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The comment thread on this post is jam packed with personal stories from long distance parents.

Recently on distanceparent.org

  • Brittany on The Judgement of a Long Distance Mom

    I feel compelled to reach out to you because I also moved out of upstate NY for Florida. I was actually born and raised in NY but it doesn’t make the inhospitable environment any easier. I left my two young boys there with my soon to be ex-husband because he is financially able and willing- rather fought to keep them. It is the best situation for my sons to remain in NY for now, but I had the same thoughts as you regarding being a shell of a person there. I also thought that it is better to have a happy healthy mom in FL where they can come experience something far beyond what NY has to offer. Anyway, I just had to say thank you and I am really right here with you.
       - Read more on The Judgement of a Long Distance Mom

  • SadinDE on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    My husband and I, along with our six year old son, were due to move 6.5 hours north where I grew up. We wanted to have a support system and I’ve always wanted to get back home after sticking it out in a state I didn’t like for 10 years. Also, my parent’s health concerns me, and my dad almost died last year. My mom has MS and is handicap. If something happened to my father, my mom would have to go in a home. She cannot leave NY, as her health benefits are only applicable in New York State. One infusion cost $30k so it’s not feasible to move. My husband initiated the move. Applied for and accepted a job, called the realtor to list our house. Then, suddenly, two weeks prior to moving, he has changed his mind, said he hasn’t been happy for years and he refuses to move, indicating that if I still choose to, I cannot take my son. Rent here is astronomical and I cannot afford a house in a good area. Our house is listing soon and I have no place to go. If I go home, I have my parent’s home and a support system. But I literally cannot be without my son. My son wants to go with me. I have been the caretaker of him his whole life. My husband very rarely does any parental duties, nor pays for anything (food, clothes, school supplies, extra curriculars etc). He is not able to support remote schooling should his in-person education shuts down again due to COVID. When school shut down earlier in the year, he was off for two weeks, and slept in until noon everyday as I tried to manage working from home (on meetings and calls constantly, and teaching my son). He offered no help. He has no relationship with his parents (the only ones that love remotely close to us) and a very rocky relationship with his 16 year old daughter (we’ve seen her 2x this entire year). He severs relationships with those that love him. I don’t want to take my son away from his father—it literally sickens me to think that I may have to, but I don’t want to live completely alone, in a state I hate, with 50% custody and no support. I planned on fighting for sole custody but from reading other’s posts, it sounds like that never pans out, so I’m devastated. My work is fully remote now, so I have no interaction with people. My only friend just moved away. I know that I will not be in the best state of mind here and I’m afraid it will impact the kind of mother I am. My son only wants to be outside—riding his dirtbike, climbing trees, playing with his “habitat”. If I move to an apartment, none of that is feasible any longer, which breaks my heart. My parents home, which I could afford to buy (they are moving), is on 2 acres and has trails behind it, a pool, a great school system (right now he’s in private school that I’m not sure I can continue paying once we divorce). My sons entire life will be changed. I’ve tried to plead with my husband to make some sort of agreement but he refuses, so it will be a battle. I could leave before he files custodial paperwork but literally feel like the worst person ever doing so. I know if my husband did that to me, I would die. I’m at a loss and am so sad.
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Lee on My Two Beautiful Daughters are in Another Country

    Hello, I will be in this situation soon with my son a similar age. How has it worked for you?
       - Read more on My Two Beautiful Daughters are in Another Country

  • hurtingaway on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I am really glad I read up on this. There is like one member of my family that makes me feel really bad for moving away across the country. My current boyfriend moved back home and we talked about what would be best because my hometown had nothing to offer us. At first I talked with my ex about our son living with me and that is what was gonna happen but he changed his mind right before. we sat down and both came up with an agreement that he would live there and visit with me in the summer. I pay for our son’s phone and playstation bill so that I can talk to him and play games with him. i make sure he has new clothes for school. this is the first year we have done this and flying him back was a very hard thing to do. but I call him every single day and I try my best to stay involved in the activities he is doing. I need to get my license and a better job than I had. we are trying to buy a house so my son has a stable environment as well when he is here. he made friends and we took him places. It makes me feel better knowing that trying for your children is better than staying put ina place that can not offer you guys a better life. I have made some progress since I have moved and I hope that eventually when our son is old enough, his father will let him move here instead. me and his father have had our fights but we really have worked together and we coparent very very well now. he keeps me up to date on what’s going on there as I do when he was here. I hope my plans to succeed here actually turn out good so I can give him a great life. but I cry all the time and it definitely hurts when I cant hug and kiss him. no decent parent wants to make those hard decisions but if you are actually trying to better your child’s life, they will understand later and be grateful.
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • David on The Judgement of a Long Distance Mom

    Your story and effort give me so much hope. Thank you for sharing!
       - Read more on The Judgement of a Long Distance Mom

  • Brandon on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I was just looking this up because ive been torn on what to do. Im 27 currently in IL work union contruction but always wanted to leave this state and do something better this state is the worst. I now have a 3.5 year old boy with a women thats a great mom but is one of the most toxic narcissistic person ive ever been around…. saying that we have obviously split and i want to still continue my pursuit to happiness and success and go down to texas where i planned on going to a prestige welding academy and starting my own private pipeline company. Just curious how hard it is being gone and if its the right thing to do having a boy and him being so young i dont want him to think i left him. Knowing her she will fill his head just looking for thoughts.
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Carrie on Most Recent Comments on distanceparent.org

    Although my situation is different, I can totally relate to being in a tough situation like that and there are certainly lots of other long distance parents in very similar situations. Being able to take care of yourself and those you are responsible for is paramount, IMO. If you are in a situation where you can’t afford basic living expenses, then you can’t do that and sometimes that means totally reevaluating the situation and rearranging things to make that possible, which sometimes means moving. My own opinion, clearly, is that moving doesn’t mean abandonment and it is possible to stay super involved in your child’s life while being at a distance. Family sometimes does criticize… as does the rest of our surrounding society. Sometimes, you just have to put your head down and do the best thing despite criticism. If you haven’t done the pros and cons list, maybe start there. https://distanceparent.org/how-to/how-to-make-the-decision-to-be-away-from-your-child/ And check out the facebook group for a bunch of really great support from others that have been there too. 🙂
       - Read more on Most Recent Comments on distanceparent.org

  • Ashley on Most Recent Comments on distanceparent.org

    I really need some advice. This is heavy on my heart and I can already feel the critisms coming from my family. My ex and I were not married 11 years ago when I got pregnant with our son. I had full custody, then when he started school he got full custody. I had to relocate to Alabama awhile he stayed in PA. We had an okay plan for me seeing our son. He relocated to FL with his wife, daughter, and our son. (Job transfer) he said if I move my family bc I married have a son and sole custody of his children he would do 50/50 custody. Well we moved here 5 months ago and we are drowning trying to stay okay financially, but it’s not working. My husband is 100% disabled veteran and together we have 6 kids. I work full time and see my kid (my ex n i’s) whenever our son wants to come visit and when he is grounded he punishes me of not seeing him bc he is grounded from going anywhere//which means my house. I didnt sign up for this kind of relationship with our son to be controlled or him controlling the situation. Our son is ADHD and borderline spectrum disorder. We financially cant afford it here and it’s taking a strain on my marriage. I don’t know what to do and really need advice. My husband has been supportive but he is real and he knows we are struggling. We also take care of my 70 yr old mom who lives with us who just ripped me to shreds about wanting too move. I love my 11 yr old more than words can Express but we can’t afford it here in FLORIDA.
       - Read more on Most Recent Comments on distanceparent.org

  • Kaj on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I’m in the throws of going through the same thing here. My ex is insisting she needs to move out of state to be with her family and take my 11yr old daughter with her. I’m at a loss for what to do. Ex says she can’t live in CA with what she makes and with no support (she’s a loner of sorts). Am I stupid or a bad father for even considering letting her move away with my daughter? Ugh…
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Pam on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I am sorry to hear and feel your frustration. I’m in a similar situation but my daughter is old enough to say where she wants to be. its sad that we have to deal with men, who are controlling us in situations like these. Have you reached out to a church or social services organizarion for emotional support? It’s hard going through situations like this but I find my strength in God and support from those in the church. Please pray over your children and their fathers. There is hope in God bc he is faithful. It may not be easy but know that God works all things for good. Remember to stay positive and know that although you feel alone, you are not. Keep trying with the courts. Pray over the judge. Mycourt issues, I let go of that stress. I wasted money that could have gone towards my kids. Let God fight your battles. Most importantly, talk to your daughter if she’s old enough to understand. Find support groups. I’m not sure where you are located but look for free or low cost activities to do with your kids. Maybe a church or social service agency will even sponsor activities for you and your daughter to enjoy together or can help you find better employment opportunities. Be blessed!
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Roxasia on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I met my fiancé online and moved from MI to be with him in AR. We have been together for 3 years and I love him very much. I have been very depressed though because I miss my family terribly in MI and I hate being here in AR. My fiancé has a 4 year old daughter from a previous relationship and I recently told him how much I miss my family and how much I want to move back with him. I asked him to come with me and he asked for time in making this very tough decision to possibly leave his child to be with me. Was it the right decision to ask him to move with me? If he makes either decision ( to break off the engagement to stay with his daughter or to move with me away from her), will he resent me or her? His daughter is his life and I made the sacrifice to live away from my family to further this relationship, but I am extremely close with my family and they need me. Should I make the decision for him to take the stress from this decision away from him and just leave? My fiancé thinks a lot of the stereotypes about parents leaving their kids because his father left him and he was abandoned very young (was not in his life to any degree) and I told him he’s nothing like his father and I know he would call his daughter, see his daughter very often, but he still feels like it’s abandonment or makes him a deadbeat dad. I know I’m not a long distance parent but I thought I would post my recent dilemma to get some insight in other parents. Be honest and let me know; am I a horrible person to ask this of a parent?
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Luw on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I am a mother of a 6-year-old son and a 10 -year-old daughter. My daughter has always been with me and was with me before I ever met my ex. My ex and I are no longer together because he was over controlling and then started running around with somebody else. We currently have joint custody of our son. He stays with me for two weeks and then goes to his father for two weeks on a rotating schedule and then we share every other holiday reversing the next year. I had fought for custody for over a year for my son to be able to move away with me. I spent a fortune in lawyer fees And spent every bit of money from my savings until I couldn’t fight anymore. The courts would not allow my son to move away with me given that he was born in the state. I have absolutely no family and no support here. I struggle with my job because I have no support or help here and it’s been extremely hard to find a job making the money I need to and be able to be home for my daughter and my son when I have him in the evenings. I feel like I’m alone in every way here and I feel like I am falling deeper and into depression. All my family is in another state 9 hours away. I am struggling to survive here on my own. I never have any money to ever do anything with my kids. My sons father makes a lot more money than I do and is able to go do everything and everything with our son. My daughter gets jealous of all the things that they do and that she doesn’t get to do because I can’t afford it. His father refuses to let him be with me if I move. I am thinking very hard about moving because I am just not making it here and if I move back home I can gain back stability and be able to start saving for a house and make a future. My daughter will have her family instead of it just being me and her. But It is killing me in every way to ever think of me leaving my son but his father refuses to let him move and probably would prefer if I fell off a cliff so he could have him all to himself. He does not care if I move and in fact I think it makes him happy. I stay here to be near my son but I am constantly tormented by my son’s father and he tries to do everything he can to make my life a living hell. I find myself crying myself to sleep many nights because I feel like I will break my sons heart leaving him but I can’t keep going on like this it is killing me inside and out. The thought of leaving my son versus what is best for my daughter and ever getting any further than where I’m at now. It is not fair that I have to continue dealing with my sons father the way he acts towards me and being all alone here. I am scared I will break my sons heart and that my ex will do everything he can to put the worst images of me because I left to try to get our son to resent me even though I am planning on doing everything everything I can to stay in communication with my son on a daily basis if I can make it through his father and will get him during the summers too. I love my son so much and I don’t want him to hate me because I left. I don’t know if the pain will be worse leaving him and being so far away from him versus the struggle of being alone here trying to make it all by myself and going through the hell I go through monthly with his father. I feel like I am catering my life for one child while the other one is getting deprived of so much more she could have. I am in a war with myself.
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Christie Morris on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    I’m sure glad to see I am not alone. My ex husband and I divorced in 2013. He took everything. The house, the kids and the money. Sadly I turned to alcohol to cope and ended up losing custody of my 2 girls. I went to rehab in 2016 and the biggest thing they stress is change your people, places and things. I had lost my job to to my alcohol abuse. When I got out of rehab I went back to my apartment and back to the same people. I relapsed for about 2 months and got evicted again. At that point I had nothing. My ex landlord would not let me get my stuff. So I put my tail between my legs and moved 3 hours away to my moms. Best decision I made for myself. I have been sober for 3 years now, own a home here and have a great job. I drive down every other Friday to get my girls. A total of 6.5 hours. Lately my 17 year old keeps making plans on my weekend and her Dad doesn’t side with me and tell her she has to come here. I just texted her and said do you work next Friday? She said I work all weekend so I don’t think I’m coming with you. Every time I call her out she says it’s not my fault you moved there. But mind you she never works on her dads weekends. I’m at my wits end with her. I gave her a credit card to use. She abuses it. I told her You cancel on me every time but you’ll come to Florida with me in August. Her response was cancel my ticket. I don’t know what to do anymore. Any advice?
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Dorn on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    Hi yeah i am a nin custodial father, the mother lives 4 hours away at her mothers with no car or drivers liscence. So not everyweekend but at least 2\3 i drive to see my daughter at her. Mothers mothers house. It is uncomftorble for me and deffinatly a pain in the xxx driving that far all the time, this weekend however i was helping a freind move and ran out of time to drive 8 hours in one day with no sleep so i decided to stay home. The mother felt the need to tell me that our daughter kept looking out the window saying “daddy upie daddy upie.. “ that really messed me up. Now im crying in the work truck. Im glad im not the only one to feel this… Thanks for reading
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

  • Angel on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

    What did you decide to do? I’m in the same boat
       - Read more on What Long Distance Parenting Is and Is Not

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. alex

    hi guys. im new here. i have 3 kids all under the age of 6 living abroad. i havent seen my kids in such a long time and every day this hurts me worse and worse. it literally kills my soul. my kids are in the Caribbean and i have to fly out to see them. i get the pictures and videos of all of them. i put on a brave face to everyone but it gets harder and harder to deal with. anybody else in a position of nearly 5000 miles from theirs? im scared that they will all especially my daughter forget who i am.

  2. Ashley

    I really need some advice. This is heavy on my heart and I can already feel the critisms coming from my family. My ex and I were not married 11 years ago when I got pregnant with our son. I had full custody, then when he started school he got full custody. I had to relocate to Alabama awhile he stayed in PA. We had an okay plan for me seeing our son. He relocated to FL with his wife, daughter, and our son. (Job transfer) he said if I move my family bc I married have a son and sole custody of his children he would do 50/50 custody. Well we moved here 5 months ago and we are drowning trying to stay okay financially, but it’s not working. My husband is 100% disabled veteran and together we have 6 kids. I work full time and see my kid (my ex n i’s) whenever our son wants to come visit and when he is grounded he punishes me of not seeing him bc he is grounded from going anywhere//which means my house. I didnt sign up for this kind of relationship with our son to be controlled or him controlling the situation. Our son is ADHD and borderline spectrum disorder. We financially cant afford it here and it’s taking a strain on my marriage. I don’t know what to do and really need advice. My husband has been supportive but he is real and he knows we are struggling. We also take care of my 70 yr old mom who lives with us who just ripped me to shreds about wanting too move. I love my 11 yr old more than words can Express but we can’t afford it here in FLORIDA.

    1. Carrie

      Although my situation is different, I can totally relate to being in a tough situation like that and there are certainly lots of other long distance parents in very similar situations. Being able to take care of yourself and those you are responsible for is paramount, IMO. If you are in a situation where you can’t afford basic living expenses, then you can’t do that and sometimes that means totally reevaluating the situation and rearranging things to make that possible, which sometimes means moving. My own opinion, clearly, is that moving doesn’t mean abandonment and it is possible to stay super involved in your child’s life while being at a distance. Family sometimes does criticize… as does the rest of our surrounding society. Sometimes, you just have to put your head down and do the best thing despite criticism.

      If you haven’t done the pros and cons list, maybe start there. https://distanceparent.org/how-to/how-to-make-the-decision-to-be-away-from-your-child/ And check out the facebook group for a bunch of really great support from others that have been there too. 🙂

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