When Two of the Most Important People in Your Life Live Far, Far Away
Getting pregnant, having a baby, and then raising that baby is hard work. Beyond the whirlwind of emotion, comes the constant uncertainty. Literally a million and one self-doubting questions. And because you really are clueless, it often turns into you internalizing every tiny little thing. So who do you look to to help guide you through these crazy days? I think for a lot of people, they would say, "my mom." Because who better to rely on then someone who has already gone through the process of raising a successful human being. But what if, your mom lives literally on the other side of the country. 3728km to be exact.
Well, it sucks. Straight up.
But like every other lemon in life, it's what you make of it that truly matters. And for me, that means lots of pictures, lots of phone calls, lots of face timing. A few videos of Baby Birds progressions thrown in there. It's this blog. And all the commentary of little things that happen that I can't immediately share with her.
It's emotionally hard for both of us. But we try to make the most of it. In some ways it's been good. Forcing us to both put conscious effort into our relationship. It's allowed me to be my own version of a mom, figuring it out as I go. It's made me rely heavily on Papa Bird which in turn has forced us to work together to find what exact parenting style works for us. Papa Bird feels super included and involved because he isn't being trumped by a pro. It's allowed us to build confidence in our ability as a new mom and dad.
But you still miss all the good that comes with having grandma nearby. Like the last minute babysitting. Or the spontaneous coffee drop offs, because moms ALWAYS know what you need. Or all the help that's offered that you didn't have to ask for. Or another shoulder to cry on because sometimes guys just don't get it. Most importantly you miss watching your mom be a grandma. And because of this, the distance is a killer.
What's even worse is when Auntie also lives away! You miss out on sharing every second of such an epic transition with your best friend! You miss your little peanut bonding with her as if she's a second mom. You miss the daily conversations that keep your sanity. You miss out on having your "out of body" conscience tell you when your being a psycho.
But the good news, is when she comes to visit, you cram 10hours of chit chat into one day to catch her up to speed. From the birthing process. To breastfeeding. Through all of Baby Birds milestones. Then she gets her baby snuggles in as you listen to everything going on in her life. Because god knows you've been DYING for normal adult conversation. And at the end of the visit, a little piece of the old you returns. Because you realize nothing has changed between you. You're still sisters. Still best friends. And you love each other even more because you see how amazing she will be as your daughters Auntie.
Having long distance relationships is hard at the best of times. It was hard before you even had kids. And now having a little one, it truly sinks in how much it sucks. But it's not impossible. And even with all those km's in between Baby Bird, Auntie and Grandma, I know that our little one is loved. So loved. So lucky to have people that continue to put in that conscious effort to show their love and support. So even though it would be easier to have them live next door and as much as I want them to pack their bags and make the permanent trek, it doesn't change anything. And that's what's important. Baby Bird still has her fun, crazy Auntie and her loving Grandma. If your loved ones live far away, what do you do to cope? Let me know in the comments below. If you like this post we encourage you to like and share it.
- Mama Bird