A question some people have about being a remote family is “how do your family dynamics work?”.
They see our content and social media and it can be hard to keep track of who is where, There always seems to be one of us in a completely opposite time zone to the rest of us!
I get it’s easy to think of a traditional family being grouped together in one location, just a few miles away so that you can always pop over and spend time with one another. That’s not exactly how our family works!
Our Remote Family
It’s taken some time to figure out how to balance our remote work and our remote family but we think we’ve come up with a good system.
As with every family, we have ups and downs. However, one of the main ways that we’ve managed to keep a positive dynamic is to try and create a time each week where we all touch base. We factor in location, time zones, and other commitments, but try and stay flexible.
If someone can only pop in for a few minutes that’s absolutely fine.
We’re at the stage where we’re all adults and understand we have other commitments so try not to take it personally if someone can’t make it for a decent chunk of time. We’ve created that shared time to be together as a remote family, most often via WhereBy (similar to Zoom). Although, we also value the individual relationships within our family group.
Everyone has different preferences about how they like to be contacted. For example, I much prefer a phone call because I’m awful at typing/texting. All I can say is you’re lucky this thing has spell check!
For me, chats with other members of the family are less frequent and don’t have any set time structure. I just go off how I’m feeling.
Long story short, it’s personal to each person about how much they want to communicate. At the same time, you need to remember everyone is busy so don’t take offence if someone can’t reciprocate. You’ll catch them another time!
More importantly, it doesn’t change that you love one another.
Quality Family Time
We also work really hard to try and all be in the same place at the same time at least once a year.
Often this falls around Christmas. However, we’ve realised as we all grow and develop our own relationships there’s an additional strain where we are expected to see several different groups at Christmas. Sam and Em (his fiancé), for example, are expected to be in 4 different places at the same time – oh the joys of divorced parents!
We’ve realised, although Christmas is supposed to be family time, being flexible is important. We all have families that extend beyond our own remote family.
At the moment, we’re trialling having Easter as our special all together time. Although, saying that, Coronavirus got in the way of that slightly this year. After all, it’s not necessarily the date of Christmas that’s important, it’s the shared family time.
I guess what it boils down to is we try to make our remote family seem less remote by communicating effectively and knowing that we all love each other regardless of how often we’re in the same place at the same time.
So there’s a bit more insight into how we manage as a digital nomad family!
I hope you enjoyed reading this!
And hopefully we’ll all manage to see each other next week for Christmas – fingers crossed!!
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