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More pain for long distance Grandparents

(14 Posts)
hopefulnanny Tue 25-Sep-12 16:26:48

Hi all
I am back again. Just when I thought life was getting a bit more settled my dear daughter announced to me that she is pregnant again with her 2nd child. She lives in Australia and our first Grandchild was born there last March. We got to see him when he was 3 months old so that was lovely. However we had made plans for her to come back in Feb and stay for his first birthday. She now informs me that due to the pregnancy she will have to come a month earlier and so the celebrations will be off. Now i need to cancel the hall etc. I realise these things happen and I am absolutely thrilled for them and us that she is having another baby despite the fact that I think she will have her hands full and there is no one there to support her. But she tells me her in laws are going to stay for 3 months to help as they know it is difficult for us as we have a disabled son and the journey is quite a strain on him. This said I could not believe that she was saying that maybe we could go out there for xmas next year. The baby is due in May. How could she think we would not want to see it before then. I am totally devastated. I am feeling alot of anger and I am ashamed to say resentment towards my son in law as it has always been evident that he gives more priority to his side of the family. I am probably not thinking straight as my emotions are so raw. I dont think they know the pain of seeing our grandchild and not being able to kiss him or play with him. I realise they have their own lives to live but I feel so sad .
Thanks for listening and any advice and honesty will be appreciated

janeainsworth Tue 25-Sep-12 16:34:51

Oh dear I am so sorry, Hopefulnanny, we too have grandchildren far away, in the States. I know how hard it is when you don't get to see them.
The only thing I would say is never say anything in anger which could cause a rift. Give it a bit of time and then maybe you could suggest to your daughter you could perhaps go sooner than Christmas.

Ana Tue 25-Sep-12 16:46:39

I'm sure your daughter has no idea how hurt and upset you are, hopefulnanny - she's probably just trying to include you as much as possible in the circumstances, knowing that travelling as a family is difficult for you. It must be disappointing that your grandson won't be here for his first birthday, but at least you will see both of them, and why not celebrate early anyway? Don't you think Christmas in Australia would be wonderful? The new baby will only be 7 months old...

Butternut Tue 25-Sep-12 17:14:33

hopeful - I am so sorry to read of your disappointment. Like janeainsworth, my grandchildren live in the States, and it can be really difficult at times to maintain an up-beat and positive attitude. Ana makes some really good points. Christmas would be lovely, but it is probably the most expensive time to travel, so earlier or even a little later might be better.
I didn't see my granddaughter until she was 6 months old, and it was a delight. I didn't feel I had missed anything at all and at that age they are very responsive.
I've just spent a crazy 10 mins. on Google Hangout (an alternative to skype) - and it was lovely just to see their (very grubby) faces!
I try not to feel resentment against the big Italian family that all live close by - but I must admit there are times it creeps in! I try to maintain the attitude that it is as it is and know my grandchildren are lucky to have them around.
Take care flowers

annodomini Tue 25-Sep-12 17:18:37

Hopeful - you can hardly blame your SiL for prioritising his parents who must be equally eager to be with their grandchildren. Your DD probably thinks she is being considerate to you because of your travelling difficulties and at least she is coming to stay (although travelling with a lively baby poses quite challenge) albeit too soon for the baby's birthday. An early celebration would be all the same to him as babies don't know about birthdays even if you do. Lucky boy could have two celebrations! And Christmas with the two wee ones will be such fun. Surely your DD thinks it will be a real treat for you. Something to look forward to sunshine

JessM Tue 25-Sep-12 17:37:43

A big hug for you hopeful it is really tough isn't it.

Butternut Tue 25-Sep-12 17:54:03

Ditto Jess - that says it all.

whenim64 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:35:17

hopeful there will be lots of gains from seeing the baby when he or she is a few months old, but meanwhile have you got Skype so you could look in and see how things are going? It is tough, I know flowers

absentgrana Wed 26-Sep-12 09:54:34

hopeful Another baby – that's great news.

There are always going to be problems, sadness and mistakenly hurt feelings when families live half a world away from each other. I visited my daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, aged two and three, in New Zealand for Christmas in 2005, staying for three months. I didn't see her again until 2010 when she and her husband, plus two younger children, aged two and three, visited us. I then visited earlier this year to share the care when a new grandchild came along in March. The others were 10, eight, five and just coming up to four.

I expect your daughter will be delighted to see you whenever it is possible for you to travel to visit. I suspect that she suggested Christmas because that is such a family time. I would go ahead and celebrate your grandson's birthday – or unbirthday – anyway when they visit next year. I threw a huge family and friends party when absentdaughter and first baby grandson visited – it doesn't have to be a birthday.

harrigran Wed 26-Sep-12 12:04:53

hopeful it sounds as if your DD has thought this out, I think that I would be grateful that she is prepared to travel such a long distance while pregnant and with a little one too. By offering you Christmas too she thinks she is offering the ultimate family celebration. I would just be happy to accept and do not make waves, may not work in your favour.

moomin Wed 26-Sep-12 12:13:24

hopeful I agree with harrigran. It is tough when families live so far apart and especially when there are other concerns which affect getting together more often. Try not to feel too angry, look forward to the upcoming visit and get excited making plans to visit them in the Australian summer (got to be better than our winter wink)

Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 12:20:55

I think I may be unusual, but I was the only grandparent of my first eight grandchildren, as my ex showed no interest in his children or gc, and the fathers' parents dropped their gc after relationships split up. When my older daughter finally married her young husband, his parents welcomed her four children with open arms. I was absolutely delighted that they would have grandparents living close to them and never felt a twinge of jealousy. Sadly, their other nana is now suffering from Alzheimer's but they have lovely memories of her. My daughter's DIL is close to her own father and step-mother and as they live close they see them often. She has to keep in touch from NZ on Skype, etc. She is also very glad that her gc have loving grandparents close to them.
Regrettably, my other daughter is fiercely jealous of her daughter's in-laws, and tried to turn her against them. Luckily, my oldest grand-daughter realised how her mother was trying to drive a wedge between them (just as she has tried with me) and won't let it happen.
I spent last Christmas in NZ with my daughter and five of her six children, but this year she has suggested I leave it until February because flights will be cheaper and the school holidays will be over. I know her daughter's future in-laws are visiting for a few weeks over Christmas, and there would not really be room for all of us so it makes sense for me to go later. I shall be spending Christmas with my sister and her family.
Surely, the most important thing for all of us is that our children and gc are happy and healthy, wherever they are, and we must rejoice in the fact that they have other people who are loving and supportive of them.

annodomini Wed 26-Sep-12 12:46:13

Well said, Greatnan.

janeainsworth Thu 27-Sep-12 09:04:23

I agree with Greatnan - there is really no room for jealousy between sets of grandparents and it has the potential to drive a wedge between the parents who I am sure we all just want to support as much as possible.
Children are generous little souls until they learn to be otherwise and have plenty of love for all their grandparentssmile