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Granddaughter moving to Australia

(15 Posts)
Claire38 Sun 26-May-13 20:53:11

This is my first time on here. I'm very confused and not sure that I'm posting in the right place??
My reason for joining Gransnet is that my son and his beautiful wife had their first child (and my first grandchild) at the end of January. A gorgeous girl named Sylvie.
They,re both doctors and it has been planned for 3 yrs that they would spend 20 months in Oz. Great!!
Sylvie arrived and we were all delighted.
However, the practicality of having a baby at the end of Jan - packing up your home & putting into storage + trying to organise visas, finding somewhere to live in Oz, informing loads of companies about the move etc etc has taken its toll.
Last November they asked me if I would go with them for the first few weeks to help them settle in. I was hugely honoured as I'm M-in-law & not Mum.
I said I would but really panicked. I had never flown very far - I was also a smoker so the thought of it all filled me with dread.
To cut a long story short I've now been 10 weeks without a cig. I went to Oz and loved every minute of it. I shared things I never thought I'd see with Sylvie. It was SO special.
I cried most of the way back. Leaving them was awful. Leaving Nick & Katie was horrible but they 'll probably look the same next time I see them.
Sylvie will have changed so much. Yes we do FaceTime but its not the same as a hug.
My reason for boring you all with this is - are there any other Nanas/Grandmas etc out there going through the same thing? If so I'd love to hear how you cope.

Galen Sun 26-May-13 20:57:29

I'm not, but I know there are several, either in oz or NZ.
greatnan is one!

harrigran Mon 27-May-13 00:02:04

Welcome Claire there are lots of grans with family down under. Gransnet is quite quiet today with it being a bank holiday but I think you will find you will get replies smile

Stansgran Mon 27-May-13 00:13:50

Claire there are many families separated by the miles. You've done a fine job to have been asked and to have given up smoking and to have returned on your own. Give yourself time to adjust. My first GC was born in NY,not as far but I was over there to help and well remember the hollow feeling on the plane home.over eight years ago and I love her so. You will have years of happiness honestly.

shysal Mon 27-May-13 08:27:52

Claire, I feel for you, but so pleased you had that early time with your beautiful Sylvie. Also hope you continue to be cig-free, it would be a shame to waste all the effort.
Welcome to Gransnet, you will find it a great place for sympathy, information, laughs and pure craziness! If you click 'watch this thread' above the discussion you can go straight to it next time by using the 'watched' box above. (Sorry if I am teaching a grandmother to suck eggs!) Not much going on as it is a holiday, but there are quite a few members in a similar position. I am sure you will hear from them soon with advice on how to cope. flowers

dorsetpennt Mon 27-May-13 09:17:27

My ex and I left for the US in 1978 with our 20 month old son leaving a doting Granny behind. I felt so guilty as she adored him and I was taking both him and her DS to N.Y. Now I'm back here , since 1984, divorced with 2 kids. Now I have 2 DGDs and one of my 'dreads' is them deciding to move abroad. The US isn't so bad as it only takes about 7 to 9 hours to fly to the eastern side - but Australia is such a distance away. Do you honestly think they will stay for such a short time? We went for 18 months, I lived there six and half years and my ex is still there, married to an American woman and an American citizen.
Thank heavens for Skype, e-mails and Facebook. I used write loads of letters which could take 3 to 14 days to arrive in the UK and often cross each other so news came in odd amounts. My parents left the UK in 1947 when I was two and half and returned 7 years later with me age 9 and my brother 6. My mother hadn't seen or spoken to her mother all that time - and they were very close. Flying out for holidays then just didn't happen as it was very expensive and took ages - no jumbo jets at that time. Sailing took weeks depending where we were posted.
So you can contact each other far easier, send your little one little letters for her, ask for loads of photos on any e-mails sent, and if you can, go out again for another holiday. I hope you are feeling better now and trying hard to be brave, I so emphasise with your feelings now I'd be devastated.

J52 Mon 27-May-13 09:29:58

DS and DdinL went to OZ nearly 3 years ago, with permanent residence. They are not the ones with DGD. They have a fantastic 'glam' life in Sydney. We and the in laws are fortunate to be able to visit when we like. However, last January they said they were coming back!!! They missed us and the rest of the family. They arrive back on Sunday. We did not think this would be the way things would turn out. Isn't life strange? The unexpected can happen, so try not to be too unhappy the situation might change completely. XX

Mollygirl Mon 27-May-13 15:21:41

I am in the same position as you Claire38 except that I am in Oz and my daughter and family went to London. GD was only one when they left and we were very sad but tried to put on a brave face and make the best of it. They have been in the UK for four years and whilst we have missed them terribly, we have had the most wonderful adventures together and travelled to places we never expected to visit. We Skype regularly and have been over to see them on a number of occasions, joined them on short holidays overseas and generally had some wonderful experiences. While they have been away a DGS has arrived too. I was fortunate enough to be able to go and stay with them for a few weeks and enjoy the birth while babysitting DGD.
Yes, the trip is horrendously long but - I tell myself that it is only for one day and the enjoyment when I reach the other end is well worth the effort (and putting up with 'cattle class'). After four years, I can honestly say that I am so glad they took the opportunity to go before the children started school. We have certainly missed them but they will soon be home with some amazing memories. We are so lucky to have Skype, FaceTime, email and text so that we are always kept up to date with photos, videos etc - so much easier than in previous years. Enjoy the experience - Oz is a great place to visit!

Mollygirl Mon 27-May-13 15:25:35

Forgot to add.......I too always needed plenty of tissues on my return flight but just kept thinking about the good times and remembering all the things I would need to tell them when next we spoke.

Grandmanorm Mon 27-May-13 16:12:09

Claire38 I am one of those Grandmas with family in Australia, as are others.
I cry all the way back to UK, but I comfort myself that the family there are having a wonderful time, are healthy and happy.
Actually I cry quite often, but time passes and suddenly it is time to go back and see them again.
I think Sydney is a fabulous city and I am pleased that I and my DH have had the chance to visit it.
I do feel for you. flowers

moomin Mon 27-May-13 16:58:00

My DD, DSiL and 2 DGDs live in NZ and have done so for over 6 years. DGD2 was born over there. I have visited 7 times now and the return flight home doesn't get any easier! On one occasion I was given a collection of photos which had been taken during my visit as I said goodbye at the airport. I sat down airside, looked at them and bawled my eyes out!!!

There's no denying it is really difficult. My daughter and I are very close and it's awful to say goodbye knowing it will probably be about a year before we see each other again in person. But, the internet is a wonderful thing and we Skype and speak all the time.

It's tough not seeing the girls so much as they are growing up so fast, but I know that no matter how much we all miss each other, they have a fantastic and much better life than they had here in the UK, they love NZ (and so do I!).

Hope you manage to make many trips to Oz in the future and that your DS and family enjoy life on the other side of the world smile

Joan Tue 28-May-13 06:12:40

Claire38 I do feel for you - and feel a little guilty as we took our 4 month old baby here to Queensland in 1979. Mum had other grandchildren from my 2 brothers, but still.... Anyway, she visited twice for extended stays and we had a great time.

Australian life is relaxed and easy; there are few social problems and the climate is terrific, so thy will have a good time while they are here.

Still, homesickness gets to us all, and they may well come back!

JessM Tue 28-May-13 06:32:26

Hi joan my observation is that Australian life has a number of positive aspects but it is not for all new immigrants. My DS's family felt terribly homesick and continue to miss friends and family. They still find a number of things very difficult (the astronomical cost of dental treatment for example). It is a lot easier on people who are relocated on an excellent salary - but for others the cost of housing is very high and it is as hard to get on the property ladder in Sydney and Perth as it is in S England these days. So I would not assume Clare38 that they will like it and want to stay.
In the meantime Claire38 it will get easier and saving all that money on not smoking will be a big help towards your next air fare. Start planning another trip as soon as you can afford it.

inthefields Tue 28-May-13 06:53:58

Hi Claire -

I don't have an input on how to cope with the emotional issue, but wanted to give you a reassurance on the relationship side .....

MY in-laws lived thousands of miles away, and we saw them perhaps once a year...... much less often, due to circumstances, after the girls were 10 &12. Nevertheless, my girls grew up adoring them and feeling very close to their GP's.
DD always said that her wedding wouldn't be right if GM could not be there - sadly we lost GD a few years ago, but it is an indicator of the relationship that mention of him was the one thing which reduced my DD to tears on her wedding day.

Distance does not mean that your relationship with grandchildren needs to be anything other than wonderful.

Claire38 Wed 29-May-13 09:04:39

Thank you all SO much for your caring and helpful replies. It really helps to share the feelings with others who understand. Judging by the comments from the lovely customs man at Sydney airport as I blubbed my way through they must see an awful lot of crying grandparents!!
You have reassured me that little one will still know me.

They have to come back after 20 months because of work but there's nothing to say they won't go back again and I really wouldn't blame them if they did. What a great place to live.
Thanks again all.