Parenting away from your own parents?(18 Posts)
Has anyone raised kids with their family in a different country?
I’m really close to my family and I moved to London off my own steam 3 years ago. When I moved I met a wonderful man (my now partner – and partner since I’ve moved essentially) who isn’t necessarily sold on the idea of moving to Ireland at some point and for this I cannot fault him – I moved here of my own free will – moving to Ireland was never on his agenda. He also has an amazing job here, one of which he would not get to rival in Ireland.
I am really happy here for the time being but just always envisioned having my parents a car ride away when I had my own kids. I mean it is London, not Australia so they’re not a million miles away but I suppose I just wanted to hear the opinions of someone who may be living away from family and how they find it.
Thanks in advance
I do find the idea of staying away from family as something that I cannot do. Because when family is nearby there will be good emotional support from them. Also, at some point your parents need you more even if you are not staying with them, it would be best to stay near them in the same province or atleast same country.
Having said that, you need to make your decisions based on what you want. Is there any way you can relocate your parents as well with you?
I have 3 children and my parents live in the same street as where my parents. Having the parents close to children would help the growth of the children better. Even with many of my friends, for those who live close to the parents, their children grow better and for my friends who has their parents away, have a difficult time disciplining them.
Anna your friends who don’t live near their parents can’t discipline their children? I’m pretty sure that’s nothing to do with where their parents live tbh.
Em when in the UK we live fairly close to both sets of Grandparents however we are currently living in the USA.
There are pros and cons of both to be honest.
It’s nice having family near by and having available babysitters from time to time is certainly lovely but I don’t believe that either set of GPs influence or make any difference to our parenting.
Living away from family means far more free time at the weekend for us all.
Our children have a good relationship with both sets of Grandparents and that hasn’t changed since we’ve been away. FaceTime and Skype make a huge difference to keeping in touch.
You aren’t very far away. You can do weekends and holidays fairly easily as long as everyone is motivated.
My family is an 11 hour flight away. I think if you are only talking London to Ireland, it's a shorter flight than many people have to drive to see their 'nearby' family. I consider my dh's family to be 'nearby' and they're 1.5 hours from here.
I would say the only things that make it seem any different is that you need to be very intentional about planning visits, and you need to be okay with extended time together (like seeing each other for a week at a time and not going mad). We can't easily travel as we work and it's expensive, but my mum and step-FIL travel to see us about 3 times a year (sometimes just my mum, sometimes both) and stay for a week. We plan it out each year around special days and make the most of it. My mum does drive me mad though (we are very different people) and I would much prefer to see her for an afternoon here and there rather than a week straight 24/7/. I usually want to kill her by day 3. But you make the best of it. It was my choice to move away and even when we lived in the same country, I've lived a 3-6 hour flight away from her my whole adult life. So we're used to this arrangement.
The only other truly difficult thing is just not having grandparents around to help. I am a little jealous of people who have someone to help collect their child from school or who get to go out for the occasional dinner without needing to pay a babysitter. We don't have any help from family. It's all us. We do the school runs ourselves, we balance work schedules and travel carefully so there is always someone who is home, rarely get a night away alone. There's just few breaks. Whereas my mum had my grandparents to do all the childcare until I started school (god, the money she saved!), they picked me up from school every day so she never had to leave work early. They had me whenever she had a work trip to go on (my dad was useless). They cooked me dinners and made sure I was fed. They had me for the occasional weekend when she needed some alone time. I also just had a really lovely relationship with them. It would make life so much easier if we had family close by to help with some of those things. But we have always known it would never be an option. To be fair, I never planned to live near by family, even before I met my dh and moved countries, so it was something I would have had to deal with in any situation. But you just make the best of it, find great people you do trust (we had a lovely nursery and a wonderful babysitter). My mum does do the occasional overnight or weekend when she's visiting, which is really nice, but it's a rare treat (though we make the most of it).
You will manage and be just fine. It just means accepting it and being willing to travel back when you can and do lots of skype/facetime.
for my friends who has their parents away, have a difficult time disciplining them
I’m not sure what living close to your parents has to do with your ability to discipline them?! My parents are soft as shit on my DC.
Anyway... we live fairly close to my parents now, but only moved close recently (we were 200 miles away before). DH’s parents live abroad. The think we struggled with was the lack of someone to help out for a couple of hours, especially when I had 2 under 2, but I had absolutely no issues with discipline
Mum lives in a different country. It does not impact on my ability to parent my child ffs!
I have 2 pieces of advice for parents to be. 1. Move close the most helpful future GP (if neither set of parents are likely to be hands on don’t bother)
The second isn’t relevant here.
If my mum was closer my life would be 200% easier and £10k/year(in childcare) cheaper. If you have a parent who is willing and able to be a hands on GP then stepping outside the house doesn’t become a mission to mars. As it is my mum regularly does a 240mile round trip to help out.
My parents are in Sweden, so a fair way off. While I miss them enormously- because I love them and they're great people!- I am not sure raising children away from them has necessarily been more difficult. On the one hand, there is less support, on the other hand there is more freedom to do your own thing in parenting and less stress from feeling criticised. And frankly, if like anna's friends, you need the help of somebody else to discipline, then you have already lost authority.
My parents live 200 miles away. I have no trouble disciplining my children, thanks.
OP, I think you're overthinking this a bit (in a nice way). You'll be fine! Facetime and Skype are the way forward, and trips to see Irish Granny/Grandpa/extended family would be enormously exciting for little ones.
My ILS live about an hour away. Which is lovely Close enough to help each other out in a dire emergency, (both ways) but not in each other's pockets.
I'm from Ireland and live in England. I've been here since my 20s though and never particularly had a vision of my parents being very close by to help with kids.
As others have said, it would certainly make a difference to have family close by, to help out. I do get a little envious of people who do. But it's entirely manageable - it comes down to good childcare and being organised. We do a LOT of FaceTime with the grandparents. And to be honest, they would drive me mad if they were here all the time.
If you genuinely love this man and want a family with him, I think you'd be cracked to let proximity to your parents get in the way of that.
Also, while this isn't very nice to think about, your parents won't be around for ever and may not be in good health forever. So the sort of support you're envisaging may not materialise. My mum, for example, got diagnosed with stage 3 cancer just after DD arrived. She's very poorly and can't even lift DD. So even if she lived close by, she wouldn't be able to help.
I am a little jealous of people who have someone to help collect their child from school or who get to go out for the occasional dinner without needing to pay a babysitter.
This exactly. We're an eight hour flight away from family and it's tough when you know there are no breaks on the horizon. I think our marriage has suffered a bit as a result, although things have imoroved greatly now that we've got someone in to help with cooking/cleaning during the day and have found a babysitter we trust.
I found the newborn stage quite tough. DH only got three days of paternity leave so I felt quite overwhelmed a lot of the time and I had a lot of anxiety for the first few months which I think wouldn't have been the case if I'd had family nearby to give me some help and a bit of perspective.
Never worried me. My folks were abroad when DD was born & have only just recently moved back here. They still live a good four hours away.
Can safely say I have no issues disciplining my DD 🙄
OP i guess it's what you're used to. If you're used to having family closeby the idea od them being so far away can be hard
DH's parents and my DM have passed away, and we have very little contact with my F so no GPs to help out. DM died when DD1 was a baby, but she lived 4hrs away and was very poorly from her treatment so wasn't able to help. We spoke every day on the phone, which was a huge support but as others have mentioned DH and I are always a bit jealous of those that have physical help a few minutes drive away. We had our DCs when none of our friends had them yet and it was tough without the support. Now they all have babies who are regularly dropped at the GPs for a date night/nap/hair appointment, and you can see how much easier it makes it (they still don't get why we don't have the same flexibility as them!).
We've realised that as we don't have family help we have to outsource where we can afford to. A cleaner and childminder/nursery/preschool has made a huge difference. I wish we could get a babysitter more often, it has definitely affected our relationship not being able to spend time alone together. 'It takes a village' is definitely true IMO, but you can build a new kind-of-family and support network if necessary.
Oh, and also no issues with discipline here either thanks...!
OP I'm from London and moved out.
I think the single hardest thing after having kids for me is not having grandparents nearby. We have OH's who aren't involved at all (their choice) and we never see them unless we visit but my parents would have loved the opportunity to be involved like they are with my siblings kids.
Having kids brings about a lot of isolation in a way, especially the first years. And if you have more than one that is a number of years. If you're close to family, you'll miss them a lot and it's hard to deal with.
Some people don't need family and need friends more. I'm not one of them.
London is heaps of fun and there's so much to do with kids but many don't feel settled when their support network are not close by. Travelling back to parents becomes harder etc.
I'd really think about it and weigh the pros and cons.
I live 3/4 hours away from my parents and my MIL is an hour away, but looks after her nearby grandchildren full time anyway. I find it incredibly hard. There is literally no back up or emotional support. Discipline is harder, I guess, in that there is no one to back you up.
There are lots of good reasons to live near grandparents but most of my friends who do have them nearby complain that they undermine the discipline! (and appreciate the babysitting/childcare/back up/money saved as result)
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