Raising a child without a village – why bringing up a baby away from family is SO hard

Raising a child without a village – why bringing up a baby away from family is SO hard
Anyone who has a baby will know how important it is to have lots of friends and family around you to help out and support you as you adjust to becoming a new parent. Me and Oli live 2 hours away from our parents and all of our childhood friends. Even though we haven’t lived there for about 6 years, since Leo came along the subject of moving back to be closer to our family has come up in conversation multiple times.
Starting a family while away from your own family can be difficult at times, here’s why…

Why bringing up a baby away from family is SO hard

1. Time together has to be carefully planned.
There is never a day I can spontaneously say to Leo ‘shall we go to tea at nanas?’ because it would require a 4 hour round trip. If we want to see our parents it takes weeks of planning, trying to find a day we are all off work. Leo only sees his grandparents about once a month and that just feels like a massive shame to me.
2. Limited babysitting options.
When your family live so far away, having a night out with the other half or having a random baby free day pretty much never happens. There are a couple people here who can do it but we all know that grandparents make the best babysitters..big kisses,cartoons and chocolate before bed, yes please!
3. Your baby won’t be as close to their extended family as you are.
When I was growing up pretty much all my mum’s side of the family lived in the same place. Looking back I think I probably saw my nan and grandad everyday and one of my cousins is still one of my best friends today. It’s sad to think Leo won’t have a really close relationship with his extended family, the bond of a family really is something special.
4. When it is time for school you won’t know his friends parents already.
Coming from a small town where everybody knows everybody, it’s hard to imagine Leo going to a school where we don’t already know most of the kids..their parents..and their parents..and probably most of their family tree. It is strange to think that the children of my friends still living back at home are not going to be Leo’s close friends.
I love living in the city but sometimes I wish everyone was living just around the corner.

Leo loves all his grandparents,cousins,aunties and uncles and I know everyone would be happier if we could all see more of each other.

Anyone else bringing up a family away from their own family? I would love to know how you are finding it all.


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  1. Talya Stone
    May 15, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Gosh I totally relate to this. We had our little girl whilst living all the way in Asia and I found it terribly hard on so many levels – being a mother is hard enough right? We moved back when she was 12 months to redress the balance. #TheList


  2. May 15, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    We relate, UK to Dubai. The good thing about Dubai is everyone in the same boat Whereas in the UK when you move you find that friends have the family round that you don't.


  3. May 15, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    Totally get this! How I wish I could just pop out to the shops or get something done, just leaving the kids with my mum. Though you can capitalise on going to grandparents for holidays or just leave the kids their for a week and you go off on a proper holiday! Both the kids and the grandparents love it.
    Childcare costs are the biggest thing for us (as well as having no popping out time). I never lived that close to my grandparents and still had a great relationship with them – it made seeing them much more special. #thelist

  4. May 15, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    This is us completely! We are actually trying to move up to be near our family (although not too near!) as childcare costs will cripple us when I finish my maternity leave and like you mentioned, I would like Lily to grow up with her family around her and we could do with some 'us' time!
    That said, it's a testament to us all that we survive and we cope well whilst our friends are going out all of the time and leaving baby with grandma, aunty fi etc. etc.
    Nobody realises how hard it can be – physically and emotionally – without support close-by!
    Lovely photos by the way and it's nice to see a post that I can really relate to! X X


  5. May 16, 2015 / 6:58 am

    Oh wow that must have been difficult..the first year is so challenging.are you happier now you're back home?xx

  6. May 16, 2015 / 7:00 am

    Well your parents are much further away than mine!I bet Dubai is amazing though?yes it's hard to see friends making plans and you can't go because there's no one to babysit xx

  7. May 16, 2015 / 7:03 am

    Yes…I am definitely going to be sending him to the grandparents for holidays when he's a bit bigger!I know. ..I would love a child free trip to the shops, that would feel like a holiday in its self!xx

  8. May 16, 2015 / 7:07 am

    Good luck with your move if it goes ahead. I know, I don't think I even realised how hard this parenting thing would be without my own parents around. I work evenings so don't have to worry about childcare costs but I know there is going to be a time where I'm going to have to pay extortionate nursery fees.thanks for reading xx

  9. May 16, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    I can definitely relate to all of these. I'm making the most of being able to travel and visit family more while I'm on maternity leave but I'm not looking forward to seeing them less once I'm back at work! X

  10. Aby Moore
    May 18, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    I totally get where you are coming from, both mine and hubby's families are about 3 hours away and we have zero childcare options, other than paid nursery/pre school. It would be nice to be able to pop round and see someone. Great post hun Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

  11. May 29, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    Aww it's hard isn't it?I envy people with family just around the corner xx

  12. May 29, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Aww make the most of your time off work. Family will just have to come stay you more once you're back 🙂 xx

  13. August 11, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    I relate to this too. My family is all in the USA and my husband’s family are up in Yorkshire (to our Surrey). I would so love to move up North closer to the in-laws for all the reasons you say, but we can’t because our jobs are down South. My kids have cousins up in Yorkshire as well and it would be so lovely if they could be close friends.