Blended Family Life

Using Care Packages to Stay Connected in a Long Distance Blended Family

Ever since the kids relocated out of state, we have struggled to find ways to stay connected with them across the miles. Noah and Farrah are now 20 + hours away, and Dan and I aren’t financially able to visit them. One thing we do regularly is call and video chat with them. It’s great to talk to them, but sometimes it’s hard to keep their attention. They’re just 8 and 5 years old, and it’s hard enough to keep them still long enough to actually get on the phone much less hold an actual conversation. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we get some good solid communication and get to connect with them, but sometimes I just wish we had something more to hold their attention. So something else we began doing a few years ago was that we started sending them little care packages! The kids absolutely LOVE getting mail anyway, and the fact that it’s a little gift from us makes it that much better. We typically get to video chat with them while they open them, which is so heartwarming to see their little faces light up with excitement as they see what’s inside. I mean what is more precious than watching the joy on a little ones face when they are opening a present??

My favorite Care Package hack is the Dollar Tree! Let’s be real, I shop at the Dollar Tree pretty frequently (like the cashiers know me by now… lol), but it is great for finding fun little inexpensive gifts to fill those care package boxes. Because if you don’t watch out they can get pretty expensive! (Also, don’t forget to use one of the flat rate shipping boxes at your local Post Office. They are typically much more reasonable than packing your own box and paying by weight.) I mean we want to send them the world, but we can’t afford $100 packages once a month on top of everything else!

We miss out on some major Holidays and milestones in the kids lives because they live so far away, but we like to be involved by sending them these little care packages. If we miss a Holiday we like to send them boxes filled with that theme. Typically these are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and both of their Birthdays. (Not technically Holidays, but just as important!) Pinterest has TONS of great ideas on themed care packages based on Holidays. Even when we can’t be there it feels nice to know that they have a little something from us there with them during these special times. One year we sent their Halloween package with their own Trick-or-Treat bags inside, and they were so excited to send us a picture carrying the bags we got them on Halloween! It’s the little things like this that warm my heart.

But sometimes, we want to send a package when there isn’t a Holiday. These are our “just because” packages.  Even when there isn’t a holiday we still want to feel connected. It helps me to know that they’ve got little reminders from us that we love them! We’ve also done themes for “just because” packages. Color is an easy theme to go with – something out of the Blue to say we love you – a Box of sunshine to brighten your day – orange you glad we sent you a package. Another one that we have been dying to try is the Movie Night package. The idea is that you send your little one a bag of popcorn, some snacks, maybe a new blanket, and a movie. You have them call you when they put the movie on, and you both start it at the same time. You stay on the phone throughout the movie. That way it’s like you’re getting to have movie night even from different states! I’m not sure how well this would go over in our situation, but I think it would be a super fun idea to try!

Quick Disclaimer : Maybe don’t send a bunch of confetti filler in the box… I may know from experience that the X may not appreciate the cute festiveness as much as you do…. oops.

On that note, don’t send anything that you wouldn’t allow at your own house. For instance, we don’t send anything that we think may get the kids in trouble, such as anything messy or loud. If you’re even questioning it, don’t do it. If the X is confrontational, she is going to look for anything in that box to pick a fight over. So, don’t give her the opportunity.

Stepmama, I hope this helps you stay connected with your babes while you are missing them!

I have put together a little list of care package ideas that I just LOVE to help you out! Along with some super cute printable tags to include in each of the packages.

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Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.

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