I've been a little MIA lately. I've had projects going at home, I'm doing a little kitchen redo, nothing crazy or expensive, just some fresh painted walls and an island makeover. So far, I love the changes that are coming about and I can't wait to show you all.
I am also having a hard time balancing my time. Between the kitchen makeover and daily living, it has been hard to justify spending time in front of a screen vs.being mom. I've never been a mother before and some days I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing. I feel the most confident parenting my youngest, because I have two older children. But, I have had a hard time with my oldest. Poor guy, he is like a guinea pig for my parenting skills. I have wonderful intentions, but sometimes I look back and think I made some mistakes. Then, my middle child, he has thrown me for a loop in all aspects of parenting. I want to be able to look back and feel like I did the best I could. But sometimes I feel like I am constantly failing.
Some days, I feel like I'm not playing enough OR I'm playing TOO MUCH. I feel like I'm babying them OR I'm being to STRICT. The fact is I don't know what is the right or wrong way to parent. I make mistakes, I lose my cool, I say and do the wrong things sometimes, but it is not because I don't love my little dears, in fact it's the opposite. I love them so much, that I can't bear to watch them fail or hurt, I can't bear to see them not to live up to their full potential. I know I do a lot of things right too, but I am my own worst critic.
I only have 18 years with them under my roof to mold and shape their precious hearts, but sometimes it's so hard. I have the best intentions, but it can get overwhelming. It doesn't help that we have no extended family around. Unless we pay for a sitter, our kids are with us. Even when they are at school, I feel like I need to volunteer in their classrooms or meet them for lunch. I very rarely get any time away from being "Mom" and my kids don't get the break from being around mom and dad.
I think that is my biggest problem. Many families have extended family support, while we have the support via phone calls, it is 750 miles away. This has been our choice, to live away from family, my husbands career path has led us away and it is all we know. No dropping off kids at Grandma's so I can get a haircut, or go to the store. No kid free weekends. No Sunday family dinners, or get together's with cousins. If I'm sick I have no mom to call and ask for help. I can probably count on my hands the number of times I have had my kids sleep over at someone else's house. The fact is, my hubby and I are doing this parenting gig, pretty much on our own and it is very difficult. Some days, I feel like I'm doing things right, some days I feel overwhelmed.
Moving around has been hard too, having to establish new relationships and compete with friendships that have been solid since preschool can be exhausting. It is even harder since the boys are in school all day and I rarely have the opportunity to meet the parents.
Growing up, both my husband and I lived in the same small town our whole life. Everyone knew everyone, my mother-in-law was even my 4th grade teacher. My husband's and I's perception of what normal is, is greatly askewed from what our reality is. (by the way goggle the word and askew and see what happened to your computer screen)
When I was little, I was blessed to have all my cousins (minus 1)
live in the same town. Family get togethers were frequent and my
grandparents lived in walking distance. Extended family was very much a part of my upbringing.
My parents frequently went out of town and I happily stayed at my aunt
and uncles. I looked forward to that fun time with my cousins and the
break from the daily grind at my house.
My hubby and I are trying to fill the roles of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. While we see these fabulous relatives several times a year, that is considerably less then how we both grew up, and it can take its toll on you.
So i'm looking for answers from my lovely readers today. Do you live away from family? What do you do for support?