Thursday, April 5, 2012

adventures in motherhood: how close are you to your parents?

Do you live close to your parents? Are you happy about it?

My mom and dad live a 6-7 hour drive north of here -- and my in-laws live almost 3 hours away by plane. Some days, the distance is a relief; we all have a blast when we're together and then have a comfortable space between us so no one feels pressured or overwhelmed or like they need to justify their parenting choices. It allows us to all be on our best behavior when we see each other which makes our relationships more stress-free.

But other days? I am jealous of the moms I know who can drop their toddlers off at grandma's house for the weekend and have some one-on-one time with their husbands, who can make a quick call if a doctor's appointment gets changed and have a free babysitter there in half an hour. I'm also a little bit melancholy when I think about how other grandparents get to see their grandchildren so much more often -- time can really feel like it is rushing by sometimes.

So weekends like this past one feel special.

My mom could only stay for a few days, and my dad couldn't make it at all this time, but it was lovely to have an extra pair of hands for dishwashing, baby bouncing, swing pushing, and cookie making. It's also lovely to see my relationship with my mom change and deepen now that we can share this bond of parenting together, which makes it bittersweet when she has to drive back home.

Whether or not you have kids, how do you feel about living close to -- or far away from -- your family?

p.s. my becoming our parents series, where five amazing women shared their feelings about their upbringing!


  1. Its funny growing up I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible but now that I have a child of my own I want to be near them, that's why we moved back to Chicago. Its really nice to have an extra pair of hands and Chloe loves all the extra attention she is getting!

    I'm glad your Mom was able to visit with you guys for a few days, those pictures are adorable!

  2. I live sooooo close to my mom, and I absolutely LOVE it!! I love having an amazing free babysitter all the time! My in-laws were a little too close for comfort, but they recently moved a little further away. Close enough that they get to see the little one very often, but too far to make "surprise" visits like the used to! :-) It's working out well! :-)
    ♥ Kyna

  3. I hope you had the best time with your mom! We actually live really close to all our parents, but I always feel a little uncomfortable asking them to watch Avery...they all still work and are so busy that sometimes it feels like we go weeks without seeing them. Oh well...I know that they are there for any emergencies, so that's awesome!

  4. My parents live 3 hours away and my husbands two. To be honest...I hate it!! I wish they lived just an hour away or closer bc now, to see them it has to be a whole weekend event. And free weekends are hard to come by for us. But if they lived close...we could just drop by for dinner or meet for a happy hour. Maybe someday...

  5. My parents live far too and I really wish they were closer. It's nice having a support (my mom) and when she visits she stays for a week or so. I am always sad when she leaves! But, she, along with my mother in law, is always willing to come and watch Claire if she can!

  6. Unfortunately, my dad passed away, but my mom lives a couple of miles away. It's great when I want to raid her fridge (yes, I'm 30 - and counting - and still do this) or need her to swing by the store and pick something up for me after the kid's asleep. However, my mom has more of a social life than I do, so trying to 'just drop off the kid at grandmas' rarely happens. We have to book weeks in advance and I triple check all the way up to the minute we need her! Guess it beats not having any one at all.