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Family Affairs

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I come from a Big family. Growing up most events were loud boisterous affairs, think My Big Fat Greek Wedding only louder and gaudier. If you don’t believe me, I have the numbers to prove it. I have 6 aunts and 3 uncles and 22 first cousins- and that’s just on my mother’s side. Most of them lived within driving distance and we would meet often for many such loud and boisterous occasions. I mostly felt lost in the crowd.

It may sound like I didn’t appreciate what I had and honestly I probably didn’t. But then I got married and moved to the US. Guess how many relatives I now have within driving distance? Zero! Zilch! Zippo! Now that I really don’t like!

So this weekend was really special because I finally nagged my uncle and aunt into visiting us. They just moved to the east coast from Europe and are in the midst of doing up their new home and yet they made the eight hour journey to come see us. (Send pics of baby with puppy dog eyes and pouty lips to guilt family into visiting, works like a charm) We booked a cabin at a nature preserve and headed into the mountains. It was a quiet, tranquil sort of getaway with just the five of us. We had loads of fun hiking, barbequing and staying up late stargazing and just talking.

Lovin the attention.

On one of the nights my aunt turned to me and said “You are a remarkable mom, so attentive, so caring and always there when Gia needs you. You know that, don’t you?” My reaction was awkward, as it is to most compliments and I tried to laugh it off “Remarkable? What tipped you off?” She said “I’ve raised two boys in this country with almost no help. I know what I am talking about. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to not be hard on yourself. “ The more I think about it, the more sense her words make. We come from these huge families and yet we raise our children here in this vacuum. Away from all the experience, away from all the guidance and sometimes away from all the love; it is both good and bad.

Much about motherhood did not come as effortlessly as I would have liked. Nothing in my previous life had prepared me for the challenges that parenthood would bring. None of the 15 parenting books I read before she was born mentioned how grueling it would be to deal with a child that slept only for three hours at a stretch. How panicked I would feel; when at the start of a 10 hour flight my baby got diarrhea. I dealt with it all, but it wasn’t systematic or graceful. It was haphazard and crazy but it usually works in the end.

Gia soaking in the sun.

Mostly there isn’t time to look back and reflect on the job I am doing really. So when someone comes from a place of love and takes a moment to pat my back, it understandably puts me over the moon. This is the sentiment I will look back at when I go through the days when I feel clueless and second guess myself, the days when I feel like I am barely staying on top of things.

So what I learned this weekend is, every now and then cut yourself some slack and give yourself some credit.

I know every mom deserves more of both!

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Loved it…:)

    September 5, 2013
  2. It is hard to accept compliments about jobs you are naturally bound to but being here in the US we are fighting against many odds to nurture and preserve some elements of our heritage in our kids. You really are doing a great job my friend! Gia is lucky to have you as her mama!

    September 5, 2013
    • I am glad so many women feel the way I do! Feels good to know I am not alone in this :)

      September 10, 2013
  3. It sounds like a wonderful weekend. I too miss my family, that lives on the other side of the Atlantic. Family is important. Glad you got to spend time with some of your relatives. I can’t think of a better setting either:)

    It’s easy to forget to give yourself credit when you’re busy being on duty 24/7. I really appreciate your post.

    See you soon.

    September 5, 2013
    • I am sure you get it Maria. It is hard raising kids without all that love and support. Thank you for the appreciation.

      September 10, 2013
  4. Sudipta #

    I just love the way you connect the dots and take us to a journey and a way back…i felt that i was with you in all of these. Awaiting the next Blog..and You really are doing a good Job Mommy :)

    September 5, 2013
    • Aww thanks Sudi! It’s so nice to know that you are reading and WAITING for the next post too.

      September 10, 2013
  5. It’s nice when someone compliments you, but it is hard to take in. I don’t know you outside the blogosphere, but you seem like a very dedicated and caring mother to your posts you appreciate her ‘bad’ days and live the moment with her. Good on you!

    September 5, 2013
  6. Well said. Being a parent here in America is not too similar to being one in India where you have family and lots of help. I think you are a great mom…and I hardly know you!

    Your aunt is one smart lady.

    September 7, 2013
    • Agreed on my aunt being a smart lady :) I feel like I know you too. I guess reading about someone’s life each week will do that ;)

      September 10, 2013
  7. I can relate to so much in your post – on my dad’s side my immediate family is an even 50 people – all uncles, aunts and cousins included. You should be proud you were thrown in the deep end and you learnt to swim so well.. we don’t give ourselves enough credit – but it does take a lot to raise a child in a new country. You are a wonderful mother – from everything I’ve read here.

    September 7, 2013
    • We don’t, do we! That is so kind of you to say. We all try and do our best.

      September 10, 2013

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