About 'Scattered Families'
When our eldest son relocated to the other side of the world, we didn't know anyone facing the same situation. People would say to us that we 'must be proud' or that ‘it’ll be great for holidays'.
They just didn't understand the impact it was having on our lives. So we began looking for support with the difficult feelings we were experiencing, and seeking out other people with similar challenges, who would understand how we felt.
And when we couldn't find what we were looking for, we set up the Scattered Families group on Facebook to help ourselves and to help others in the same position.
Since we launched in October 2020 we've had members join from the UK, the USA, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Israel, Australia, Malta, France, South Africa and Canada, all experiencing the same need to connect and share their thoughts and feelings about their children’s decision – without being judged. We now have over 400 members.
Scattered Families is a supportive Facebook group set up specifically for parents who have one or more adult children who have chosen to live many miles away or who have emigrated.
Family separation for our members may involve many hundreds of miles, but, more typically, thousands. Adult children may have relocated to the other side of a continent or be living overseas. Visits may be limited to as little as once a year or less, and travel arrangements may be complicated and expensive.
How we respond to this type of family separation will be different for each of us. It’s likely our feelings will be mixed. Of course, we want to cheer our children on and support their decision to move. But we may also feel a sense of loss and experience a range of feelings that are hard to admit to, let alone talk about.
Scattered Families aims to be a safe place, offering mutual support, fresh thinking and even humour, to help us all handle this tricky situation and the challenges it throws at us. Members can share experiences, pass on coping strategies and celebrate achievements.
Above all, when you join Scattered Families, you become part of a community of people who can relate to what you are going through and who can understand how you are feeling.
Do search for us on Facebook - there’s no need to feel alone!
Empty Nest groups
If you are dealing with separations involving lesser distances - such as when your children may go off to college several hours’ travel away - then we'd suggest that you try other supportive communities such as 'empty nest groups'.
Our members are usually dealing with more extreme levels of separation.
An 'empty nest group' will likely be able to offer you support more suited to the particular challenges you're facing.
Scattered Families is a supportive Facebook group set up specifically for parents who have one or more adult children who have chosen to live many miles away or who have emigrated. Become part of our community and find mutual support from others who understand what you're going through.