Long-distance parenting & feeling disconnected
October 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
We’re right smack dab in the middle of the long winter bewteen s-kid visits. 2 months since we put them on plane, 2 months until we’ll pick them up at the airport again. It has been long enough that we all feel so disconnected. The kids don’t want to talk to us when we call, we have this whole life that doesn’t even factor into having kids.
I hate and I love this part. I love going back to Life As We Know It. I don’t have to worry about planning every meal, make sure everyone gets their teeth brushed and underwear changed. I don’t have to worry about the Ex playing games, calling and inciting panic and anxiety on a daily basis. I can go on a date with my husband every night, watch the tv shows I like without worrying about the offensive language, and walk around my house naked whenever I choose with naught but the cat to judge me. It’s much simpler, much less fuss. But I hate that when coworkers start swapping kid stories, trying to join in and tell my stories are like telling stories from someone else’s life. I think they were pains in the asses about getting ready to go somewhere in the car just like my coworkers’ kids, but all I bring to mind are these little snippets of driving to the grocery store while the younger one talks about doing her nails in the back seat, or everyone singing along to Flo Rida as we cruise down the freeway on our way somewhere fun. I hate seeing their rooms completely untouched for months on end and not knowing if I’m buying the right sizes of clothes for when they get here next. It’s such a strange way to miss them, from a distance.
It’s impossible to feel connected over this much distance with so many obstacles getting in the way (ahem, their mom) before the sheer distance even becomes a factor. I feel hopeless sometimes, wondering if, by the time they’re old enough to be able to initiate contact and have their own email addresses, that they’ll even want to try. I worry that these long periods of disconnectedness, on top of the challenges of the years leading up to their move, will leave them completely unable and unwilling to have anything to do with us. I worry that we can do everything right and it still won’t matter. I think I worry most that some of those fears are not just idle worries but very realistic possibilities.