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Daughter moving 2 hours away.

(50 Posts)
June3 Wed 04-Mar-20 17:11:55

My husband and I are not in typical grandparent roles. Our daughter and her two kids, ages 4 and 5, had lived with us the past 4.5 years. We actually moved across country with them to separate from a very unhealthy environment with their biological father. He hasn't had any type of custody or visitation rights for the past 4 years.

Our daughter moved into her boyfriend's house (20 minutes from us) with her kids 6 months ago. We remain in close contact, as we bring the kids to school and pick them up every day.

Our daughter informed us yesterday that they will be moving 2 hours away due to her boyfriend's job. Apparently he could stay where he is, but would have to take a demotion. He makes more money than most people and still would with a demotion.

My husband and I feel her boyfriend isn't considering anyone but himself with this decision and that our daughter is choosing a relationship with him over our relationship with our grandkids. We are so incredibly devastated that we basically put our own lives on hold for 4.5 years (which we would do all over again!!) to help her and our grandkids out, only to be thrown to the curb. Our grandkids are our world!!

Typically I know people should have their own lives and let their kids go off and live where they want, but we are more than grandparents to these kids. We have been two of their three primary caregivers for most of our grandson and all of our grandaughter's lives.

We have no idea where to begin to deal with and sort out all the emotions we are feeling right now. Any advice, opinions or insight on coping with this heartbreaking situation would be appreciated. Thank you.

Tweedle24 Wed 04-Mar-20 17:36:12

Oh dear! I do feel for you and understand completely but, I think the main thing is that your dear daughter has found a man with whom she is happy and secure. After her previous experience, this is to be celebrated.

You say she is putting this relationship before the one you have with her and her children. This is very natural, I am afraid. I am sure she appreciates that you will miss your grandchildren and how much you have done for her. She and her new partner will have discussed this move and decided between them that this is the best option. I can see that he would not want to take a demotion and very few people would. It is not just about the money, you know.

Just be happy for them. After all, two hours away is not emigrating to the Antipodes. You should still be able to see them fairly regularly ( If he is earning as much as you suggest, there should not be a problem paying for travel). Speak to your daughter and her children in the phone. Skype them and let them go with your blessing. Make sure they know you support their decision and are there for them if it does not work out.

June3 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:03:11

Thank you for your response. It seemed well thought out and from the heart. I, unfortunately, left out the most crucial and concerning aspect of this move, which is the kids. My husband and I will eventually cope with the situation, but I'm wondering what kind of impact this might have on my grandkids.

June3 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:06:05

@Tweedle24...Thank you for your response. It seemed well thought out and from the heart. I, unfortunately, left out the most crucial and concerning aspect of this move, which is the kids. My husband and I will eventually cope with the situation, but I'm wondering what kind of impact this might have on my grandkids.

Gaunt47 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:09:20

They're children. They cope, with love and understanding from those around them, with pretty much anything. Little ones adapt wonderfully. Your daughter is timing this move well with regard to their education.
Send them on their way with love.

Sussexborn Wed 04-Mar-20 18:12:51

We had various moves and children soon adapt though I am sure they will miss you. You will be close enough to go for long weekends once they are settled. I would be inclined to stay in a hotel if possible as this allows everyone a bit of space.

SueDonim Wed 04-Mar-20 18:15:47

We’ve moved around a lot with our family and our children adapted very well. Two hours is close enough for a day trip so, assuming you’re retired, a weekly visit isn’t impossible.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:22:52

Never hitch your trailer to your childrens wagons.

We were going to move to London, after we had decided to do it, they moved to the South West! Thank goodness we took our time about it.

They are now 4 hours away and we have a great relationship with the GCs.
Get them to FaceTime you regularly.

Hetty58 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:46:01

June3, the kids will adapt and be fine. Families move all the time.

You could consider moving with/after them to the same area. Sooner than you think, however, they'll be independent, taking themselves to school and spending more time with their friends. It's inevitable. Skype and phone calls can keep you in close contact. Is there a train route you could use to visit?

Tweedle24 Wed 04-Mar-20 18:49:09

June3 As others have intimated, children are decidedly adaptable and are able to cope with most situations.

I was an ‘army brat’ and moved regularly as a child, sometimes near beloved grandparents and sometimes not - 3,000 miles away for a couple of years. I don’t think it harmed my relationship with my grandparents even though we actually lived next door to them until I was 4 and then again for a year when I was 7. There was no Skype then and phone calls had to be made from public call boxes until I was about 11. I enjoyed receiving letters from and writing to my grandparents (father too for several years when he was away).

Don’t let the little ones see you are upset and be careful not to make your daughter feel guilty.

I am sure all will be well.

GG65 Wed 04-Mar-20 19:25:32

It’s not really fair to say that your daughter’s boyfriend is only considering himself in making this decision. Who else is going to pay his mortgage, fund his life for him etc? He is not doing anything wrong taking the promotion. And he doesn’t owe you and your husband any consideration, I’m afraid.

Your daughter has clearly found someone who makes her happy and, after all she has been through, surely that is only a good thing.

I know you are upset, but you need to not take this so personally. Would you rather your daughter put your wishes above her own? Would you rather that your daughter put her life on hold for you and her father’s sakes?

The children will be fine. They will be with their mother and I’m sure will still have a great relationship with you. FaceTime is great. And I’m sure there will be visits etc.

You say you are more than grandparents to the children, but I am afraid that isn’t true. You are grandparents to the children. Perhaps more involved than some, but grandparents nonetheless.

Sorry to be so harsh, but I felt you really needed some perspective here as no one has intentionally set out to hurt you. This is life. Many people have to move for work. It’s no one’s fault. Many grans on here have children and grandchildren living in Australia. 2 hours isn’t really that far.

You can either send your daughter with love or risk ruining your relationship with her.

Hetty58 Wed 04-Mar-20 19:29:57

You say 'Our grandkids are our world!!' and that's the problem. They really shouldn't be.

HettyMaud Wed 04-Mar-20 19:33:05

I can totally understand how you must feel. It is a real wrench when children/grandchildren move away. However 2 hours is not too bad. My DD and DGS were 2 hours from me and I managed a weekly visit by train which was wonderful as we spent the whole day together. Try to establish a weekly routine if possible with messaging in between. Your family will really look forward to it I'm sure.

June3 Wed 04-Mar-20 20:03:26

Thank you for the input so far. Some of you are tender and compassionate with your words, but yikes!!...some of you are pretty brutal! For those harsh responses, I really wasn't looking to feel worse than I do. Please try to think about the person on the other end and choose kinder words with your opinions.

And like anything else in life, unless you lived it, it's hard to understand the full impact. I knew as I was typing "Our grandkids are our world!!" someone would probably disagree. I do have a life beyond my grandkids. To clarify, was more of an expression of how I feel about them.

Thank you again for your responses. I'm getting some good perspective from this!

Susan56 Wed 04-Mar-20 20:23:00

It’s all come as a shock to you but once you get used to the idea and have visited them a few times I’m sure you will feel better.Our youngest daughter lives two hours away and we usually go once a week and spend the day with them.
The grandchildren will soon get used to this new normal and hopefully you will too💐

BlueBelle Wed 04-Mar-20 20:26:55

I m afraid you will consider me one of the nasty posters although I don’t in any way want to hurt or upset you but june you should be so so happy that your daughter has a new caring partner who has taken on her children and wants to better himself to make them all a happy family
You are not more than grandparents you are just that grandparents living and caring and helpful but grandparents never the less, one generation removed.
Our role as parents is to help out when needed and step back when not That is true unselfish love
Love is always about letting go and allowing and sometimes watching instead of doing of course you love your daughter and grandkids but it has to be enough love to let them go
Your family are moving 2 hours away and that is nothing you will still see them, still be involved, still be in their lives still be loved by them but life evolves they cannot and shouldnot be ‘looked after’ by you for ever They need to find their own way in life you have got caught up in believing your care will be needed for ever but life isn’t like that you need to let go

‘Come to the edge’ she said, The baby bird said ‘no, we are afraid’. ‘Come to the edge’, she said They came, she pushed, they flew. .......that is love June

I hope it all goes well for you

June3 Wed 04-Mar-20 20:39:27

@BlueBelle - your thoughts were not nasty at all and everything you say is true. We are supposed to love our kids enough to let them fly, but as the saying goes...timing is everything. If this had all happened when the kids were even a couple of years older, it would have made all the difference in the world to me. At that point they will be establishing friendships, hobbies, sports, etc. and we won't be such a huge part of their busy lives. I get that! But here we are in this place and time.

I have only skimmed the service of what has transpired, but one more piece of this situation is our other daughter and sil relocated across the country to be close to this daughter and their nephew and niece. They got job transfers, bought a house, etc. Needless to say, this other daughter is shocked as well.

jenpax Wed 04-Mar-20 20:44:41

I co parented eldest DGS (now 9) for his entire first 6 years. He and DD3 lived with me.
she met new partner when DGS was 5 but they did not set up home for a year to give everyone a chance to get used to the idea.
Like you I was really anxious and miserable at first( but did not let on to DD and kept upbeat and positive to DGS) They too moved to another town (about 45 minutes away) so as I work full time, I was no longer seeing him every day. We spoke on the phone, did face time and I went over most weekends, BUT I did not let the anxiety take over, I threw myself into seeing friends, going out for dinner, a concert, whatever, so that I had other things to think about.
As it happens we are now all living near to each other once again, and my relationship with DGS remained constant and happy.
The key is really to make sure your DGC feel the change to be a good one for their little family and at the same time know that you are still there and loving them, no matter where they are.
My eldest DD (who is a children and families Social work manager) recommended an excellent book to me called The Invisible String, this would be ideal for this age group. We found it very helpful with DGS
Good luck

BlueBelle Wed 04-Mar-20 20:49:28

But June my love it’s their life and they will be fine you have to adapt and allow them to grow and make their own mistakes their own memories their own lives
Oh and just to add ....I have ‘lived it’ my son and grandkids moved to NZ and my youngest daughter and three grandkids live in Europe I m in U.K. and have one daughter and grandkids in my town and I had to learn to let go the hard way I love them all so much but love is unconditional and love is allowing freedom of choice with no buts and love is adapting and allowing

I truly feel for you I do but it’s their live and their choices love them enough ....

Sassieannie Wed 04-Mar-20 20:55:53

I can relate as my daughter/partner and granddaughter lived with me for a year recently. They have now had a new baby who is now six months old and a new house just three miles away. However, I only see my granddaughter every fortnight now; mainly due to my work hours, school etc and the fact I want to give them their space. Can't advise, but I do understand. However, daughter has just found out she is pregnant again which is a bit of a shock so watch this space lol.

sodapop Wed 04-Mar-20 21:18:12

It is going to be hard for you June3 but let them go with your love. Jenpax had some good advice for you. The children will adapt with you to help them and there are different ways of keeping in touch. Good luck.

GG65 Wed 04-Mar-20 21:58:32

The fact that your other daughter moved to be near her sister shouldn’t be used to compel your daughter to stay.

Your daughter’s boyfriend needs to move for work and she has decided to go with him. That is only natural. And not too dissimilar to your son in law moving with your other daughter to be closer to her sister. Did his parents have a similar reaction?

Things change and you are going to have to accept that she, as an adult, has made her decision. You can be supportive, or you can continue to look for reasons as to why this is a bad idea, but that isn’t going to change anything.

Grandmafrench Wed 04-Mar-20 22:19:12

Even though you possibly feel that your heart is breaking, you must be the best Grandmother possible now and let them go. Not only let them go but let them see how thrilled you are to hear about their new life, their new plans. This is especially important for the children who will take their lead from seeing your positive reactions. Imagine how you would feel if they saw your sadness, if they picked up on your reluctance to let them go. You MUST give the children positive vibes so that they don't feel torn, or guilty that somehow they are leaving you behind. And they're really not leaving you behind, things are just changing in the life they have with their Mum and her new partner. It will be fine, it will be more than fine if you talk happily about how you will visit regularly, how they can come to stay with you in school holidays, how you can Skype and send them messages and share all the news of their new life as you would want to do and let them know that they can talk to you any old time they wish. If you react badly, if you make others suffer because you don't let go, you will risk ruining the wonderful bond you have with them all and cast a shadow on their new life which you will only live to regret when you have had a chance to get used to their moving. Good luck. You can do this. This is life, let them go and they'll always come back to you.

Txquiltz Wed 04-Mar-20 22:36:18

As they move to their new lives please work very hard to not make the GC feel guilty or that their grandparents are deeply hurt. Your daughter is doing what her heart feels is best. She learned strength from you and the time is right for her to express it. Set up a few firm dates for visits to their new home and discover friendships and opportunities for yourself. Do something a bit out of character...a trip you always wanted to make, a painting class to hang in the place you always thought needed a nice picture, a study of your family tree, etc. you will be fine.

V3ra Wed 04-Mar-20 23:04:03

June3 you have put your life on hold and put yourselves out above and beyond to support your daughter over the past four years.
You moved with her to safeguard her children, you provided a home for them all and supported her as she rebuilt their lives.
Now your daughter has found a new partner (who I hope you both like? You don't actually say...).
They've lived together as a family for six months, long enough to decide it's a good relationship.
He now has the chance to further his good career and, it sounds, provide a secure, comfortable life and home for your daughter and grandchildren.
Isn't that what we all want for our own?
You should be so proud of yourselves and your daughter that between you she has brought her children from the trauma of leaving their birth father to where they are now.
Time for this new family to set out on their life together.
Time for you and your husband to take a well-deserved step back from all your hard work and have some time for yourselves.
Time to become the relaxed, fun, grandparents whose visits are going to be such a great treat for those two lovely children.
Well done you x