The Right Thing

There are those days when I struggle - struggle with trying to decide what is the right thing.

The right thing for me; the right thing for our family.  Whenever I look into the face of my son I wonder if we are doing the right thing by staying in France. 

I grew up surrounded by family - cousins, aunts, uncles.  I always had that built in system of friends, of support of love.  Even now, 30 years later the bonds are still there.  I hurt when my family hurts, I share in their joys even from thousands of miles away.  When I think to my childhood these are the fond memories that I always remember.

And what have I done, I have stripped this opportunity from my son.  Is it fair that he grows up without any family nearby?  Is it fair that I'm denying him that relationship with people that share his blood.  Will he just grow up, knowing about those "strangers" that he sees once a year that live so far away.

Will he grow up thinking that his grandparents live behind a computer screen.  Is it fair to deny him their love, their hugs, their kisses and all of the spoiling that grandparents are supposed to do to their grandchildren?

I struggle with the guilt of living so far away - struggle with how our choices will impact our sons.  And now with baby #2, the guilt is doubled.

I am reassured by the fact that at least my sons will always have each other.  Reassured by the fact that our family has survived and that we have learned to rely on each other and hopefully that is the right thing.  It's at least the right thing for right now.


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23 comments:

Kim said...

Oh my friend, I get it. You want so much for them. I think the struggle is what will see you to the next right thing. Maybe being so far away won't always work. Nathan is so young right now, he won't remember too much about this time. But maybe the reason you struggle with this is because it won't always be like this.

And you just wait. Even though our boys are still little, I marvel over how much they love each other. Last night I was running around doing laundry and caught them snuggling on the couch together. It caught my heart!

Mark said...

You're breaking my heart.
Your boys will be fine. They will create their own world. It's you I'm worried about most.
m.

Missy said...

I think if you have a strong, committed immediate family (the 3 of you, soon to be the 4 of you), that will alleviate some of this for them. When you all have each other to rely on it takes away some of the pain of being away from the rest of family.

Natalie said...

Awww that is a toughie. Your boys will be fine! Things happen for a reason...I truly believe that.

The Blonde Duck said...

Why not create your own family in France of friends? Then they'll have the best of both worlds!

Libertad said...

I second what The Blond Duck said. You can create a family of friends in France. My relatives all lived far away and my parents always had friends that I considered closer than my actual cousins.

deborah quinn said...

The thing about family is...it's always there. So you spend time in France, you give your kids this wonderful start and the gift of a sibling (remember that YES it's a gift, even when one or the other or both of them accuse you of ruining their lives because of this other person)...your family unit will be knit together, connected, perhaps out of necessity, that's true, but that connection won't go away. Family visits back to the States and then, later, when it feels right, you can move back...But I think that ultimately it's what I read on the Mom-101 blog a long time ago: being a parent means being always right...and always wrong. Sigh. Are you (mostly) happy in France now? Then that's the place to be--happy parents create happy healthy children. Good luck...

Elena said...

This would be so tough. It's one thing when it's just us, but when we have to worry about the effects on others (our kids), that's when it really hits home. I hope you find what's right in your heart and just go with it. Whatever you choose will be what's best for your family. :)

Katherines Corner said...

I know how difficult this is. But you have each other. Encourage letter writing or skype and stay connected with those far way. Meanwhile make new friends and new bonds, you can have to many people to love and care about. I send hugs your way and ask that you don't feel bad about your choices. All things for a reason.xo

Bees With Honey said...

Your son doesn't know any better. To him, he IS surrounded by family who love and support him. I don't think he's missing out so you shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

Jen said...

Aw, so sorry you're struggling with this!! Kids are so resilient...I'm with Mark, it's you I'm worried about! Sending hugs to you :)

Cam - Bibs and Baubles said...

I'm with you on this. I live across the country from my family. Not quite the same but close. My son sees his grandparents on the computer and we fly there or they fly here once a year. I wish he could be around them more but for our family, where we are works for us right now. I certainly feel your pain!

Liz said...

We are raising our kids states away from family. Clearly not as far as you, but they are not in our day to day lives. Or even weekly lives.

For us, it works, though. I love our little family unit and all the time we spend together.

Jessica said...

I moved 2 hours away from my family (by car) and I feel guilty about that all the time because my kids don't get to see their cousins, grandmas, etc as often as they could if we lived close by. I'm sure this guilt is even greater living in a completely different country. It will be okay though, technology has given us the ability to still see and hear one another even if we are far away.

Tara R. said...

Being so far from family is hard. The distance isn't as great as yours, but we live at least 12 hours drive from our families. Our kids know their grandparents and know how much they are loved. It might take a different way of connecting, but it can be done. Maybe when your children are older they could spend summers with their grandparents.

(visiting via PYHO)

Shell said...

I try to focus on how my boys have each other, too.

I know my boys live closer to our extended family than yours do... but they have four cousins who they are close in age to(and another on the way) who they only get to see maybe once a year. Even though those cousins get to see each other all the time. I hate that my boys are missing out.

But... we all do what we have to do.

pmlevitt said...

I know it is hard to be away from family. Our daughter talks about her grandparents daily and wonders why we can't just drive to their houses (they are 10 hours away). I know our lives would be different in many ways if we were closer and that she'd have the opportunity to connect with our family that she does not currently have. But we have undistracted visits...and we bring some traditions into our own home. We make pictures and letters and we Skype. We find ways. It's not perfect and it hurts so much sometimes, but it is our life for now. We're here because that's where we have to be to support ourselves and survive. That's what I keep telling myself. So I hear you. Hang in there.

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

It is so hard when we compare our own childhoods with our children's...but they are having experiences and learning things that other families can only dream of providing for their kids! You love them and they will love each other and that's the most important thing :)

Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

I think in the long run, every situation is a give-and-take. There will always be regrets, but the experience of living in France is something that so many people dream of, and you're giving that chance to your boys.


Stopping by from pyho!

Anastasia said...

That's a hard decision. I think he may appreciate them more and form a very strong bond with his immediate family.

Adrienne said...

That's tough! But, you are doing what's right for YOUR family now (yourself, husband, and kiddos), sometimes it stinks to separate our extended families and our own. Hang in there. We never know when we're doing the right thing.

Jessica said...

To your son, the life that you've created is his "normal." As long as you provide him with the love he needs, that's really all that matters. You're doing the best you can, so try not to succumb to feelings of guilt. You're doing a great job.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

Yes, yes, and more yes. I have had to write several times about how sad I am that my boys and I are so far from my family, and that they aren't from where I am from. I appreciate Skype, but it's not the same, is it? And yet being here is best for our little family, so we trudge on... I'm grateful to have found someone else who understands how tough it is, though!

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