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Long distance Grandparenting

(34 Posts)
Sixtylooming Fri 09-Mar-18 17:13:39

Our DD has just announced she is pregnant with their first child and our first Grandchild. We are of course thrilled for them, but they live in Australia. I am struggling that I feel very detached from the whole situation. We were out there a short while ago, and now won't be going again until after the baby is here. I won't see her pregnant or be around until after the baby is born. We will go out for a holiday after that, but essentially are going to see this child and any others once a year for a few weeks. I know we have `Facetime but it just isn't the same. I feel so very tearful about missing this, but my husband doesn't understand. Has anyone else felt like this? I know I just have to "suck it up" and get on with it, as they won't come back, and get used to a long distance form of being a Grandparent and be less involved in the day to day care. Any tips on how to cope with this?

tanith Fri 09-Mar-18 17:30:41

I've learned to live with a similar situation with grandchildren who aren't nearly so far. Will be meeting my latest granddaughter at her Batism she'll be 6mths. I'm sad about it a lot of the time but I don't have any tips to make it easier I'm afraid.

Bbnan Fri 09-Mar-18 17:42:36

I have been a long distance grandparent for the past 3 years and it is never easy ..I get to see my granddaughter at least every 6 months as we exchange visits they face time a lot and she knows exactly who we are ...her baby brother arrived 5 months ago and we spent a month in Canadwith them. His arrival changed everything and after 7 years they have decided to come home they do come say I am over the moon is an understatement....his brothers partner is having a baby next month so they will be arriving then.As it stands I have no grandchildren living here at present and within a week I will have three..very happy days ahead.!!!!!!!

grannyactivist Fri 09-Mar-18 19:32:56

My daughter is in New Zealand and was on a visit home to the UK when she discovered her pregnancy; we agreed that I would fly out in June when the baby was due and I booked my flight accordingly. At twenty six weeks my very premature granddaughter was born and was not expected to live; it was agony receiving daily reports and being asked to stick to my original timetable of only flying out in June, but I did. I went out to stay for a month and completely fell in love with this scrap of humanity who had fought so hard to live and to thrive. I flew out again, with my husband this time, when she celebrated her second birthday and since then we regularly FaceTime. We have all adapted to our long-distance relationship and I feel that we are very much a part of her life.
I do hope (and expect) that your feelings of detachment will dissipate once your grandchild is actually born and you will find a way of making the relationship the best it can be. smile

storynanny Fri 09-Mar-18 21:04:13

You just have to learn to live with it I’m afraid. I have 2 in USA and a new baby in Singapore who I won’t see until June. FaceTime is ok it sometimes makes me sadder.
I’m much closer to my stepgranchildren who I see several times a week as they live around the corner and we take them out a lot, collect from nursery etc.
If I thought about it all the time I would weep.
Sorry if that all sounds negative, sometimes I feel worse than other times. The approaching Mothering Sunday probably has something to do with it!

SueDonim Fri 09-Mar-18 21:41:48

My oldest two GC live in the US so we usually only see them once a year, either there or here. We Face Time with them and I feel we have a good relationship with them despite the distance. My 4yo GD's beloved soft toy disintegrated recently and she wanted me to catch a plane and go there to sew it back together again!

Two other GC live over 500 miles from us so we see them 3/4 times a year and they know who we are, in fact are thrilled to bits when we see them.

Marmight Fri 09-Mar-18 23:42:44

Congratulations on your expected GC.
My first GS was born in Australia 14 years ago. We went out for the birth and again 6 months later. Since then there are 3 more GC. I visit every year for 2 months and become a temporary part of the family and daily routine. As they grow older we FaceTime less and less. Obviously I chat to my DD frequently and get all the news but the children are always rushing about and I just get a quick wave and a 'Hi Granny Marmight' . All my dreamy expectations of reading them stories over the airwaves came to nought grin. As you say SixtyL it's sadly a case of sucking it up. It is what it is, no getting away from it, but with annual visits you kind of fall into a way of life. Sil is an Aussie and there's no chance they'll ever return to the UK but they have a wonderful life and I am happy for them

Coolgran65 Sat 10-Mar-18 03:08:41

I have several dgc who live abroad. It's two years since we physically saw them. We face time about once a month specifically to see the dgc. Other times we email and talk in the phone with the parents.
I send little books from Poundland every couple of weeks to show the dgc we are thinking of them.

Making the best of it sad

Willow500 Sat 10-Mar-18 07:42:51

My DIL was pregnant with their first child when they decided to emigrate to her native NZ nearly 5 years ago. It was extremely difficult for us to cope with - not only would we not see our grandson when he was born we would be saying goodbye to our dear son too. We kept it together for their sakes though apart from at the railway station when we dropped them off. Since then they've had a second son now aged 2 and have just been over here for 6 weeks holiday over Christmas. We have been there once when the second baby was 6 weeks old. You do cope. It's difficult especially if they're not terribly good at keeping in touch which ours aren't but FT and Skype are marvellous inventions and also messaging like WhatsApp. Congratulations on the impending arrival smile

worriedasusual Thu 15-Mar-18 14:02:33

this is my first time on here and basically i am having yet another panic , frustrated because it`s difficult when i want to lend support to daughter round the other side of the globe when she is having problems, and as usual is in a country where she doesn`t have enough support . she married a Japanese chap , has made her home in Japan , and basically he works in Mexico- goes home at long intervals . She flew out with 3 yr old for a visit and has been having an agonising miscarriage over the last week or more - today i had short texts saying she is in hospital - the pregnancy was ectopic , she`s had keyhole surgery yesterday i think (her texts were short - i get the impression she`s very unhappy and tired- of course . They`re saying she can go home- but i am worried her husband (who seems generally a good bloke but is either a workaholic or useless at seeing when a woman is unwell and need help ) will expect her to get straight back on with motherly and housewifely duties. she is absolutely devoted to her little boy so i am terrified she will go home and get herself into a worse state of health because she has never had even a night away from him since he was born due to her circumstances with long distance husband. it`s so hard to just get on with ordinary things until i hear some more. i know she is very unwell as her messages are usually longer . we are out in a village in warwickshire where the signal can be pretty useless for skype most of the time. Any of you thinking to relocate to the countryside that`s something to seriously consider if you have children living abroad. And of course before that i was worried about the Zica bug out there

silverlining48 Thu 15-Mar-18 14:37:49

Hello worried
Sounds like you are hVing a very hard day and naturally. Very worried about your daughter so far away in hospital. I have similar experience with my dd so do understand.
Try and wait a while when you will probably get more news, or is there any way you can go over there, it’s expensive I know but sometimes needs must.

Tynsall Thu 15-Mar-18 23:34:35

I totally understand how you feel and am in exactly the same position. I have two sons one lives in Sandiego without children and the oldest is in Canada who has two young children an 18 month old (I have seen him twice for two weeks each time and his sister who was born 2 months ago. I haven’t visited her & held her yet). I feel very sad as I won’t see them now until September.
It’s very painful & certainly Skype helps but not very satisfactory. My son is not the best at communicating dil a little better. Her mother sees them every few weeks and yes I am very envious.
There isn’t any satisfactory answer just try & have a full life :with my husband & look forward to visits. As yet they haven’t been to England

Chinesecrested Fri 16-Mar-18 00:09:29

I know this sounds a bit drastic but is there any possibility of you moving out there to be with them? I have friends out there - £10 Poms - and they said our age wouldn't be a problem so long as we could support ourselves (with pensions and house to sell, it shouldn't be a problem!) Alternatively maybe rent your UK house out and rent out there for six months at a time? I do sympathise. I see my gc two or three times a week and it's physically painful if I can't for some reason. Good luck

hespian Fri 16-Mar-18 07:32:14

I’m afraid I’m also in the long distance grandparent club. I totally understand all the sentiments expressed here. It is really hard as I miss my family (including a son, daughter and three beautiful grandchildren) who live in Australia every single day. We do try to visit each year but it takes all of our annual holiday budget and more. Our other plans for our retirement have all been shelved and we know we will only be able to do it for another few years. We try to use FaceTime but it can be frustrating because of signal problems. Just don’t tell me ‘it’s a small world”. It is MUCH too big.

worriedasusual Mon 19-Mar-18 11:20:55

After i posted the above , things got much worse for my daughter, she was rushed into hospital haemorhaging (sp?) because it was , as she feared, an ectopic pregnancy. I had an absolutely awful few days of worrying round the clock . I could hardly tell anyone about it because it was so upsetting . I was jumping whenever my mobile buzzed (whatever did we do before Whatsapp? - i recommend it to anyone if your signal is bad and you have Wifi ) -until eventually the news from her got gradually better . They had to pay for everything the hospital did for her ( we are so lucky with the Uk`s NHS even if it creaks at the seams ) and so they now have no savings , but my daughter survived HOORAY ! During the worst i was looking up miscarriages and ectopic pregnancy on the net, mostly UK sites and learned a lot . I remember my Mum being astonished at how much i knew about childbirth back in the 70s/80s because of the publication of books on the subject - there is even more information out there now , so it might be easy to get more worried than necessary , but i would prefer to know things. She sent pictures of them on the beach in the sunshine this morning , lovely to see when here we area freezing with yet more snow . And her husband is being very attentive and she is taking things gently -hshe had begun to get backache witting in bed all the time, plus she still had discomfort which is probably the gs they pumped into her abdomen when they did the keyhole surgery ( see : you learn something different everyday !) and the best thing to get rid of it is moving about . So she was sitting in the shade , but enjoying the warmth, dipping her toes very briefly in the sea ( the Caribbean ) just to say she has done it ! I am so glad her sense of humour has returned , that seems to me a good sign. I am still more or less tense with motherly anxiety , but i know that that`s because it takes me longer to get over things these days . So today i need to rejoice , and get out and do something distracting I think ! I can breathe again ! phew ! So sorry this has been such a long post , will be shorter next time !

worriedasusual Mon 19-Mar-18 11:24:08

oh dear I apologise for the errors !

worriedasusual Mon 19-Mar-18 11:24:59

And thank you so much for those of you who replied, I should have said so before but in my state of mind i forgot my manners...

worriedasusual Mon 19-Mar-18 11:32:40

in my experience sons are less good at communicating than daughters , unless either it`s easy for them , or they want something ! they seem more willing to communicate using their mobile phones (Whatsapp) . i think they think about contacting their mother but don`t know what to say . Maybe they think i will rattle on and on in reply ( you can see why they might think that !) so i try my best not to . haha ! the beauty of whatsapp is they can take pictures and send them instantly - a picture of your offspring is so reassuring , you can read a lot in a face . What i miss is the cuddles. But i am trying to tell myself if i had not let my daughter do this going abroad thing she would have regretted it all her life . if that`s what she wants and it makes her happy then i am prepared to put up with it . .. at least i can talk to like minded women here !

Willow500 Mon 19-Mar-18 11:41:45

Worried no wonder you were frantic - what a sad and very frightening situation especially on the other side of the world. I'm glad the news is better now and your daughter has the support of her husband - hopefully he will stay at home until she is stronger. It's very difficult sitting around waiting for news. When my first grandson was born over there we were told she'd gone into labour and had a couple of texts as things progressed hours later but then he said they were taking her for a C-Section around 11pm UK time. I sat up most of the night waiting for news and was becoming frantic imagining all sorts of things going wrong. Thankfully my son eventually messaged to say the baby had arrived 2 hours earlier but they'd had a dreadful time - it's a wonder she went on and had the second baby 2 years later!

Ros1e Wed 31-Jul-19 09:58:54

I haven’t posted for ages and the last time I wrote about missing my son and family in Sydney. I also mentioned our joyous fun with puppets on FaceTime. The puppets are still on the scene and now have real identities. I visit Sydney whenever I can. Hoping to go sometime this Autumn. I have often wondered if anyone else visits Sydney and how it goes for you? Would love to hear!

Nonnie Wed 31-Jul-19 10:31:39

Sixty yes, its hard but you have no choice to get used to it and you will. My gc live in another country and speak both languages so I think of that as a blessing. I'm also lucky that their other Grandma and I get on very well so we share info about them. Despite not seeing that much of them face to face we are very close. At 18 months the older one learned to switch on the computer and shout 'Grandma'. Now the younger one picks up the phone and does the same.

Other video calling systems are available for those without iphones, Skype and WhattApp come to mind. We don't have set times to call as I think that puts too much pressure on busy parents and it means they always have time when they call. I leave it to them to call us.

Do you have other children in the UK? Are you retired and in a position to go and visit for a month or so?

worried I'm glad your DD is OK. I think the Japanese culture is for people to work hard and long hours so probably he would not think of himself as insensitive.

smugglers13 Sat 03-Aug-19 17:22:08

Are there grandparents who live in Brighton or that area
whose grandchild lives in California. Would love to meet up.

Ros1e Thu 29-Aug-19 10:01:46

Hello - I would love to link up with any other grandparents who live in or around London and have family in Sydney
Look forward to hearing

NannyB2604 Sat 31-Aug-19 19:15:17

Hello, just wondering how things are panning out for you. Our DS, DiL and DGD (now aged 5) live in South Korea. It's still taking me time to realise that though we do have a relationship, it's different from the one my and DH's siblings have with their DGC all of whom live within an hour's drive from their grandparents. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm fortunate in having a lovely DS, DiL and DGD when lots of my friends could never have children or grandchildren, though they would have really liked them. Not always easy to count my blessings, but I try.

nanamissingkids4 Sat 23-Nov-19 03:31:34

I know these messages are 2018 but I just joined and reading them. I can relate so easy to you all. I live 1000 km from my two. One on the way Jan 2020. I saw them last April and for month in August. But I miss them so much esp around Christmas. I won’t be able to go in January for birth due to weather. So I won’t see my new grandson till spring. My heart is heavy and I miss my kids and grandkids everyday. It’s a void I find hard to fill