11.04.13-weekendThis morning I’m recovering from our evening flight and travel day yesterday coming back from Wyoming. We really had the best time with my sister and her husband (and two adorable kids). Watching a 3 year old trick-or-treat has to be one of the cutest things to witness. We carved pumpkins, hiked to waterfalls, drove through the mountains, and spent some downtime just catching up.

When we were leaving it really hit me how hard it is living so far apart. I finally got to meet my now 6th month old nephew, while my niece, Lila, (the 3 year old) and I bonded big time over this trip. I loved being the doting Auntie. One of the trade-offs of living in beautiful California is definitely being so far from family. My sister is such a natural and amazing mom and I’m in total awe of her. When thinking of having kids of my own I always wonder if I could hack it without that built in support system of having family around.

For those of you with kiddos, how do you do it with or without family nearby? Do you live in your dream location and make it work, or move to be close to kin, or are you lucky enough to have it all?

Images by me via Instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

  • I don’t have children of my own, and I get exhausted from just watching my siblings with my niece and nephews! They’re an absolute joy to be around though, especially at this age (they range from 3-8). This past Halloween was a blast!

  • None of my immediate family live nearby, although my in-laws do. We definitely don’t live in our dream city, either… just sort of “stuck” here waiting for something else to come along. My mom video chats with my children often and my dad visits once a month. I usually take advantage of the opportunity and ask them to babysit (selfish, I know!) when they’re here.

    Of course things would be so much different (read:easier) if I had them around while figuring out how to do this mothering thing, but I had to basically get over asking “what if” and make it work as is, which actually isn’t too tough!

    • Hi Kimberly, Thanks for sharing! Yea, I video chat with my sister and her kids a bit too. Thank goodness for that. It’s good to hear you are figuring out a way to make it all work.

  • My parents are moving away next year and while we don’t have kids yet, I’ve already thought about how hard it will be with them gone when we finally do have children. My husband’s parents don’t live nearby either, but I figure that tons of people manage to raise a family without their own family nearby for built-in babysitting so we’ll just have to make it work too. I think when you get to that point, you’ll figure it out because you don’t have any other choice!

    • Hi Katy, Yes, so many of my friends are able to do it, including my sister, but then I look at other families that can just drop their kids at the grandparents, for example, for date nights and little vacations whenever and it sounds a bit easier. That built-in babysitting is appealing! 🙂

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family, cherish it! x

  • Bea

    Nicely written, Sarah… I am sure Holly is following your blog 🙂 There are days when I feel like motherhood/parenting is such a thankless job but then there are people like you who can stop and see and realize how much work it is. There are many sacrifices, all well worth it though! And don’t you worry about not having family close by… one day when you are ready for a bébé I will be just 15-20 minutes away and you will see how good friends become the family substitute when you need them most…

    • Aw thanks Bea, You’re right! And you know if or when the day comes that I have a child, I am going to be leaning on you BIG time, super Mom 🙂

  • The snow!!
    ah i’m so jealous.. can’t way to see some snow around here. it’s hot on Kefalonia Island, Greece right now 🙂 like winter will never come

  • Hi Sarah! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now – love your photos and style.

    This has been one of the biggest things my husband and I discuss. We’ll probably start having kids in a few years and are moving soon to Colorado. I’m excited about living in a gorgeous place I love, but it was difficult to pass up the benefits to staying close to [my future] willing and free babysitters. Unfortunately for our extended family, we’re sticking to being where we want. I love my hometown but when I think of my kids growing up I know my family will be healthier and happier in our location of choice. Of course, since both my husband and I work out of home and I will probably homeschool, it makes extended family visits possible 🙂

    On the flip side, my brother lives near Toronto and I have still yet to meet my 3 year old niece! The thought of being a stranger to a little girl that looks exactly like me makes me so sad.

    Great topic!

  • Littles make everything so amazing. We took our 2.5 year old trick or treating for the first time this year in our new neighbourhood and he had a blast! Seeing things from their perspective changes everything, its really the most fun I’ve even had to date.

  • Erin

    There is nothing so comforting than having your family nearby, we are heartbroken every time we leave my hometown. But after a few days we realize that we have it great. Independence from that sometimes dogmatic feeling a family imposes (even though we love our family), a beautiful city our kids get to grow up in, things to do, different types of people, more culture. Is is nice having family be our babysitters but we have great friends who babysit as well. But we don’t get to be around my parents as they age so at the end of it all we miss most of their lives and they miss most our our lives, that right there hurts my heart.

  • Sarah, I absolutely love your blog. It’s my ounce of inspiration every afternoon. 🙂

    Right now I suppose I’m not the best person to comment, as I’m in the healing stages of a painful breakup, but I was so moved to see this post and I cannot contain it!

    First, as women juggling careers (and multiple facets at that), it seems daunting to throw another thing into the mix. But kids are so precious and rewarding too! As a modern woman, I often find myself trying to grapple with the new idea of what this means. I find myself wanting to be the go get ’em design career gal and the domestic Martha Stewart! I suppose, it’s one of those things you just dive into and figure it out. Much like most things in life.

    When I was 3 and my sister was 3 mo., my family had moved across the country from my Grandparents. My dad was the breadwinner, working full time, while also getting his MBA doing night classes and weekend studying. In a sense, my mom was a single mother, in a foreign town, without the help of immediate family. It was hard, I’m sure, but she figured it out…

    I’m a planner, so I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I think there reaches a point where you can only plan so much, and after that, it just takes a leap of faith, and maybe a cocktail. 🙂

    Good luck as you think about this. You’ll make it work. You’re so talented – the pieces will fall into place for you.

  • […] a few more shots from our trip. My sister lives in a small town in Wyoming so after flying into Colorado, we had a 5 hour road […]

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