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Thread summary:

Parenting help: find babysitter, surrogate family, children, daycare, education.

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Old 02-03-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,878 posts, read 17,817,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_wonder View Post
Hi,

I wonder did anyone of you went through parenting experience (with spouse or without) alone without any help from families or relatives. Why did it happen to you, and how did you go through that? What would you do differently during that time by what you have known now? Any experience sharing is really appreciated by me.

I feel like need to get some emotional supports from somewhere to prepare myself to go through this.

Me and my husband has no families nor relatives around us, if we have children, all the helps that we have are from either myself or my husband (if he is willing to learn and help, I hope he will).

Please kindly share your experience and any advise. Thanks.
I feel for you and understand! I lost both my parents before I even got married, and my sister moved to Indiana, so my husband and I only have his parents. Unfortunately, his parents' parents (both sets), away from us, became terminally ill over the past three years so we have gotten virtually NO support from them as they have had to deal with their own issues. Both sets of grandparents have now passed and they are wrapping issues up with one's estate but they will be back in Houston permanently in a very short time. We're excited about that, since my second daughter will be here early next month.

I find the mommy message board where I am a member is where I go to find the mental strength and support I need, aside from my husband. I've lived without any outside support for so long, I'm just sort of used to doing things on my own. It's hard not to get a *teensy* bit offended when my MIL pops on for a phone call right in the middle of an issue and feel she needs to offer her advice. I have to remind myself that she and FIL are just trying to be helpful, but when you do things on your own for so long you just wanna say, "Hey, I've been doing this just fine all by myself, I think I can keep going."

Try to find a good online message board for mommies and you'll do just fine!
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:03 AM
 
61 posts, read 195,948 times
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I think you're worrying way too much. If God sees fit to give you a child (or children), He will also provide the support you need...and it may just be you and your husband. Having too many hands in your child's upbringing isn't always healthy. Ask anyone with too many dysfunctional relatives nearby.

I grew up with only my parents and my brother. My folks used paid babysitters, or parents of our friends so that they could go out together...which they did regularly. I saw my grandma once a year, and other family once a year or less. It was fine. It was all we knew. I never knew anything else, so I didn't miss having them close by.

I'm thankful my kids have their grandparents, but we're thinking of moving away from them - we'll survive, and so will they. We will have regular visits if we do leave (more than once a year, for sure). I think it might actually improve our little family's relationship(s).

When my kids were babies, I was feeling overwhelmed, and like I was the worst mother. I started listing all the things I was horrible at in the mothering department. My dad kind of laughed and said, "You love them. That's all they need." And he was right.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:06 PM
 
Location: bumcrack Nebraska
438 posts, read 1,360,806 times
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This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Being a military family, we've never lived close to our family. When I was pregnant with my first, I often wondered if my hubby would even be present for the birth. Luckily, he was. At first it was hard. We had no help, no rest. But after a few weeks we felt like pros. We did it all on our own with no one there. When you have no family around to help, you learn to rely on yourself and trust your instincts as parents. We've had three kids total. Looking back I'm glad we weren't close to family. Yes, I'd love to have free babysitting, but along with that free babysitter comes unsolicited advice and sometimes critical remarks about your parenting. I still get unsolicited advice and critical remarks, but I can always hang up the phone. Its a tad bit more rude to kick your own parents out of your house. I won't lie to you and say I'm never lonely or I'm always glad my family isn't around, but you adjust. Your friends become your family. As far as family traditions, you just make new ones and ignore the annoying old ones. In this day and age, many people do not live by their families. I'm sure wherever you are located, others are in your position and would be more than willing to help you out.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:47 PM
 
16,487 posts, read 20,342,651 times
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We had and have no help from family, relatives or even friends. No babysitters, no hand-me-downs, no gifts for our kids to help out, no emotion or financial help, nothing. Part of the reason is they do not live close to us. Most of my family is in California and my husband's in Eastern Montana and part of it is they are not the type of people to help even if they did live close. In a way it was sad in that our kids never got to experience the classic "grandparents" that buy them gifts and send them cards, read stories to them, take them places or spend time with them. I feel sad for my children that they never had that. Sure, it would have also been WAY easier to have a free babysitter now and then, get hand-me-downs, etc. On the other hand I am proud that we did it ourself and owe no one nothing.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
603 posts, read 2,053,055 times
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I honestly think you will be fine, especially if you have a close circle of friends. My family lives in another state and my husband's family lives about 7 minutes from our house. When we first announced we were expecting, my abrasive father-in-law said,"don't plan on us babysitting any rug rats." In the 5 years we've been parents, my FIL babysat once when he came over with my MIL. I was on bedrest for 3 full months with our first baby. We had a revolving door of visitors keeping me company, bringing us food, doing our laundry but guess what-it was our friends and co-workers-I think my in-laws came 2 times for a brief visit and my parents didn't make the 8 hour drive because they don't travel in the winter. Our children have had the occasional sleepovers at my in-laws but they are few and far between. My parents visit about 3 times a year and while they are very helpful (my mom loves to play with the kids, clean, do laundry) my mom always manages to make me feel inadequate in some way.



We've had some very challenging times as parents with our youngest child having very bad reflux and colic followed by my husband having serious health problems. Our friends were our support-emotionally and physically. There were times I was so exhausted from the stress I couldn't think straight and our friends helped us pull through. But my in-laws were rather selfish and they weren't much of a help at all.

Our friends are amazing and they are our family. They are supportive and we all help each other out. Their children are like my children's cousins, our friends are like their aunts and uncles. To be honest, there was time when I wished my in-laws lived farther away because it was hurtful that they didn't seem more interested in us or our children. It's not like we had a falling out or anything-they are just self-absorbed and so caught up in the country club, trips to Europe, their house that they don't really have time for us (but we are expected to help them or visit with them at their beckon call).

My advise is to find a good circle of friends and go for it!
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2,868 posts, read 8,446,896 times
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We have lived away from our families since 2000...We have since had 2 kids. It is REALLY hard for me. My husband really is not effected. I would highly suggest finding someone you truely trust to watch your kids. That is our biggest issue. Our kids are small and we really don't know (or trust) many people well enough to watch our kids. We have been out (alone) twice in 4 years. It is a major strain on our marriage. This is a temporary situation for us and that keeps me going.
It is do-able. You just really need to focus on your relationship with your husband too.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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and I just wanted to add we are away from our family because of my hubby's schooling/job. We will move back in 2 years.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:01 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 4,852,275 times
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My husband and I don't have family or friends around. We're in a new area with 2 children under 3. We've never lived near family. Now, my husband is traveling about 60% of the time, so I'm a part-time single mom. It kinda sucks, but I joined a mothers group, so that I could at least talk to some people and get the girls around other children. I'd love to find a babysitter, but the two possibilities I've come across seem really flaky. My mother-in-law comes out a few times a year and will sometimes watch them for a stretch, so that my husband and I can go off together. So, I feel very lucky for that. But, you're not alone in your situation. I had never wanted to live near family until we had children. Now, I'd just love it and not only for the free babysitting; I'd just like my children to get to know their relatives better. They're nice people. Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:57 AM
 
82 posts, read 343,277 times
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I had my daughter in 2006 and my mom stayed with me for 3 weeks after the baby was born. Then, she went back to her house which is like 2 hours away and said she can't help anymore bcause she's very tired... which i can understand. she's not a healthy person and she went through chemotheraphy few years ago.. So, I'm home w/ my daughter until she's 8 mths and went back to working full time and my MIL came to take care of her until she was 12 mths old and MIL had to go back to China. Then, we hired a babysitter to take care of her from 8-5:30 monday to friday while hubby and I work f/t..
then, MIL came back from china and helped for 3 mths & tht bit*h was complaining that she doesn't want to take care of baby... wetever. so, we send her to daycare & she's been there......
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
4,751 posts, read 12,046,812 times
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We never had any family around when my children were born and sometimes it was hard. My daughter had some medical issues and because of that, we started to get really sleep-deprived. We hired a nanny on occasion just so we could get some rest. For awhile we joked that taking a nap cost us $45.

We also moved three times in two years for my husband's career. It would have been a lot easier if we had been able to stay in one place and develop some friendships.

Some suggestions are to take some pregnancy-related classes (you may make friends there), join a supportive parenting group as soon as your first child is born, and join a church if you are religiously-oriented at all because churches are a great place to meet other families with young children. You can develop a "family-of-choice" if you don't have a biological family around to support your growing family.
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