Raising My Daughter Far From Family

Raising My Daughter Far From Family

Five years ago, my husband and I made the decision to move away from my family in New England for a job opportunity in Maryland.

This is my favorite New England place- Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, Rhode Island. 

Over the last 5 years, we’ve planted roots in our new home. We bought our first house together. We grew our family. We both have jobs we like and we’ve made friends. While I love where we live and truly feel at home here, there are times, especially since A has been born, when I miss being closer to family. We are over 300 miles away from the town I grew up in. People are always saying,  “It takes a village to raise a child.” Yet we are making a choice to raise our daughter far from family.  Far from our village.

When I was a child, I spent so much time with my grandparents. I have the happiest memories of having tea parties with my maternal grandmother, Mimi. Even when she became ill, I remember being so content snuggled close to her in her hospital bed. Later, my brother and I spent a few happy summers with my paternal grandparents. We would go to their house while our parents worked and have so much fun building with Lincoln Logs, coloring, or playing hide and seek in their large back yard. I grew up knowing my grandparents.

Little A doesn’t see her grandparents as often as I saw mine as a child. She only sees her aunts, uncles, and her cousins a few times a year. The distance makes it difficult. Being far from family makes it even more important for me to do everything I can to foster A’s relationships with family. We chat on Skype. We FaceTime with my in-laws and with my brother and his family often. When I call my mom, I often switch to the speaker phone, so A can hear her  Mimi’s voice. I’m constantly texting people pictures and funny videos as well as uploading them to my personal Facebook page. Technology makes being far away from family just a little bit easier.

Last week, my in-laws came to visit. I was so happy that A remembered them and went to them without hesitation. She was able to spend three fun-filled days singing songs, dancing, reading books, and playing with their phones (her favorite pastime)! They have such a special bond, regardless of how far away we live. It makes my heart happy to watch my daughter’s eyes light up with love for her grandparents.

Raising my daughter away from family is challenging at times. My husband and I only have each other to lean on for support. There are two people in our everyday village- him and me. Our family is supportive in other ways. They are always only a phone call away if we need to talk, or ask for advice, or just hear another adult voice once in awhile! When they visit, or when we visit them, we always make the most of our time spent together. Little A can grow up knowing her grandparents, and the rest of her family, even though we don’t see them all the time.


12 thoughts on “Raising My Daughter Far From Family

  1. I can’t imagine raising Piglet away from our families. My parents missed the first 9 weeks as the were on a cruise and that was hard enough! It sounds like you’re doing all the right things to make sure she still has those relationships #marvmondays

  2. I’m in the same situation – we live about 4 hours drive from my parents. My older boy (who is nearly 4) does have a good relationship with them, and he has ‘his’ bedroom at Grandma and Grandad’s house. But they are much closer to my nephew who they see weekly, and that’s hard. It’s also really hard when you only have each other to rely on… people who have grandparents to help them out don’t know how lucky they are!!

  3. We live close to my family and I really value their support, especially with J. You’re so brave doing it so far away and I bet you’re doing a great job. Loved reading your post, thanks for sharing x

  4. It must be such an amazing experience and also a sad one all at the same time, but that’s a risk I suppose! Sounds like you’re a happy family which is what’s important and lovely that your family get out to visit you (which I bet they love!). Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    1. It is sad at times, especially when we have to say goodbye knowing it will be months until we can see each other again. Talking on FaceTime or Skype is wonderful though! There are times I think we should move back, but I really do love our home. It’s not easy but we make it work. Thanks for reading!

  5. That’s so great you guys use FaceTime or Skype! It can be hard moving away from family that you’re close too. Good job momma making sure your daughter knows her wonderful family! 🙂

  6. I’m raising my son away from family, at times it really sucks, it’s all about trying to nurture that bond, so that it sticks and they never forget who their family are. I’m looking forward to the days where my son will be old enough to go out and have a week with family as a holiday. Thank goodness for skype! #marvmondays

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