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Missing family, feeling blue ..

(24 Posts)
Bluepoppy Sun 26-May-19 19:35:24

Hi ... only joined a few weeks ago but everyone seems so helpful and supportive - I am hoping someone will be able to offer advice to my situation please?

Basically .. hubby and i moved from Wales to SW of England nearly 3 years ago. It was something we had wanted to do for years. The decision to move when we did was after my elderly, widowed father passed away, our sons had both moved into their own houses and after I had counselling for chronic generalised anxiety disorder and depression - ie: at the time it felt like a new start.

We absolutely love it where we live and have found a lovely house and have good jobs - but I miss our sons, new grandson and our future grand baby.

My youngest son and gf had baby a few weeks ago. We’ve seen him twice and I cannot stop looking at his photos, I love him so much already. My dil is an only child and is very close to her parents - they have always spent more time with her parents than us, even when we lived in Wales and I know they will never move away from them.

My eldest son and gf are expecting their first child at xmas and are considering moving to be near us. DIL (who sadly has no parents) would be with us now but our son is sensibly more hesitant re: jobs etc

We do not want to move back but I am finding it hard to imagine not being part of my grandchildren’s lives ... both from seeing them grow up and helping practically with childcare.

Hubby is a home bird and only wants to visit every other month and will only stop one night then. (We both work ft and only have weekends off anyway). Hubby wants family to come to us but they all work and it’s a 3 hour trip each way - I feel it’s unfair to expect that from then when it was us that moved away

I don’t think there is an answer to my dilemma .. we don’t want to move but don’t want to miss seeing grandchildren growing up. I feel so guilty already for not being there and I am actually feeling really low again and don’t want to sink back into depression.

Hope that all makes sense, I’ve babbled on a bit there ... just wondered if anyone has been thro similar or can offer some advise please?

Thank you so much in advance xx

M0nica Sun 26-May-19 20:27:45

Bluepoppy I live 200 miles from my DGC, DDiL's mother lives close. Distance has no effect on being a grandmother, staying close to your DGC and we do not feel we are missing seeing them growing up.

To begin with we are all on FaceBook and DS posts pictures of DGC almost every day with a summary of where and why the photo is taken. We speak regularly on the phone and now the eldest has started secondary school and has a phone we email and text each other.

Other grand parents Skype their grandchildren and use WhatsApp, neither of which we do.

DDiL's mother has been the on hand grandmother for emergency childcare and support for her daughter, but we have developed our own way of grandparenting that works quite as well. We visit (or they visit us) about every six weeks (school holidays and half term as all the family are teachers or pupils). We are younger and more adventurous than the other grandmother and doers, so we have helped with DIY, taught DGD to sew and DGS to develop a nature reserve at the bottom of the garden. DH is an engineer so designing and building quite elaborate Lego buildings is a doddle. We complement each other. She is on hand when help is needed, we cannot do that, but we can do things with the children that are less easy for her

You live in a wonderful part of the world. You can give the children experiences and take them places that they cannot do at home

One tip, make a friend of the local grandparents. For us two small families have melded into one. We always stay with DDiL's mother when we visit as staying with DS and family was too tight a squeeze, she has visited us on her own and we include each other in all family events.

Like you when the first DGC was on the way we wondered how things would work out, but it has been wonderful, we do not feel we are missing any of DGC's childhood.

Sara65 Sun 26-May-19 20:43:56

Totally agree with you M0nica regarding becoming friends with the in-laws. We met our oldest daughters in-laws quite early in the relationship, and although we live three hours apart, we quickly become friends. We always include each other in family occasions, and they have spent several Christmas’s with us.
There is no jealousy or rivalry, we bring different things to the family, and we always look forward to seeing each other, so happy to have met them and had their friendship

BlueBelle Sun 26-May-19 20:59:54

Hi bluepoppy I had to do a double take because on another forum I am Bluepoppy ??
My first grandchild was born in NZ thousands of miles away and living just round the corner from the other nanny and grandad, all seven of mine have been born overseas ? its just the way it goes we just can’t always be nearby and our adult families have to move around where they feel is right for them
Just because your husband doesn’t want to visit as regularly as you what’s to stop you going on your own sometimes ? And if you want to stay two nights stay two nights you are surely able to travel back alone if you are both able bodied enough to work
There’s always ways and means you just have to be prepared to alter your plans slightly

Avor2 Sun 26-May-19 21:22:44

It is hard when the DGC arrive. both our boys live a way from us, one in Somerset the other Portugal. We try to get to see them as much as we can, easier in Somerset of course, but they have DiL's mum there to help with little'un, also in Portugal our DGD has her other nan to help out, I always feels left out although when I do see them the other nans are brilliant, and give me time with the girls, we skype weekly and message on facebook etc, which isn't the same but better than nothing. You will find it gets easier and you get used to seeing them when you can, I go over to see them without DH as he doesn't always like the travelling, it works itself out, just make sure they get to see you enough that they remember you. Good luck to you, it will be fine. (you never know they may all decide to move nearer you then you can babysit) be careful what you wish for !!! (only joking)

Bluepoppy Sun 26-May-19 21:23:35

Hi Monica ... thank you so much for your reply, tips and advice.

You sound like lovely, fun grandparents, you have definitely given me a different line of thought to my negative thought pattern, thank you.

It really helps to know others who live a distance from their children/grandchildren stay close and don’t feel like they are missing out.

We are not on fb but they are - maybe that is a good place for us to start.

Our son is sending regular photos and updates of our new grandson by text and as he gets older I’m sure phone calls and Skype will become the norm.

I’ve been so down the last few weeks but you have been a real inspiration, thank you so much.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday x

Bluepoppy Sun 26-May-19 21:40:05

Hi Sara
Thank you very much for your reply. My youngest sons in-laws adore him which is wonderful, I think he is the son they never had. Although we get on with them, we have never had regular contact .. it’s just been 21st b’days, graduation, engagements etc but maybe now we share a grandson we have much more in common, so yes that makes perfect sense.
Thank you again .. have a lovely Bank Holiday x

Bluepoppy Sun 26-May-19 21:53:45

Hi BlueBelle .. thank you for your reply, funny sharing the same name but on another forum, can imagine the double take when you saw it lol ?

You certainly sound like you cope with the distance and it’s a lot further away. I did go on the train to see new grandson for the day on my own last week .. it was 7 hour round trip and cost £160 and I didn’t want to leave. But I have decided to save my OT money from work to do it again and maybe stay a night or two like you suggested. I think I will also look into a railcard to see if it cheaper.
Thank you again for taking the time to reply, very much appreciated.
Have a lovely Bank Holiday x

Bluepoppy Sun 26-May-19 22:17:55

Hi Avor2
Thank you so much for your reply. I think because our grandson is newborn it’s hard to imagine how he will know and remembers us, esp as dil parents will always be there .. but yes I think fb, phone calls and regular trips up (prob a lot on my own) will be the best way forward. I certainly don’t feel alone now, it helps so much to know other have similar situations and seem to manage well.

Maybe when he's older it will get easier as you say, really hope so!

Don’t think youngest son and gf will move down tbh but will keep?. Eldest son and dil may well move down sooner or later as she is due end of the year and has no family or support where they live, she is already house hunting but we’ll see how things go.

Many thanks for your kind words and support - have a lovely Bank Holiday x

Wobbles Sun 26-May-19 23:28:30

Hi Bluepoppy
I'm a long distance GM, My twin GS live the other side of the country to me. It is difficult to be apart from them but communication is so easy. We have weekly WhatsApp video calls, which are always entertaining and keep the relationship strong.
I'm looking forward to having them for a week in the summer holidays without their parents.
You will have days when your heart will ache because of the distance but that will make the time you spend together even more precious.

agnurse Mon 27-May-19 03:45:02

We live in Canada and Hubby is a British ex-pat. His family still live in the UK. We keep in touch by phone and Skype and have visited twice in the 8 years we have been married; we are hoping to return next year. DSD knows her grandparents very well.

Starlady Mon 27-May-19 04:35:13

Welcome, Bluepoppy! And congratulations on your growing family! Also, how wonderful that you and DH were able to move to a place you really love!

Still, I understand how you feel about being a LDGP (long distance grandparent). But I think you've been given some excellent advice here, and I'm glad to see it has lifted your spirits. Wishing you and yours all the best moving forward!

stella1949 Mon 27-May-19 05:16:02

My daughter moved 600 miles away at Christmas. Sometimes I feel that my heart will break, I miss the children so much.I'm at the mercy of my daughter, who is very loving but also very unorganised. She promises to Facetime me on this or that day, so I can talk and see the children, but then she forgets. Sometimes I lie in bed and just cry from missing them.

BradfordLass72 Mon 27-May-19 05:54:01

Hi Bluepoppy Unless one is privileged to have grandchildren visiting regularly, I don't think we ever see them as much as we'd like.
As time goes on, your situation will change. Especially if you can set up Skype and talk that way. It still won't be enough but it's something.
I hope your son and gf do move, is he looking for jobs within easy reach of your area? He's very sensible to build the nest first smile

My first grand-daughter (26 just a few days ago) is currently working 13,000km away in the UK and there are no plans, at the moment, for her to come back.
She lived with me on and off for the first few years of her life and we are very close, so I miss her a lot.

I also have a 10 year old step-grandson who only lives at the other side of the city. He's a delight, really good company and we love one another very much but his Mum likes to fill all his 'spare time' with extra curricular activities - so it is months between visits to me, even though he constantly asks to come here.

So we Grandmothers have to be grateful for what we get, don't we because just having these lovely people in our lives is such a blessing.

Sar53 Mon 27-May-19 06:26:49

Hello Bluepoppy. I have one daughter who lives about 50 miles away. I drive to see her and my 2 granddaughters every few weeks and stay for 2 or 3 days. I can get there and back in a day but lots of motorway driving.
My eldest daughter lives about 130 miles away. I visit her and 3 granddaughters about every 6 to 8 weeks but go by train. I usually stay for 5/6 days at a time. I try to go when a babysitter is needed as other grandparents live a lot further away or to see granddaughters in dance/ school productions. It's not ideal but works for us.
If you do visit by train think about a Senior railcard and booking tickets on train line.
It can work out a lot cheaper.
As others have said we would all like to see more of our grandchildren or live closer but, alas, it doesn't always turn out like that.

BlueBelle Mon 27-May-19 06:29:54

Yes do get a rail card,bluepoppy it will cut the fare down considerable or pre book online with one of the many train apps, you can get some real bargains there My daughter and two teens travelled 130 miles recently for £25 each by booking ahead online it’s very simple it will be fun sorting it all out and ‘beating the system to get a bargain’

I had a nan I saw every day and a gran who I saw very little of who lived about half a mile away’s up to you

You have to turn a negative into a positive

Nansnet Mon 27-May-19 10:22:59

My son, DiL and GC live a couple of thousand miles away, so I don't get to see them often. We do speak on Skype once or twice a week, and I try to get over to where they live every couple of months or so for a few days, so it's not so bad, but of course it's never often/long enough! In the beginning, I felt pretty gutted that I couldn't see my GC regularly, as I'd always imagined myself to have a close relationship with any GC, and I wanted to be a hands-on grandparent, just like my own parents were to my children, but it wasn't to be. My son and DiL have their own lives to lead, and have a good life, for which I am very grateful. As time goes by, I realize that I will always be my GCs grandmother, and we will do our best to keep a good relationship going. I understand now, from reading many posts on Gransnet, that there are many grandparents in the same situation, who don't have regular contact with their GC, yet they still maintain close relationship with them. Obviously, when the children are young babies, they perhaps don't remember us from one visit to the next, but I'm sure as they get older, and have regular contact on Skype, they will remember us, and hopefully look forward to our visits with excitement!

Missfoodlove Mon 27-May-19 11:38:05

We rent a holiday let every so often with good facilities for children, we then look after our granddaughter while our daughter and partner use the spa go out for dinner etc.
We choose a half way spot or somewhere the family are keen to visit.

ditzyme Mon 27-May-19 11:46:52

Lucky you having such dilemmas. Imagine not ever having seen your grandchildren, never being likely to until they are of an age where they will understand this situation which is not of our making, even though they are less than ten miles away. Just enjoy what you have, find ways to keep in touch, it's so easy these days thanks to computers and so on. And spare a thought for the hundreds, possibly thousands, of people in similar situation to us. And believe me, they exist as I know after writing an article for a certain magazine about this situation and getting masses of response.

glammanana Mon 27-May-19 11:53:06

Bluepoppy My OH and I moved abroad nearly 20 yrs ago now and whilst it was a difficult decision to make we had to take the chanse even though we would be leaving our DD and DGCs here in UK.
They spent all the holidays with us and when you worked it out I saw more of them than if I was in UK,I booked all flights etc well ahead to get best deals and always had someting to look forward to.
We have been back here 10yrs now with my family close by to us but hey ho youngest son has just told us he and his wife are moving to another part of the country in 2 months time,whilst I will miss them they have to do what is best for them and their careers.

Feelingmyage55 Mon 27-May-19 12:13:55

Hello and welcome. Regards train travel, there is a Club 50 card if you are not yet 60. It is also good to book ahead. As well as face time, you can use WhatsApp and have group messaging. My grandmother lived several hours away and visiting her, because it could only be in school holidays, was extra special. She taught me many skills that have been invaluable because the visits were not “drop ins”.

M0nica Mon 27-May-19 16:48:31

I was just taking down the Easter carddrawn for us by our 8 year old DGS.

It is a family portrait with each person described: nice daddy, pretty mummy, good sister and over us - best grandparents - (if he had included his other grandma she would have been beside us under the same heading).

You can be a distance but still be close.

BlueBelle Mon 27-May-19 17:28:58

Just a thought I was 20 an only child and I went off to live in the Far East when my parents mum and dad first grandchild was born They didn’t see her until she was nearly 2 This was late 60 s No phones not even a house phone no videos nothing only airletters which to over a week to arrive
We are so blessed with instant communication now

M0nica Mon 27-May-19 17:41:38

I had a similar experience in my childhood, Bluebelle. My father was in the army and six years of mine and my sisters childhood was spent in the Far East.

My maternal grandmother lived with us for the first four years of my life as her house was destroyed in the Blitz, she only moved out when her house was rebuilt. Then her grandchildren were whipped away and we didn't see her for three years.

She died just a fortnight after my parents headed east for the second time. When my mother parted from her for that posting she knew it was probably the last time she would see her mother alive. She had not, however, expected it so soon. My grandmother slipped on an icy pavement a few days after her departure and died of her injuries. My mother was not an only child, but we were the only grandchildren.

As you say, the only means of communication was airletters and the occasional parcel.

Even when we were in England, we lived in Carlisle then north Yorkshire so visits south or her finding the fare to travel north limited visits to only about 3 a year.

I also stayed with her for a week or two on a couple of occasions. I absolutely adored her and was devastated when she died.