Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What to do about family...

My in-laws came to stay with us for a couple of days, along with my sister-in-law and nephew who is a few months older than my son. While they were here, an idea came up that has come up before and now we're really starting to consider it.
Do you send your child to the opposite side of the country to stay with family - even if you hardly know them?
Obviously, since it is SM's family, his first reaction is "sure!". I know all of his family, of course, but we've lived on the West Coast/West of the Mississippi for almost 15 years and they all live on the East Coast, which means there's a chance I could count on two hands the number of times I've seen them in my life.
We live differently, we believe in different things, we parent (very) differently, we care about different things. Isn't there a saying - "You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family"?
We moved across the country from both our families (mine followed us later) and have created this bubble of friends who basically all have the same ideals and beliefs as we do. We all became parents together and have been developing our parenting styles together. So considering all these things, I feel like I'd be much more comfortable with Milo spending a week with friends rather than family.
That, of course, sounds terrible.
SM immediately stuck up for his family, as he absolutely should, and said "I totally trust them! I trust my Mom!". There's no question of that. I completely trust them, they're family, I trust them 100%. I certainly trust them with my child and making sure he (or she) is safe and well cared for and loved unequivocally and unconditionally.
But that's not my point.
Moms? Dads? Is this a generational thing? Is this a class thing? Is this a West Coast vs East Coast thing? Is it just that we're so caught up reading "How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child" and "Positive Discipline" and eating organic foods and living in our little "perfect" bubble that we can't just let our kids hang out with family and friends that are outside that bubble?
I just don't know.

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