Building Your Own Family Ties
When I moved to the USA I had to leave my family behind. Since both my parents had already passed away it felt easier to break away to another country. Somehow parents tie you to a place, they give you roots. So starting afresh in a new country and not knowing a soul was a difficult pill to swallow at times but liberating at others. Fast forward a few years and meeting my sweetheart we married. He had parents (at the time) so the roots began to grow, even though they were in another country.
Then we had kids and all of a sudden there was this sudden urge to regroup and make sure our scattered family knew our kids. We had pictures of family from back home, sent home holiday cards for every occasion, and shared milestones. Somehow I felt like I was making a huge deal out of this to reconnect families spanning several continents, and it left me exhausted. Maybe it was the fact that they did not know my girls so did not see the huge need to reciprocate or maybe I had this burning desire for reconnecting just because I was alone here.
Then came the frustration that nobody back home could appreciate my efforts to capture and share, and not to mention the post office visits with kids in tow. I realized that my expectations were based on my efforts and you can’t force relationships, which oceans have a tendency to strain. I just stopped. Totally stopped! The sense of relief that came flooding was amazing. I began to look around and realized that I had family around me. Sure not any that shared any blood relationships with us but they knew us. Better still they knew my kids. They knew to stock a Diet Coke for me when I visited or what my kid’s favorite color was (since this changed often they get huge brownie points for keeping up).
Sure family check in to ask about the kids but now the intense pressure is not driving me crazy. I think they have started appreciating it too. I realized we were very lucky to have been able to build a family on foreign ground.
Niri blogs at www.MommyNiri.com where features news, views, reviews and interviews. Read along to learn more about The World according to Mommy Niri. Follow her on twitter @mommyniri.
How do you build your own family ties? How do you stay close to your relatives and friends?
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