As many of you know, I’m from Northern California (any Californian will differentiate!) and we currently live in Idaho. I love my adopted town, and I have WONDERFUL in-laws, but there is no getting around the fact that IT SUCKS to live far away from your family. Currently, my parents live in California, my sisters are going to college 30 minutes away (But they will both be moving states shortly), and my brother is in yet another state! Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to survive the distance!
1. Have a specific time set aside to talk. In our family, that is Sunday! Instead of “Oh, I’ll get to it eventually”, and falling out of contact, we talk on a set day every week, and it works really well for us. With all four of their kids living out of state, my parents are handing phones between them to talk to everyone. And back when I first moved out and everyone else still lived at home, my siblings and parents would hand the phone around and take turns talking to me.
2. Send pictures! With our little bubs being the first grandbaby, we send TONS of pictures to my parents. Videos of him giggling, kicking around on the changing table, figuring out rolling over, and cuddling the puppy. Before we had our kiddo, we sent pictures too. (But they were not nearly as cute!)
3. Text! If you see something that reminds you of them, text them! If you think of them, call them! I heard a corny commercial, so I texted my dad and told him it reminded me of him. I read a hysterical laffy taffy joke, and I texted it to my sister. I saw an obnoxious Christmas decoration that reminded me of my brother, so I texted it to him. It helps show them that you are thinking about them, and gives you a little bit more contact!
4. Take turns visiting. It’s rough to make the drive from our house to my parents (12 hours!) especially with a baby, and airfares are expensive, so sometimes we go there and sometimes they come here! It splits up the driving, lowers the financial burden of traveling for everyone, and we get to take turns spending time in each other’s homes. It doesn’t hurt to surprise each other or show up early…but don’t tell my mom that I told you that! 😉
5. Celebrate the holidays, even if it’s not on the actual day, and even if you are not together! Jeff is a nurse, so he often has to work holidays. So generally Christmas with my parents and siblings is not on actual Christmas. But we do it anyway, and keep our traditions going strong! We also make sure to talk on the holidays, whether it be on the phone or just a text rife with emojis!
6. Social Media! Facebook can get aggravating, but what keeps it awesome is my family’s posts. I LOVE seeing pictures of my grandma’s chickens, my mom’s funny posts about life, and beautiful pictures of my sisters! It helps me to feel more in touch with them to know what is going on.
7. Email! I email my grandma every now and again, and keep in touch to know what she and my grandpa are up to. This is something I need to improve at with other family members as well! It’s an awesome way to stay in touch!
8. Birthdays! A text or a phone call goes a long way to letting your loved ones know that you are thinking about them and that distance didn’t make you forget their special day!
9. Keep track of what is going on with them, and follow up! We’ve all had kind of a nutso time this past year, so there has been a ton to keep track of. Job changes, moving, flooding…its been pretty bananas. Make an effort to keep track of what is happening with big and small events, and follow up.
10. Send packages and letters! This is one that I seriously need to improve on. It is SO FUN to receive things in the mail and makes me feel so special to know that someone took the time to send me something!
How do you keep the distance from getting between you and the people you love? Did I miss any? Let me know below!