunts, uncles, grandparents and the old neighbor lady from down the street. Not to mention when family comes over they don’t want to clean your bathroom, they want to hold your baby.
I’ve got news for you, I don’t need help holding the baby, I need you to go scrub a toilet or two.
I do miss family dinners and get togethers, but at the same time I don’t miss the drama that can come from having family around, especially if your parents and in-laws are in the same vicinity. I do wish that Addie could spend more time with her grandparents but through the magic of Skype and other modern technologies not a day goes by without talking to or “seeing” each other. They may not be able to smell Vivi, but they can certainly watch her grow without me having to shower or vacuum to keep up appearances if they were local.
How close are your parents? Is it a blessing or a curse?