Re: Raising kids without family support system
posted at 7/30/2013 11:06 AM EDT
We live far from our family and friends with kids - most of our local friends are from the boathouse (but don't have kids) or work (not too many), so we definitely have experience with this.
For our first, DS was born early so we were caught by surprise - my mother was going to come just before the due date and then stay for a few weeks, then my MIL fly in for a week... since they had plane tickets, they could not change their schedule so easily. So we ended up hiring a post partum doula at the last minute which helped a lot. Definitely look into a resource like doulas for immediate support afterwards.
Since I knew I wanted to nurse, I found my local LLL group before the baby was born, and that gave me some additional support, which helped me a lot (my local group is very laid back and accepting of all situations but I don't know how other LLL groups are) - I believe a lot of moms here talk about Isis - see if you can go before the baby comes to get an idea of what to expect.
Also, after a few months, we found a great neighborhood girl who would come every weekend for a few hours as mother's helper in the beginning, then eventually became DS's babysitter.
Second time around, we lined up the post partum doula, and my mom/MIL, and it worked out better for us.
For first time around, the hardest part was not really having anyone I was close to that I could talk to or share my frustrations or confusion with other than the LLL support group I found and having help so I could get some more sleep especially since I was stressed about getting everything done right and not hurting the baby through inexperience. Which is why I recommend doula support over anything for that first month. It is expensive but since we did not have any family around who could help take the load, it was the best way for us.