Update: This post was originally posted on 3rd February 2020 but after changing my website this post had to be re-published due to technical issues.
No Family Support Near By
Being a parent is a hard journey as you are responsible for a tiny human being and doing when your family are not close by adds to the difficulty.
Being a single parent is hard but if you are a single parent with no family support near by it is even more difficult. Now I don't want this confused with not having any family support, I am writing about how difficult it is to be a single parent when you live a significant distance from your family.
I live about 45 miles away from my mum and step dad and although we all drive and I know I can just pick up the phone to my parents to ask them for help, it does take over an hour when the roads are clear to get to each others. So it's not just around the corner to each others, and there are times where that hours drive can feel like a full days drive when I am struggling and just wish I could walk along the street for my parents support and in particular my mum's support.
Now when I left my marriage in May 2018 I could have moved nearer my family as my daughter hadn't started school at that point. However, I stayed in the town that my ex and I had moved to several years earlier for several reasons. At the time the biggest was that I knew if I moved nearer to my family it would make it difficult for my daughter to see her dad due to his work tying him to the area we are in. Also I had a job and I had developed friendships in the town we now called home.
As difficult as I have found adjusting to life as a single parent without any family support near by I have got the support of my friends, my partner and his family. Although I am reluctant to ask for help as my attitude is that I chose to have my daughter so she is my responsibility to raise. However, I am always being told I only have to ask as my friends and partner are more than happy to help me. And I will always be eternally grateful for everyone's support it's not quite the same as your families support.
Like I say my family do support me and I've lost count of the number of times I've picked up the phone to rant or to cry to my mum. But the phone call will never be the same as getting a hug from her.
In saying all that I have found that there are some positives that has come from not being close to where my family live. I have realized how strong a person I am as I have had to learn to be self reliant as where there was once my ex to share the pressure and stress of parenting and life in general now there is no one to share that stress with. And with my family so far away that can be a lonely stress but like I say I've learnt how strong I really am through it.
I've also realized that I am more capable of dealing with demands on my time than I previously thought I was. As now I have to make sure whatever I do is done round the school day, this includes my day job, my business and looking after my home. Never mind my care responsibilities to my elderly gran who has dementia who lives an hour away from me (and just to clarify this is my mum's ex mother-in-law hence why the responsibility is mine).
Had I lived close to my family I might never had realized how strong I am as an individual. My mum has told me how proud she is of me for dealing with everything as well as I have. And my partner is always telling me that I am the strongest person he knows.
So if you are a single parent with family support but it's not close by, you are not alone and you are doing better than you probably think you are.