Get the Support You Need

No matter how a person comes to be in a long distance parenting situation, by choice or by circumstance, one thing remains: Being away from a child is hard! Having a support system helps and this site is a great place to start. It has helped me to understand that I am absolutely not alone in being a long distance mom. I’ve also recently joined a local support group for parents in similar situations. It is refreshing to share experiences with other moms who don’t look at me funny when I say my daughter lives in another state. It is understood that every situation is different and we don’t judge. I highly recommend connecting with other long distance parents in whatever way works for you: online, in person, or both.

~Holly

holly

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful open community where parents can come and share their experiences in a non-threatening environment and without fear of criticism or judgment.I have been a long distance mom for almost two years now. The living arrangement I have with one of my children is not ideal but my current husband and I are doing our best to make it work. Being a long distance mom has been such an unparalleled experience for me that I have found it difficult to find others with which to talk about issues that are unique to being a long distance mom – until now.The image of long distance parents (moms especially) is in desperate need of a makeover. I think it is important for all of us, whether we are distance parents by choice or by circumstance, to focus on maintaining a happy, healthy family life. That’s where the forums on this site come in. This is a place to share ideas, vent frustrations, and receive emotional support from others in similar situations.I have several ideas for topics that I think will be interesting to explore including social stigma, long separations, visitation, legal issues, financial issues, holidays, travel, non-supportive people, etc. In sharing my personal stories, I’m hoping to help others know that they are not alone in the challenge of being a long distance parent.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Carrie

    I think that ‘not being judged’ thing is a big deal. It REALLY helps build confidence to have a community of parents experiencing a similar thing. And with confidence comes the ability to look someone square in the eye and declare it not a ‘bad’ thing that your parenting arrangement happens to be long distance. 🙂

  2. natalie

    Holly,

    I have just come across this site, I am a really looongg distance parent; my son is in the States and I am in Europe. I made this move almost two years ago and I am dying for some ways to help myself emotionally to come to terms with my decision and to learn how to cope. Often I am at a loss as to what to tell myself to combat guilt feelings, I love my son and want to be with him but I do not have the resources to live near him. I have to adjust to seeing him the two or three times a year that I can when I go back to visit him. We talk frequently on skype but lately he’s been saying things that are revealing to how much he misses me–how do I help him come to peace with the way things are? My son is ten years old.

    Cheers,

    Natalie

  3. Holly

    Natalie, Obviously, every situation is different but one thing we all appear to have in common is a feeling of guilt. I think most people would consider that a normal, even healthy, reaction to being away from a child. In my personal experience, obsessing over what could have been is not a good thing. Maybe, in hindsight, certain things could have been handled differently – or maybe not, depending on the situation. I have days when I miss my daughter so much I cry uncontrollably but I always make a point to remain positive and upbeat when we talk on the phone. When she says she misses me, I tell her I miss her too and can’t wait to see her again. I then usually engage her in planning what we will do when we see each other. It never gets easy but it can become more manageable. When is your next visit?

    Holly

  4. Danielle

    I agree. Being judged is the worst part. My own family has disowned me because of my choice to move away. It is painful to miss my children, even more painful to realize that my family thinks that I am not worried or concerned about my kids. I am grow more and more angry every day about this. How do I deal with my resentment toward my family and parent my children long distance? I also feel that when my kids are around my family, I am under-minded by my family. They eluded that I am a horrible mother and pour pity on my children. I don’t think that helps me or them.

  5. Carrie

    First, I would address how YOU feel about being a long distance mom. If you don’t feel shame or guilt, it’s harder for them to make you feel badly.

    That said, there is really little else that can be done other than to use every experience as a learning experience. For instance, if they say something nasty, rather than reacting, Take a few deep breaths and relax, try to relate to where they are coming from… then just release it. Just let it go. It’s not your anger and bitterness.. it’s theirs. Let them marinate in their own grossness. 🙂 Relax, relate, release. 🙂

    Kids are really smart. Yes, a long distance parents are easily undermined because they aren’t RIGHT THERE. They get away with more with the other parent, maybe. But eventually, in hind sight, the only things a kid sees is how they feel about a particular parent. If you are honest, firm and loving with them, that is supportive and positive for them and they will feel it. Pick your battles. CHOOSE not to get wound up about the small stuff and decide what’s REALLY a big stuff and what’s REALLY a small stuff.

  6. Danielle

    I do feel guilt. I think society conditions us to feel that, less so for men. I know what I am doing is best for me and the future and I stay strong and true to that. I believe that the future can and will be better. I find that being forgiving and, as you said, releasing it, sets me free. From there I am free to deal with my self, my feelings and deal with my children in a loving and supportive way.
    Still, it’s hard…. I choose not to spend christmas with my children because they ( and their father) were spending a few days with my parents. When I told my mother I was planning on coming down to be with my children, she told me “not to bother” and to do her a “favor” and “stay” where I was. I thought that it was better to avoid a fight and allow my children to enjoy their time with their grandparents. My daughter told me that they had a lot of fun but that my mother told her that I “wasn’t invited to join them because of my attidude”. It was very very hard to bite my tongue and smile and tell her how glad I was that she has fun.
    I hope that being loving, kind, firm and patient will be the answer and in the end, I am only concerned about my children and myself and have choosen to forget everyone else.

  7. andrea

    I sure do feel for you, danielle. I have a sister who is the opposite and is angry with me because I chose NOT to give up my children and return back home to where all of my family is. Actually, I am in the process of considering it BUT for the reason that I have a grown daughter and new grandbaby that frankly, I really dont know (I do have a great relationship with my grown daughter). I have been alone up here where I got divorced for 7 years and I am homesick in the worst way and I am on the welfare system and that is something that I didnt have to do back home. My litle ones are at the age where I feel they would understand if I went back home. My X is offering for me to do up a plan where I can see them as often as I reasonably can. I am considering it because I have been in such deep depression for so many years now and there is nobody here-nobody. My little ones are here and when they go on visits to their dad, I sink. I miss my home, my siblings, my daughter and want to know my new grandbaby, and the big thing is that if I keep things the way they are now, then my little ones here would only get to see their oldest sister about at the most 1 week per year. If I did go back home, they would be able to stay 2-3 months out the year not counting the holidays, so that is something to consider also. Between webcam, phone calls and fre

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