Staying Connected In Long Distance Family Relationships

From Future Female: Fall/Winter 2020 Issue

I moved from Ontario to British Columbia almost seven years ago.

I have tried my best to make it back for every wedding, baby shower, reunion, funeral, and any other important milestone that I can, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with when I do miss the odd family moment. Not having your family’s constant presence in your life can be extremely hard.

Both my husband and I live away from family; mine are in Ontario and his are is England. Living away from family is tough. This was further emphasized during recent isolation and quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many others know and have experienced, it was really challenging to cope without family during those difficult moments over the last few months, when all we wanted to do was hug and be in the presence of our loved ones.

Since provinces began re-opening, we are lucky to have escaped back home to Ontario to visit my family, but we are anxiously awaiting the ability to visit home in England.

To help deal with living away from our families, we have come up with five things we do to feel connected and close to our families.

Schedule Video Calls

We try to phone our parents and siblings or have video calls with them at least once every few days to catch up. These conversations sometimes include one or both of us cooking, cleaning, and even eating and drinking together. For important events such as birthdays, Christmas, and major life milestones, we schedule special time to celebrate them together.

Send Snail Mail

Sending birthday cards, Christmas cards, and gifts in the mail has been a really special way to keep in touch. A few times a year we are even lucky enough to get care packages filled with British treats sent from England.

Group Chats

Having a family group chat is an important way to connect. We send daily photos, updates, and funny memes, and we celebrate each other’s wins with both of our families on WhatsApp.