Who’s Nana and Puppy?: When Family Lives Far Away


If you are fortunate enough to have your family living close by – then you will not relate to this post.

My parents live about 7 hours away by car or 2 flights away. It may not seem like that big of a deal or some people might think it’s great having your family so far away – but I am not a fan.  I remember when I was a kid my grandparents (both sets) were generally around – if they weren’t in Florida they were certainly right around the corner. They were at our birthday parties and we were with them for all the holidays, etc. My brother and I had sleepover at Grandma and Puppy’s (that’s what we called my Grandfathers) – which I now understand gave my parents a much needed break!

When I imagined “growing up” and having kids I didn’t really think about where my parents would be at the time or my brother and his family. They live near each other so my parents get to spend time with their grandson whenever they would like to – or when my brother needs a sitter.  I am fortunate that Brian’s family lives close and they do SO much for my boys – I will be forever grateful.

Having said that, I wish my parents were here to experience all that is happening at our house. They really do grow up quite quickly and seeing my parents a few times a year just isn’t enough.

How do we cope?

Mostly with TONS of videos that I post on YouTube and Skyping. There are times we Skype for an hour – and my parents are just watching the boys interact and play. It’s like they are there . . . kind of. My Facebook is also plastered with pictures of us doing the most mundane things – but I want my family to be able to see them – so I try to capture it all. It’s a project. Thank goodness for technology or I don’t know what we would do!

My parents are coming to visit in two weeks (if there is no snow storm) and my mom said that she wants us all to go out for breakfast. I said ok – but that going out to breakfast is NOT fun!!  She said that she saw the pictures on Facebook and it looked fun. I told her that was because I couldn’t take a picture of them throwing all the silverware on the floor, squeezing all the creamer out of the containers, and Dean breaking his cup (because I forgot the sippy) and spilling water all over himself.  I was too busy to take a picture.

I guess that’s the upside to technology – they don’t have to see their little angels misbehaving.

Before the mess
Before the mess
Stacking fun!
Stacking fun


  1. Same here! 5+ hours from my parents. It’s so hard! I don’t know how trustworthy any technology is nowadays in terms of privacy, but we’ve used the Glassboard app (http://glassboard.com/).

    It allows you to share photos/videos with only certain people who have access to your “board.” We’ve loved it for road trips — we create a trip board and all join. Only those of us on the trip can see what we post, and we have a blast surprising others with funny pics/videos — especially when the group splits up to go on different outings.

    I could see it working well for families, too, who just want to share pics between each other. 🙂

  2. We moved to VT for my husbands job. I didn’t think a lot ahead about how hard it would be to have kids in a state without family. Both our parents live in Rhode Island. (5 hours away on a good day) It has been challenging especially when my daughter was a newborn, my husband went back to work and there I was ALONE with this tiny human. I had my friends but it just wasn’t the same 🙂 It has gotten a lot better. Our family’s visit every few months and we go there a few times a year. We FaceTime send pictures and now I call my mom everyday 🙂 Until I became a mom I didn’t understand how much I would need her later in life (after those awful teenage years) We hire babysitters something I wasn’t used to at first and we are lucky as my parents take our daughter for a whole week a few times a year !

    • My folks just left and we had a nice visit – best one yet! We underestimate how wonderful it is to have our family close by. If you are lucky to have them close – take advantage!

  3. We used to live 5 minutes from my parents and now we live 10 hours away. It has definitely been an adjustment. We don’t like pictures of our son on social networks/blogs, so keeping our families (my husband’s parents live 11 hours away) up to date with our son is such a challenge. They mostly get emails with pictures (till they figure out Skype). I’ve always been very close with my family so the move has been harder on me. I worry my son won’t know my parents or my brother. I hate the thought that my son won’t get to grow up with his cousins. I also worry for when we have the next baby and are in Vermont, by ourselves, with a newborn, and another baby…by ourselves. Yikes. In addition to that, my dad isn’t in the best health and I worry that I’m wasting precious time with him being so far away.


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