Gransnet forums


Long distance grandparenting

(85 Posts)
Ella46 Thu 14-Jun-12 15:05:50

((hugs)) from me too. I'm so lucky to have my son & family a 3 minute drive away, and my dd is just under an hours drive.
flowers for you all.

Butternut Thu 14-Jun-12 14:58:04

My way of dealing with having my two grandchildren living in the USA is to live as full and well a life as I can here. At 4 and 2 they are still little, and I intend to be around for a long time for them. I visit once a year, with or without my husband, depending upon our finances. We have just had a very brief visit from them all of 4/5 days (and caught up with friends in London) - not nearly long enough - but finances and other commitments prevented them from staying longer. It was wonderful that the grandchildren recognised us through skype, and 'Monkey' - their favourite hand puppet who has a French accent! It was their first visit here. One is autistic, so it was particularly special. We are hoping our next visit to see them will be Sept. 2013.

We also took time to look at pooling our 'holiday' financial resources in the future, when the possibility of long haul travel from our end might not be as easy.

I can't say I miss them all the time, because they have never been a regular fixture in my daily life here, but there are days when I would give so much to see them running around the garden. Houses do come alive with children, and although I value peace and quiet, having them all here gave us and this cottage of ours deep pleasure and a sense of roots. All three generations under one roof was great!

When I feel isolated from my family, I take care to remind myself of their happiness, and know that I have done a good job in giving them the freedom to fly. smile

Hugs for all long-distance grandparents.

lucyinthesky Thu 14-Jun-12 14:46:00

My husband and I are about to get divorced this year (after 30+ years of marriage) as he is gay. My new partner is French so I spend about 70% of my time with him in Paris trying to build a new life at the ripe old age of 64.

Meanwhile our eldest daughter who still lives in London will be having our first grandchild late September and I already worry about being away from them (although obv I will be back for the birth and to help when they need it)

In the same way that we encourage our children to be independent and ive where it is best for them, I am in the opposite situation. In order to create a life for myself I choose to be in Paris but of course I miss the proximity of my children, and my soon to be grandchild sad

If anyone can give any tips as to how to maintain the closeness of family relationships while living apart I'd be very grateful. I do have Skype but it isn't always great neither is the phone as I am partially deaf.


Mamie Thu 14-Jun-12 14:25:33

Yes it is hard. We are in France, daughter and family in UK, son and family in Spain. We Skype regularly, but it is definitely not the same. The good thing is that our time together is precious and the grandchildren regard it as a treat rather than an everyday thing.

grannyscalpay Thu 14-Jun-12 14:01:04

Oh, how pertinent this topic is for me! I live in Scotland, and my grandchildren are all in Canada. I spend a fortune travelling back and forth, and fortunately, my husband doesn't object. One grandson told his teacher I live at the airport. I agree with the granny who wrote that the visits where you spend several weeks with family are good, but the time between visits is difficult. Daughter and two granddaughters just spent 3 weeks with me in Scotland, and it was wonderful. But how quiet and lonesome the house was when they left! Skype and e-mail is great, but it's not the same. sad

meringues Thu 14-Jun-12 13:47:17

Our daughter moved over to The States 12 years ago, we have two adored american grandsons. Realistically, when we visit we spend more time with them than if we lived around the corner. I encouraged my children to "spread their wings" just as my parents did with the four of us. The distance is huge, yes, (they are in Southern California), but they have a fabulous life, and I don't resent that at all. They will be with us in 3 week's time, and already they are asking about meringues, the Olympic Torch, and their bedside books. Their Granpa and I love the anticipation and the noise when they are here.

SueDonim Thu 14-Jun-12 13:33:08

Our only grandchild, T, also lives in California so we have the same issues as Janice has. When our grandson was born we ourselves were living in W Africa which made life even more complicated!

In the time since he was born we have been able to see our grandson more than I had imagined at first. We twice visited the US in his first year and our son and family came to the UK twice as well. Last year we went once to California and they again visited us for Christmas. This year, we plan to visit in October and hopefully they'll be here for Christmas again.

Our situation is complicated by my husband working abroad and we still have our youngest (of four) child at school so fitting in holidays to suit everyone isn't easy. There is also the cost of flights and hotels and I try not to think about what will happen if/when we get too decrepit to make the long trips, though I hope that won't be for many years yet!

We Skype regularly and T is now at an age where he interacts with us quite happily, though it has to be said, he is generally more interested in our cat than in us!! There is no replacement for hugs, though. I try to console myself by telling myself that when they do visit, it's usually for a couple of weeks at a time so our contact with our GS is simply concentrated into a short space of time rather than a couple of hours here and there.

I do sometimes reflect on the fact that when our children were smaller, we encouraged them to think that the world was their oyster, that there were no limits to what they could do or where they could go. It never dawned on us that the result might be four children who all live in different places!

Grandma5 Thu 14-Jun-12 13:18:26

I read this with a tear in my eye,as it all sounds horribly familiar.My daughter also moved away with my grandchildren six months ago,and i find adjusting from seeing them every day to every now and then very difficult.

ProfMum Thu 14-Jun-12 13:12:13

This is very touching. We've just become grandparents for the first time - we live in Cardiff, they live in London, so not nearly so far as the USA. But the problem is similar - how to have routine contact, how to help, babysit, do practical things; how to make sure our lovely little granddaughter, Laura, knows who we are and becomes attached to us.

On the plus side, when we see them, they come to stay, or we stay with them, it's not just brief drop in visits, it's round-the-clock.

But one day, maybe, especially if more grandchildren come along, we may have to decide to move back to London - hmm. Not a hugely attractive prospect, and very expensive.

What to do ....

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 14-Jun-12 10:24:37

Janice Bhend's sons moved to the US - and her grandchildren all live thousands of miles away. How to cope with the constant goodbyes and how to be a good gran at such a distance? Read more in our guest blog post and add your views and experiences to this thread.