Everyday Life Thoughts on living far from my family

A couple of weeks ago my husband had to travel to the US for work and I thought it was the perfect time to get my mum over and stay with us for a week. I invited her over because – selfishly – I felt I could use some help with the kids (I know I could do it all by myself but it’s always nice to have someone around). But it wasn’t only about me and getting extra help – it was also about my mum seeing her grandchildren and spending some quality time with them.

grandmother playing with granddaughter on the floor with colourful baby toys

grandmother with grandchildren baby girl little boy hugging on sofa

For those who don’t know me or my story that well, I am from Poland and lived there for just over 20 years. When I was 21 I moved over to the UK – leaving all of my friends and family behind. I moved out in order to do a Masters degree in Media & Communications but also because my then-boyfriend-now-husband was from the UK.

At the beginning it was very difficult to be so far away from home. I would cry every time I had to say goodbye to my parents at the airport. I would fly to Poland every few months for a weekend or a week (depending on my study/work schedule) to visit my family. Once Antek was born I tried to go 3-4 times a year (here are some of the photos from one of our trips) and during the summer we would go for 3-4 weeks (here are photos from summer 2017). However, since having Emilia it’s been a bit challenging flying out that often (because of our schedules, costs of flying with a bigger family, school/work commitments etc). Somehow we managed to go to Poland three times last year (for Easter, in the summer and for Christmas), but I’m not sure if this is going to be the case this year.

grandmother helping grandson little boy with homework

grandmother throwing baby granddaughter in the air in garden

That’s why it’s been so important to me/us to also have my family visit us, over here in the UK. Thankfully, I’ve had my mum coming over and staying with us a few times (I blogged about one of her visits when we went to South Weald Country Park), my brother and his family, and some of our friends. It feels good to have these people around as they remind of my Polish home so much and makes me miss Poland just a bit less.

And just because of that, I took these photos not only for my mum to have as a souvenir of her recent trip but also for us – for our family album, for our memories. I hope that by looking at these pictures my children will remember how our relatives would come and stay with us and we could show them our life, share with them our routines and create beautiful memories.

Living away from my family can be hard sometimes and the photos are my way of being just a little bit closer to them.

grandmother and grandson cuddling on the sofa grandmother smiling cuddling granddaughter baby girl in her arms in the garden

Alina Clark - A family and lifestyle documentary photographer based in Essex

A little bit about me

My name is Alina and I am a documentary family photographer based in Essex, United Kingdom. I love capturing everyday life just the way it is – unscripted, a bit messy and extraordinary in the most ordinary way.

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