(Closed) Raising a child away from extended family

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
1160 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

*hugs* I don’t have kids but I know what you mean. I have a lot of family around and it would be hard to leave it if Darling Husband and I had a little one.

When my mom and dad first came here they were away from all their family, but they developed a “surrogate” family of friends and neighbors to help out, who truly are family now–they were all just at my wedding and I had dinner with my “other mother” just last night! She was an old coworker of my mom’s who seriously took care of us ALL the time when we were little. Then when she had her little girl, we took care of her. She’s like our sister!

Post # 4
Member
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We aren’t near any family except for one of my cousins. The closest, my parents, are about 4 hours away by car. Truthfully, It’s not awful, but we do sometimes wish we had them closer to see Liv grow up and to watch her, etc. Sorry you’re so anxious about it :o( if anything, there will be more frequent visits after the baby comes! And they’ll cherish the time that much more

Post # 5
Member
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I do! It can work nicely. When my oldest was born my grandma called to sing her lullabies every night. I would put the phone in her room on speaker phone and my grandma would sing or hum until she no longer heard my daughter moving around. It was their time. My grandma died shortly after.

My parents call my girls once a week and talk for hours. Though my youngest tries to shove things in the phone to show papa. They get care packages from them every couple of months. When we go to visit, my parents aren’t strangers because they make such an effort to be a part of my girls life. Which is nice!

The hard part is that you have to work on building relationships with other people you would trust with your kids. If you end up in the hospital you need someone to turn to quickly. My friends have kept my eldest for two weeks while we were in the hospital with the youngest. We had a half hour to find someone for an indeterminate period of time. Even though life is hectic make time to build strong connections. They are essential when you have no family closeby.

I pray your family goes the extra mile to be a part of your kids lives. Congratulations on your coming baby!

Post # 6
Member
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I never lived around extended family throughout my childhood (or now for that matter…).  That just meant our vacations (spring break, winter breaks, etc.) were always spent with family.  It was just a no-brainer.  I think it works out nicely and I’m still extremely close to my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  

During football season we do a family football pool so it all makes us stay in touch at least once a week!  It’s great 🙂

Post # 7
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Our closest family is about 5 hours away, and my in-laws live about 17 hours away by car.  To be honest, it’s not that big of deal for us.  We Skype with our families weekly, and my parents come up to visit at least once a month.  My daughter “talks” to them on the phone pretty often and we mail them her pictures or cards.  They send a lot of little presents in the mail, too. 

To be honest, I think a 5 hour car ride from family is just about the perfect distance for us.  My parents are close enough that we can see them on a regular basis, and if we really needed something they could be here pretty quickly.  But we get to retain our family autonomy, and we don’t have to worry about my parents dropping by unexpectedly or monopolizing our free time.  We don’t have free babysitting, like we would if family lived close by, but we’re so busy as it is we hardly ever have time to go out without our daughter. 

Post # 8
Member
1453 posts
Bumble bee

I think it can work.  My parents moved away from family to get jobs (8 hours away was the closest) and I think it worked ok.  Yes it did make for some interesting holiday plans, but we always made it work.  In addition to havng my biological grandparents who I saw probably 2 times per year, I had several adopted grandparents in town who I did things with as well who either didn’t have children or didn’t have granddaughters.  It worked out well and I feel plenty of love all around.  Adopted grandparents were always there for the school events, graduations, etc even when the biological grandparents couldn’t be. 

Post # 11
Member
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

My family never even lived in the same state as anyone from our extended family.  Every single grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. was a plane ride away.  Like everyone else mentioned, we developed a bit of a surrogate family of close friends, but we did tend to stop being in such close contact with them when we moved again.  I never missed my extended family when I was younger because I never knew what I was missing, but now that I’m becoming ingratiated with FI’s family, I’m discovering all the things I missed: Thanksgiving and Christmas with the whole family, being buddies with cousins, knowing family history, having that crazy uncle who does insane stuff but the family loves anyway…  I kind of regret now that I never had any of that while growing up.  Like I said, it didn’t phase me then, but it’s still kind of sad.

Post # 12
Member
2321 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I would think that this is probably a good idea! With exception of grand parents and immediate siblings you don’t really need any other extended family in the picture. They just tend to make things more difficult for you rather than make life easier. Undecided

Post # 13
Member
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I didn’t grow up with ANY extended family. My dad was in military, so we were moving around constantly, and it was never a problem for us! We visited grandparents a couple of times a year, except when we were out of the country. We turned out just fine!

Post # 14
Member
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor

I don’t have anything to add, because I don’t have kids. But I’, interested because my entire extended family lives within an hour of each other (with one cousin 4 hours away). I am as close to my cousins as I am my own sister! So the idea of growing up far from family is totally foreign to me, but since Mr.D’s family lives in England we will always be away from at least one of our families. So, nothing to add but I appreciate everyone’s input and the OP for starting this thread. 

Post # 15
Member
5388 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

We live away from our familes. They come and visit and we try to visit often. We plan to use skype video chat and we hope to move closer within a few years. We know we will never move back to our home town, but we would like to be closer. 

Post # 16
Member
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Well, I don’t have any children and I don’t live very far from my parents, but I can tell you all about my own childhood!  I was raised here in TN, and the closest that ANY of my family have ever lived to me is 2 hrs.  Most of my family lives spread out over NC, with a bunch up in WI as well.

As a child, I always found it weird that some kids lived like, a block away from their grandparents.  I always thought that was strange.  I kind of just assumed that when people grew up, they moved away.  My parents moved around a lot when I was young, and I just assumed that was what people did.  And I can tell you, going to visit my grandparents/aunts and uncles/cousins was sooooo much more exciting when it was a “rarer” treat.  I have very fond memories of my childhood.

Believe me, your child will be just as close to your/your SO’s parents as they would be if they lived closer.  I really don’t think I missed out on any bonding experiences with my family.  And I honestly think my parents would have gone crazy had they lived closer to my grandparents.  You can DEFINITELY make it work!!

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