Do you have one? Do you live near family or close friends who step in to help you to care for your kids/family? If so, did you move, specifically, to be near them (or maybe you were already there)?
My family all lives close by (not Dh's) and they have never watched DD. I wish we had that. However our childcare provider is AWESOME and will occasionally watch DD on a weekend for us I wish we had family to fall back on for support/help but sadly they cant be trusted and know they shouldn't be.
Cathy 24 DH 24 DD Caitlin 2 DD Charlotte
No I don't. I have my ILs nearby, and they could watch DS1 for a couple of hours, but not DS2 for longer than 10 minutes. My family is 6 hours away, and I would LOVE to live near them. My parents would be able to care for both boys when I needed them to. Plus, I have a huge extended family that could step in, too. I would trust all of them, too. But on the other hand, sometimes my MIL will overstep and try to interfere with parenting, though she hasn't too much recently, so I am kinda happy in that regards that I can do my own thing.
I moved here for college and have stayed here since unfortunately.
We do have help available when we ask for it. My husbands family are close by, my MIL lives 5min fro us and is our go to person when we need help or a sitter. My husbands Aunt is also close and willing anytime to help...they both wish we involved them more than we do. One of my brothers lives about 40 min away, but with enough notice is here to help when we need it too. They come on a lot of fun outtings with us, like the Zoo, pumpkin patch, play places etc., it really helps to have the extra hands and eyes
We hope to be moving to a new house in the next 12-18 months and MIL has already started begging us not to move too far away LOL...it is nice to have her so close.
I don't have a village but I have help if I need it. The problem is I HATE asking for it. It's just my personality. And I think DH and I get turned off by seeing some of our relatives totally abuse the generosity of their parents and family and leave their kids with them ALL the time. We go in the opposite direction and take pride in the fact that we are totally self sufficient and can function without our parents' help. That is not to say there is anything wrong with asking for help or getting help. I just feel like some people rely a little too heavily on their parents and take advantage (again these are people IRL).
My family is all around but the ONLY person I feel comfortable asking to help is my mom. My inlaws are 45 mins away and I have asked for MIL's help but VERY minimally and it's only because I am pregnant right now.
ETA: My mom works FT (she is a teacher) so I am alone the whole day w/o help. As I said I have asked MIL on occasion - really only 3 times since DD2 came along. My mom is retiring in 2 years and I can't imagine what it will be like to have someone around during the day if I need to make an appt or run somewhere! Not that she will be at my beck and call but as I said, it's all me all day all the time.....
Last edited by macksmom; 04-29-2012 at 02:01 PM.
We do not. My mom works full time, 2 hrs away. My dad is mostly absent. Even if they were closer I don't feel I could trust them with my kids. They would both need some serious attitude changes and learn how to *listen* to me - not just do what they think is ok. Admittedly, with the people in our lives we do not want the village. We prefer to do it ourselves.
I have a friend who has a great village. 2 kids, one special needs. Her parents in law live right down the street (like 4 houses), as well as the brother. Her parents live an hour away but are VERY involved with their lives, they take the kids to watch them overnight or stay with them there. They even have friends who help them out.
It does get under my skin some days when I see how little they have to care for their kids sometimes - when I constantly have to be with mine because no one else is capable, or close enough to her, to care for her (mostly talking about R, D is a "hand off baby" lol). I'm sure it's jealousy, I mean my DH's parents are completely gone, my mom is too busy working (but does make time for us at least), and my dad is just too lazy/inept to try. With that baggage it's hard not to feel a little jealous!
ETA: All of us have stayed in the same county that we lived most of our lives in.
Last edited by Windy; 04-29-2012 at 01:40 PM.
ILs are far away, my parents live close and help a lot. My extended family is HUGE but they live overseas. We have a lot of friends and we are very social. So I say we are close to having a "village" but not really. Personally I would not move to be close to family b/c friends and jobs are very important too (I know that's not exactly what you were asking). We have lived here for awhile and have a network of close friends and places we can work for in case of DH job loss etc.
We moved back here just to be closer to my mom and dad. Thankfully, because me my mom passed away from breast cancer 3 years later. When she was still alive and before she got sick, her and my dad would take the kids whenever we asked (just Kai and Savana then) and even drive up here to spend the night so that dbf and I could go out. My mom was going to do swimming lessons with them too. I have not asked my dad to watch the kids but once before Sawyer was born so I could take dbf out for his birthday. It was just foe a couple of hours. I feel it's too much for him with all three now, especially without mom.
Dbf's family live in another country. Mil wants us there so she can help me out since she thinks my life is so hard (lol I don't know why she thinks that, I love my day to day life!) but his family is so different than mine in the way that my family is very helpful but they are not up in our business or spewing advice left and right. That drives me bonkers with his mom and not sure I could stay sane if I lived close to her.
We have no one. We are deep in the South & families are west coast. We lived a less than 5 miles from MIL but she never came to us. It's a rocky relationship too.
My family, including extended, all live within the same city. My parents fly out often & I have an aunt/uncle who try & include us when they go on road trips. They all help when ee are together.
Dh will be unemployed at the end of this school year & we're not sure where we are headed. While it would be nice to have (much needed) help from my family, I don't know that I would want Mason or the trio growing up there.
My parents are twelve miles away and the girls see my mom nearly every day, my dad whenever he's not at work. My grandparents live four miles away. Those four really do make up our village. Mom will get S from kindergarten if I'm delayed in town for some reason (I drive them to school across the agree from my Mom's every day). If something is going on in the evening a school we have our own bedrooms at my parents' so we can just crash and not have to get the girls to bed any later. If I have an evening commitment my parents or grandparents are almost always willing and available to have the girls come over. I rarely have to have them tag along to doctor appointments anymore, too.
My parents moved away the month before Keira was born. They moved six hours away. We never really planned on following them at the time. But a year and a half later John was feeling uneasy about some situations with the small firm he worked for so I started looking at jobs in his field. First three I came across were in Portland, just fifty miles from my parents' town, so he applied and got the job. Since I was going to be staying home all day with kids we decided to live closer to my mom rather than closer to his office. Best decision we could have made (except I wish we hadn't bought immediately) because of all the help we've needed during my pregnancies since moving here.
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We moved back to my hometown just over a year ago and are within a 5 minute drive of my family. We did it intentionally to get away from DH's family because they are insane and so that we would have my family nearby to help us out.
Most of dbf's family live here so we moved here almost a year ago because dbf could find decent work and because it's a safer environment and more stable then where we were living. Dbf has a large family and it's definitely a village here, that's how dbf was raised by being with all his cousins being passed around to different aunties while his parents worked. All of them have very fond memories of growing up together and spending so much time at each others houses, they are more like siblings than they are cousins. It's the same way with ds, when both dbf and i work he goes to one of his aunties houses and usually one or two of his cousins are there as well. We also rent out the downstairs of dbf's parents house so they are also always willing to watch him and ds cruises his way upstairs and spends time through out the day with them. Family is a big deal and a big part of the culture. His family is by the far most supporting and loving family i have ever met and i'm so glad to be a part of it.
No, I wish I did but the majority of my family has died. I have a living sister who is an alcoholic/drug addict. My crazy grandmother is 84. H has 2 living brothers who have both been incarcerated and post some pretty nasty things on FB so I am VERY thankful they live 1000 miles away! I sure wish I had a village, especially these days...
Dee Dee, Mom to 2 handsome young men & 2 beautiful girls!
We live over 2500 miles away from our families. So, no they are not close by. I really thought I would feel the urge to move back to my home town area after I had a child but I just can't. I love were I live way too much. Anyhow, I am about to have my fourth child in 4.4 years and we have almost no help. We have to make sacrifices all the time in order to do things we want to do. I have trouble simply getting my hair cut since we are so busy right now with our job and home based business. We end up working a lot of hours when the kids are sleeping to get our work done. Or we have to let the kids watch some tv in order to accomplish our goals. We do not have a huge social life right now. The friends we do have know how busy we are and we get together when we can. There are a small few people we could call if we needed someone to watch the kids. However, I believe I have taken them up on it a total of three times. And all three times it was related to ultrasounds and me needing to go to the ER. So, I feel pretty comfortable saying we do it nearly 100% on our own. I guess I just feel like we made the decision to have kids we should not push them off on others. That being said, I do sometimes really wish I could call up my mom and have her watch the kids in order for me to get some things done.
Jeanne, mom to Dev0n (4) Isabe11e (3) and C0rbin (2) (12/2011) Vio1et (6 months)
We're not near family, at all. My family lives in the South and his family lives in Guam/Hawaii. We're on the west coast. We will be able to move soon and are deciding if we want to remain here on the west coast or move closer to my family. Where we live at now is a good middle ground for plane rides if either family wants to visit. My DH knows that I want to be closer to my family and he's OK with moving there, I just feel bad thinking that I'm taking him further from his family in the process.
We've tried to make our own village here, it's just really hard in the military. Every time we get close to a family they end up moving. We've been here for 6 years and it's getting harder and harder to lose the family that we're trying to put together.
I have a village. My family lives up the stairs from me but they also step out when we need them too. Now we take care of all of our own necessities. We moved to their basement when our old place was being demoed and I was going to the military but when I got back they let us stay until I finish school. They have been a perfect asset. My IL live about 5 min away and come and take DS periodically. But they are not willing to watch him longer than a few hrs, so my Mom is my go to cause she loves watching him. There have been a few times DS has been up screaming at night and no matter what we try to do and all we have to do is take him to my mom and he settles instantly. I think being near them has helped but it can also be a curse when they want to take over when its one of the times we want to instill a specific form of parenting.
We have some help, but not a lot. My family is all overseas. DH's family are close by, but they're all still working a lot and we don't feel right about asking them to babysit too often when we know they're busy with their own lives. They're there for us when we need them, though.
We don't have any real help, much less a village, and I hate that. My family is all on the east coast, and we're on the west. DH's mom passed away and his dad and bro are here, but neither is a loving, kid-friendly type. Actually, DS still cries almost every time he goes to grandpa's house, so I'd never leave DS alone with him (not that he'd offer to babysit anyway).
Now that we're having twins, I'm trying to convince my DH to move close to my family because it was hard enough to do it all with one child. He's very resistant because he's never lived more than 20 miles from home, but I really don't see any other way to do it without going insane, being perpetually unhealthy, and never really sleeping again. The kids will suffer, and I'm just not the type to let that happen if I can help it, so I'll end up sacrificing until I'm in an early grave. I sometimes feel that it's doubly difficult because DH works nights and sleeps most of the day, so I only get help for a few hrs in the afternoons and have full responsibility for the nights. I'm also kind of sad that my DH doesn't see how important it is to be near supportive, caring family, and I don't understand why he wouldn't automatically be willing to sacrifice for his family's health and happiness.
Yes, and we are so blessed! I have a large family and so does DH, so we always have someone to help us if needed. Its wonderful.
I live close to all of our family, but we don't really see any of them. My mom lives with us though and is a HUGE help with Nolan. I couldn't manage work and school without her help with him. I wish the rest of my family were more involved with him, but alas it is what it is
Nolan is going to be a Big Brother My Blog
Not really. My IL's are close by but are older and I could never have them watch either one of my kids. My parents will watch the girls for us when they are visiting but they live 400 miles away. They have also come a couple times and stayed overnight with Abbie when DH and I went out of town. I do have two close friends that I would turn to in a pinch. My best friend from college watched Abbie for me when I was in the hospital having Tyler and Natalie. And both times she had her overnight. That was such a relief when she offered to do that each time as I have no family in town to turn to.
In some ways I wish I lived close to my parents so they could see the girls more and be available to watch them for us. But DH and I both like our jobs and are established where we are now with friends and other things also. I can't see him moving away with his parents being older and his brother not being in the greatest health. But I don't really want to move either. I grew up where my parents still live now and came to where I am now for college and stayed here for good after graduating many years ago .
Yes we do have my family near by to help us when we need it. My sister, 2 brothers, and sister-in-law all live within 15 minutes of us. They help us with babysitting, even though we don't take them up on their offer as much as we should. And my son loves his aunts and uncles a ton, so he has a blast spending time with them.
We also have a few close friends with young children, that would help us if needed. And vice versa.
Last edited by raspberry; 04-29-2012 at 08:52 PM.
We don't really have any help. It is just DH and I. I do miss my family. I think through all our dysfunction, we are a great, wonderful group of people and we stick by each other no matter what.
I lived in my hometown for about 18 months when Ky was a baby. I had a lot of help from aunts, uncles, my brothers, my grandmothers, and cousins. We are all pretty close and I miss them and I feel I am cheating my kids out of having a close relationship with them, which is why I make sure to send Ky on visits or have someone come visit us every summer for 1-2 months.
Both DH and I's family live in the Midwest, DH is from Chicago and I am from Ohio. He also has a very close family. They aren't as....I'll say rowdy and lively as my family is but they are just the sweetest bunch of people I have ever met and I also would like for our kids to know them. When Ky goes to visit family, he usually spends half his summer vacation in Chicago and the other half with my family. Eventually we will move closer to them and back to the Midwest. Hopefully within the next 5-6 years.
ETA: I do feel we have a good village with Ky's school community. They love my son and they also love Elle and look forward to her becoming a kindergartener in a couple years. So I do feel we have a village because we have a lot of families that look out for our kids and will do basically any sort of babysitting or assistance we need and they will provide it with genuine care a concern and I am grateful for them.
Last edited by Ky'sMom; 04-29-2012 at 08:53 PM.
Where we normally live, Yes! My mom lives right behind me. My in-laws and my sister live in the same town, and we see them at least a couple of times a week. My mom watched my oldest DD 5 or so hours a day about 4 days a week while I did my mostly work from home job, and my MIL would watch her at least one day a week. If I was busy and needed to run errands or get things done, my mom would often offer to watch the kids. Even when she wasn't helping with childcare, we would have breakfast and/or dinner with her and my dad 3 times a week. My mom or MIL would often call and just say, "I'm going to X; does Safiya want to go with me?" I also have a couple of aunts in my town and am neighbors with my best friend's mom, whom I have known since I was 5. She has a young granddaughter that lives with her that my DD loved playing with. I also have two brothers in town, including one who lives right next door to me, but we don't really see them that much.
Right now, we are living in a different country from all our family for a couple of years, but we specifically chose to live in a certain neigbhorhood because of the community that is here. There are lots of young families with similar values and beliefs as us, and the kids have lots of other kids to play with. My girls go to daycare and preschool half-day while I work. I do, however, greatly miss having family around. It's much easier to ask for help from family than from friends and other families who have small kids of their own.
I used to feel guilty about relying so much on my mom to help me with my kids. But then I realized that in traditional societies, people always lived near extended families and this was the norm. I am so fortunate and blessed to have the kind of support I have. And it's not just about the convience for me of having help with the kids, but also I feel like my kids are so fortunate to have so many people in their lives who love them and care about them and for them. We are also planning to homeschool, and I expect grandparent time to be a regular part of our homeschool days. I will say, however, that having family around, even family that you love and get along with great, isn't always all rainbows and ponies. You have to let go of a little control and it's a little harder to be particular about what your kids are exposed to when it's your parents and in-laws who are doing the exposing, lol. But still, our family is mostly all great, and the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
ETA: Writing this response has made me so homesick!
Last edited by mohop; 04-30-2012 at 01:53 AM.
Not really a whole village, but I do have my mom. She lives with us, and it is wonderful!!! Even my DH thinks so. She's not ever allowed to move out lol! She works a full day, but she helps by playing with DD in the evenings while I cook, and then cleans up the dishes after dinner. She helps with laundry. She watches DD so I can run errands, or plays in the toy aisle with her while I do the shopping.
My inlaws live just 4 houses down from us, but they own their own business and work from home, so that keeps them busy. When she isn't busy my MIL will come over and play with DD so I can make a phone call or get ready for an appt. She has offered to watch DD while I go to appts or whatever, but my DD isn't ready for that. I'm afraid she's still too physically demanding for my MIL to handle (MIL has health issues and has a hard time picking DD up and even just keeping up with her around the house).
We definitely do not have a village.
The only family I have that lives close is my dad. My older son spends almost every weekend with him, but he wont keep the baby until he is much older... Oh, I also have my brother, but he is a 13 year old in a 28 year olds body, so he rarely takes my oldest and definitely not the baby!
I have two sister in laws that live within 5 minutes of us. They have their own kids & jobs so one of them has only babysat when we really really needed them to.
I got pregnant with my first son when I was 15, so since day one I was told that he was my responsibility. I have a really hard time asking for help now! The very few times dh and I have gone out is because someone has offered to babysit, not because I have asked.