Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You're On Your Own

It’s funny how much my family has changed from when I was a child to now. Growing up, I lived within walking distance of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second and third cousins. We had sleepovers, dinners, and picked each other up from school. Holidays were fun and memorable. My son doesn't have that. I miss that part of growing up and I want my son to experience it as well.

Everyone has moved away, spends more time working or pretty much does their own thing (whatever that means). Holidays are smaller in size and shorter in length. We don’t get together “just because” and we don’t babysit for each other either. In fact, my grandmother has received criticism from family members for babysitting because it’s “not her responsibility”.

I wonder why all of a sudden my family seems to have this you’re on your own mentality. Or why we don’t seem to want to be around each other. Granted, many people have moved away but there are still a handful of family members in NYC that I only see a few times a year. I spent a lot of time with grandparents and was babysat by nearly everyone in my family. What has changed?

Is it because we are making more money and the consensus is we can afford our own nannies, daycare and after school care? Is it because there are huge economic differences between family members and now we don’t have much in common anymore? Or because fewer people are having children and the only real reason to get together or celebrate holidays is to bring the kids together? Could It be there is such a negative stigma around having children no one wants to be involved?

I think about these things because for right now, I do not plan on having more children in the immediate future. I want my son to grow up surrounded by family and other children outside of his daycare. Although we struggled financially growing up, I had a lot of fond memories and I am afraid he may not have the same experience I had. I know I can join or create a playgroup and meet up with local moms at the park which I’m not opposed to, but there is just nothing like spending time like family.

What are your thoughts?