Life has kind of been kicking my ass lately, and I am quite exhausted.
This whole nephew issue. I have said a bit online, and have shared more on my personal Facebook page (yes, how basic of me to share that kind of news on Facebook. I digress), and I don’t ever want to offend anyone in my family. But if one more person tells me taking our nephew on the weekends is “good practice”, I truly feel like I am going to lose it. Here’s the most PC version of our situation: Jason’s niece has three kids. Jason’s niece works weekends. Jason’s mother who is in her seventies, is pretty much the primary caregiver of two of the three kids (she is their great-grandmother). The kids have been through a few things, and the boy, who is almost seven, is having a few issues. Also, bless my mother in-law, but she is too old to take care of a first and second grader (his sister, my niece #obvs). For eighteen months, Jason and I took our niece and nephew every other weekend to help out other family members back from 2010-2011, while we were planning our wedding, and I was finishing school…as well as the first six months as newlyweds. After some tension, we had to stop helping for a while.
Things have gotten a bit chaotic, and we can’t stay away anymore. And we’re both fine with it. We love nephew, and he is such a good kid, who just needs stability! We love helping, but dealing with so many family members who all have an opinion as to how to raise these kids (as we have all helped at one time or another) takes a toll…
Nephew and co. live 30 miles away. Jason has changed his entire school schedule to make his weekends more free for family time (he stays M-W after work to study until 9pm to catch up, and goes to class in the a.m. instead of evenings, like semesters past). I’ve changed my Friday work schedule to sit in rush hour each week to pick nephew up from after-school care, and then drive home in said rush hour to come home.
We’re turning my office space into his bedroom, so he knows he has his own room with us. We’ve bought him his own clothes, toys, bedroom set, etc to have in our home, and they stay here. My guest bathroom looks like a kids bathroom now with bath toys, a TMNT bath mat, and Spongebob bubble bath…
This isn’t “practice”. He doesn’t stay with us for a few hours, and then goes home. He’s here all weekend. I’m not trying to tell the world what all we’re doing…but it feels isolating at times. How can you accurately explain this situation to people? I’m not trying to come off as a martyr either, which is how I am afraid this post is reading…that isn’t my intent.
Any of my friends with kids, have BABIES. They’re new moms. They had months to accept the fact that they were having a child. I’m not comparing my weekend “parenting” to carrying a baby and/or raising my own child, but this situation was suddenly upon us, and we had no time to think. I take that back, the choice was absolutely we would help. Our nephew needs us. That was a no-brainer, but making room in our starter-home for a kid, is what is hard to accept with little time to do so.
Our new weekend normal is different, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon…and THAT’S OKAY. It’s just a huge adjustment. It’s overwhelming. I felt like I had finally made peace with the fact that right now was not the time for Jason and I to start our own family (tick tock, tick tock), and I had a good balance with my husband, our home, both of our full-time jobs, his school, and my blog. I very recently for the first time in a very long time felt at peace with where I was in my life. It was an amazing, albeit, short-lived feeling.
Look, I don’t know if God exists, but they say He doesn’t give you more than you can handle…and I do find it ironic that as soon as I accepted and enjoyed where I was, this happened to us.
This is just where I am at right now, and while I do tend to keep my posts more light these days, sometimes getting “it” out there helps to lift the extremely heavy weight I am feeling these days. I know things will get better, as we continue to adjust. So thank you, thank YOU for reading. As a reward, I have a fun recipe coming to you on Friday 😉