Childrearing

10 Reasons It Would Suck To Raise My Kid 3,000 Miles Away From My Mom

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My mother and I are close. Like, call each other at least five times a day (and probably also email at least once or twice) close. Don’t misunderstand me — my mom isn’t my best friend. She’s my mom. She can be overbearing and I can be bratty; she guilt-trips with the best of ‘em and I ignore her advice like I’m still 16. But as far as moms and daughters go, we’re pretty damn tight.

Now that I’m getting ready to produce offspring of my own, I’ll be counting on my mom big-time. Sure, I’ve got a supportive partner who is going to be a fantastic dad. But this will be his first go at parenthood too, whereas my mom has a proven track record when it comes to raising kids.

So when my husband and I talk about moving back to California, where we spent an amazing three years and which we miss very much, the roadblock we always come up against is that San Francisco is 3,000 miles away from my mom, and I can’t conceive of what it’d be like to figure out how to take care of a child without her nearby.

Being a first-time parent is stressful no matter where you live. Of course my husband and I will be handling the majority of the childrearing, but it can’t hurt to have reliable backup located in the same state.

1. Top notch childcare at slave labor prices 

mommys time out

I’m sure my child will be delightful, and I’ll rarely want to leave his or her side. But let’s be real — sometimes I’m going to need a break from the little one. With my mom living close by, I won’t have to kiss grown-up time goodbye. I’ll have a trusted babysitter who’s very willing and completely able at the ready. And I won’t even have to pay her!

(photo: voxluna)

2.  A mother is a hypochondriac’s best friend

diaper rash

You know those people who Google things like “Why is my tongue numb?” and then worry that they have a brain tumor? I am those people. (Seriously, that happened just a few weeks ago. Turns out it was a sinus infection.) I can only imagine how often I’d be running my baby to the doctor without my mom there to reassure me that diaper rash is just diaper rash and a sneeze can just be a sneeze.

(photo: joshuasitron)

3. I don’t want my kids to subsist on Lean Cuisines

kids cuisine

Which is to say, my husband and I still haven’t unpacked the crockpot or wok that we got as wedding gifts nearly four years ago. Instead, we alternate between heating up frozen food and hitting up local restaurants. Once my kiddo gets past the breast milk/formula stage and starts craving solids, I’ll be counting on mom to provide home-cooked meals (or at least to teach me how to do so).

(photo:  Cassandra Allison Hubbart)

4.  I’ll likely be the first childbearing daughter

grandma and baby

As the second-oldest grandkid in my family, I know all too well that there’s a specialness attached with being your grandparents’ first grandbaby. I wouldn’t want my son or daughter to miss out on that privilege because my little sister’s future children are thousands of miles closer to grandma.

(photo:  crazycaker)

5. If my mother (and her wallet) is across the country, how can she properly spoil my child?

baby shower gifts

Much like the proximity-to-specialness equation above, there’s a proximity-to-gifting equation to consider. Thanks to Amazon you can ship nearly anything to anywhere, but when my mom is seeing her grandchild on a weekly basis I’m fairly certain I’ll have to actively limit her gifting. If we live in California, she’s much more likely to be reasonable about presents. Reasonableness + presents = less free baby gear.

(photo: Margherita Girl)

6. Why Skype with your mom when you can chat over chores?

baby skype

If we did pick up and move, I’m sure my mom would learn how to set up a Skype account. Still, if we’re hanging out in-person she can be helping me fold laundry and change diapers while we discuss the latest episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” instead of watching me fold the laundry while we discuss said episode. So much more productive.

(photo: OfficialSkype)

7. Who’s going to explain God to my kid?

coexist bumper sticker

I sure don’t want to. My husband and I are both firmly in the we-don’t-believe-in-a-higher-power camp. But I’ve always maintained that just because I wasn’t able to hang on to that kind of faith doesn’t mean my child should necessarily follow suit. Even if he or she does turn into a good little atheist, there will be questions about religion that my reasonable but also Jewish mom will field with more acumen than we ever could.

(photo: Grace Hebert)

8. It’d be a pain in the ass to ship all those books and toys I have stored at my mom’s house across the country

my little ponys

From a fully-furnished dollhouse to cases of Barbie and My Little Pony dolls to hundreds of beloved children’s novels, my mom and I have saved an arsenal of kiddy things from my own childhood for my future offspring. Do I want to ship all those boxes out west and store them in my own house? No, I don’t.

(photo: goldberg)

9. The guest room at mom’s house is cheaper than a hotel

guest room

Maybe it’s just the new homeowner in me talking, but there are lots of reasons you want to not be in your own home for a few nights. Let’s say your basement has flooded and suddenly needs a sump pump installed, and the baby doesn’t find the sounds of jackhammering soothing. A hotel is expensive, and my mom’s guest room is free. Bonus: Staying at my mom’s includes those aforementioned home-cooked meals.

(photo: {Jessica Louise})

10. Who else is going to consistently side with me against my husband in majority-rules votes?

thumbs up grandma

Let’s pretend it’s time to pick a preschool. I’m voting for School A and my husband is voting for School B. We’ve spent days arguing our points, and just need a deciding vote. I want that vote to be the woman who almost always agrees with me!

(photo: bitospud)