August 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
The best thing about living away from family is living away from family, but that can also be the worst thing about living away from family.
I am the mother of two children, my son Jack is 4 and a half and my daughter Olivia is 1 and a half. I’m a stay at home mother who lives about seven and a half hours away from any family of any kind. I do have friends, but let’s face it, friends are not the same as family.
I don’t feel I can call my friend up and ask if I can drop my kids off to them, or ask them to just come over for an hour so I can take a much needed nap. No, there are certain things that you can not just impose upon friends the way you can with family.
Being a mother is exhausting. Even someone who wants nothing more than to be a mother and she is living her dream having children and keeping house will tell you it can become overwhelming at times. The constant noise, mess, and need for attention. While I find toddler’s neediness much more bearable than an infant it still drains me to be needed on a 24/7 basis.
And before anyone tells me that I should cherish this time and quit complaining, that people struggle to have children, have lost children, etc I just want to say that I have been that woman too. I have lost a baby, I struggled to have my son, I have been the woman who was surprised with a pregnancy at the worst possible time in my life. I love and appreciate my little wildlings, but that does not for one second mean that I don’t need a break. That I don’t need time to myself, quiet, or to be able to go to the bathroom alone without little people following me.
There are moments, feeling, love that I would not know without my children. The level of love I have for them cannot be measured. But they are humans, they have their own minds, wants, and they are impatient and learning to function in a world that is starting to make them have to do do things themselves. This is causing a lot of of frustration for them and for me.
I have so many friends with kids who go with their grandparents for the weekend or on a week night before they start school. I see couples going along to dinner, while they can be sure their kids are taken care of. The going rate for a babysitter these days is about $12 per hour. That means for a dinner and a movie my husband and I have roughly spent about $50 before we have even left the house. This isn’t a problem for people who make a lot of money, but from where we sit it means about two dates a month if it’s a good month. Now the kids are going to school two or three days a week so that’s where all our date night money is going.
It’s discouraging and overwhelming. I wish I had someone to call when things start to get hard. Someone who can help me out but sadly there isn’t anyone who doesn’t already have a gaggle of children or that I won’t feel bad about not being able to pay them for their time.
I am not saying other people don’t have it harder and honestly, there is nothing to do about this situation at the moment. This is just my truth, my journey.