Monday, February 27, 2017

Tips for Staying Connected to Family That's Far Away

Well..my promise to be back last month didn't last long. But things are changing so rapidly. With developments with our projects, Little One being harder to wrangle and everything with our families being a roller coaster, it just didn't happen. But I THINK we're back.

Given that both my family and my in-laws are so far away and so much has been happening with them, I thought I give everyone our tips on staying close to with family that's far away.

It's always been hard to be away from family. I've been living away from mine for nearly 13 years and in that time I've had major health concerns with both my parents, lost grandparents, welcomed nieces and nephews and added Little One to our family. While it's important to have your own life, you don't want to feel like your missing everything.

Here are my tips for both sides of the equation - those who moved away and those who stayed put.



For those who moved away:

-Video chat - My first thought on this is: UGH. I actually really don't like video chatting, I try to get out of it with clients and other whenever possible. But despite my dislike of it, I know how important it is. Mostly, now that we have Little One. She changes so much week to week that I have to given to video chats so that grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins can all see her.

It's becoming more and more challenging, mostly because Little One does not want to sit still so either she's wiggling and whining to get down or she's grabbing the iPad to put in her mouth, press buttons or throw it.

-Send photos often. I can't tell you how much photos mean to everyone who can't be there. My husband is terrible about photos but I try to be as good as possible about sending everything.

-Don't be too picky about the photos. No one really cares what you look like, what baby is wearing or even what they're doing. They just want to see you, the baby and your life. When in doubt, just send it. You can always send the disclaimer to not share it with anyone.

-Remember and share milestones. I try to record, at least in a text message to family, every milestone. Even the small ones. Nothing makes a grandparent happier than hearing about a milestone for baby and it makes them feel really included. Time goes by so fast and it's hard to really recognize the moments you want to share, so just overshare. They'll never get tired of it.

-Don't the little things. This year we picked up Valentine's to send to Little One's cousins, just to show that we were thinking of them. And at Christmas, everyone got photobooks of Little One.

For the other side:

-Ask about baby, parents and life in general. Don't underestimate the value of checking in (a reasonable amount) and asking questions about how baby and the whole family are doing.

-Don't forget the milestones. Especially if this is the family's first baby, every month and new milestone is really exciting for everyone. Don't miss the chance to be involved by remembering baby's 6 month birthday.

-Respond to every picture and text. If you don't respond to the pictures, they might stop being sent. No matter what, take a second and say something about the picture, video or newest update. It will mean a lot.

-Call. As a new parent, it's hard to remember to always call. And putting all of the pressure on someone with a little person isn't quite fair. Even if we don't always pick up the phone at first, seeing that you called will mean a lot.

-Plan trips. Traveling with a little one is hard. We're getting ready for our first cross-country trip (more on that later) and it's a big undertaking. If you have the means, definitely be proactive in planning trips.

-Don't guilt. I can't stress this enough. You might not remember how it was at first or maybe you don't realize how much a lack of sleep plays into remembering to call, share updates, etc. But leave the guilt out of the situation. It's not productive and doesn't strengthen the relationship at all.

8 comments:

  1. Thank God for facetime! My husbands family lives about 6 hours away and my parents are out of the country for 2 months so facetime has been essential in staying connected!

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    1. Definitely, we use Google Hangouts but it's a big help!

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  2. Great ways to keep in touch! I am now closer to my family, most of them, but my in-laws are across the country. We definitely FaceTime and send photos often

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    1. We're across the country from both my family and in-laws, it's so important to keep them involved!

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  3. These are really grew trips! I tend not to worry too much about what photos my family see because they just want to SEE us!

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  4. These are really great tips. I live an hour away from my parents so send them snapchats constantly of my son. They love seeing him and he loves seeing them.

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    1. Aww that's a great idea. I use SnapChat with our more tech-savvy family members and friends!

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