Coping in a New Area Without Family Support

Updated on September 17, 2008
K.F. asks from Mesa, AZ
8 answers

My husband and I are thinking about moving. We are originally from ny and have been living in az for 10 years. All of our family (except my mother in law) lives in ny. So, we are not strangers to being away from family however, my mother in law is a tremendous help here in az. She watches the kids whenever we need her to and she is a very loving nannie. We are thinking of moving because we have always wanted to live in this particular area and our kids are young enough we think we can make the move easily. I know many families live in places without a family support system and I just want to ask those of you who do, you how do you cope? Do you feel your desire for moving to better your life and your childrens lives outway keeping them near family? Thanks for your advice.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to all that responded. We have 6 months to mull it over and see where the road takes us. We are renting in a home that will be put on the market for sale so the time arose to think about our intentions. If we have to pack up our family of 4 + 2 dogs and find a new home we felt it was a good time to ponder - do we want to stay in az with my MIL, move back to ny where both my husbands and my families are or try some place completely different and hand pick somewhere based on our desires and needs but would leave us alone without any family at all. My MIL is working and needs to stay until retirement and she has a significant other here so, taking her with us is not necessarily a possibility. We visit our families in ny and they visit us a couple of times a year and it would be the same no matter where we go. I really wondered how others make it places without any family and whether the risk is worth it. But like many of you have said, if after moving away it doesn't work out we can always go closer to family. Thanks for the feedback it was nice to hear your stories!

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

My husband and I grew up in Arizona, but we moved to Colorado for 2 years due to a job offer. We LOVED it there! The only reason we moved back to Arizona is because we were expecting our first child and wanted to raise our children around family. I didn't experience living away from family while I had children, so I don't know both sides. But I will say I don't regret our decision to move back (and I certainly don't regret the time away either). My children's cousins are their best friends and I had that growing up and wouldn't trade it for anything. As adults I am still close with my cousins, and I want that for my kids. I miss Colorado terribly and really really really hope some day to have a summer home there. I left a little part of my heart there in Colorado.

We have some very close family friends with young children who moved to North Carolina last year and planned to retire there. They just moved back this month, after only being gone a year because they had not anticipated how much they would miss the support and company of family. And this is after the wife became very good friends with her neighbor North Carolina. In fact, she told me that her North Carolina neighbor will probably remain the best friend she has ever made in her entire life. So even after that, the pull of family was strong enough to bring them back. But, at least they'll never wonder "what if?" So you can always move away and then come back if it's too hard to be away from family or if it doesn't turn out to be what you anticipated.

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answers from Phoenix on

I am from Ny -long Island and live out here now 13 yrs-I miss all my family and have since I moved here -I am actually going to NY this weekend with my little girl who's 2-it is a totally different life there- fast pace-high energy-I feel spoiled out here in so many ways -yet very lonely like I never felt in NY with family-it's like comparing oranges to Apples-as I am sure you know already-I would go back to NY but when I moved out here yrs ago I went through a divorce and am now married to a man from here who would never leave here but if it was up to me I think I would move back home cause now that I finally have a child after trying for 10 yrs with my x and now 15 yrs later have one,I am 39,I would really enjoy being around family with her and could use the help as I have none out here-so my answer is go if you can family is so important-it's really everything !!!!!



answers from Phoenix on

We moved out here three years ago when our son was only 1 1/2 years old. He was young enough to adjust. Both our families live in Washington State, so it was a huge adjustment for all of us. New city, new surroundings, no family or friends to fall back on. My MIL watched my son from the time he was 10weeks old, so when we needed to move down here, we had to put him in daycare for the first time. It was a huge adjustment for all of us. We kept in almost daily touch with phone calls and email with our family. It wasn't until almost a year after we moved here, that we made some close friends that we could call family. Having friends that you can talk to and see is the one thing that I can say keeps our sanity when we are feeling a little homesick.

My folks come to visit at least twice a year and we try to fly out to see them as often as possible. Even though we don't see our families on a regular basis, they are only a phone call away.

It has been a huge change for all of us, but we feel we made the right decision, not only financially but in regards to our children's well being. Where we used to live I did not want to raise my kids. The school districts were one of the worst in the state and the crime was as bad a big city.

If you feel your family will have a better life, then what you can provide for them here, then I suggest you make the move. It was the best decision we ever made.



answers from Phoenix on

That's a tough one. The kids grandparents on both sides live in the most northern part of California. It takes almost 16 hours to drive, so that is not an option. My parents are very good about coming down to see us about once every three months. As long as you know that if you do move away from family they are going to be willing to come see you on a regular basis and you are willing to go see them, I don't think you will have as big of a problem. My daughter adores her grandparents and wants to be around them all the time, it's heartbreaking for her to have to leave them or vise-versa. It is really tough to not have family around and the only way we are able to cope right now, is that we found a sitter and her family that we absolutely love and they feel like family. Otherwise, I think we would have ended up moving back! Good luck with your decision.



answers from Phoenix on

My husband was in the military for 6 years which took us away from home! We made some wonderful life long friends whom we considered our family away from home. Everybody helped everyone out. It was great. I hope you have the same luck we did :)



answers from Phoenix on

I'm a little confused. Are you planning on moving back to NY or somewhere else? Why? Job transfer? I will tell you my experience. My husband and I were both born and raised in Michigan all our lives. We were married for five years without children---then had four in four years! We had moved to a town in Michigan where none of our family lived and loved it. (They were only 1 1/2 hours away). Last year when our kids were 11-15 my husband took a job out in AZ. It was a HUGE step--but we all LOVE it! I have been back a couple of times and my two oldest have gone back to visit once. I have to say--we really don't miss Michigan. I do miss family and friends--but not enough to move back. Our parents have visited a couple of times and that was great. But quite honestly, my in-laws weren't all that involved in my kids lives when they did live close--so it's no big deal to our kids. I'm always up for an adventure--and as one person said--you can always move back--or take your MIL with you (lots of people do!) Good luck ! It is a huge decision--but not irreversible!



answers from Phoenix on

My husband and I have lived in AZ for 14+ years. We have a little boy who will be 5 this November. Most of our family live in New Jersey. On the one hand, when our son was born, I did feel bad that he was not going to grow up with his grandparents, but we were fortunate enough to have found caregivers that treated him as their own. There are 2 drawbacks to not having family around: 1)finding a good caregiver is always a challenge; and 2) it's expensive. But, you have to determine whether the move would be worth the extra expense.

I know that every winter when it is snowing or below zero back in NJ AND we are outside barbecuing here in AZ, I think that the quality of life is definitely worth the extra cost.

You just need to make sure that you make annual trips back "home" and that you try and keep your children connected to grandparents through other communication means.

Good Luck!




answers from Phoenix on

We don't have any family out here and it is VERY HARD. I know that my husband and I will not be able to go on a trip for our 10 year anniversary because both of our parents live in other states. It is much easier to visit for a few hours when we lived close by to my parents before rather than have them visit for a few days or a week..........they get on my nerves and we get on their nerves. The kids are always asking to visit their Grandparents also and I wish we lived closer for their sake too!

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