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Baby grandchild moving overseas

(54 Posts)
Emm14 Thu 15-Nov-18 08:28:52

Hello ladies. I know this is a very common topic but wondered if I could ask for specific advice on coping with ‘losing’ my 12 month grandson as he moves overseas. My son has told me today he is moving to Australia and I’m devastated. I love my grandchild so much; I just don’t know how I will cope without seeing him regularly. I am particularly heartbroken as I know how much my DIL will enjoy ‘taking’ my grandchild away - she knows how much it will hurt me. I don’t get on with her at all despite my efforts - I really cannot bear her. And the saddest thing for me will be knowing that the DIL stepmother (who lives where my son is moving to) will take my place as grandmother. It hurts so much. I know I can skype, phone, send presents etc etc but I’d really like to advice on dealing with the grief I am feeling on ‘losing’ my precious grandchild. Thank you sad

BlueBelle Thu 15-Nov-18 08:54:17

So very sorry for you this is a big blow and the truth is there is no easy way Emm to get through it but bearing grudges and feeling bad thoughts towards the in laws isn’t the way forward
We have to totally accept that these precious grandkids are not ours and may move all over the world please don’t take this as critism but saying you can’t bear the thought of the other grandmother having contact is only going to make you feel a whole lot worse You have had the first twelve months with your grandson while they haven’t
The only thing that will help is time this is a bereavement although thankfully no one has lost their life This time and the first months are going to be the worst but as time goes by you will use whatever you can to keep contact and you will I m sure be able to visit The relationship with that little chap won’t be as close it can’t be but it’s up to you to do all you can to keep it alive and negative thoughts towards your daughter in law and her parents is only going to harm you
I don’t know what else to say I m sure others will have positive ideas for you
My first grandchild was born in NZ and I did not have the opportunity to see her until she was about 10 months old in many ways I think it’s harder for you because you already have the contact but that first twelve months was so precious and can never be taken away from you
I hope you can come to terms with this awful blow

sodapop Thu 15-Nov-18 09:12:20

I understand you feel unhappy Emm14 but you have not 'lost' your grandson he is simply moving away with his family where they feel they can have a better life,
There seem to be a lot of negative feelings in your post mainly around your daughter in law and her family. You enjoyed the first year of his life and can continue to be part of his life albeit in a different way. There are many ways of keeping contact now so look at how you can do this. Nobody will take your place, your grandson has two grandmothers who love him, that can only be a good thing.
I know how you feel as my family also emigrated when my granddaughter was a baby and my grandson was born in USA. Try to lok at things in a more positive light

Luckygirl Thu 15-Nov-18 09:20:02

This must be hard to adapt to - but you will.

I am sorry that your relationship with your DIL is not good - but I am sure they are moving for what they see as a better life for their family, rather than an act of aggression towards you.

If you are to maintain contact it would be good to try and mend your relationship with DIL as far as you are able, as the continued contact from abroad requires co-operation on both sides.

Emm14 Thu 15-Nov-18 09:24:08

Thank you Sodapop for your firm but kind advice. You are right, I am being rather negative. I guess my feelings towards my DIL are making this feel much worse than it is. She doesn’t have ANY family, apart from this stepmother who I know she wants to be close to. My husband and myself are our grandsons only ‘blood’ family and to be absolutely honest, I have always felt we are at the top of the list when it comes to important people in our GS life. I know it’s wrong to think that but I do. Thank you again very much - I did need to hear your words smile

Emm14 Thu 15-Nov-18 09:31:55

Such wonderful advice bluebell - thanks so much. It really, really helps to get a different perspective when you are emotionally thinking rather than rationally. I think the thing you said that most struck a chord with me is “ we have to totally accept these precious grandkids aren’t ours” . Gosh, you hit the nail on the head there. Subconsciously, I DO feel a sense of ownership of my little GS. How hard it is to love with every fibre of your being a child that isn’t yours. Thank you again Bluebell x

GrandmaPam Thu 15-Nov-18 09:39:15

Feel bad for you Emm. My grandchildren, though still in the UK, live at the opposite end of the country so seeing them is a bit of a task. However, when we do, it is really special and I no longer think in terms of missing out because we don't see them weekly or daily - in fact, not sure how I would feel about that after 6 years of this relationship! You don't say though how you feel about your son emigrating - that, for me, is as big a thing as the grandchildren. Its a tough one....the old adage "a son's a son till he gets a wife, but a daughter's a daughter for the rest of her life" is so true (speaking as a mother of a son and a daughter!)

Patticake123 Thu 15-Nov-18 09:58:12

Emm14 I feel your heartache but I think BlueBelle’s comments are spot on and once you begin to get over the shock of this news, you will be able to reflect on what she has said. Two of my grandchildren live in the USA and I find ways to maintain a good relationship with them. You will find a way to cope.

kwest Thu 15-Nov-18 09:58:23

So sorry that you are feeling so sad. It is natural to grieve for this 'loss'.
Your relationship will take on a new shape and eventually there will be benefits.
To get to that point it would be wise to develop your own life with lots of interests, everything you join creates the possibility of making new friends. One of the future benefits could be that you discover that you are much more than a grandmother. You are a busy person with a good life balance of friends, voluntary work, gym membership for classes like aquarobics and yoga or Pilates, regular activities with friends and group interests. May I suggest the U3A, WI visitng your local CVS to see how you can be of service to others or if you have a special skill , qualification or talent, how can you use them?
The best advice I ever received at a low point in my life was "Don't be a victim". Things don't necessarily turn out in the way we might choose but sometimes we find a whole new existence that we had not expected.

Mary59nana Thu 15-Nov-18 10:02:44

I just want to say I’m sorry that you have to go through this heartbreak of being separated from your GS and your son.
My son went to Oz 10 years ago and I still ache for him to be near.
But we don’t own them
We have to let them live their own lives
Take care of yourself and of course your OH x

Eglantine21 Thu 15-Nov-18 10:04:40

Of course you will miss your son and GC so please don’t think I am belittling your pain.

But I know from my own experience that distance does not affect love, nor does love for one person detract from love for another.

Because I was adopted I had four sets of grandparents and I loved them all. One set I did not meet until I was 16 and I went to spend time with them. In those days there were only letters to keep in contact but I never doubted their love for me and the year I spent with them in their country was pure joy.

What was important was that they never showed the least possessiveness or resentment towards my father for taking me away or towards my adoptive parents. They trusted that the other people in my life were doing their best for me.

The important people at the top of your GC list are her mother and father. You need to maintain a happy relationship with both of them so that your GC feels she is part of a united family.

Hilltopgran Thu 15-Nov-18 10:05:18

I understand your pain, but the bond made in the first 12 months will always be there. My DD and family have lived in three different countries since 1st DGC was born, and it is hard but 15 years later I know that when I do go and stay I see their lives and have more time with them than I would if I visited for a few hours regularly. The positive is also that I have seen and stayed in countries I would not otherwise have visited, and when they do make trips back to the uk we can make their stay special and create happy memories.

Beejo Thu 15-Nov-18 10:06:59

All I can add to the wise words here is that, in my experience, as your grandchildren grow up, you 'lose' them anyway, albeit gradually.
Try to be glad that you've had those precious first months.
I know that what people who are not grandparents don't understand (I think that probably the baby's parents don't get it either) is that we love them just as much as our own babies.
My grandchildren don't live close by and I've had to come to terms with not seeing them nearly as often as I would like but I have a son and a daughter, both of whom have children, and my daughter makes much more effort to include me in their lives. I think it's often just the way it is. It's hard to accept, but true, that we have no rights when it comes to access to grandchildren, just good or bad luck and the way the cookie crumbles.
Most of all, do try not to be bitter, that's just self-destructive.
All will be well. flowers

glammanana Thu 15-Nov-18 10:13:44

I feel for you Emm and the loss of your DGS,but please try and congradulate yourself on bringing up your son to do what he feels is best for his young family it is surely a wrench for him aswell.
Try your best to make friends with your DIL hopefully mend bridges with her as I know from experience it is best to be friends with the mother of your grandchild rather than enamies.Take care flowers

HellsBells Thu 15-Nov-18 10:21:20

Some of our grandchildren are near and some far away - I work hard maintaining a relationship/connection with all 17 of them - remembering birthdays, christmas presents carefully chosen, advent cards/chocolate, sometimes for no reason at all a card with a little message - nothing i buy is expensive but hopefully thoughtful and it takes a fair amount of time - including visits etc - it is important however to have your own life and interests - have had 3 boys for a couple of days am exhausted but now off to play bridge and enjoy some grown up company

NannyG123 Thu 15-Nov-18 10:33:47

Hi Emm14, I'm sorry your family are moving to Australia, have you any other gc near you, my only advice is to try and keep busy, join clubs, groups etc meet up with friends etc. And if possible perhaps talk to your son about how you and your daughter in law can make a truce and try to get on a little better. And there is always skype or instant messenger to see your grandson and keep up contact. Wishing you all the best.

GreenGran78 Thu 15-Nov-18 10:34:56

If your DIL knows that you don't like her, and I am sure that she must do, she will not feel very inclined to keep in touch. It's in your own interest to try to put aside whatever your feelings are, and to get on a better footing before they emigrate.
Three of my adult children live in Australia. My daughter, mother to my 21 month old GD keeps in regular contact, and it's a joy to see little S growing and developing. She's now old enough to recognize me, and always gives me a smile, and a kiss on the screen. Most of the time she then scoots off to do her own thing while Mum chats to me, but it's lovely to have the chance to see her.
My 2 sons are less good at contacting me, what with the time difference and their busy lives. Neither of them have children. We do catch up every month or so, though. That's men for you! I have a very good relationship with the in-laws, luckily.
Having family on the other side of the world is far from ideal, but life is good for them there. I just have to accept that they are living their lives, just as I lived mine, in the way that suits them best. Good luck, Emm14. Save up your pennies and get ready to fly over to visit as often as you can.

BlueBelle Thu 15-Nov-18 10:36:11

Emm you are half way there already you have taken our feelings and words on board and you are prepared to look within yourself at your own faults no one can ask more of you
When you get over the shock start making positive plans for what you can do or make for when he’s a bit older You can make this an awful loss or an exciting way forward for you both and if you can make a friend of your daughter in law she will look forward to your visits instead of dreading them She is your sons choice so honour that by trying to get some sort of relationship going she may. It be as bad as you think
Good luck

GabriellaG Thu 15-Nov-18 10:37:18

Good grief. Your DiL will 'enjoy taking your grandson away from you'?
No-one can alter how you feel, since you seem determined to focus your bitterness on her.
Er...isn't it your son who is moving for work or are you convinced that your DiL nagged him to move simply to spite you?
You will just have to bite the bullet...or move there yourself.
I see jealousy rearing it's ugly head. envy

Horatia Thu 15-Nov-18 10:37:54

Emm14 it is only natural to feel upset because your son and family are moving so far away. Wishing you well in your future adjusting to the changes and enjoying life still.

Fran0251 Thu 15-Nov-18 11:08:50

Emm, we all feel grief over the ending or changing of something very important in our lives. This grief needs recognising and having help with. I would suggest you see a grief counsellor, it could really help you with your feelings. You are not alone with these feelings and help can be given.

mabon1 Thu 15-Nov-18 11:18:47

If they are moving to have a better life then you must accept the situation.

There are always two sides to a story of people not getting on, maybe it is too late for you and your daughter in law but you will love your grandchildren wherever they are on this earth and there are such things as airplanes you know!

FlorenceFlower Thu 15-Nov-18 11:45:52

I’m so sorry you feel you are losing your grandson and other GNetters have expressed their thoughts more eloquently than I can. I’m sure that you will keep in close touch with your son and his family and you will be able to visit, and they may also come back to the UK every few years.

My nephew moved to W. Australia, he then met and married a lovely Australian woman, and now has four young children there. My sister visits every year or so, she saves hard for the fares, and by booking ahead and choosing ‘unpopular’ times to visit, eg Easter rather than Christmas, gets good prices for her flights. There is now a direct flight to Perth which takes a huge amount of stress from her as she is travelling on her own.

My sister was initially distraught at her only son moving to Australia but she has gradually got used to it and she visits, rings, Skypes, sends letters and small presents to help keep in touch

Please don’t blame your DiL for everything, I don’t think she’s moving her family there to get away from you, Australia can be a wonderful country - just a tremendous pity that it’s so very far away! 🌺

Izabella Thu 15-Nov-18 11:54:25

Emm some lovely supportive responses to you here. I would look at it from a completely different perspective.

I accept you say you DIL does not like you, but I would look at visitor visas and look upon this as a great opportunity for yourself. Move out there for months at a time, make new friends, rent somewhere cheap. You do not have to live with the DIL but you could be nearby inbetween discovering a wonderful country and offer to take GD to playgroups etc. It is a much more outside lifestyle in Oz and so many opportunities to do things together with your GD. If you make it plain to your DIL that you are wanting to explore and experience your GD's new home and do not intend to live there it may help. Perhaps also (I say gently) look at why your DIL does not like you and take remedial action.

I think it is easy to sometimes adopt a defeatist attitude when something dear to us is pulled away. The alternative is to think out of the box (much as I hate that saying) and think of alternatives. Go girl ..........

Mycatisahacker Thu 15-Nov-18 12:23:10

Oh op my deepest sympathy I adore my grandchildren and this would crease me too but read izabellas ideas? Hugs