boxing up for baby?

noooo, not THIS type of boxing:

but THIS type:

This past weekend, in between the crazy howler monkey laughter and the hard-core Easter egg hunting shenanigans, my family and I actually had some serious conversations. I know, I know, it’s more fun to picture us like this family…alas, I must shatter that image and talk about some hot topics that came up this weekend: babies and moving. You see, my sibs and I are all in prime baby-making periods of our life…well, maybe not so much ME (spouse-wise, not age wise!), but the bro and sis are chomping at the bit in regards to starting a family. Both Steve and Pam and their significant others are now deep in that delicate dance called “planning for a baby”. It’s a dance that requires sashay-ing around various issues like work and money, while step-kicking right through questions like, “are we ready?” “where will we live?” “how will we raise the baby?”. This dance is delicate due to the overwhelming pressure put on marriages during this time. One slight step off-balance, and a couple could come crashing down on stage. However, if choreographed properly, the result is a beautiful display of grace, poise, and calm under the pressure of situation.

The title of this post, “boxing up for baby” was spurred on by the numerous discussions of where my sibs would live once a baby was in the picture. While Pam and John reside in Austin, and are very near both sets of future grandparents, Steve and Mish hold fort in Portland, a not-so-mere  2100 miles away. This doesn’t exactly allow for a “quick pop over” in the middle of the night when little baby girl is teething and can only be calmed down by Grandma. But, should a life in a current hometown be uprooted due to the location of the other family members?

Yes, babies are a massive undertaking, and the introduction of a new family member is such a blessing into everyone’s lives, but how accomodating should the new parents be when deciding their new future? Should they consider the location of the grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc? Or should they simply stick to their own plans regardless of their proximity to family?

In my own life (sans baby), I’ve agreed with the former question, and have stayed close to family my entire life, with exception of my time in Europe. This wasn’t due to any momma’s girl complex, but rather the fact that I feel like I would miss so much if I weren’t close (distance-wise and emotionally) to my family. Now, I fully realize distance must be had at some level. People need to separate themselves at one point in time from their family in order to fully bloom on their own. Europeans have “gap years” for this very reason, where students take a year off before University to really find out what their life is all about. I feel like this was one of the main motives for why I left Texas in college. I needed to feel that space, and to take some time to establish my own life apart from the habitat I had grown accustomed to back home. That time in college apart from family was amazing, and I grew immensly, and seriously considered staying out of Texas after that. However, after breaking my back, and being forced to come home in order to be taken care of, I realized that my reasonings were all wrong, and that in fact, Texas was actually the best place for me to be. I liked being close to my parents and siblings. I liked knowing that in order for me to spend time with them, all it took was a quick car ride to the next town. It made things simple. It allowed me to grow my relationship with my family. It presented opportunities that I might not have gotten had I ended up moving to the Southeast coast after college like I had formerly planned. For example, when planning trips, one of the reasons why it is so easy for me to tag along is my proximity to my parents. It makes it simple to add me to their flight schedule when I’m 10 minutes away from DFW. Of course, living in a different city wouldn’t make this that much more difficult to plan, but not having to worry about what airport I’ll fly out of just adds to the ease of planning. It DOES make planning road trips a lot more painless as I don’t have to plan how to get to my parent’s house in order to drive with them. It saves me money and time, and gives me the opportunity to take more trips!

Of course, all families are different, and as adults, we are trained by society and American culture to separate ourselves from our loved ones and create our OWN lives. However, is it so bad to stay close? I know boundaries must be set regarding personal lives, but honestly, I have to say, living near my family has brought a lot of fun-filled opportunities that I might not have had as easily had I decided to up and move away after college.

I know I went on a bit of a rabbit trail with talking about my own life, since I am not currently preggers, or am planning on being so in the next year or two (minus the random food baby :)), but going back to uprooting for a baby. What do you think? How much should the family be considered when you are deciding where to raise your child?

hearts and tiny baby hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. i think you are free to do whatever. more importantly, i think it’s more about what god has placed in your heart…and how you are living his kingdom out…wherever you live whether that’s close to family or not. 😉

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