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No family support nearby, anyone else in this situation?

(100 Posts)
mrskitty15 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:02:55


I am just posting on here on the off chance that other people may be in the same situation as me. We are parents to the most wonderful little girl and are very happily married but are finding it a struggle being so far away from family. We very rarely get to spend anytime on our own as a couple due to having no family local to help with babysitting which definitely has an impact on our relationship. I just wondered if anyone else on here is in a similar situation and if so how do you manage? I have considering relocating to be closer to family but I am not sure if that is a bit extreme?

Thank you smile

Steph8552 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:47:44

We are about an hour and a half away from both sets of SS grandparents. They each have a day they come during the week but that's it. DS is nearly five months and we've only had two evenings out and one weekend day out just me and the husband. My MIL also has two dogs which she prioritises so that makes things a bit more difficult. I feel for you as we are the same. It's very difficult when you have little support. Relocating isn't an option for us as my job is in West Yorkshire and to move to my mum would mean a transfer, and where MIL lives is unaffordable to all but the super rich.

Steph8552 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:48:28

Sorry DS not SS

VimFuego101 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:49:51

Yep, we live 12 hours drive away from my in laws and my mother lives in a different country. We don't have anyone nearby who can babysit, it's really tough. flowers

Captainladder Mon 21-Nov-16 13:54:19

Us too. My parents live abroad and We don't see MIL often (ever?!). We didn't go out for years on our own unless parents were visiting/kind friend came and babysat. And I've been a bit precious over who babysits for us too (wouldn't use an agency etc - just my paranoia!) it is hard, especially when they are little. We just went with it and now they are a bit older amhappier leaving them with friends. Can you set up a babysitting exchange with any other parents you know? We did that for a while...

allegretto Mon 21-Nov-16 13:56:06

I think it is quite a common situation these days. My parents live abroad and my MIL is no longer with us - FIL is 95 and needs constant care! We do pay a babysitter so we can go out - about once a year! On the bright side, oldest is now 12 -when can we get him to babysit? I am thinking when he's 14 probably.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Mon 21-Nov-16 14:00:16

Our parents aren't local and for a couple of years we lived overseas so we've never had family readily available for babysitting/childcare. We pay for a babysitter so we can go out for dinner every so often. We use someone that looked after one of our kids at nursery.

KarmaNoMore Mon 21-Nov-16 14:05:14

I'm in the same situation.

We managed for a few years by booking time off while DS was in nursery to have time together for a lunch out or do activities as a couple. It also helped to find other couples that were in the same situation as us, as that allowed us to babysit for each other.

School and nursery helped as we started meeting parents with children of the same age as DS, as socialising with them meant that no babysitting was needed, we will meet as two/three families and the children had a time to play while we had some adult conversation.

But what helped the most when DS was a baby/toddler was to have a routine, where he was always bathed at 7 and in bed at 7:30. That gave us some precious hours to pursue our own interests or have candlelit dinners together at home. We could even have people to come for dinner, coffees, even parties, while we will have baby monitor in hand, but knowing that DS was asleep and unlikely to wake up until 7 am.

sianihedgehog Mon 21-Nov-16 14:07:14

We're about 2 hours from nearest family. We have a childminder who also does babysitting.

Asteria36 Mon 21-Nov-16 14:16:27

Our problems are in the evenings - 2-5 hours to get dsd and dss to bed. Nearest FiL and his wife are 2 hours away and not well enough to offer more than occasional visits. MiL is too far up her own arse to help - but she does pray for us so that makes it all better... My family are all 5+ hours away so pretty bloody useless.
Dh and I have had one child free night in 5 months and could do with another very soon.

boopdoop Mon 21-Nov-16 16:52:25

Yes us too, and a DS who is a rubbish sleeper and prone to waking in the evening and being v distressed if it's not me, so haven't felt we could leave with others easily. I think we've been out together 11 times in the 2 years 8 months since we had DS. he's finally sleeping better so hoping it'll be easier now. We try and go out for lunch once a week when DS is at nursery (DH works away a lot) but that's easier for us as I work from home. We also try to have the occasional nice evening at home, dinner, film etc but no phone and laptops etc. We have a few friends we can occasionally ask, and I think some of the staff from his nursery will do babysitting so that's good as he knows them... but it's really tough and I do resent it a bit, and am quite jealous of friends with family locally that they regularly leave their kids with.

EsmesBees Mon 21-Nov-16 17:04:23

It is tough. My mum used to help but we lost her last year, and PiL are 2 hours away. It's hard not to feel resentful of friends who have lots more help, but there is no point, it's not going to change things.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Mon 21-Nov-16 17:06:53

Similar situation here. It does get easier as they get older as they start doing more activities (beavercubs etc

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Mon 21-Nov-16 17:08:06

Sorry. Phone playing up.
Beavers, cubs, brownies etc are good for overnight camps which can help.

danTDM Mon 21-Nov-16 17:11:47

Be grateful you're happily married. I'm in a foreign country alone, absolutely no support, no help, no family or friends. But can't leave as my daughter was born here and her father is from here.

Tough, tough. Sorry, don't mean to minimise your issues though! flowers

millypop69 Mon 21-Nov-16 17:14:28

Me too. Kids older now so much easier but when they were tiny I just bit the bullet and asked nursery worker to help out and then agency babysitter. We used Sitters agency regularly. Never had a bad experience but I did get a bit confused when friends would say ' I would never leave the kids with someone they didn't know'. - they didn't have to cos they had lots of family! We would never have gone anywhere if we hadn't! Agree re getting them to bed and having friends over or just enjoy the quiet. And it's easier the older they get - sleepovers at friends and school residential trips.

nennyrainbow Mon 21-Nov-16 17:24:32

Yes. Nearest family are 5 hours away. 4 kids including 2 with special needs (ASD). Haven't had a night out with DH in over 10 years as one of us is always the sitter while the other goes out. I don't actually think we'd know what to do if we did have a night out together now!
Incidentally, my own parents were in the same situation when I was growing up (abroad) so I don't think of it as anything unusual.

Mner Mon 21-Nov-16 17:30:26

We did move to be closer to family and whilst we do have more support in terms of practicalities, the realities of them being close is not easy. We get judgemental comments on our parenting, they spoil DS rotten etc and leave us to deal with the consequences on the come down...

Some of his worse behavour is in the transition between them and us, which as they like to point out is our fault. Nothing to do with them giving him a muffin and ice cream for lunch hmm

Maybe your family are different but i quite often I wish we'd stayed out. I really miss our friends.

Mner Mon 21-Nov-16 17:31:22

stayed put that should read

oldlaundbooth Mon 21-Nov-16 17:33:59

Yup, us.

My family lives abroad, DH's family live an hour away and they have four kids so we're not exactly overwhelmed with babysitting offers!

Dan flowersbrew

LifeLong13 Mon 21-Nov-16 17:39:46

For what it's worth my DDs maternal GPs are a 10 min drive away and paternal GPs are 45 min drive away. She's 15 months. We've been out together 4 times.

myfriendnigel Mon 21-Nov-16 20:39:01

Yes me too. Very hard when the DD's were smaller.
If I had my time again I would relocate to be nearer if I could.

StubbleTurnips Mon 21-Nov-16 20:42:30

Yep, same here. DD Is 3.5 and we've been out for lunch together a few times when she's been in nursery. Aside from that we've not been out after 7 since she was born.

Littleelffriend Mon 21-Nov-16 20:44:53

My mum and Mil are both dead. We have people that can cov an hour here and there but not nights out

SagelyNodding Mon 21-Nov-16 20:48:45

Yes. I live abroad, DH's dad lives 8 hours drive away. No MIL either... At first I found it very hard, but we had no interference over how we raise our boys, no snippy 'helpful' comments about what we were doing wrong-we are doing it all our way and it's going pretty well so far...

But it sucks not being able to have a night 'off' without spending a fortune on babysitters. Now that DS2 is almost 6 the two boys very occasionally sleep over at a friend's house which makes life a little bit easier-and gives DH and I some quality time just the two of us.

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