In today’s fast paced world, moving is common. Perhaps you have had to move your family to take a better paying job, or perhaps you are a military family that moves regularly. It can be difficult to keep in touch with family and friends, but it doesn’t have to be.
Our family moved eight hours away from our family and friends several years ago. Believe it or not, the rest of the family still lives in the same town where my great-grandparents grew up. I was determined however, that our move need not affect the relationships we’d established with family and friends. I especially wanted for my children to feel connected to their family and friends even though we’d moved.
Get A Good Telephone Plan
When you live far from family and friends, it’s important to have a good telephone plan! Look for unlimited minutes or for no limit long distance plans. Telephone bills can really impact a budget negatively. Yes, email is free, but some relatives may not have email, and they may have no desire to use it either. Encourage your children to talk with their grandparents and other relatives too. This is so important.
Plan For Reunions
Every year, we try to go “home” to see everyone. Last year, with the high price of gasoline in our area, we didn’t make it back.
Usually, we plan to take a four day weekend. This allows us to see everyone for at least a little bit of time. Pulling off such a trip requires quite a bit of advance planning and budgeting however. It is worth it and the children really look forward to this trip.
Encourage Family and Friends to Visit
We live in a popular tourist area. We also live close to the beach. Because of this, it hasn’t been too difficult to encourage family and friends to visit us. Since we have a large family, it is easier for us to actually host visitors than it is to travel ourselves. You may have a totally different set of circumstances though.
If your family is thinking about visiting, you may not be able to have them stay with you. One family I know has checked out local motels and hotels and made up a list for family and friends. Another family I know actually goes to a hotel when out of state visitors come into the area. They offer their house to their guests!
My children so much enjoy when family and friends come to town to visit!
Send Packages and Letters
My youngest sister had children after I moved out of state. The reality is that although my nieces know OF me, they don’t know me. They also didn’t really get a chance to know their cousins. That makes me very sad.
Every so often, I’ll send out a care package from our family to their family. I may include pictures of the hikes we’ve taken. Once, I sent them sand and seashells from the beach near our home. I’ll send them cookies too. My girls will write them notes or draw them pictures. My son is to young to write and draw, although I’m sure he’ll help when he gets old enough.
Although we can’t be with them, at least they can “know” us through the care packages!
Keeping in touch takes time and effort. I promise you though, the benefits of keeping in touch are worth the time and effort!