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Grandparent moving abroad leaving grandkids

(16 Posts)
Luckyfourme Sat 20-Sep-14 22:15:31

Hi people
I am living in NZ and after a marriage breakdown 6 years ago and due to personal issues I am moving back to Australia to live and retire where most of my family older generation live.
I have 3 grandchildren 2,8,10yrs old (and love very dearly) and one daughter whose children are to 2 different fathers.
I find my relationship with my daughter is not close as she doesn't communicate with me on anything the grandkids do and i find out through Facebook what they have been doing but on speaking terms with her when I do see her . Unless I contact her or she wants something she doesn't contact me or taken concerns on how I am which hurts me very much.
I had recently lost my job and was finding so hard to replace and have felt very alone for past few years missing my home town which I was travelling to once a year.
Now that I have made the decision for returning there . I am going to find it hard to leave the 3 grandchildren and even tell my daughter and the grandkids. I still get on with her first ex and the kids are shared week on week off with one another daughter and ex get on well but I think she gets jealous that he sometimes lets me see the 2 older girls. Where she doesn't let them come to me as much as I would like.
What I am wanting to know is trying to cope with telling them all and then having that contact through Facebook and either Viber , FB Messenger or other means. The older one has always been closer to me with the 8 years getting better and getting closer now.
What I will do is try and commute twice a year to see the grandchildren between Sydney and Auckland.
Does anyone have any good tips or had similar experience.
Appreciate chatting to help me through this transition


Starling Sat 20-Sep-14 23:30:23

Hello Luckfourme - I don't think many people are online at this time as it's quite late here in the UK (I'm more of an owl than a lark!). I am not sure what to say that is helpful - if you have definitely made your decision it will look like a fait accompli to your daughter which she may be upset about.

Could you say something like, I have been thinking of moving back to Australia because of x y and z, but I wonder how you would feel about this?

I don't know how long the travel time is between Australia and New Zealand or how expensive. Would they be able to visit you as well?

I think you might find that a lot of people on this website would not understand choosing to spend less time with their grandchildren.

Greenfinch Sat 20-Sep-14 23:40:50

I agree with Starling. Just write the word Bump on your message as you go to bed and I am sure you will get some response. I am sorry for your situation and am sure there will be others who have had a similar experience.

janeainsworth Sun 21-Sep-14 00:35:11

What a very hard decision for you gill, but if it means that you are moving to where you will have more contact with people that you are comfortable with, and that you can have a social life with, you've probably made the right one.
We can't expect our grandchildren and children to be responsible for our happiness, but neither should we be expected to devote our lives to them, once they have grown up.
I hope that doesn't sound heartless - and it is perfectly possible to have loving relationships with children and grandchildren, even when they live in different continents.

FlicketyB Sun 21-Sep-14 06:58:05

I think many Gransnetters have experience of living in one country and keeping contact and building and maintaining a relationship with DGC living in another country, not because they have moved, but because their DC have moved abroad with their DGC.

In fact if you look through some of the threads on 'relationships' you will find discussions on similar topics.

Faye Sun 21-Sep-14 07:35:21

You must be so torn Gill. I used to live very near to my three children and their families (we live in Australia). Five years ago I was very sad when two of my children moved away with their families and eventually I moved to live near my youngest daughter. It was difficult as I had to leave my two GDs who I had spent a lot of time with. I always feel torn and treasure the times when we are all together.

I think you are doing the right thing. Also as you are feeling alone and are homesick what will be your situation if you stay and in a few years time, your GC will be busier with their own lives and you may have missed your opportunity. The Internet makes it so much easier to keep in contact. The other thing is you will be able to visit them every year and your grandchildren will most probably visit you too as they get older.

Gagagran Sun 21-Sep-14 07:48:51

Gill I think the main thing is to keep contact with your DGC - letters, cards, texts, emails, skype etc. They are old enough to remember and value you as their Gran and if you do make that effort it will pay dividends as they grow up and get more independent. Teenagers often pull away from their parents and you may well find they lean towards you.

I would find a way to mention your thoughts about moving to your DD though or you risk her feeling alienated and left out and that will not help your relationship with her, such as it is.

Good luck with whatever you decide.sunshine

rosequartz Sun 21-Sep-14 09:38:15

Hello gill
I think the posts above are very good and would add that it seems the norm for DC to go off around the world so why should it not be the same for the older generation?

You will miss them very much but it is only a 3 or 4 hour plane journey away so I hope you keep in close touch and that you will be able to visit them and they can visit you. The children should be able to come on their own as they get a bit older, finsnces permitting. My friend's children aged 11 and 15 were travelling alone from the US to the UK for the summer holidays and another friend's children regularly travelled back to the UK from abroad for boarding school. Auckland to Sydney is just a hop in comparison!

I think there are many Gnetters who live a comparable distance from their families.
Mine live much further away.
Keep up a good relationship with them and try to see them as much as you are able to afford.

rosequartz Sun 21-Sep-14 09:52:31

Reading between the lines, do you have a difficult relationship with her present partner? Is he a bit jealous of your relationship with your ex-SIL and would it be a good idea to try to get on better terms with him before you mention the move? Just surmising, I may be wrong and being intrusive.
We can't live our lives through our children, you have to make a life of your own. However, keeping in contact with your DGC will rely on maintaining a good relationship with your DD and her partner so tread carefully.

thatbags Sun 21-Sep-14 10:00:57

I don't think you should worry about presenting a fait accompli to your daughter. Why on earth shouldn't you, an independent adult, make decisions about your life without consulting her?

I get news about my grandkids via Facebook. What's not to like? It's just a method of communication like any other, with the advantage of communicating with a lot of people at once rather than having to write to them all separately or ring them.

I hope you manage to find a satisfactory way to see your granchildren regularly. Good luck with the move. I hope it all goes smoothly. flowers

Luckyfourme Mon 22-Sep-14 14:02:31

Yes I have made my decision
The flights are only couple of hours and not too expensive
so I hope to be able to come back 2 maybe 3 time a year and if more if the chances are available

Yes I was going to say because I have been think for a few years of going back to OZ and using the factors like you said which will be some of main reasons

She could be upset but if she took more time to support me and check in on how I am going may have been a bit different. But she just doesn't think of the situation I am presently in and very hard to deal with
I would have thought she might have supported me a bit more but not


Luckyfourme Mon 22-Sep-14 14:11:19

Hi thatbags

Totally agree with you why should she tell me what I can and cant do with my life.
I am a grown independent adult and choice to try an have a happier life and a social one as well. Which I am not getting her
Yes Facebook and email and Viber will be a good way of keeping in contact regularly and getting picture I hope too.
Once they are old enough to be allowed to maybe fly as my daughter doesn't allow them to go long distance with anyone other than herself.
I feel its her insecurity at times.
But I hope this move will be for the better for me I have a lot of support from OZ and contact with them every day more so than my daughter contacting me and she only lives 10 mins away from me but doesn't bother to call in unless wanting something.

Tks Gill
smile flowers

Luckyfourme Mon 22-Sep-14 14:33:20

Hi gagagran

Yes agree on what you have commented on and yes it will be my aim to do as much as I can to keep the channels open and text and send things via mail to them, yes they do understand and value me as their gran

The oldest one was the closest and we always said that in time she would find me wherever I was as she was very close to me but her mum has been trying to stop her being like it but she does drop me email from her school email from time to time asking me how I am so I think if she does continue and she has a gmail address just have to get that one off her she can send me msges too
Yes I have a way to tell her my thoughts and why I have decided to do what I am going to do.
She will have to accept my decision as I am a grown adult and don't need her to say what I can or cant do
Thanks again

smile flowers


rosequartz Mon 22-Sep-14 15:25:48

It isn't any real distance at all and with today's communications you can keep in touch so much more easily.

I was an 8 hour journey from my DP when I left home (in the same country) and neither of us had a phone, so it was weekly letters to and fro.
Now I have to travel for about 37 hours to see one of my DGC, he is not great on skype or the phone but we just seem to pick up where we left off!

Good luck and enjoy living in lovely Sydney!
smile and sunshine

Luckyfourme Tue 23-Sep-14 03:55:04

Hi Rosequartz

Thanks for your re assurance with the way you handled your situation

[smiles] [smiles]


rosequartz Tue 23-Sep-14 18:12:18

We were in Sydney last year, loved every minute of our week (apart from two deluges of rain) there before we went on to visit family elsewhere.