I Could Not Raise My Kids Without My Family

grandpa loveThe new movie I Don't Know How She Does It speaks to working moms everywhere. And while not all of us are investment managers with giant brownstones in Back Bay (Boston), most of us who do have full-time jobs get the sense of constantly juggling, missing important events and feeling pulled in 10 different directions at once. Now the secret is out -- the "trick" to "having it all" (or at least appearing to) is to have supportive family who lives near by.

For years, I could not wait to get out of Boston. I graduated from high school here, lived here every summer in college and then ended up in graduate school here. Now? I can't imagine ever leaving.

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Both my husband and I have full time jobs, a busy social life and the need to actively maintain our relationship with weekly date nights. And all of those activities are made possible because of my sister who lives down the street from us, my parents who live 20 minutes away and the family lake house where we go almost every weekend all together. Having it all means having a lot of help and boy am I grateful.

It turns out I am not alone. A study by Tesco Baby, found that 67 percent of mothers say they would have to give up work if they didn't receive help from "Team Mom," the crew of family (and some friends) who can help in a pinch and take the babies when the need arises. 

There have been countless times I have been in some kind of major pinch and my kids' Oma (my stepmom) or their Zaydee (my dad) has been able to help us. My sister has taken the kids on major holidays when I don't have off work and she does. In my family, my children feel as close to their auntie and their grandparents as they do to anyone. And we like it that way.

It is really a bonus for all of us. My children get to know their grandparents, they get to hang with our kids on their own and I feel like I have a lot of help. And even though I do pay enormous amounts for childcare and having them here has not saved me much money, it has saved me a bit of stress. I know when I need it, someone can probably pick the kids up at school or take them on a day they are sick or have a snow day.

Sure, there are probably grandparents who are more involved by helping on a regular basis, but my parents and sister help enough that I have no interest in giving that up. It really does take a village and I am beyond grateful for mine. Maybe we will move away someday. But it won't be before the kids are old enough to be on their own sometimes.

Do you rely on family for help?

 

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