How far do you live from your extended family? In the same town? Hours away? States away? Across the country? We live hours away from both our families. In fact, as I write this we are on a 4 1/2 hour journey to Grandma’s house.
I’m not gonna lie. It is hard. Those of you that are farther apart, I don’t know how you do it. There is this balancing act of spending time with family but still managing to build your life at home. We want our kids to be in sports but that means tying ourselves down on the weekends. We want our kids to love their grandparents and enjoy spending time with them but that means giving up some of those precious days when they don’t have school so they can be with them.
My parents are migraters. They come here for the summer and then head south for the winter. What that means for us is that we have to fight the urge to spend all our free time with them when they’re here because we know they’ll be gone for a good chunk of the year.
And don’t even get me started on holidays. Trying to fit a celebration in with everyone leaves only crummy leftovers for our immediate family. The last few years we have made it a priority to carve out special time to be with our family for Christmas. We realized that time was slipping away and we weren’t making any memories of our own. I hope our kids remember the huge extended family Christmases but also the precious ones we spent at home just the 5 of us.
There’s no one to grab the kids after school or watch the kids so we can go on a date. There’s no mom to rescue me when I have a bad day or dad to help with house repairs. Because when we do see them we want to do fun stuff. Not work or be grumpy.
And before you start feeling sorry for me, it’s also a blessing. Jeremiah and I have built a family together. Just the two of us. Leaning on each other for support and knowing that we will always be there for each other.
I remember growing up we would spend vacations with out cousins. They would visit us. We would visit them. All throughout the year we’d see each other. And then we got older. And we’d see each other less and less. And now I never get to see those precious cousins that I love so much. It makes me sad.
And I remember five years ago thinking “that will never be us. We will always see our brothers and sisters. All the time.” But it’s hard now. They have all those same things going on that tie them down too. We still see them but not as much as we’d like.
Family is important to us. Our precious family of five and also our extended families. No matter how far apart we are!