Living Away From Family [With A Baby] Parent Advice

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Are you planning to move away or are you already living away from family and friends?

Living far away from everyone and everything you know is hard. SO hard! I know this first-hand. And once you become a parent, this isn’t going to get any easier – quite the opposite to be honest.

But you’re not alone!

According to The Guardian, about 258 million people, or one in every 30, were living outside their country of birth in 2017 (for various reasons of course). But it’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones doing it tough.

I moved from Germany to Australia in 2018 to live there with my partner. Early 2020 I became a mom. Having a baby in a country you don’t know very well and without having any of your family close-by is very difficult.

But there are certain things you can do that make it easier for you to deal with living away from family and friends.

Here are some tips that helped me cope better living far from family:

Living Away From Family: This Has Helped Me

  • Building a support network
  • Including my family in my daily life
  • Making plans to visit family
  • Enjoying the benefits of living in another country
  • Reminding myself that nothing has to be forever
  • Taking care of myself

Entering motherhood (or parenthood) is life-changing! And not having your family around in that important phase of your life is a crazy mix of exploding emotions and challenging situations.

No mom comes over to cook for you or help you settle your baby. No dad swings by to pick up your little one and take them for a walk in the pram so you can clean the house, sleep or just have some quiet time to yourself.

You won’t be able to share those milestones of your baby’s development with your family the same way you would if they were just living around the corner.

Living far from family isn’t easy. I’ve gone through all the stages . . .

  • Feeling homesick
  • Being sad
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling anxious

What an emotional rollercoaster!

You need to be careful that living away from family is not going to push you into depression.

I’ve gotten through this hard time and today I’m going to share with you how I learned to cope with living away from family and friends.

Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks for reading.

living away from family with a baby

How To Cope With Living Away from Family

  • Build a support network
  • Include your family in your daily life
  • Make plans to travel and cherish the memories
  • Enjoy the benefits of living overseas
  • Remind yourself that nothing has to be forever
  • Take care of yourself

1. Build Your Own Support Network

Even though I have my partner’s parents and friends live near us, I needed to be with people that were in the same situation as myself.

On Facebook, I have met two fellow moms who I am now very good friends with. Their children are very close in age to my daughter and they are German as well. This is a great benefit as I’m raising my daughter bilingual.

People who moved away from their home country to live overseas understand your pain and worries so much better. People who have never lived overseas are most likely part of a set group of friends already. I found it hard to be accepted into those groups.

To find likeminded people, check out your local expat community or new mom’s group on Facebook or Meetup to connect to other parents. Once you know a few people, they might introduce you to their friends. That way you get to know more people around your area and build up your own support network.

It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your neighbors and try and make friends with them (if they’re nice). There’s bound to be an emergency one day where you will need their help when it comes to your little one (or other stuff).

Tips To Cope With Living Away From Family With A Baby:

moving away from aging parents

2. Include Your Family in Your Daily Life

It makes it much easier to cope with living away from family when you first had a baby by talking to them on a regular basis. That way you will stay close to them and you won’t be drifting apart from each other.

For me this meant:

  • Doing a lot of video calls (throughout the week and on the weekend)
  • Sending pictures and videos
  • Having my daughter draw something for my mum or my dad (once she was ready for that)
  • Random calls & texts when you’re out doing something

Whatever you can think of that helps sharing your life with your loved ones.

Sometimes I just have a rant about the things that annoy me about being away from home. It helps when someone listens to my worries.

It isn’t always easy to do a video call due to the time difference. As life with a baby gets really busy, it takes organizational skills and self-discipline to make it happen.

By doing phone and video calls you won’t feel so distant from your family. Let them be a part of your chaos just how it would be if they were physically around you.

This phone holder makes so much easier to have video calls, rather than having to hold or carry your phone all the time. You can tend to your little one while chatting away.

Also, try to stay in contact with your friends and friends of your parents. This will help kill the loneliness you sometimes feel.

3. Make Plans to Travel

Best medicine in coping with living away from family!

I started traveling early on in my daughter’s life and every time I went back home it cured my feelings of being homesick. The plane trip was super exhausting, but that’s a story for another day.

Go ahead and make plans to see your family. Or ask your family to come visit you and offer them a place to stay. Once you see each other, make sure to take lots of photos and videos.

Create a separate album for those on your phone. That way you can look at them any time you want and show them to your little one as they grow up.

I also like to print out my favorite pics and stick them into a photo album. My daughter now LOVES looking at older pictures and videos and she’s able to remember some of the things we did.

moving away from family guilt

4. Remind Yourself of the Benefits Your Child Has by Living Overseas (And For Yourself)

For your child to be raised in another country has many advantages like:

  • Learning another language
  • Getting another passport
  • Getting to know a different culture
  • Making life-long friendships across the globe

This opens up so many possibilities to them when they’re adults.

Going on a plane to visit your family overseas every so often will make them learn about traveling, different time zones, other nationalities and the world in general.

Keep remembering these advantages for your child as well as for yourself and you won’t feel so guilty about living away from your family.

5. Nothing Is Forever

For me this means there is a possibility for us to be going back to Germany. This might happen in the next couple of years.

I think it’s only fair that my partner stays flexible on his location too since I moved to his country to be with him.

Whatever your situation may be – nothing has to be forever. You might move back home one day and you and your child/children can spend more time with your family.

We tend to idealize the places we don’t live in so you might be doing the same with your home country. Of course, your family lives there which is the reason you love your home so much.

However, I’m sure the country you currently live in is a great place too so – enjoy it!

moving away from family guilt

6. Take Time To Yourself

I can’t stress enough how important self-care is when times get tough.

Self-care helps you with:

Whether you just:

Whatever it is, do it with joy and do it regularly. Here are some self-care activities you can do in 5 minutes or less.

I know, your baby needs you. But your baby needs a healthy parent who looks after them in a gentle, loving, and responsible way. And you can only do that when you fill your cup every now and again.

And your not just a parent now, you’re also an individual with own interests that have to be acknowledged (see: rediscovering yourself after motherhood).

More self-care tips for you:

family away from home

FAQs on Living Away From Family With A Baby

Is It Ok To Live Away From Family?

So, is it ok to live away from family? Of course, it’s ok, if this is ok with you. Before you make a decision, consider the advantages and disadvantages living away from your family.

Especially when you have a baby, it’s nice to have your family around, but depending on your relationship to them, it might also be good to have a certain distance to everyone.

Is It Selfish To Move Away From Family?

Are you wondering – is it selfish to move away from family? NO. It’s not selfish to move away from your family, if you feel, this is the right thing for you to do.

By moving away from family, you will become more independent and responsible for your actions and decisions.

Why Is Moving Away From Family So Hard?

Why is moving away from family so hard? Moving and living away from family is so hard, because you constantly fear to miss out on something.

Depending on how far you move way, you’ll miss dinners, planned birthday parties, and spontaneous visits and activities.

It’s also hard because you feel guilty for leaving your family alone in case of an emergency.

leaving home because of parents

So What’s The Ultimate Guide On How To Cope With Living Away From Family When Having A Baby?

It’s a good mix of all of the above.

The most important thing I would say though is to make sure you have friends around you who really understand you.

Like-minded people who are in the same situation as yourself will be genuine and loyal towards you. In a way, they will become your family.

There are hard times ahead of you when you will feel extremely upset. Especially on birthdays or cultural and religious occasions.

And it’s ok to be sad. Just make sure to stay positive, pick yourself up again, and enjoy your life overseas as much as you can.

Sometimes you glorify everything about your home country only because you miss it so much. After a while though you realize that you left it for a (good) reason.  

Let me know if you have any other tips to share – we’re all in this together!

5 Ways to Cope with Living Away from Family When Having a Baby

regret moving away from family
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About The Author

Saskia is a mom, blogger, and freelance writer. She loves sharing tips on self-care, personal growth, and productivity & organization. Find out more about her or get in touch with her here.

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