Wednesday, December 5, 2012

closing the gap.

Less than 2 weeks after Lachlan's arrival, Mimi (my mom) and King (my dad) flew in to Brisbane to meet their newest grandson.

18 November 2012- mimi and king001

For someone who is very close to her parents, living so far away from them has never an easy thing. While living here in Australia is wonderful, I miss my family and friends very much. So naturally when you start to think about expanding your family and living so far away, it makes those homesick feelings grow just that much stronger.

18 November 2012- mimi and king003

And whether or not you live on the other side of the plant from your family or just in another state, not having them close by can be hard for many reasons.

18 November 2012- mimi and king004

You have the practical reasons of course, like having babysitters that you KNOW love your babies as much as you do. I always hear our friends that have kids talk about dropping them off for the night with grandparents, sending them off to stay with them for part of the school holidays or calling on them to pick the kids up from school. Or what about when your baby is sick for the fifth time in one month and you can't miss another day of work? Free and loving care for your little ones... Practical you see!

18 November 2012- mimi and king002

And then you have the mushy, gooey reasons why it is so nice to live near family. Like being able to have family dinners and attend school plays. Or knowing that your children will have opportunities to form close, everyday relationships with their grandparents instead of just seeing them at the once a year Christmas dinner. Grandparents can serve as amazing role models to your kids and be another supportive adult in your child's life.

18 November 2012- mimi and king005

So what can we do about this?? Well, there is the obvious answer, which would be to move closer to your family. But if that isn't an option, there are still other things you can do to ensure these kind of relationships are formed. What are they you ask??

18 November 2012- mimi and king006

Firstly, you must take the time to make a real effort to keep in touch. It is not something that comes easily to everyone and might be something you really have to work on. Send update emails and make regular phone calls. Make sure your children know how to get in touch with their family so that they feel like they can contact them when they want to.

18 November 2012- mimi and king008

Secondly, learn to use Skype for goodness sake! It is super easy, allows people to see and hear each other and it's FREE!

  18 November 2012- mimi and king011

Even my 2.5 year old baby nephew knows exactly how to talk to his Mimi when he wants to. He just opens the iPad, pushes Skype and asks my sister to "call Mimi". If he can do it, I am sure we can all figure it out!

[Skype call from Brisbane to Boston: Jack and "Wochlin" meeting for the first time!]
18 November 2012- mimi and king010

Thirdly, form close, family-like relationships with your friends. Sure Max and I may not have any family living close to us but we do have some really great friends who we both know we could (and will) rely on when the times comes. They might not technically be family, but they can certainly play just as an important role in your child's life.

18 November 2012- mimi and king007

Forthly, (wait... is that even a word?!) start a blog or send a weekly/monthly picture album to help your family feel more connected to you and your growing family. I started this blog (and really continue writing this blog) for our family and friends as a way to lessen the gap between here and wherever "there" might be. I really enjoy keeping them updated and they equally enjoy reading about our adventures and seeing pictures of our family... or so that is what they tell me. However, if you aren't really in to posting things publicly you can always create a private blog or send out a weekly email written like a blog post with pictures. I personally found emailing pictures to be very annoying so it might be easier to create an album on one of the millions of photo sites out there (Flickr, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Photobucket... Just to name a few) and just email out a link or invite to view the photos.

18 November 2012- mimi and king009

Or maybe, just maybe, you live far away from your family on purpose and would just like to keep it that way. If that is the case- do exactly the opposite of what I stated above and you too shall be happy :)

More on our very low key adventures with Mimi and King to come...

(And if you are wondering why my dad goes by "King" you can read more about that here :)

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