Since our little family is about to grow soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about our own families lately. In getting married I’ve learned that each family has its own culture. Living so far away from our families in the US, our family will have an even more different culture, both in the figurative and literal sense. Building relationships with our families back in the US will require more creativity than what either of us may have experienced when we were growing up. Also, raising our children as Americans in the British culture will bring it’s own set of challenges, which is a post topic for another day. For now I’ll touch on the topic of building relationships from a distance.
|Leon’s family when we visited last autumn.|
Growing up, my family spent a lot of time with our extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles…). Keeping that relationship with them strong seemed to be a priority, especially on my dad’s side of the family. It’s great, because we still have those relationships today for the most part. It’s something that would be nice to continue in our own little family, but living abroad kind of makes it more of a challenge. It sort of reminds me of when Leon and I were dating. We had to get pretty creative at times to come up with our dates we’d have over Skype.
|My family while we were in the US last autumn|
We’ll have to get creative in the way we interact with our family in the US, too. I know that things will be different for us with our children—most of our time spent with family already is over the phone, email, or Skype video. It will be a challenge to help our children connect with their extended family. Modern technology is great, but it only goes so far. So we strive to do what we can. For example, I’m certain that once “Little Bump” arrives, a number of our family members will get Skype video calls so they can ‘meet’ our little one. I should also be more intentional in taking photos so that our family back in the US can see our new life as a family of three.
I’m certain there are other ideas, some of which I’ve found via Focus on the Family. The article I read probably assumes that most families are only dealing with distances across the US, but some of their ideas will work for us once “Little Bump” is old enough. I’m certain there are ideas for when baby is smaller, too (I just can’t find the source right now).
So this is an interesting challenge that we’re facing. We both value our families, and it would be amazing if our children can be connected to them in some way.
Do you live far away from your family? What are ways you’ve remained connected to them? Are there things that worked/didn’t work?
I sincerely apologise for the lack of posts lately. I think that the third trimester of pregnancy has gotten the better of me! In fact, just as a warning, I will probably drop off the blogosphere for awhile once “Little Bump” arrives. I don’t want to leave you faithful readers hanging, so I thought it best to say something! Thank you all for faithfully following our journey here, and I hope that you will continue for months to come! :)