When I was 25 years old I moved out of my hometown to a bigger city. It was exciting, new, and honestly, freeing. I loved the city so much I vowed I was never moving back. However, my fate had a different plan. Years later my new husband’s job landed us back in my hometown before we even had a child. We coincidentally moved between both our parents: one five minutes east of us and one five minutes west.
At first, I was bummed we weren’t going to raise our daughter in the vibrant city with so many activities that seemed unique and trendy. As a stay at home mom, going to the same parks, venues, and restaurants I went to for 25 plus years growing up seemed repetitive and boring, even though I knew they would be all new experiences for her.
However, what I didn’t expect about living in my hometown was the new type of relationships we would build with our families.
My husband and I both have always had close relationships with our families but watching that weekly, sometimes daily, interactions grow between our daughter and both sets of her grandparents is truly magical. Most children light up when they see grandma and grandpa because they may not get to see them often. However, our daughter truly glows when talking about, telling stories, and visiting her grandparents. She asks for them literally daily. I can only contribute this to our close proximity to them that they can have fun days together all the time.
And let’s be real here- the help from grandparents is amazing. How could I have so much help if we didn’t live near family? We are truly lucky with the amount of support, especially our grandmas, provide. I raise a glass to the parents who don’t live near their family and find other ways to travel, date night, or even go to a haircut alone.
As I look back at my experiences in my old stomping grounds in the city versus my experiences as a new mother, I think how grateful I am for the freedom to grow, learn, and live on my own in the city. Now, I am grateful for the support, care, love, fun, and guidance by living near both sets of grandparents. Not only for me but for our daughter. And grandparents, we see you. We love you. We thank you. And we couldn’t do this thing called parenthood without you.