Gransnet forums


Long distance grandparenting

(31 Posts)
NannyB2604 Wed 29-Apr-20 08:31:46

Hi all, hope you're keeping safe and well.
I never thought that having family 1000s of miles away could be a good thing, but its certainly helped me in this lockdown situation. You see, for DH and me, communicating with DS, DiL and DGD by Skype, letters and phonecalls is normal. I can't say it ever becomes easy, but you do get used to it over time. Just be thankful that you're helping to keep you and your family safe by not meeting them, and look forward to the time when you can hug them again. For us, I can't see that being any time this year, but we keep on hoping.
Stay safe everyone xxx

BlueSky Wed 29-Apr-20 08:39:06

Same here NannyB virtual grand parenting has been the norm for the past 10 years, my DGC are now all teenagers. Like you not sure when I'll be able to visit again but we've got to be optimistic!

Lucca Wed 29-Apr-20 09:11:18

Same for me with one lot in Oz and the others 70 miles away.
Thank goodness for FaceTime. I’ve been reading a book to GS in Sydney that I read to his father about 35 years ago, and he reads to me.

CassieJ Wed 29-Apr-20 09:48:53

Same here. My son lives in Canada, so this is the norm for us. I see my grandchildren via Skype each week.

I was hoping to visit this summer, but it is looking more and more unlikely that this will go ahead, so we shall continue with our Skype calls.

NanaPlenty Wed 29-Apr-20 09:51:13

I’m really missing hugs but how lucky we are to have the technology available to be face to face if only on a screen.

Omaoma57 Wed 29-Apr-20 10:03:06

My grandchildren are in the USA. Visited in January, so lucky to have had time with them then! As the poster says we are lucky to have skype and zoom both of which are easy to use and free!

Grandmalove Wed 29-Apr-20 10:13:18

My 7 year old granddaughter is in Australia. My daughter decided to keep her off school as she has viral induced asthma. I read her a bedtime story several times a week (using FaceTime) which lets me see that she is safe and well.

Calendargirl Wed 29-Apr-20 10:20:42

As I’ve posted before, we GP’s with family overseas have had to accept this type of situation for years, and it gets rather tiresome to read about GN’ers over here who are forever bemoaning the fact that they are missing their GC.
It won’t be forever!

Davida1968 Wed 29-Apr-20 10:30:49

Same for me, except that we had hoped to go over there to see them, next month. It's been two years since we last saw our DS and family; now I think we'll have to wait until 2021. This is hard, but I remind myself that we are all safe & well.

nipsmum Wed 29-Apr-20 10:38:47

I never thought about this before. Is it harder for people like me who are used to seeing their grandchildren 3 or 4 times a week and almost every weekend to not be able to see them at all except on a screen.? I miss mine terribly. They live 3 miles away and I can't see and hug them at all. We just have to keep going and hope things improve soon. Keep safe everyone. You are important.

Grandmabeach Wed 29-Apr-20 10:47:37

Our grandchildren live between 3 to 4 hours drive away. They all have busy social lives with birthday parties, swimming lessons etc. Since they all started school we have got used to only seeing them every 6 weeks in school holiday time but Skype/Face time once a week. Thanks to technology we have been able to have 3-way chats and even a virtual birthday chat yesterday. It is great being able to see the grandchildren interact with each other. Of course we miss the hugs but better to stay safe and know we will have many more years to enjoy them.

LeighC Wed 29-Apr-20 10:53:20

I usually look after my 21 month old Granddaughter Monday to Thursday for 2 and a half hours. I've done that since she was 8 months old. We often see them at the weekends too so it has been very hard not being able to have cuddles. They only live 15 minutes away and it's been tempting to flout the rules but I wouldn't even though my husband has suggested arranging to meet up with them 'accidentally' on the canal tow path. Hopefully next week we will be allowed to see them lawfully and what a day that will be!

4allweknow Wed 29-Apr-20 10:57:49

Been doing the virtual stuff more than ever. Think the families have more time so we are having quizzes and music sessions too. Have one GC only 50 miles away who I see more often than the far away ones so do miss the cuddles from her.

vickya Wed 29-Apr-20 11:06:50

I was seeing 5 year old granddaughter every week or fortnight and 3 year old grandson less often as a difficult car trip but I'm seeing both more often on zoom now smile.

I'm helping with reading and writing a couple of times a week for granddaughter and reading stories and playing with grandson a couple of times as his mum is working from home and dad gets tired and likes to help grandson chat to me.

We had the 5 year old birthday party last Friday on zoom with 10 different connected people and all talking and wishing her happy birthday and we sang it too. She wore the Ladybug outfit I got her and they showed us the birthday cake her 14 year old brother baked for her.

ginny Wed 29-Apr-20 11:13:07

I’ve always felt the pain ( if that’s the right word) of GP whose loved ones are far apart.
I am lucky that mine all live within 20 minutes drive. Usually see them all at least once a week and often more. So grateful for FaceTime and Zoom.

jerseygirl Wed 29-Apr-20 11:25:08

Same for me. My grandson, daughter and son in law live in Perth in Australia so we have always spoken to them via skype and facetime. My grandson is 8 and was born there. They were supposed to be coming over for a visit in june but that has been postponed. They are hoping to come next easter so fingers crossed.

HillyN Wed 29-Apr-20 11:54:32

I am used to spending a lot of time with my grandchildren and we are keeping in touch on FaceTime. I now sometimes read a bedtime story to my 3 year old GS (Grandad makes the sound effects!) and he 'gets' the way it is and we can interact. What saddens me is that my 8 month old GD cannot understand at all, doesn't respond much to the screen and when we have walked passed their house and chatted from the garden she looks blankly at me with a 'who are you?' expression. Before lockdown I always got a smile.

Lucca Wed 29-Apr-20 12:00:28

Nipsmum. It is not really harder because when this is over it will take you about 30minutes to get to see them. More than 24 hours for some.......assuming long haul flights ever get up and running again..

jocork Wed 29-Apr-20 12:20:43

I feel sorry for so many of my friends who are used to seeing family most days who are finding this time really hard. I live a long way from my adult children so see them less often. Using facetime and zoom is a new experience and at the moment I feel more connected than I did before. My first grandchild is on the way but the parents should be moving abroad soon after the birth for my son's job for 2 or 3 years. I'm due to retire soon so should be able to visit when this is over but it will be long-distance grandparenting whatever. I hope when they return to the UK I'll be able to downsize and move nearer but that is a little way off for now. We all need to be grateful for what we have at present, especially good health, and look forward to time together when it is possible, however infrequent that may be.

Conni7 Wed 29-Apr-20 12:40:31

My three children have lived in other countries for 10, 20 and 35 years, so I am well used to communicating via Skype, Duo and now Zoom. Strangely, we seem to have become closer as we now have regular times for this as we compare different rules in different countries. They were all due to visit in August as usual, but I feel this may not happen now.

juju17 Wed 29-Apr-20 13:44:16

Hi jerseygirl, my two sons live in Australia with a first grandchild due this summer. Our flights were booked to go and see them all, but sadly this looks unlikely to happen. Hoping to go as soon as we can though, fingers crossed

Suzan05 Wed 29-Apr-20 13:55:58

My daughter and her partner live three and a half hours out of Perth, Australia. I am in the UK. They are expecting their first baby at the end of May. Daughter has to go to Perth two weeks before the expected date as they live out in the wheatbelt and the hospital likes all pregnant women to be closer to hospital nearer to the birth. This avoids a flying doctor or air ambulance trip during labour. We were due to go out in June and again in December when my daughter will be spending lots of time alone, after the birth because of seeding and Christmas time because of harvest. We do speak almost daily using WhatsApp etc but it won’t be the same as being able to help out or give our new grandchild a cuddle. everyone says they are safe and well receiving excellent care so that is what counts. I have three grandchildren in the UK, one I see on the iPad regularly the other two less so as they are very busy with school work and online teaching and lecturing, but again I’m thankful that they are all well.
? to all the grandmas and grandads waiting for those first cuddles and reuniting with family.

juju17 Wed 29-Apr-20 14:01:00

Thanks and it seems to help when you know others are in the same situation. Both sons there and no more children so none here! We too, were looking forward to new baby cuddles and had booked flights to make that happen, but as you say, as long as they are all healthy and happy.... that’s the main thing . Miss them all though as I’m sure everyone in this situation does.

dolphindaisy Wed 29-Apr-20 14:05:40

My daughter and grandchildren live in Australia so I'm used to seeing them on Facetime. Thankfully we booked a last minute trip to see them in February and returned just before lockdown. I'm so glad we made that trip as I don't know when we'll get out again. I'm afraid I do feel a little annoyed at friends moaning to me they can "only" see their DGC at the end of the garden path.

juju17 Wed 29-Apr-20 14:11:27

dolphindaisy.. we were also out there in January, February and returned just as the lockdown was happening. We feel very lucky to have had that time together and are very much looking forward to when we can go again.
Thinking of all who have children and grandchildren far away ❤️