Involve your entire family in the moving process.

How to Deal With Moving Away From Your Family

by Kay Ireland

Moving means a lot for a young family, especially when you have little kids at home. If you've always lived near family, you've probably come to count on the automatic babysitters, holiday traditions and playmate cousins for your little ones. Moving younger kids away from family can be difficult, but it doesn't mean you're totally cut off. Get creative and you'll be able to sustain thick-as-thieves relationships with all of your family back home.

1 Check out your new city or town online before you move. You can check with the parks and recreation department for kid programs, check into local preschools and mom groups as well as scope out the best parks and stuff to do. That should help you fill up your days when you first settle into your new place.

2 Install the necessary technology to keep in touch before you head off. Grandparents might not feel tech-savvy enough to set up video chat, so you can install and then give a tutorial on how to use the software before you leave, making it easier to keep in touch in your new location. Smartphones, video games, social networking and video chat can all help you feel closer.

3 Create a savings account that is specifically set aside for travel, if possible. Knowing that you'll be able to afford the gas or plane tickets required for travel can help you cope with homesickness, especially when you first move. Some family members may even want to contribute to the travel fund to make it easier for you and your children to travel back and forth.

4 Engage in long-distance rituals that allow you to feel as though you're still part of the extended family dynamic. For instance, you could video chat every Sunday or send pictures that your kids have painted to relatives each week.

5 Start a family blog to keep everyone up to speed with your new life in another location. You can post pics and video so no one feels left out, and you can even adjust the admin settings so that different family members can post and keep everyone up to date.

6 Join parenting groups and sign your children up for activities in your new area. You'll need to develop a support system that mimics the one you had while living near family. Meeting parents who can recommend babysitters and getting your children involved in sports and activities to meet new friends can help you feel more comfortable while making it on your own.

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