My husband and I have been married for 13 years and are the parents of 2 (almost 3) year old triplets and a 1-month old baby boy. For as long as we've been married, we've lived 6-hours from my husband's relatives and 3,000 miles from mine.
Although we have often wished that we could be closer to our families so that we could participate in birthday, anniversary and holiday celebrations, we are only able to see members of our families once or twice a year, at best. This has been difficult for us particularly now that we are parents, because we would really like for our children to grow up knowing their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents better than they do.
But with my husband's family on one side of the country - and mine on the other - such is life.
My husband and I have been raising our children without any outside assistance. This has been our choice and is not something that has been dictated by a lack of financial resources. We have made this decision because although we believe that there are competent people who could care for our children, no one will look after them as closely - or love them as much - as we will.
We enjoy our children tremendously and
We believe that caring for toddler triplets is not an easy job and certainly not a one-person job, particularly if that person is not familiar with the demands of multiple toddlers who have a tendency to get in to everything. Moreover, we have not been comfortable leaving our children until they are at an age where they could communicate to us, if there ever was a problem.
When we learned that we were expecting our fourth child, we were approached by some of our relatives that told us when the new baby arrives, they would like to take our 2-year old boy back to their home with them for a few days. They believe that this will give them a better opportunity to "bond" with our son.
From the very first time I heard their request, I have been uncomfortable with the proposition. Aside from the fact that this is a retired couple who have recently had some significant health issues, they would be transporting our little boy approximately 6-hours in a car, across state lines.
It is not that I do not trust these particular individuals, I just believe that our child is too young to be taken from our home and away from his siblings, without a parent, for any length of time. I also am not comfortable with him being in a vehicle, driven by someone other than my husband or I. Add to that the recent health issues that this couple has faced, and I do not believe it is a good idea. At all.
Every time that we have seen our relatives since the first time the request was made, their desire to spend some "one-on-one time" with our son (and each of our children) has come up. And each time, we have jokingly shrugged it off, hoping that they would understand our position.
Recently, our relatives informed us that they will be coming to visit and staying in a local hotel. When they again requested to take our son for a few days, we skirted the issue. When pressed, we refused and offered the alternative that they could come and "bond" at our home.
Our relatives are perplexed and disappointed with our decision. They believe that we have "trust" issues and need to let go of the "fear". My fear is that these relatives, who have been very kind to us, think that we are trying to keep our children from them. I also fear that if they continue to press the issue, it may cause a rift in our relationship.
We understand that our children are growing up. One day, they will be boarding a bus and going off to summer camp. But right now, they are still in diapers and a 5-point restraint car seat. They are still babies.
Our opinion is that relatives can come and visit at our fully "baby proofed" home as frequently and as long as they want. But we do not feel comfortable with them, or anyone for that matter, taking our young children outside of our home.
Abby, when our newborn son isn't keeping us awake at night, this is.
What do you think?
An Uptight Mom in California?