Video chatting is single-handedly making it possible for my son to have amazing relationships with my family.
My husband and I moved to Wisconsin about four years ago. He is originally from Texas, and my home state is Nebraska. Since moving here, we have gotten engaged, married, and recently(ish) had our first child. We have been doing our best to raise our son with little to no physical help from our families. Now before my mom or sisters feel it necessary to give me a call, I will say that there have been some very crucial times when my family has traveled the 8 hours to help us out, and for that, I am truly grateful!
In general, though, we can see each other one weekend about every other month, making us a long-distance family.
One aspect of our long-distance family that has always made me feel like I was doing a disservice to my son is the relationships he was missing out on. In the beginning, I really did feel like he was missing out big. I wanted him to be able to have weekly snuggles with his Lovey and Papa, Aunties that would pick him up early from daycare for a hooky day, and cousins who grew into best friends. I was worried that our decision to live in Milwaukee would prevent these relationships from happening.
I was so wrong!
Video chatting has seriously made it possible for my son to have amazing relationships with his family. We FaceTime my mom and dad almost daily, we check in with aunties often and play “peek-a-boo” with cousins who live many miles away. I know it is not the same as being there in person, but it really does help. When we reunite with family members either in Wisconsin or elsewhere, my son doesn’t act shy or scared. He will reach for my mom or roar in his cousin’s face within seconds of reuniting. I will rightfully give video chatting the credit for these effortless relationships and feel so hopeful that these relationships will continue to flourish.
As time goes on, we reach further and further with our video chats. We find ourselves FaceTiming uncles in Texas, WhatsApp-ing with family members visiting the states from Africa, and Marco Polo-ing my son’s milestones to more aunties (there’s always more aunties).
As the positives pile up with each video chat, I have to ask myself the question, “Video chatting doesn’t count towards my son’s total screen time?”