I was chatting with a friend and a seasoned mom about her grown kids, and how she’s moved on to grandma status. She was marveling over how big my kids are already. As we continued the conversation about my life with kids I commented, “I think it would be different if I had a mom, or a sister I could call to come over when I need help.” She replied, “oh so you do this alone, ALONE.” Yep.
I do have a husband, but he works outside of the home most days and the larger portion of the child rearing falls on me. Yes, I know single parents have it more difficult and I would never minimize their hard work. My own mother is a single mom. However, she was able to send us off to my grandparents on weekends and during the summer. My mom lives several hours away and is unable to drive. Growing up I loved when my aunts and uncles would drop in to spend time with us. It is rare my family makes the trip to visit us. I remember running around the yard and having sleep overs with my cousins. My kids are the youngest in our family.
My husband and I typically get one date night a year. We did not celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary two years ago, and we have never gone away on a vacation alone. I know my situation is not unique. There are thousands of other couples living like this. But, what I have a hard time with is when jealousy takes hold of me. It’s hard not to feel envious of friends whose parents go on vacations with them to make it easier. Or, how many of my friends get to go away with their husbands alone for birthdays or anniversaries. Or, how much fun my friend’s kids have celebrating “cousins day.”
I hate that I get jealous. It’s typically not in my nature. But, here I am. I just want my kids to have what other kids have, a big family to cherish them. I want my kids to have fun memories of jumping on beds at sleep overs with their cousins. Or, spending holidays surrounded by family. It would be really cool if they had an aunt or uncle to take them out to the movies or on picnics. It isn’t about having time for me, or getting a regular date night with my husband (although either would be appreciated). It’s about my kids having more than just mom and dad.
As twins I know they’ll always have each other, but that isn’t a relationship they can fully appreciate until much older. I worry they won’t get to have the closeness with their extended family like I did growing up. I worry one day they will be disappointed with their childhood.
Yes, I do this alone without the physical and emotional support an extended family can provide. It’s hard most days. It’s lonely and I get jealous of my friends. I have accepted it’s just the four of us. Thankfully, I am learning to move my bitterness to happiness for my friends. I don’t know why life worked out this way, but I know I can’t change it. So, we make the best of what we have together, even if it’s just me, a husband and two kids.
The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.
Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy