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Living away from family

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

I've been having a lot of anxiety lately because we do not have any family nearby.  My mom lives half way across the country and my in-laws live 4 hours away.  I'm super excited for this pregnancy, and I can't wait to be a first time mom.  This is the one thing that keeps stressing me out (and I know I'm fixating on it).  I guess I just need some reassurance that it's going to be okay and that we'll be fine without our family in town.

Thanks!  I have a history of anxiety issues (I was medicated for many years and never NEVER want to do that again) and I think the pregnancy hormones are making my anxiety act up.

post #2 of 9

It is hard to be going through these enormous life changes without family nearby.  I feel for you!  My parents and in-laws both live overseas; all of our collective siblings live far away too.  It can be hard sometimes!  Thankfully, they make sure to visit and call often.  And I make sure to post a lot of pictures of my son so they can feel more connected. 


Do you plan to have family come into town for the birth?  If you have a good relationship with your mom or mother-in-law, that can be SUPER helpful.  I feel like the first few weeks postpartum definitely call for the most help.  If you can arrange to have them nearby (maybe even not staying with you, but willing to come over a lot to help!) that can be awesome.  Other than that, my network of friends here is definitely a big blessing, and although they don't replace family, they certainly are helpful and supportive. 

post #3 of 9

Kate: I totally could have written that exact post with my first, I mean everything- no family nearby, anxiety history worse with pregnancy- everything.  You can definitely do it!! It is a challenge at times (to say the least) but when you are able to do it all on your own it is also really empowering because then you know you can live anywhere and be a good momma all on your own.  With DD we lived in the NW and both our families live in the SW so eveyone was at least one plane ride away.  I set up staggered visits with people to come and see us so that I would have help when my husband went back to school full-time.  My mom came when she was 3 days old for a week.  Then I was alone a few days then my MIL came for a week.  Then I was alone 2 weeks then my dad came then two more weeks and FIL and BIL came (though they were NOT helpful), then my mom was able to come back again.  It was nice to plan it out so I would have company the first couple months on and off while we figured out our own routine and I got comfortable with it.  I also made a lot of mama friends (mostly midwifery patients of mine- but a childbirth education class or prenatal yoga class can be a great way to meet other moms) that were super helpful and understood what I was going through.  And many of them also had family that lived far away so we supported each other.  I also tried to plan one "out of the house thing" per day to make myself get comfortable with going out just the two of us.  We had many an awkward situation but we made it through just fine.  I know you can do it and you will be great at it!! And if you have a hard day you can always come on here and vent.  Hugs!

post #4 of 9

I definitely second the advice above, of getting some good friends to help if your family cannot come visit after baby arrives.

And do outings a little at a time.  My first outing with my first born was with a friend to go to lunch and I was SO glad she was there because I hadn't practiced using the bathroom while holding the baby.  I must not have had a good carrier at the time, can't remember.


Anyway, a few friends who can bring a meal, start a load of laundry, wash some dishes... whatever, can be a big help and also really brighten your day when it starts to feel like all you do is feed the baby and clean his/her tiny little bottom.


LLL groups can be a great place to meet moms (and moms with babies of different ages, so they'll be capable of helping you out and not recovering from their own birth at the same time as you).  And many times, once you meet a couple moms at one place, they'll have the scoop on other get togethers that are happening nearby also.


Even though I do have family nearby, they really aren't at my house helping out.  My mom helped out for a couple of days but she had to be back at work after that.  We occasionally have my parents babysit but that's pretty rare.  There are several families I know who do a babysitting co-op.  So family 1 watches all the kids while couple 2 goes on a date, and then next week family 2 watches all the kids while couple 1 goes on a date.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the support.  Sometimes I get caught up in my own head and get fixated on something.  I know I just need to focus on the positives and trust that everything will fall into place.  Joining LLL is a great idea- my mom was a LLL leader when we were growing up and I know we were always involved with other LLL families.  It's great to be able to come to this group for support.  Thanks so much for putting my mind at ease (c:

post #6 of 9

Kate, your anxiety is completely normal. There are going to be a lot of changes in your life and its only natural to crave the support and love of having family nearby.  We live a plane ride away from both my family and my husbands family. He is in the military so is gone all the time. So i understand the anxiety and fear of doing it on your own.  The previous ladies all have great and wonderful suggestions.  my suggstion from experience, I would not let yourself get overwhelmed with the big picture.  Just take each day as it comes and get through that day.  Plan out family visits and trips to see your family.  Most importantly, establish a network of support around you where you are at.  LLL is a great idea!   Check out stroller strides.com see if there is one in your area, thats a great way to meet other moms too (and get in a workout!)  I promise you'll make it through and your son or daughter will have such a strong mama to look up to!

post #7 of 9

I feel you. Our families are on the other side of the world (24+ hour flights) away. We see them once a year. I feel mean in a way doing all of this exciting stuff without them. I know both sides will want to be hands-on and helpful grandparents. 

post #8 of 9

I agree it is normal to be nervous but you have tons of time to get a support system in place to make this easier

I was going to say LLL is a great place to start building a support system, if you can find any other like-minded mom's groups  (possibly through the LLL moms) get involved with them too - once you make some mom friends you'll be good.  you'll have people to call when you need help who are close by .. you can have a goof friend set up an online meal calendar for you after the birth and post a link on FB or email it to your new friends so they can bring you meals :) you can also set up a help calendar and people can sign up to come over and do a load of laundry or dishes .. other moms will understand and they will want to help you, you've just got to get connected and ask for the help 

post #9 of 9
With #1 I was super nervous about the post partum stuff. My mom stayed for 4 days then my mil stayed for 3 days. Dd1 was just about a week and a half when I was on my own. The first 2 weeks were physically hard with recovery etc and I wish I would have had those weeks covered. After that, I really liked being with dd. I had more help after dd2.... almost 3 full weeks, and that was amazing. We now live close to family and I am actually expecting less help this time as mom and mil wont be staying with us..... I think it will all be ok.

You can start attending LLL meetings before baby arrives. I would go to 2-3 meetings before due date. Building some friendships and networking. That way if you need any help after babe arrives, you will already know the leaders. I would also research any mommy and me classes. The community college district in San Diego has a ton of free baby sign classes etc. Fresno does not, so you will just have to look in your area. I met some great people in those classes.

It is hard being away from family, but there are benifits too. Hopefully your dh or mil can help those first 2 weeks. After that it didn't seem as hard for me.
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