Anonymous

Raising a baby without family near

Husband and I live in Kansas, my family lives in Canada and his in California. It’s way more affordable to buy a house here so we want to raise a family here so we can provide more. Anyway, calling out all moms and dads raising babies without family near. Just want to hear your experiences with working, nannies, and not having that support nearby. Cause a strain on your relationship? Should we move to Washington state to be closer to my family and have a higher cost of living?!

  • Anonymous
    Jan 22

    That would depend on if you can still comfortably afford it cuz in my opinion money issues can be a big strain on a marriage. I’m a SAHM and my husband works full time with no family near by; more affordable to stay home than work and pay for child care in our case. It’s hard being home all day with baby; still working on getting it “right” but my husband does his share of parenting when he is home. Even if you move to Washington it is still far from either California n Canada. Lots of things to think about.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 22

    It’s definitely hard... we were lucky that my mom stayed with us for over a month after my son was born because I had a lot of health issues. She was able to watch our son while my husband could take me to the dr without exposing my son to sick people. After that though we are basically on our own except when family visit. I became a SAHM and that was a huge adjustment for me. It took me over a year to get into the groove of being a SAHM. To be honest, I’m still adjusting and my son is 2. Since he is our first child and we don’t live close to family we never knew anything different except when we hear about friends with kids being able to just leave their kids with their family while they go out for date night. We ask coworkers or friends to watch our son when we really need to go out (we have only done this twice). The hardest thing as far as my relationship with my husband was communication and expectations. Because he was working, he let me take the lead on childcare. Which is fine but I expected him to still be a parent and to know what our child needs. It drove me nuts that I needed to tell him what to do, every single time. I needed to ask every single time. He never asked or offered because I was the stay at home mom. So we fight about that, but he’s gotten better. Especially now that our son is talking. So really... as long as your husband and you are on the same page about expectations then you should be fine. Know that you are both still parents and need to do your share regardless of who is working full time or what not. Know that you might not have as many date nights as others but it’s ok... you can have date night at home once baby is asleep. I agree with previous poster that finance can cause a strain on a relationship. Do some thorough research on cost of living. Debt and income. Run some worst case scenarios and see how much you would be saving each month in those worst case scenarios if any. Also... are you happy in Kansas? Are you happy in your neighborhood? Are there things to do that you love? Do you have a circle of good friends? Do you see your child growing up where you are and thriving where you are? How is the school area? We decided to stay where we are because we really love it here (California). We did contemplate moving to Ohio to be closer to family and also for cost of living but we just love it too much here and we are in a great neighborhood

  • Anonymous
    Jan 23

    Hi. My opinion - do what’s best for you and your family. If a better and more affordable living arrangement is best stick with it. My view is if family and people truly care about me and my kids distance never should be a reason why relationships change. My partner and I are planning on moving too and the last thing on my checklist is distance to family. Id rather somewhere with a larger space and more affordable than “staying close to family” bc my true family is the one my partner and I created. Don’t feel as if you’re doing the wrong thing, your doing what’s best for you, your husband and kid/s!!!

  • Kristen
    Jan 23

    Had my first in Reno NV. His family was in MN and mine in CA. Just do yourself the favor of making friends. They ave programs like ECFE and community mom groups. It’s hard not knowing anyone and being a new mom on your own.

  • Claire
    Jan 24

    Just moved from Cali to New York to be closer to my family (and got a job, also cheaper, also didn't want to raise my kid in Santa Cruz). It has been so amazing to have the help and support when my spouse was going through chemo. That being said we had good friends support in Cali too. Most of the time if we wanna go out we still hire a babysitter. It's never easy and unless your family lives very close by, it won't really impact the day to day. One big thing for us is not having to travel back to NY on holidays so we can use our vacation time elsewhere! So I would stay in Kansas if you're happy there.

  • Catherine
    Jan 24

    My husband and I lived in Germany for 6 years my parents live in Arizona and his Nevada we found out that since we moved closer to family its put more of a strain on our marriage than when we lived far from the family. I think it depends on your prospective..

  • Cheryl
    Jan 24

    I hear you! It’s a tough one. We live in sf and our families live in Singapore (18 hour plane ride!) and Hawaii (6 hour plane ride!) respectively. Because we have 2 young kids and our own small business plus I work almost full time, and SF is very expensive to live in - this situation has been super stressful financially and emotionally without family support. We couldn’t justify a full time or even part time nanny as our kids are in preschool so we have had a rotating set of caretakers from UrbanSitter helping out as needed on ad hoc basis which is not ideal. In our case we decided to relocate to Singapore for family help and much more affordable child care. Big decision but with kids this young and the economics of it, it seems the best one for our family. I wish child care was more affordable in SF, becos otherwise we felt we were just running to stand still and just barely breaking even, even with one kid in public school. IF we had family here we would consider continue sticking it out here but otherwise, nope

  • Michelle Hiley
    Jan 24

    My parents reside in NYC and his parents part-time in NJ and Naples, FL. We reside in SF. Honestly, it has been a struggle not having our parents within close proximity. Raising a baby does result in exhaustion and as a result your alone time suffers to some extent. When my parents are in SF visiting, we get the opportunity to do the activities that we love as well have date nights knowing that our little one is in good hands. I would suggest having each of your parents visit with you for a couple of months out of the year. It will not only keep your marriage spicy but, allow you to enjoy self care which is important when caring for a baby.

  • Lily
    Jan 24

    My husband and I don't live anywhere near family. We are both still in school, and haven't done babysitters. It can be kinda hard at times, but we are used to it because we have done it all since day one. Definitely take into account the costs, and make sure if you do live closer that your families want to help. I know even if I lived down the street from my family they wouldn't want to help.

  • Pankaj Juneja
    Jan 24

    I moved from TX back to CA to be closer to my extended family. I knew it would be expensive but its not that it would stress us out. Every city has some less expensive apartments without whistles and bells. Again...having a family close by for every occassion is ranked higher by me than money. When the time is tough, you will feel so lonely when away from everyone. Also the weather on west coast is so lively and sunny that you wont feel depressed at all on any day. My suggestion is to look into your finances and see if its not going to make you guys crazy and move back closer to family.

  • Cathy
    Jan 24

    Quite honestly - it’s fine. My parents live a 20 hour drive (2 hour flight) away. And when they do come to see us or we go to see them they are ZERO help anyways.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 25

    Thank you so much to everyone who’s responded! It’s given us a lot of insight. I think we’re leaning more towards moving to California, in the sun & closer to in laws & future baby’s cousins. We feel family is super important and we definitely would be lonely in difficult times, and are not sure how we feel about having a babysitter/nanny yet D: We just need to adjust to a smaller budget and know it’ll take more time to buy a home. Which will all work out in the end!

  • Mandy
    Jan 25

    It is not a strain on our marriage, however we can’t afford a nanny (and I don’t trust people with my child). It is hard, I miss alone time with my husband. But we have a solid family unit, and our son is awesome when we go out places. I guess in my experience if your relationship is strong you can make anything work. Sure it’s hard and I would love to be able to leave our son with a grandparent over the weekend so we could have some alone time, but I also know this time will pass so fast I’m ok with soaking up every minute I can.

  • Al
    Apr 18

    Wow this sounds just like our situation! We are from Ca and moved to north central Kansas to raise our now 2 yo girl because of the cost of living as well as a lot of other things I didn’t want her exposed to in Ca- issues come with high populations- not just Ca. I have also been a SAHM since she was born and I cannot imagine it any other way but it was absolutely not possible in Ca with their cost of living- even with my husband having a great career. We ended up having to live with my in-laws and that was far from ideal so we made the plunge and moved here. We have completely started over and my husband is working much lower paying jobs until he can get into a career here which should happen pretty soon-it’s in the works. Anyway we are broke. BUT, we have a cozy house that we rent for $425 a month. Something we never could have had in Ca. Also his parents have already visited once and are planning on coming sometime this summer. (We’ve been here since sept 2018) Same with my parents and siblings hopefully. But to answer your question- if you like Kansas and staying home then stay there. You can always visit and they can visit you. Remember your husband and children ARE your family now and that’s what matters most. Try to get involved in your towns activities and meet some people and kids for play dates that will help with getting settled into your community. I don’t know what part of Kansas you live in but we currently live in Beloit and if your around here I would love to get together! Don’t move again unless it’s the absolute best for your husband and kids- not to be closer to extended family.