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Long-distance grandparenting

(42 Posts)
RENA1987 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:41:59

Hello everyone I am new to this group and need some advice please. My husband and I are moving this weekend 500 miles away from my grandkids. I am having a very hard time with this. My granddaughter who is 9 years old and myself are two peas in a pod. Believe it or not we're almost like best friends. My grandson who is 2 years old and my newborn granddaughter we are very close to also. We've been giving job opportunities that we will never get again and this is why we are leaving. I am just so sad about this. I am the only grandmother my oldest granddaughter has. I have so many mixed emotions excited about starting a New Journey with my husband and a peaceful life. But I'm just going to miss my grandkids so much and I know they will miss us too. I feel so guilty for leaving them and I just can't shake it. I don't want them to think I don't love them or that I have abandoned them. Please give me some advice on how to deal with these feelings.sad

timetogo2016 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:51:21

Oh RENA1987,your G/children know you love them and would want you both to be happy.
The world is a small place and you can use the internet to keep in touch via video link.
Please don`t let this move upset you,it`s an exciting journey you are both about to make.
I wish you both the very best.

moggie57 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:54:25

i am sure your grand children will be visiting ...and there is video link and telephone calls. just hope the job is more important than your family.......

Bibbity Mon 24-Aug-20 12:55:01

Think of the quality of your visits with them. You will all be so excited to see each other and when they visit they will have such an adventure.
With technology they could see you constantly and share their day to day lives.

You have got to live your life to the fullest. This sounds like an amazing opportunity and you should absolutely grab it with both hands

Grannynannywanny Mon 24-Aug-20 12:57:16

2 of my GC age 5 and 6 are 130 miles away. I see them most days on video calls. In addition they love to receive a letter and I usually enclose a little bar of chocolate that can fit through the letterbox. They enjoy writing back to me and my livingroom wall is covered in drawings they’ve posted to me.
It’s tough being apart but it makes the the times physically together even more precious.

My heart goes out to grandparents whose GC are overseas and maybe can’t visit them at all. I appreciate how lucky I am.

SueDonim Mon 24-Aug-20 12:57:36

There are lots of long-distance grans here on GN - I’m one of them. My oldest two GC live 3,500 miles away in America and the next two live more than 500 miles away in London. The fifth GC is a ‘mere’ two hour drive away, which feels almost on my doorstep!

We are lucky today to have things like FaceTime to enable us to keep in touch and I’d say we have excellent relationships with all of our GC, who range in age from 10yo to 2yo. In some ways, I see more of the far-away ones than friends see of their local GC, in that when they visit (not this year, of course) they’re here for an entire two weeks, or we visit them for two or three weeks.

Think of it as doing things differently, instead of being better/worse. You’ll also have the excitement of moving and getting to know a new place and then introducing your GC to your new home.

RENA1987 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:14:51


i am sure your grand children will be visiting ...and there is video link and telephone calls. just hope the job is more important than your family.......

I never said the job was more important than my family.

SueDonim Mon 24-Aug-20 15:47:29

You’re well-named, Moggie with that unwarranted comment. sad

Grandmabatty Mon 24-Aug-20 17:03:52

moggieabsolutely uncalled for comment. How nasty. The world is so small because of technology. I'm sure you will be able to keep in touch really well. And if you have room, you'll be able to have family for extended visits. 💐

sodapop Mon 24-Aug-20 17:46:53

Your grandchildren will be able to keep in touch in many ways now Rena I understand its not the same as living close by but life throws us curve balls sometimes. You are just as entitled to take this opportunity as your adult children would be don't feel guilty.
There will be holidays and weekend visits, make these count you will all enjoy meeting up again. I wish you luck in your new life, you have done your parenting now enjoy your time.

BlueSky Mon 24-Aug-20 17:57:07

Rena my DGC live 10,000 miles away, at first it was tough, eventually as they've got older it's got a bit easier. We are lucky nowadays with FaceTime and Skype, but I do envy grandparents who have their grandchildren nearby.

Humbertbear Tue 25-Aug-20 09:39:14

Think of the wonderful visits you will have. None of us should centre our lives on our GC. Their parents might also receive an offer they can’t refuse . GC grow up Very quickly and want to spend more time with their friends.

polnan Tue 25-Aug-20 09:48:26

good luck, but I couldn`t do it..
but then,I am elderly, and my gks were being born, just as I was about to retire.. so not sure if that makes a difference.

you don`t say how old you are Rena, that would certainly make a difference to any decision I would have to make.

best of luck,

Huitson1958 Tue 25-Aug-20 09:59:37

Moggie 57
That’s not a helpful remark !!!

Americanpie Tue 25-Aug-20 10:05:13

Look at it this way, it could easily be the other way round and your family moving 500 miles away from you. We only get one chance at life and some opportunities are too good to miss. My friend had the chance to move to Australia and didn't because of her family, she regrets it to this day. She's not bitter, just sad. Good luck.

annecordelia Tue 25-Aug-20 10:09:14

Goodness, Rena, this is also my dilemma. I have always been closely involved with my 3 grandchildren. They live 70 miles away but as I'm a teacher I have always done much of the holiday childcare. However, I'm 59 but my husband, who is much younger than me, has decided we must move to the other end of the country. I agree with his reasons and would be looking forward to it, but for my daughter. She is angry and hurt and can't believe I am considering leaving her. She is happily married but her husband works long hours. But I don't think I have a choice. My husband has been very good to my daughter and grown up sons, but this move is something he is very keen on. I've told her I'll come down for a month in the summer and they can come up for holidays, but she is devastated. I've either got to go with him, or leave him and devote myself to my grandchildren. What complicates matters is that we have an 11 year old. I've spent much of the last week in tears.

quizqueen Tue 25-Aug-20 10:14:06

Moggie57- People don't like to hear the truth on this forum. Decisions are made for various reasons but it's no good then complaining that things will change!!

Kryptonite Tue 25-Aug-20 10:28:49

Tough decision. I think children are very adaptable to change and the 9 year old is old enough to understand your reasons. I guess it's worth trying and if things don't work out, you can always have a rethink later, then you won't be left wondering 'what if'. And yes, it happens the other way round too. Life is hard!

Hawera1 Tue 25-Aug-20 10:30:13

If the shoe was on the other foot our children would think.nothing about up and moving. How would you feel if you stayed and they moved. We moved closer to our son and grandson which was their idea but they constantly talk about moving overseas.

Pippa22 Tue 25-Aug-20 10:30:48

It sounds like a very difficult decision but one that I couldn’t make. Having very regular contact in person with my little people, having a little hand slip into mine and all the cute and interesting conversations are gold and wonderful. Everyone is making comments about how bridging the gap is easy now with Skype etc. but in my opinion it is a very poor alternative and to say otherwise is just kidology. Face to face regular contact is lovely and builds relationships, not possible for everyone I know but for some of us it is and we are very lucky.

Shinyredcar Tue 25-Aug-20 10:35:49

Grandparents have various roles, RENA1987, and one of them is to show how to live the life we have. You are setting an example by making a bold choice and making changes. This is a real lesson for your grandchildren, that we don't have to stop developing our own careers and experiences at any point.

One good thing that has come out of the Covid-19 time is that we realise that technology does allow us to stay in communication with family and friends, sometimes more frequently than people did before. You will be able to show your continuing interest in their lives and tell them all about your new one. It isn't worse. It's just different. Good luck, and don't waste energy feeling guilty. Enjoy the new opportunity!

Bella51 Tue 25-Aug-20 10:44:36

We have never lived close to our Gch. About 400 miles before we retired and now slightly further. My daughter made her choice to work and later on make her life in London. We had to accept the distance. We see quite a lot of the kids on social media chats and they visit when on holiday, we also visited a few times a year before Covid. It works fine.

Milliedog Tue 25-Aug-20 10:46:43

This is going to be hard for you, but exciting to begin a new chapter in your life. For years we lived a 6 hour plane journey from our wonderful son and much loved daughter in law. When our three grandchildren came along, I missed them all so much when we didn't see them. However, we stayed with them for about 2 weeks twice a year and they also visited us. We actually had wonderful quality time with them and saw more of them in big chunks than we do now they are back in the uk. Our eldest grandchild is at secondary school and has games matches at the weekend etc. And our son has a busy career. Life moves on and we all have to adapt, but the wonderful loving foundation you have built with your granddaughter will always remain

rowyn Tue 25-Aug-20 10:57:14

Start collecting postcards - ones that are funny or child orientated rather than boring 'place' ones are hard to find. Send them to your grandchildren at random intervals. Send them challenges - with a small reward promised if achieved.
Here a some examples of the ones I have sent to my 7 and 10 yr old grandsons. They were designed to be possible during lockdown.

When clothes go in the washing machine, lots can go wrong. Ask Mum or Dad for an OLD UNWANTED woolly jumper or maybe sock(s). Measure them before washing. Put them on a Hot wash and measure them again afterwards. You could also find out what turns a white wash pink!

IDENTIFY THREE BIRDS THAT YOU HAVE SEEN IN YOUR GARDEN OR ELSEWHERE. find out their names and draw them. What do they like to eat? Do they migrate? ( might help.


Make sure everyone exercises every day. Organise a skipping session, or a cycle ride, or just jogging to music in the garden?

In other words there are many ways you can still interact - and they will be special , designed by you to suit each child.

inishowen Tue 25-Aug-20 11:06:04

I grew up in Ireland and my grandparents lived in Liverpool. They came to stay in the summer and we visited them in October at half term. I adored them. We also wrote once a week and and received comics from them. My granny also sent knitted cardigans for us. Now, with the Internet there is so much more chance to have contact.