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When Grandma Won't Help Raise Your Kids

I love my mom. I really do. But the second I graduated from high school, I left the house. This is what happens when you’re from a small city. You either stay or you leave the second you can.

I spent my twenties living it up, man. I went to college, I moved all around, I dated losers. I did whatever I wanted to without considering laying down roots. I figured I’d meet someone, get married and have kids where we decided.

I got married. I got pregnant. Never before in my life had I ever wanted my mom more. I mean, I don’t care how crazy your mom is, there’s something about becoming a parent that makes you yearn for her. If not her, your dad, your grandma, an aunt, a mentor. Hell, anyone who has parented or guided you. Parenting is all kinds of crazy, and the need to have someone who has been there before to help hold your hand through it all comes with the kid.

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Seriously, in the unwritten Parenting 101 manual: Move—or convince someone you love to move to you. You’ll need it.

It’s the truth, and before I knew it, there was I was: six weeks pregnant, 21 weeks pregnant and 37 weeks pregnant, desperately needing my mother. Forget Google, man. I needed Mama! And when the baby came and my mom took two weeks off from work to help us out, I was in a very happy place. Mom cleaned, cooked, played marriage counselor, babysitter and therapist. I don’t know who cried more when she left, my husband or me.

I now totally get why people move back home to be closer to family once they become parents themselves.

I now totally get why people move back home to be closer to family once they become parents themselves. That wasn’t going to work, but maybe, just maybe, I could convince my single mother to quit her job and move four hours south to help me raise my family?

It seemed like all of my friends’ moms were doing it. It's hip and trendy, right?

Maybe. Until I thought of something.

I thought of my mom.

This woman spent many years raising her children. She put herself on the back burner more than a dozen times just to make sure we didn’t go without. She missed out on so many things just to raise us, and I here I am, wishing for her to, once again, put my needs before her own?

She needs to be living her life in celebration of all that she’s done as a mother and as a person.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Unless she really wanted to (and let’s face it ... my mom isn’t the type of grandma to stay at home and watch her grandbabies), how dare I assume that my mom would—or should—give up her job, hobbies and plans just to help me raise the babies my husband and I decided to have.

Pfft. Forget that.

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She should be traveling the world and doing the things she wants to do. She needs to be living her life in celebration of all that she’s done as a mother and as a person.

So yesssss, I would LOVE for her to hold my hand and help me raise these kids. But I also want her to do what makes her happy.

I get it, Mom. I get it.

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Image via Brittany Minor

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