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Thoughts on Raising a Baby Away from Home

By MadelinePetersen |

Grandpa telling Tate a story

My husband and I tried incredibly hard to settle down in our home state, close to family. My husband applied for what felt like hundreds of jobs without so much as an interview. We stuck it out for two and a half years after he graduated from college, essentially treading water. I was working at a good job, but one that no longer made me happy. We wanted to settle, have a family, and we both wanted me to stay home with our children.

My husband was accepted to graduate school for the spring semester before Tate was born. We decided to defer one more semester, in hopes that a job opportunity might arise. As Tate’s birth loomed on the horizon, I was terrified. It was all good and dandy for us to be dealing with our uncertainty, but I felt so guilty bringing a baby into the mix. Steve never received a job offer, and we decided to take the leap and move to South Texas for graduate school.

One thing we didn’t think much about before taking the leap, was moving away from family. I mean, we knew we would be away from family, but the gravity of bringing our baby 2000 miles away from our families as he experiences his first few years is really just hitting us. They won’t be cheering with us when he crawls for the first time, stands on his own, and takes his first steps. We might very well be alone with our son on his first birthday.

We are independent people. We have made a great effort to be on our own as a young married couple, rarely accepting help from our families. It’s not that we can’t be on our own, it’s that for the first time in our lives, we are sad to be on our own.

Did you move away from family with your little ones? I would love to hear your experiences.

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About MadelinePetersen



Madeline blogs and tweets about budget-friendly clothes, modest apparel, sales, her obsession with pop culture, and her pudgy little baby, Tate, on her personal blog, Uber Chic for Cheap. A former Babble contributor, she currently resides in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts on Raising a Baby Away from Home

  1. Jennie says:

    As you know, we live super far from family as well, and after having Calee it bothered me alot. It still does! Her first birthday is just around the corner, and as I plan everything it seriously makes me so sad that we won’t have family to celebrate. The best thing for us has been skype, and face time on our iPhones. We have been able to video chat with our family every time Calee learns something new so that they can see her doing it, outside of pictures. It’s definitely tough not having family, mostly my mom, around to see Calee grow up.
    Hang in there darling!

  2. Amanda says:

    It is just plain hard. I didn’t realize how lucky we were to have family so close when Grace was a baby. This time around being far away has been so much harder. Skype is awesome, but just not the same. Good luck :)

  3. Abha says:

    i am due for delivery anytime within the next one week…we moved across not just states or countries but continents for my husband’s job. except for my hubby and me, our Baby will not have any blood relative here. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, family and everyone else is hooking up latest webcams to get a little face time with the little one across timezones.
    any waking time after tending to the Baby, home and hopefully myself will go into recording and photographing the little one…the only family the Baby will know here are friends we made here and collegues we work with.

  4. Meredith says:

    I love that picture. Good luck!

  5. Edie22 says:

    I live on a different continent than my family yet in he same city as my in laws. I have help and we’re certainly not alone in this but man, I really and truly miss my family for he first time in a long time. I’d love to experience all of this wih my mom, aunt, and grandmother in particular. I’m getting a bit sad just writing this!

  6. susan says:

    The holidays are the worsed! We made picture books with all the aunts/uncles/cousins everyone so the kids at least know there faces when we do visit. It helps the family not be strangers. We also LOVE skype and phone calls. But it is hard. The good thing is that there are GREAT people everywhere that can become like family.

  7. Margaret Petersen says:

    As your parents and Tate’s grandparents we are also sad that you are so far away. However, we know this is a good move for you and that good things will come to you. We’re so glad you communicate through this blog and Facebook, so we know what’s going on. We plan to see you as often as we can. You are always in our hearts! Love, Mom and Dad

  8. lauren says:

    my son is a month old and the force of what it means to be living 1000 miles away from most of my family (and 500 miles from all of my husbands’) has been hitting me extra hard lately. we’ve been in our current city for over ten years now and weathered our fair share of life events away from loved ones – graduations, weddings, holidays, births, and deaths – but only a few other events have even come close to the wrenching feeling of watching my loved ones depart after three short days spent visiting us and our newborn. i realized in that horrible moment that he would have SO MANY moments without them. not just the big stuff like first steps, first words, and so forth but the little stuff – saturday mornings bumming around, spontaneous play dates with cousins, etc. that’s what i think is hardest going without – all the thousands of moments that make up KNOWING someone in the most intimate way. i fear our son won’t know his family. on the other hand … he will – and already does – know our family of friends. he listens when my best friend talks. he turns his head towards her laugh and he will sit happily in her arms. that isn’t everything – but often, it’s enough. my advice is to do the best you can with those around you. surround your child with love and he will know love.

  9. Rosstwinmom says:

    When my twins were born, we lived in Texas, 10 minutes from my parents. We could not have done it without them. I never imagined how great it would be watching them with my boys. So many times I got teary just watching them get to know and live and adore each other.

    Then, in January, we moved to Poland. We will be here for 2 years. My boys are almost 4, and Skype is great. We’ve also already had Nana and Grandpa visit for a month.

    But, I’m never living this far away from them ever again.

  10. Fannie says:

    I grew up 3,000 miles away from my close relatives. I got to see my grandparents and cousins during our family reunion in the summers. And for holidays sometimes. I have a very close relationship with my grandparents and cousins – even though I never lived close. And we didn’t have Skype back in those days… Lol. Just good old fashion expensive long distance phone calls. Now I live about 4 hours away from my in laws and across the country from my family. I do miss my family, but I know that it’s not going to keep my 3 month old daughter from having a relationship with her grandparents. I made her a picture photo book with her Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents to show her. And with Skype, you can stay in contact.
    The situation you are in might not be what you want, but it will be fine. And your son will grow to appreciate the time he does spend with extended family as a special treat.

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