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Old 03-26-2016, 02:17 PM
 
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How important has extended family been to your children? Do you live close to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins?

We are 3000+ miles away from both my and my husband's families. We've established our lives here over the past ten years because this city suited us best and offered the lifestyle we wanted.

Now that we have young kids, we are grappling with whether to move to be closer to our families so our kids can have solid and familiar relationships with them. We have made many friends over the years in our present city, but some of our closet friends have moved away and the community we have here is supportive, but not super solid and close the way family can be.

I sometimes feel like my kids are missing out on the fun that being raised near family can bring (cousins running wild together at holidays, big summer family vacations, staying overnight at the grandparents' houses), but I also think we miss out on family drama which is a plus.

In full disclosure, another fear I have is that if something happened to my husband and I our kids would be uprooted to live with relatives that they barely know. I don't usually make fear-based decisions so I'm not sure how much weight to give this concern.

Thanks in advance for your insight.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:28 PM
 
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I think it's overrated in most cases. My family is spread out across the country. We held a family reunion ever 2 years for a week at a time. My kids, and their cousins, loved the reunions, and it was enough to keep them reasonably close.

I would never move to be closer to family, unless the move would be a good one on many levels. Schools, employment, weather, crime, future opportunities, etc, mean more to me than having cousins down the street.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
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No way is it overrated unless you have crappy family.

The relationship my kids have with my parents (who live 2 streets away) is amazing. Truly amazing.

And I have many friends whose parents have stayed nearby who have a similar set-up. I can see those kids are loved and supported from so many directions.

It's truly special.

You can say that you can have a level of closeness without seeing each other all the time, but it's really nowhere near the same as someone in your life on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Those little moments you need time to capture is how you really get to know someone.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:00 PM
 
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But read all the posts in the Grandparents forum and realize that not all families are perfect.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,203 posts, read 49,753,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
But read all the posts in the Grandparents forum and realize that not all families are perfect.
Of course not. But that's not relevant to the question.
I'd ASSUME the question is about being around reasonable, nice family.

Why the heck would you want to be around dysfunctional, crazy family?

For example, I don't want my kids anywhere near my wife's stepmother or step-siblings (drugged up psycho drama mongering asshats).
However, her mother (my MIL) is perfectly nice. She visits a couple times a year from out of state. My kids love her but they don't feel the same way about her as they do about my parents, who they see at least twice a week.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:36 PM
 
Location: here
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It can be overrated for sure, and proximity does not equal closeness. I grew up in the same town as most of my cousins and grand parents and was never very close to any of them. We saw each other on holidays, and that was about it. My kids cousins and grand parents are spread far and wide and I think they are closer to them than I was to mine.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:37 PM
 
Location: here
24,469 posts, read 28,730,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
No way is it overrated unless you have crappy family.

The relationship my kids have with my parents (who live 2 streets away) is amazing. Truly amazing.

And I have many friends whose parents have stayed nearby who have a similar set-up. I can see those kids are loved and supported from so many directions.

It's truly special.

You can say that you can have a level of closeness without seeing each other all the time, but it's really nowhere near the same as someone in your life on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Those little moments you need time to capture is how you really get to know someone.
You can just not click and not have much in common without having a crappy family.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:38 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,787,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
No way is it overrated unless you have crappy family.

The relationship my kids have with my parents (who live 2 streets away) is amazing. Truly amazing.

And I have many friends whose parents have stayed nearby who have a similar set-up. I can see those kids are loved and supported from so many directions.

It's truly special.

You can say that you can have a level of closeness without seeing each other all the time, but it's really nowhere near the same as someone in your life on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Those little moments you need time to capture is how you really get to know someone.
I don't have a crappy family. I do have my own goals in life, and they don't include settling for a particular location. If I remember correctly, you have parents who live nearby, did you move to accommodate them, or them to you?

Kids grow up, and the relationship between family ebbs and flows. As long as it doesn't break, all is well.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:40 PM
 
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I think it depends. My parents would leave us with the grandparents over the summer, or let us live with an aunt for a week or two. I think that was much more of a bonding experience than if we just saw relatives every other week causally.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,693 posts, read 2,837,223 times
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I just relocated back to my hometown a few months ago for the first time since before my kids were even born. One of the primary reasons was so they could be close to their grandparents. In fact, my in laws, with whom we are very close, are here right now and everyone is having a fantastic time.

OTOH, I also think you can have a very happy family dynamic living far away from family, even family you are close to. For me, my nuclear family is the most important unit, and decisions about where to live should be based on what's best for that unit alone.
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