Archive for December, 2008
There is no doubt about it….living 10 hours away from our family is hard. It was hard even before we had kids, but now it’s really hard. Not only is it hard knowing that our family is missing out on the day-to-day happenings, but it’s hard on us as parents to not have the support of our family! I am firmly convinced that everyone who told me before I had Kelvin that having two was, “Not too hard!” had family closeby to help them and give them breaks when they need it. There are some days when I want to tell anyone contemplating having two kids close together, “Run, do not walk, to the family planning aisle!”
Don’t get me wrong…I love my kids so much and I wouldn’t trade my life with them for anything! I really do love having two kids, but like all mommies, I need a break sometimes and it’s hard to get it.
So what advice do I have for other people in my shoes?
1. Schedule Mommy Time and guard it with your life! I can’t always have a definite time when Mommy Time will start and end because newborns (and toddlers, for that matter) don’t run by the clock. I just have to have a window of time (such as naptime) that I will use to recharge my batteries and NOT do housework or anything else!
2. Ask your spouse for help. Even though we don’t have our families down here, I still have him. One thing we’ve started doing is having him play with the kids while I make dinner. I used to dread making dinner because it was so hard with two fussy kids and I never knew if I was going to have some emergency interruption that was going to cause me to burn the food and have to start all over. Now I actually look forward to making dinner!
3. Even though you can’t get physical support from your family, you can still get emotional support, so keep in touch. This really makes a world of difference and it’s also nice for our families because they really want to hear everything that’s going on with the kids and with us.
4. Ask friends to help once in awhile (and if you don’t have any, get some! You really need them if you don’t have family closeby). This is a hard one for me because I have a hard time asking for favors. One thing that has really worked well for us is swapping babysitting. We haven’t done this since Kelvin was born, but our friends would watch Ava one day and then we’d watch their kids a few days later so they could go out.
5. Remember “this too shall pass”. I know it’s super hard right now since the kids are so young and so close together, but in a few years, it will get easier. Actually, I’m hoping it will get at least a little easier in the next few months. I have to regularly remind myself to enjoy this time because even though they stretch me to my limit sometimes, I’ll never be able to get this time back and I will miss it someday!