I am jealous of people whose whose parents live close by. Not just a little jealous, but like seethingly and irrationally jealous.
Here is why. If you have children and your parents live close by, you have NO IDEA how hard it is to survive on your own. Seriously, you might think you do, but you really don't.
You don't know what it is like to have to pay for a babysitter just so that you can go out to dinner. You have no idea what it is like to only get a few hours every few months to spend as a couple. Because, let's face it, at $10 per hour for one kid, we aren't going out every other week.
Even then, when you do go out, you can only enjoy yourself so much you don't have the luxury of having your children spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's so that you can sleep in. Ha! Can you people with parents far away imagine?! That would be amazing! A-freakin'-amazing!
If you have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to have your kid get sick and you have no one to turn to. You and your husband have to figure out whose work is less important that day so you know who stays home. You also have to decide who is not going to sleep because you have a sick baby.
And I have a flexible, part-time job, so this is nothing for me compared to what most people go through. How would you like it if all of your vacation time was eaten up by staying home with a sick child? And by sick child, I mean a child who is running around playing, but has an unexplained fever and has to be out of school for two days.
Worse yet, when you don't have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to get sick yourself. Holy shit. It is awful because you have no one to call. Your husband has to go to work and you are stuck home, feeling like the walking dead and having to take care of a rambunctious toddler.
If you have parents close by, you just don't know what it is like to not have a break. Because you have no one to turn to.
If you have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to feel too guilty to go to the gym. If my parents lived here, I wouldn't feel guilty about taking more time away from the Moose because she would be spending time with her grandparents. I would have them pick her up from school and I would go to the gym. Oh my God..just the thought is like hitting the freakin' lottery.
If you don't have family close by, you can totally relate to this.
If you do though, you just don't get it. You have no idea. And it is not your fault. I would be the same damn way if we hadn't have moved away from our family. I recognize this.
And the thing is, we are lucky. My parents are retired, so they come visit us every 4 - 6 weeks and stay for at least a week, so we have it better than most people. When they are here, they wake up with the Moose and watch her so that we can go out. Because they get it. They also didn't live close to their parents when my brother and I were growing up.
My father-in-law is also retired and he comes down for a week at a time to help us when we need it. In fact, he and my mom each came for 2 weeks when I went back to work so that Moose could have another month at home.
Moose spent the entire month of August vacationing
at the beach with my parents. Tough life.
Here is the thing though, it just isn't the same. Being able to go out every night for a week isn't the same as being able to go out once a week. It isn't the same as having your child spend the night at a house that isn't your own.
I know, beggars can't be choosers, but I warned you at the beginning that jealousy is pointless and irrational. So, instead of being grateful that I have it better than most people, I am going to take 10 minutes to just feel bad for myself and all of my friends who are in the same boat.
So, my friends, if you are lucky enough to live close to your parents, give them a huge thank you today. Call them, not just so that they can help out, but to tell them how grateful you are to not have to do this parenting thing alone.
Phew! I feel so much better getting that out there, but now my pity part is over. Gotta clean the house because my parents are coming on Monday! :)