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Meeting GC abroad for the first time

(27 Posts)
londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 00:04:52

I'm not a gran, but I hope it's okay to post here looking for the advice/ideas of some.

Due to covid border closures, my parents haven't yet met my two children, their first GC. They are finally able to travel to us in Australia next month and are coming for a visit, and we couldn't be more excited! The little ones are 4 months and 18 months.

I'm just looking for some ideas on how to make the trip extra special for them, are there any activities/things you love doing with your GC? Or anything that'd really be the icing on the cake meeting them for the first time after so long?

I've asked my parents, but I get the feeling talking to them that they're worried about overstepping/inconveniencing us, no matter how much I tell them otherwise! My in laws aren't involved GPs unfortunately, so this is the first time we've had grandparents coming to visit and I'd just love to make it perfect for them.

Thank you in advance for any replies!

vegansrock Wed 06-Jul-22 03:28:08

They are coming to see you as well as the children so being together is the important thing. They sound like they want to help you and want to be “ hands on” during their visit , so just allowing them to help you with the little ones will be appreciated. Taking the toddler out for a walk while you grab a nap with the baby, holding the baby / playing with the toddler while you have a shower, cooking a meal , that sort of thing. I’m sure they’re super excited and just want to be involved with your little ones. Have a list of suggestions , so when they ask what they can do to help you can give them a list!

londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 04:31:53

The list is a wonderful idea, I hadn't thought of that, thank you! You're right, I think they're really excited to be hands on and I'm more than happy for them to take the little ones to the park/do anything they'd like.

Allsorts Wed 06-Jul-22 06:01:39

How wonderful for you all. I can imagine how excited I would be. Vegansrock is right, just to be with you all and do normal things will mean everything.

Calendargirl Wed 06-Jul-22 06:53:52

We tried to visit every year when our Australian GC were small, (grown up now).

We were happy just to spend time with our DD and SIL, when he wasn’t working, and of course the children. She was a stay at home mum, we enjoyed going with them all to do grocery shopping, the local garden centre, taking children for walks, helping cook meals etc.

Important not to swamp the children, let them get used to you, we were lucky, ours quickly adapted to us being there.

I hope you have a lovely time, make the most of it, before you know it they are young men and women!

Calendargirl Wed 06-Jul-22 06:55:58

Should add, although seeing the GC was wonderful, it was also seeing and spending precious time with our DD that mattered also.

Madgran77 Wed 06-Jul-22 07:08:42

They will love being with all of you. Letting them know key routines soon after they arrive, letting them help with those, letting them play/take to park/feed/cuddle/bath time /chat to you when a free moment will all be special. And maybe arrange a couple of mother/daughter sole trips shopping/lunch whilst SIL/Grandad chat and child care. Or father/daughter trip? Have a lovely lovely time all of you!

Madgran77 Wed 06-Jul-22 07:20:30

Oh and also family trips out, picnics etc sure those will be appreciated too!

Shelflife Wed 06-Jul-22 08:25:38

Have a wonderful time , everyone must be super excited! Your children are very young , so when your parents arrive pace yourself - don't overdo it. Your parents just want to be with you and meet their GC. Relax and enjoy your reunion.

sodapop Wed 06-Jul-22 08:51:30

You will all have a great time londongirl but try not to plan too much, you all need to relax and get to know each other again. As others have said your parents will just enjoy everyday life with you and the children. Enjoy your time together.

wildswan16 Wed 06-Jul-22 08:57:44

They will be so happy just to be with you and the children. They will also be exhausted for the first few days so I would just stay at home and let them relax and meet their GC.

I am exactly the same when I visit my family - I don't want them to go to any trouble - I just want to share their day to day lives. Occasional trips out are fine - but don't think you have to fill every minute with "special" things. They will want to spend time with the children and build memories - that is best done at home while they are so tiny.

Hope you all have a wonderful time together.

NotSpaghetti Wed 06-Jul-22 10:01:06

I think doing "special" things is lovely but the things that bring the long lasting joy is learning how ordinary life works for your family overseas.

I loved learning about the day-to-day activities, the lay-out of their home, their neighbourhood and their lives. I like to see the places they call "home".

When I lived in America with my little ones, and my parents were in the UK they wanted to know about my children's favourite parks, the supermarket we walked to, the "ordinary" things. I found this peculiar at the time but indulged them with random photos and sketch maps by post. They couldn't visit us all those years ago. It was a surprise to me, years later that these were exactly the things we wanted to know when our son moved the other side of the globe and our daughter and family moved abroad.

Yes, just "hanging out" with your overseas family is THE BEST.
Treats are lovely, but shopping and walking, collecting little ones from school (or taking them to a playgroup) - sort of, walking in their footsteps, or at least alongside their day-to-day lives, is what I bring home these days.

Also, maybe build in a few days when you don't hang out with them. Have some suggestions for places to visit. I think you will both need days off!

Have a lovely visit.

NotSpaghetti Wed 06-Jul-22 10:03:06

Sorry Wildswan and others - X posts. I started this early then walked away.
I see now that doing "ordinary " stuff has been said.

londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 10:42:16

Thank you all so much for your kind words, advice and wisdom! I hadn't even considered that it might be the best of all for them to just come along on our day to day life. I can't wait to show them all the things we do & share our life here with them. I don't think there's anything more special than grandparents smile

aonk Wed 06-Jul-22 10:54:29

As a Grandma I would advise you to let the grandparents have some freedom to do what they would like with your children. If you’re careful with things like sweets and ice creams let them treat the children occasionally. My friend has just returned from an overseas visit to her son and DIL. She wasn’t allowed to take the children out on her own as DIL didn’t trust her not to buy them anything!

JenniferEccles Wed 06-Jul-22 11:02:34

You sound a lovely family and I’m sure you will all have wonderful memories from the visit.

I would echo what others have said about not feeling you have to fill every day with fun activities.
You have two little ones very close in age so I’m sure you get pretty tired at times, as your parents certainly will to start with after that marathon flight!
I hope you all have a wonderful reunion!

ayse Wed 06-Jul-22 11:06:12

I loved visiting my Aussie family. I just fitted in the best I could helping with household jobs etc. Just being part of the family was the most important thing. Have a lovely time with your family.

H1954 Wed 06-Jul-22 11:15:53

How perfectly lovely for you all ❤️. I'm sure your parents are equally as excited too. And you should be applauded for taking time to make the visit as good as possible for everyone concerned, well done!

It's important to remember that the children have never met their grandparents and they will appear as complete strangers so don't be surprised if the children are a little distant at first, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them.

As someone suggested earlier perhaps grandparents could take the older one out whilst you rest with the baby??

There is a host of things you can plan but maybe let them get over the jet lag and take things day by day.

I wish you well for the forthcoming and long overdue visit, have fun and make precious memories.

HeavenLeigh Wed 06-Jul-22 11:25:14

What a lovely post! I hope everything goes well for you all londongirl and you have a wonderful time together,

Callistemon21 Wed 06-Jul-22 11:58:55

We do the normal family things (including helping out with chores if asked but not taking over!).

We also booked some day tours for ourselves so that we weren't in their hair all day every day, so saw some of the surrounding area as well as giving our DD a break from having to think up outings.

It depends how long they're coming for, of course. A couple of weeks is easy to fill, if it's much longer than taking themselves off for days out might be a good idea (if you can suggest it). DD let us borrow her car sometimes so in fact we went off and did the supermarket shopping more than once to give her a break and contribute to the food bill.

londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 12:02:29


As a Grandma I would advise you to let the grandparents have some freedom to do what they would like with your children. If you’re careful with things like sweets and ice creams let them treat the children occasionally. My friend has just returned from an overseas visit to her son and DIL. She wasn’t allowed to take the children out on her own as DIL didn’t trust her not to buy them anything!

Oh I really feel for your friend there, especially after travelling overseas! I am more than happy for my parents to take the little ones and treat them as they see fit, I have the most wonderful memories of my grandparents calling "grandma's rules" whenever we visited and giving us all sorts of treats!

londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 12:19:53

Thank you all again for even more kind responses and great ideas! I think I'd feel very strange letting them help with house chores, I definitely won't complain if they'd like to take the little ones while I do them though grin

Sago Wed 06-Jul-22 12:26:00

How about having some professional photos taken of all of you together?
The informal photographs that are now on trend are fab.

londongirl476 Wed 06-Jul-22 12:29:29


How about having some professional photos taken of all of you together?
The informal photographs that are now on trend are fab.

That's a great idea, I'll look into it! My parents would love that, they've been asking us to get some done they can put up on the wall for sooo long!

BlueSky Wed 06-Jul-22 23:05:42

Sale hère Calendargirl I tried to visit my DC and DGC in Australia every year when they were little, and I have such precious memories. I haven’t been able to visit