Thursday, 9 June 2011

It's all in the network. The support network.

Or lack thereof as is more often than not the case with us. We have only my mom and my cousin in Pretoria as family that we can count on to help out with the kids. And no friends that have the capacity to handle our 3 on top of their own.We count on hired help, in the form of Lucy after hours. But with her on sick leave for the last 8 weeks, we have pretty much been on our own.

My mom's help is limited to the Princess mainly as she moves with difficulty and the Boys are just way too intense for her to handle. I guess she can handle them in our house for the maximum of an hour on her own. My cousin can handle the crowd, but she has a life of her own and a full time job, so we count on her on the odd occasion. As we will this Sunday when the two of us will be attending a special lunch with friends.We can not even remember when last the two of us were out alone - I guess it is about 10 weeks or so. I am hugely thankful that she so readily agreed to help.

Yesterday and today I have a sick little girl who need to stay at home out of this freezing cold and get better form some arb viral infection (possibly German Measles) and although I can work from home, it is not always practical with meetings arranged and interaction required with staff. If it was one of the boys, I would have had to make it work at home. So my mom stepped in to help, for which I am very grateful, but she can not be there early. So I only get to the office at about 9:30.

I wonder if a lot of young couples with kids and a great support network with grandparents, sisters and brothers etc around them really appreciate what this network means to them. How great it is to have grandparents to leave your kids with for one night's good sleep. How wonderful to be able to slip away for a weekend. For us, this is often not possible, or only with a huge amount of organization etc.

So here's to a support network, however small it might be as in our case.Or however large it might be in your case. Without it, we are truly stuck.

Joining Thanksgiving Thursday at Twice the love....half the sleep.

20 comments:

  1. This is one of the main reasons moving to Cape Town is in our 3 year plan.

    We have no family here.

    I am lucky to have developed a friend network with other moms who also dont have support - it really does help a huge amount!

    But still having a granny/aunty to call on is much easier than asking a friend - if that makes sense!

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  2. I know how fortunate I am. My life works because of our grandparents!

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  3. oh Cat...I can relate to this so very well. We have no one near us to rely on. My MIL is  nearby but she is almost 80 years old and we're not comfortable with her watching the kids for any length of time. My family is over an hour away and not an option, especially on short notice. If we ever want to get out alone, we must hire a sitter for the kids. I have some friends who are surrounded by family that watch their kids ALL the time for them - evenings, weekends or even during the day if a child is sick. I get soooo frustrated when she sometimes complains that no one will watch the kids so she can go out for the night when her family has had her kids more that week than she has.
    My brother lives near my parents and has never had to hire a babysitter b/c my parents or his in laws always watch his son. Its so frustrating! I used ot help watch my nephew quite often before we had kids...but since we've had kids, they've never offered to watch our kiddos at all. :-(

    So...we do what we must for our family and we're proud of how we manage on our own. Its not easy but we make it work.

    Hang in there friend!!

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  4. We are very fortunate in that my In-laws are 1 1/2 hr away and gladly have the girls for extended periods.  But just babysitting for a night?  Not so much.  Luckily I have fabulous neighbours who pretty much see my kids as their own grandkids, and happily take them for the night.  D is also at the age where she can sleep over if we need to go out, which does make things easier.  I do often turn down invites tho (as i did tonight) because I just couldn't be bothered to organise a sittter.  Easier to stay at home.  But that is the lazy me talking.

    I hear you.  I wish I was closer coz i'd gladly babysit for you xxx

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  5. I also have a very small support network.  My best friend Mandy, my sister and my sister in law.  Needless to say the girls go everywhere with us and if they are not invited, we don't go. 

    I am sometimes very envious of those who have their mum or MIL around who can step in at ANY time and are willing to take over.

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  6. @036d0bfddc1652d6269067ef70b9886e  Maybe we must all just move to PE because we have a great gandmom and grandpa there that will step in at any time. And Lynette has offered plenty of times - she can be substitute gran for our broods

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  7. @2310b73e207969ef4b48b29ddd6ad027  I'd love to visit your blog en return the comment love, but can not find a link.

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  8. @8358bcefbb1d4c23c681f8ffbb4b5b8b  Oh I can imagine...

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  9. laurakim  Oh I fully agree with you. With us I think friends are a bit weary of the twins - just so much more to handle with two at a difficult age.

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  10. We have my mom and she is a real blessing!  My sister and I share a group of friends so we are often invited out together which means she looks after all 5 of the grandkids.  Luckily the range from 16, 9, 6, 2 and 1 so she does manage.  We are taking her to Moyo next month to thank her because she's been babysitting quite a bit this month.  We are really thankful for her.

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  11. Most of the time, my SIL is at our house with the boys.  She's the best!  The good thing is our 10-year-old daughter can now come home to an empty house for an hour and have no problems.  She's pretty awesome too!  Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

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  12. This is something I tried to explain to my family and I still don't think they get it.  Or just simply don't want to hear it!  LOL!  There is no one covering for you unless you pay them an astronomical sum of money in the US.  The slogan "there is no such thing as a free lunch" gets a whole different meaning when you immigrate to another country! 

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  13. I am actually VERY lucky with support networks. We live within 10 minutes of both sets of parents. My MIL is the regular babysitter. Kids go to her during holidays and occasionally when my DH and I go out. In fact, she looked after my sick Toddler today and will be doing so tomorrow as well. My parents drive my kids around and fetch them if we are running late or stuck in traffic.
    My DH and I often discuss moving to a different province or country and then we think about the fact that we are going to be losing our support network.

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  14. I am able to understand how tough it can be - we have no family anywhere close to us - they all live in another country and for us the toughest was having a 3.5 month old baby and then a nearly 4 year old diagnosed with leukemia who then endured 830 days of treatment and spent around 117 nights in hospital.

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  15. I know! I get jealous when I hear how easily my sister can drop off 1 or both kids so easily in PE for sleepovers, babysitting, etc.

    ANd here I have to pay for everything - but .... things are getting better with MIL

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  16. So great! I love my support network too and I was so thankful to see your name pop up! Haven't heard from you in forever :)

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  17. I am sorry I hadn't responded for awhile.  It wasn't for lack of trying.  When I attempted to leave a comment here your link asked me to wait but never allowed me to post.  Hmmm I wonder if others had this problem.  Regardless, I'm thankful it's fixed.

    We didn't know how wonderful having family close by could be.  We have always lived far away from family and when we brought Yaya home it was no different.  However, when Bird's job changed we were blessed to move close to my parents who spoile her and us rotten.  We try not to have them watch her more than once a week.  However, we often find they ask if she can come over and play or spend the night with them.  What a wonderful blessing having family close by has been.  It will be hard to re-adjust if we ever need to move again.

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  18. My In -laws (In england) are awesome. the type of grandparents you can "dump kids and leave" and not worry at all. My Mom? not so much.... she's holidaying overseas at the moment and won't be back until mid July...

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  19. Susie's Homemade22 September 2011 at 15:17

    I hear ya! We couldn't do it without my inlaws!

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  20. We'd be completely lost without our support network. They are our village.

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