For parents living away from family, it can be hard to find your way in unfamiliar surroundings.
As parents, we know that it is easy to feel isolated even when living close by to loved ones, but at least you know they are there. For parents living away from family, it can be hard to find your way in unfamiliar surroundings.
It is imperative that you get out and meet people and make a conscious effort to do things for you and your family’s sake.
Here are some tips:
1. Join parent and kiddie groups- There are lots of parent’s groups and whether you are mum or dad, you should get involved. Take a trip down to your local group and meet people. Anyone who attends such events genuinely wants to get to know people so do your best to be friendly. It also gives you an opportunity to make friends for your kiddie, especially when they are young and not in school.
2. Get involved in local clubs- Think the GAA for one or any other group/team you think you could be of benefit to. Perhaps, you are a talented coach, or you are handy with social media? Whatever it is use it to get to know your community and offer your services to help.
Ask parents at the schoolyard for local tips and go for lunch. Don’t be shy to ask people you meet at the school gate about the local amenities. Ask them for recommendations and if there is anything going on in the community for you to get involved in. Make friends and invite your kids’ friends over too to help build your new network of pals. Invite people you connect with for lunch and see where it takes you.
3. Build a community – You are away from your loved ones but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who can be a good support to you and your family. Get to know your neighbours, chat to locals and involve the kids in activities. It doesn’t mean you will forget your friends or family, but it should help give you a support system for when you need it.
4. Accept the tough times and keep in touch with those you love – There will be tough times when you aren’t living close by to those you love. You may miss your regular chats or having someone to mind the kids but keep in contact with family and friends. Try to visit and invite friends/family over for occasions as often as you can. The emergence of technology means you can video call and message easily. You can have a virtual chat in a coffee shop if you wanted. We know it isn’t the same but at least there are options.
5. Know how strong you are – You may feel weak as you try to find your way without the support of loved ones, but you are STRONG! There is no question you have made a huge step and are doing well. Yes, you will miss people and you will find yourself cursing others who mention their mum is around the corner, but you don’t mean anything bad by it. You are simply sad at times, but your strength shows.
We wish you all the best.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.