Lately I've been feeling frustrated by my in-laws. Part of it is that it's the middle of winter and I am starting to feel like I live in the arctic tundra. We seriously have about three feet of snow outside and the temperatures have been so low it's not going anywhere. It's times like this that I wonder why we live where we do. The simple answer? Family.
I don't really enjoy living in a place where I can't play outside with my children for half of the year. We moved to a house within walking distance to a playground. The only problem is we can only really walk and play there half of the year.
We also lack sunshine. It's so grey in the winter because we are close to the great lakes and receive lake effect snow and weather. I grew up about 3 hours east of here. It is much sunnier there in the winter. W and I also spent two winters together in Jackson Hole, WY. When it wasn't snowing it was generally sunny. It's so much more motivating to get outside for a walk or some cross country skiing when it's sunny. It feels like the only sunny days around here are also the sub zero ones.
My mom is a great help for me. She generally comes over a few times a week to help and I'm so grateful for that. My in laws, on the other hand, aren't very consistent or reliable. Well, actually my FiL is a great help and loves to spend time with the girls. The only thing is, every winter he leaves for 6 full weeks to go ski in Jackson Hole, WY. It's hard to be able to rely and count on someone and then have them be gone for 6 weeks.
My MiL really only sees the girls about 2 times a month. She prefers to me to bring them to her and they won't nap there well (not to mention last time they tried Lucy fell out of the crib because they hadn't lowered it). If W and I bring them to her we get about an hour and a half and often spend it running errands.
It frustrates me that my MiL doesn't want to be more involved. We live here to be close to family and she spends more time with her nephew who lives 6 hours away than the girls. To her friends she pretends to be super-grandma, but I don't even think she's totally comfortable watching both girls by herself.
After we got back from NYC we were totally burnt out. Since my mom came with us we didn't feel comfortable asking her to do more. Not to mention she has my brother to care for too (he's 13). It was Valentine's day and W and I didn't get to go on any kind of date. My FiL was thousands of miles away and my MiL was in NJ helping plan weddings for W's cousins. To be honest, we still haven't celebrated our anniversary that was in October.
It really just seems like we're not a priority to her. Church, going to the gym, seeing her grandson in DC, and conference calls all seem more important. It's frustrating to say the least.
So, W had a conversation with her this week to tell he how we were feeling. I think part of it is that I'm feeling exhausted and sick, and taking care of 17 month toddler twins is tough when you don't feel good! I could really use more help.
She was here today so that I could go to a yoga class. She still took a conference call and insisted on heating up her lunch before the girls', but hey, it's a start. My FiL will be back in another week or two and I know he can't wait to see the girls. I'm just hoping they can step it up a little to help more with another baby on the way. In all fairness though we haven't told them yet. I guess I feel like if they were more involved in our lives they would know by now.