In today’s world, it’s common for family members to live far apart – some people even live thousands of miles from their closest family member. For many, it begins with going away to college.
A survey performed in 2008 revealed that, “three quarters of college graduates have moved at least once, compared with just over half of Americans with no more than a high school [education].” The survey also found that college graduates tend to move more often and farther away compared to those who didn’t graduate college.
It makes sense, as those who have college degrees are more likely to be qualified for jobs that are harder to fill, and the more one advances, the less likely the ideal job can be found in a specific community, requiring migration to cities that are more likely to have that job. It also means that you’re more likely to be separated from extended family members, unless you were fortunate enough to have started out in the right city.
An adventure in a new place can be fun for a while, but after a time, especially when children are born, a lack of family support can cause quite a bit of additional stress. The impact on family and individual happiness may be significant.
If you have a choice, living near extended family can offer a wealth of benefits.
A sense of security
Living near extended family can provide better peace of mind and a sense of security. If there is an emergency, you’ll have someone you can call who is nearby.
It’s also easier to go away on vacation, as you’ll probably have someone you can count on to take care of basic responsibilities at home like feeding the fish, picking up the mail or taking out the garbage. It’s a nice feeling to know that there is a reliable person or two keeping an eye out to make sure nothing goes wrong while you’re gone.
Parenting can be challenging, but if you have extended family members who are willing to be involved, this can provide an excellent support system. As they say, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and that statement really is true – family members can provide support and encouragement, or even occasionally assist with childcare to give parents a much-needed break.
While some people complain about having to spend time with family on the holidays, the truth is, without family members to celebrate with, it can get a bit lonely. A holiday get-together can provide a great bonding opportunity, and can also be a time to relive good memories and often make new ones. Living far apart often means either being alone, or spending a lot of time at the airport.
Having family around to help often means saving financially, whether it’s by having a babysitter, having a helping hand available to move a heavy piece of furniture or even car-pooling together. Not having to shell out hard-earned cash to hire someone, as well as having someone to share certain costs with, can add up to big savings.
With support nearby, many people experience a significant reduction in stress. Lowered stress, as we know, can help decrease the risk of all types of chronic illness and disease. If you find yourself faced with a decision as to whether you want to make a big move, the benefits of having your extended family close to you are certainly something to consider in the equation.
-The Alternative Daily