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Long distance Grandparenting

(35 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?

Pelican Thu 26-Dec-19 17:08:14

My son and his family moved to USA in January. I have found it so difficult this Christmas. We have FaceTimed, making cookies, read stories, watched our granddaughters opening presents. It is the cuddles, silly games, and things which happen on the spur of the moment I miss. Just wondering does it get easier?
People just don’t seem to understand the loss, how many times have I heard “you will be able to have nice holidays’.

Esther1 Fri 27-Dec-19 23:17:36

You’re absolutely right Pelican - when you say people don’t understand. My dd and gd lived in Australia (thankfully now back in the U.K.) but people would say to me things like ‘I couldn’t bear not to see my gc every day’ - I would go home and weep at their insensitivity so I understand exactly how you feel.

Pelican Sun 29-Dec-19 10:42:15

Thanks Estherl. It does make you wonder what people hear when they listen to you and do they think before they say something. How did you manage when your d and gd were in Oz? Am aware that I need to continue and live life to full, though at times it feels there is always an undercurrent of something missing.
Am happy that s and his family are enjoying their new life, it is a fantastic opportunity for them all. Am fortunate that we have visited them already and will go next year, so I am more fortunate than some.

GagaJo Sun 29-Dec-19 10:48:07

I've lived with my daughter and grandson for all of his life (he's 20 months) but am moving away for work soon. It breaks my heart that I won't see him everyday anymore, but I don't really have a choice. I have to go where the work is.

I've very much been his 'other' key person (I won't say parent, because I don't take a parental role). I know it's going to be hard for him because I take a lot of the load off his mum and she will struggle without my help. It does worry me a lot, but I have no choice about the situation.

So double worries. For him , but also for me and how much I'm going to miss him.

Ros1e Sat 01-Feb-20 18:27:16

Hello just wondering if your new grandson has arrived. It’s great to hear that you’ll see him in the spring, though I can understand how hard the pain of missing is. I saw mine in October and they are all (5) coming to stay with us at Easter. I’ve started planning already with lots of chats on FaceTime about favourite food etc etc !
All the best to you

DianaFrance Sat 09-May-20 12:11:53

I'm a newbie here, with a European family. Son lives in England with his Spanish wife and their daughter. She has one set of grandparents in Spain, us in France and an aunt, uncle and cousins in Portugal. It can be hard to find a mutually convenient time to visit each other! We have communicated by phone, Whatsapp, Messenger, email and Facebook over the last 12 years, but when Gdaughter became mobile and aware of TV screens we invested in Portals, and at 2.5 yrs she now interacts well with us on screen, we show each other new paintings, toys, DIY tools (she is destined to be an engineer, I think) and play games and sing songs together. So the fact that we are now self-isolating at our flat in London and they are doing the same at the South Coast has made little difference to us. We would have been in France by now, had spouse not had a heart attack while packing the car, but we will now remain in the UK until his treatment is stable and until the situation in both countries is less restrictive. I guess we are used to less physical contact owing to our circumstances, so are not a lot worse off owing to Covid-19, and nobody delivers groceries in our French village, so the UK is, in some ways, better. I dare say many grans-at-a-distance will think we are crackers living less than an hour from our family but not visiting them: diabetes at both addresses necessitates this and having lost my elder son to that alone a couple of years ago, I'm not prepared to risk his brother's life during this pandemic. We have to be stoical, for everyone's sake. We feel privileged to have a granddaughter, delighted that she is bilingual and knows we don't speak Spanish, thrilled to see her grow and develop, amused by Whatsapp videos of her games and exploration of the world. It is for her future that we remain isolated in our flat, and in a few months she will run to me as she did before this, arms wide apart, calling "Nana, Nana" as she leaps into the hug for which we will have waited so long.

Jellybean345 Wed 13-May-20 17:52:22

Just joined gransnet and I’m enjoying reading the posts there is so much support from you grans for each other especially during these difficult times.
I echo sentiments re having Grandchildren in Australia .Its a different type of grand parenting long distance but we cram it all in when we visit for a few weeks once a year which we are lucky to be able to do .Very precious quality time just have so much fun whilst we are there.All I want for My DD SIL and 2 DGC is for them to be happy busy and fulfil their dreams which my free spirit daughter and her family are doing .I would nt want anything else them for the world I did bring her into it in the first place!
But hey yes it hurts only seeing them once a year relying on face time regularly and not seeing them a few times a week like some of the lucky grans on here.Sometimes I do feel envious that my friends GC know them better than mine do me I have bouts of deep sadness at times .
It’s all part of being a long distance Mum and Grandma.
I have much to be thankful for good health and lovely family.
Stay safe .

Jellybean345 Wed 13-May-20 18:13:20

I hope this has helped you Sixty Looming hearing my perspective my heart goes out to you.

Sadnana1 Sun 31-May-20 08:46:23

Hi I'm new to gransnet and good to read other peoples experiences. Feel.less alone as most if my friends have children and grand children livi g close by or at least in the same country and now planning to see them again. My daughter works for FCO so every 5 years she and my 3 grand children move to a different country. Niw ending posting in Singapore and planning ne t movevto Thailand this summer. My husband at 87 can no.longer make the long journey so once a year I travel to visit on my own. This summer we were due to spend a month together in Europe but of course that has been cancelled and given the uncertain future of international travel I dont know when I will see them again. Yes we try to keep in touch on skype etc but it's more bitter than sweet. It's so hard to feel involved in their lives as they grow up time that us forever lost I try to be philosophical and accepting at least in the outside but inside it hurts so much. As many if you gave said the fact that they are are flourishing is the most important thing and to be grateful for that. Any tips on coming to terms gratefully received!