So, for just a minute, humor me.
I make an ongoing effort to forget how hard this is. I swallow a lot in order to make the daily grind seem easier. And I try to push away my lucky, amazing, beautiful problems because I know so many people have much worse challenges: poor health… empty wallets… loneliness… family strife… career drama…
But for just a minute, this is about me.
Living here – living anywhere – without your family backbone support is tough. There’s no way around it and there’s no way to sugar-coat it. When people leave Israel after having kids, citing ‘we needed to be closer to our family’ I have no response. I get you. This challenging existence – becoming a parent and making all the pieces fit, every single day – I imagine it would be fairly difficult even with your parents in the same country. City. Community. Street.
But to do this alone… especially when neither of you have parents or aunts or uncles or siblings or cousins or childhood friends nearby. To know every day you’re coming home and it’s all you. All the time.
If you’re going to go out, it’s a babysitter that eats up half your going-out budget. It’s a babysitter who, let’s face it, you’re going to constantly be wondering if the kids are ok for her, if she’s able to put them back to bed, maybe we shouldn’t stay out that late because it’ll be too much for everyone else.
To not be around your family as everyone grows older, changes, morphs into the next chapter – including your kids, including your parents, including the family culture you grew up with. Or even the opportunity to create your own.
To not have any of that family lifestyle. To be naturally independent but then forced to be independent.
To watch as so many people in this society around you do have it. That it’s an integral part of it.
Well, I don’t like to whine too much; I did choose this, it’s now complicated, and let’s face it, I want to raise my kids here and not where I grew up.
But it’s hard. And I’m allowed a few emo days now and then.
Ahem. I now pronounce the self-pity party over and I’m left with this container of amazing, creamy Israeli ice cream in my favorite flavor.