We’ve never had the experience of living near family while having children of our own. Being able to call them up with only a few hours notice to babysit because our sitter canceled has never been an option. To those of you living far away from family - whether by choice or circumstance - you know this is a luxury, a luxury you don’t really get to experience. Instead, having family babysit requires careful, and often expensive, coordination, and is something that most are not able to do very often. But we still need date nights. The girls still get sick and have to stay home from daycare. One of us (usually Aaron) still has to travel for work. So instead of having the built in village of family to rely on, we have had to build our own. And that’s something that takes so much work.
We’ve been in our new home, in a new state (but still more than 1000 miles from family), for just over a month now. And we love it! Most of the time. There are definitely more things to do here, better food, and more opportunites here in Louisiana than we had back in Texas, but with that comes newness. Everything is new. Everything is unfamiliar. In a way, it’s akin to culture shock (and to a couple of Yankees, south Louisianna IS culture shock). To those of you who move often, you know the struggle. From the outside, it seems that when the last box is unpacked, and everything is put away, that the move is done. Far from it, the real work is just beginning. Everything else before was just logistics.
Now begins the work to build your village, your network. You need to find a new doctor, new dentist, new optomotrist, a new daycare (hopefully you started that search EARLY!), new grocery store, new place to get your oil changed at, new babysitters, new everything. That network you had before is no longer available and must be rebuilt.
And that’s where we find ourselves. Rebuilding our network, our village. Top of the list are babysitters and a house keeper. Unfortunately, these are two things that are best found through word of mouth, not the easiest way when you know about 4 people in your new town. But alas, the search is on. It will take some time, but I know we will find it. We will eventually find our new groove here. So in the meantime, I will work on building it, the village that is so necessary in maintaining your sanity while raising young children.