Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Baby grandchild moving overseas

(55 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

meawkt Sun 18-Nov-18 08:38:07

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bossyrossy Fri 16-Nov-18 19:35:43

Two of my DGC live abroad. I visit as often as I can and as a result have seen parts of the world I might otherwise have missed. Young people today travel and sometimes settle abroad much more than our generation did but they often miss home and return to their roots, so don’t give up hope. But mending bridges with your DIL before they leave is vital, talk to her about how you feel, she too is now a mother and may well understand your feelings of loss.
There is always Skype to bridge the gap and remember there are lots of us in your situation, you are not alone and there is a lot of good advice from your fellow GNetters to help you come to terms with and make the most of being a long distance GM.

nanny2507 Fri 16-Nov-18 18:37:32

oh no. I am so upset for you. I also adore my GD and my heart would break in this situation. I really dont know what to say

janeainsworth Fri 16-Nov-18 18:33:22

Thanks Madgransmile

Madgran77 Fri 16-Nov-18 17:57:14

janeainsworth Exactly - re mourning and re grandparent's relationship with grandchildren. Beautifully and eloquently put! smile

janeainsworth Fri 16-Nov-18 13:41:17

Thank you for coming back to us Emm.
I’m glad you’re feeling more positive now.

oldmom When your adult child moves away, of course you mourn the fact that you are going to see them less frequently than you would if they lived near to you. But the point is that you have already established that precious relationship. You’ve (hopefully) accepted long ago that they have now their own lives to lead and that you’re no longer the centre of their universe. You’ve realised that the focus of their life is now their wife and children and you are on the periphery, but you hope they will always feel they can turn to you in times of crisis.
The relationship with a grandchild is completely different. It still has to be established. It’s not ‘being obsessed’ to want to help nurture your beloved grandchild and to give an added dimension to their lives and to supplement the love and support their parents give them. I remember looking at my 5-week old granddaughter as we were about to fly back to England after visiting just after she was born, and feeling so sad because I thought that with the distance between us we would never have the close relationship I had with my Grandma.
But it hasn’t been like that at all.
She’s now got two younger brothers and we see them every 8 months or so on average.
There’s never been any shyness or difficulty - they run into our arms and we pick up where we left off, just like old friends. I’ve been able to read with them, play with them, take them out and do interesting things with them. Last year my DGD came to London and we had the most amazing time together. This year, my son brought my DGS to stay for a week and he had a ball too.
It would be nice to see them more often, and I wish we could help out more on a day to day basis. But we try to make up for it when we’re there.
So Emm, I hope it works out for you. thanks

Brismum Fri 16-Nov-18 13:15:10

Good luck with it all Emm14. Glad the unkind comments have not stopped you seeing the positives. Come back to us sometime and let us know how it worked out.

glammagran Fri 16-Nov-18 09:39:52

That’s a lovely message Emm14

Emm14 Fri 16-Nov-18 09:15:31

Thank you so much you very kind and empathetic ladies - there are too many of you to mention by name but I have read each and everyone of your comments with immense gratitude. I feel so much better, I really do.
As for the unkind people, their words are like water off a ducks back to me - their comments reveal so much about them, their characters. I wonder why they are on this wonderful forum that is so focussed on supporting other woman; other grans who are all going through and sharing so many of lifes up and downs as parents and grandmothers. Thank you again - I am feeling so positive x

NanKate Fri 16-Nov-18 08:27:16

Thanks Terri for your support.

TerriBull Fri 16-Nov-18 07:59:06

I echo NanKate's sentiments, I do feel for you, the baby/toddler and young child years are very special, even though as a grandparent we are of course one step back. It's nice to see supportive posts from grandparents who are in the same position with gc overseas and how they maintain the relationship and hope they are some comfort to you.

Some of the posts here come across as harsh and just plain nasty. I hope you are able to go out to Australia and visit and continue to be a presence on your gs's life flowers

NanKate Fri 16-Nov-18 07:05:52

Emm14 I do feel for you. I also feel a few of the posters have been less than kind to you on this thread, just when you need a friendly word and a hug.

I can only offer you an open ear and a virtual hug. 💐

67George Fri 16-Nov-18 06:04:31

Our children are on loan to us from day one
It is only a flight away - face time etc
ButI hate to say Sons leave and daughters stay
Enjoy what you have you will always be close
Xxx

oldmom Fri 16-Nov-18 06:03:35

You're devastated because your grandson is moving away? A child 12 months old?

What about your own son? You don't mention that you are "losing" him. He's been in your life a whole lot longer.

You are not supposed to love your grandchildren more than your own children, and if you do, you should never show it. Being so totally obsessed with another woman's child is not healthy.

Moving away is probably the best thing for your poor son and his family. I expect they need the distance. And if you're talking to your son, tell him how much you'll miss HIM, don't go on about your grandchild.

glammagran Thu 15-Nov-18 23:18:13

Emm14 I know how you feel. Four years ago my son and his family with DGC aged 4 and 1 moved to Hong Kong. I felt devastated but in time we became used to it, visiting annually and vice versa. For the past year they have been in the Netherlands so we’ve seen more of them. Next year they will be in the U.S. probably for many years. We don’t FaceTime as often as I would like as they are always so busy. Now I have a brand new granddaughter who lives in the SAME TOWN who I’m seeing lots of so I count myself lucky.

Grammaretto Thu 15-Nov-18 22:43:43

A cousin of mine comes back to the UK each year for months at a time so she can see more of her GC. She and her husband travel about and house sit, through an agency, so they don't crowd the younger family.
Creative solutions is what you need to think of! Of course there is skype and whats app etc.
Just think in the past before plane travel it must have been truly like a bereavement when you emigrated and never came back.

VIOLETTE Thu 15-Nov-18 22:09:23

Sorry you are feeling like this, but don't forget we often hear on here about families who live within a few miles of each other, not the other side of the world, who are not given any contact with their grandchildren. whilst it may be sad, there is currently no law that gives grandparents any rights ....just think of ways you can save to get to Australia (there is a family scheme which offers special fares I think) and look forward to the day when you can visit ! Try to make friends with your dil's parents...after all they had to accept their daughter was in the uk and never saw their grandchild ! Good luck

sarahellenwhitney Thu 15-Nov-18 19:47:33

Emm. She married your son not the family.ie H and daughter feel the same as you. .
My thoughts now are what does the future hold? Does this dislike mean you will not visit them at any future date? Have you ever thought your dislike of GS mother, and as DS is not aware of it , could mean you will not see your GS.That is if he will ever know or remember he has a grand mother other than his step grandmother. Can you live with this ?are you prepared to deny your grandson the knowledge he has another family ?. Can you forever keep this dislike of his wife from your son?Isn't the love you have for your grandchild stronger than the dislike you have for his mother. ?

janeainsworth Thu 15-Nov-18 17:40:46

I haven’t read the whole thread Emm but you’ve had good advice from others especially bluebelle.

The only thing I’d add is to visit as soon as you can, and try to make a friend of your DiL’s stepmother.

3 of my DGCs are American and live close to their other grandparents. DS FaceTimes every week and I follow them on FB, but it is the other Grandma who sends me lots of photos and emails about what they’ve all been doing, and has really made us feel part of the extended family and assuaged the feelings of loss that are inevitable when you are so far away from them. . I don’t expect that of DiL, she’s far too busy with her family to be sending us long chatty emails, so I really appreciate her Mom’s kindness.
I hope things work out for you.

Emm14 Thu 15-Nov-18 17:36:50

Oh my goodness, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to respond to my post. Incredibly wise words, you are wonderful. I feel so much better after listening to you because of course, you are right. By the way, my son isn’t aware of how I feel; I have supported his decision and told him I want what’s best for him and his family, and I genuinely do.
As for the DIL, it would take too long to explain the situation but it isn’t an easy fix. It is truly impossible for me to like her ( and my husband and adult daughter feel the same) but I am focusing on my son and GS and will maintain and nourish the close loving relationship we have despite the distance. THANK YOU so much putting everything into perspective for me.

Willow500 Thu 15-Nov-18 17:02:50

It's a heartrending time saying goodbye and there's no way of preparing yourself for it but you just have to steel yourself and keep telling yourself they are hopefully going to a better life. As you have had 12 months developing a bond with your grandson that can't be taken away from you - he will recognise you on Skype or FaceTime and as he grows you will be able to chat to him about what he's been doing at pre-school and then school. Do try to be as supportive of their decision as possible and not blame your DIL - it must have been a joint decision not taken lightly.

I don't know if it's available in Australia but once he does get to nursery ask if they contribute to Storypark. Both my grandsons were born in NZ after my son & DIL emigrated when she was pregnant with the first one. We were devastated but managed to hide it as much as we could and to be truthful they do have a better life out there than they would have where they were living in the UK. Storypark has been invaluable since the eldest started aged 2 then subsequently his brother at the same age and we've been able to follow their progress on a daily basis with pictures and stories - possibly better than trying to speak to their parents who are obviously far too busy to update as often. The eldest has just started proper school now so I miss his daily reports.

There is no easy way to cope - you just have to get on with it unfortunately and if you get chance to visit them take advantage of the cheaper times if you can.

Overthehills Thu 15-Nov-18 17:00:03

I’m sorry you’re feeling so sad Emm. There are lots of positive posts here and I hope they help. My only advice is, somehow, to try hard to improve the relationship with DiL so that you can maintain happy communication with all of them. Good luck. flowers

inishowen Thu 15-Nov-18 15:13:22

A friend of mine has two grandchildren in New Zealand. Every year she and her DH go to stay for 6 weeks. They look after the children during the long school holiday as the parents work. I don't know how you are financially but maybe you could do something like this?

Coyoacan Thu 15-Nov-18 15:09:29

As someone else said our grandchildren are not ours to keep. My granddaughter and her mum live with me at the moment, but I know she is not mine and I have to enjoy her while she is here. I hope my dd meets someone new and can set up her own home, even though I will miss dgd so much.

Your poor DIL, with no family of her own in the UK and a MIL who patently dislikes her.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 15-Nov-18 14:52:03

Emm Your DIL will only know how much it will hurt you if you allow her that knowledge.
As much as it hurts and your GS is far to young to understand , bite the bit and wish them well and say you would love to hear how they are enjoying their new life and with updates on GS as he gets older.
GS will not always be a baby and I am sure his father if not his mother would not wish to keep any news of their new life from you.