Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

we have moved to be near my son and wonder if we made a mistake

(100 Posts)
Akenside62 Tue 19-Jan-21 03:35:44

we have moved recently to be near my grandchildren. We loved our old house and area but my son and daughter in law felt the hour journey was too far to visit too regularly. Although we did not really like where they lived we thought being near the grandchildren would make up for it. They were expecting their 2nd child so we knew we hardly seen them before so with a second one it would be even worse. We did childmind for them 1 a week but was finding it financially difficult to travel every week and we were desperate to be involved with our grand daughter, so we made the decision to move, hoping the relationship would improve and it would show our son how much they meant to us. DIL parents only live around the corner so they would see them all the time and i was jealous of the relationship they had.
We only live 5 minutes away from them now.
We have only been here 4 months and now realise it was a mistake.
It hasnt helped with lockdown etc i know but they havent really been any support since weve been here. We are struggling with the house and its size and cant seem to get it right. My son has visited once since weve been here and didnt help at all with the move but as they had just had a new child i knew he had a lot on his plate.
His wife was struggling at first and i helped 2 days a week (I work 3 days) but it was getting too much so i had to tell him i could only do 1 day.
Things have been odd these last few weeks. Its been two weeks and he hasnt rung or sent any videos across. Ive sent a text and hes answered but his reply to my struggling with the house again was sorry its been a headache ill call you in a couple of days. Why are we here?
we are thinking of moving back but know that this will just ruin our relationship with our son.
Has anyone out there done the same and what happened.
Or have you got any advice on how i handle all this.
Its affecting me a lot now and i feel totally lost. Im scared about my job - im remote at the moment which is great but soon i will have to find another job too because otherwise ill be travelling back 3 days a week. But because of how unsettled i feel i dont want to get another job (if i can) in case i dont stay.
im driving my husband mad. He never really wanted to move at all and just did it to please me.

CanadianGran Tue 19-Jan-21 03:53:05

I think you need to give it more time, and fretting will only make matters worse.

Perhaps it was a hasty decision, but you have to think about long term. I'm not sure how far away your old house and job are, but if you are close to retirement you will have years of enjoying your family in the same town to look forward to.

You shouldn't obligate your son to help you with your move. In what way are you struggling with the house, and can you hire someone to help?

I hope you find a way to settle in comfortably. Nothing is easy with covid situation, but try to do your best to make your new home comfortable for yourself and your husband, and the family will be a bonus when you can see them.

nanna8 Tue 19-Jan-21 03:56:37

An hour ! Gotta laugh. Here in Australia that would be regarded as very local. I guess he is caught up with having a new Bub and also mother/ daughter in law stuff can be quite difficult,too. Do you get on well with your DIL? I was thinking that might be the issue really. Can you join a club or something social so that you are busy a lot and your mind is occupied elsewhere ? Just a thought. Best wishes and hope things improve.

welbeck Tue 19-Jan-21 04:11:10

i can't really understand your situation.
one hour sounds quite near to me. and in what way could you not afford to travel that distance once a week, ? the fuel. in that case, how did you expect to be able to afford to travel back x3 a week to your job ?
you seem to have made a lot of assumptions, eg that the relationship with son/DIL would be better if you moved. maybe they preferred a bit of distance.
i feel sorry for your husband.
how can you expect your son to help you with the move when he has a new-born and another child, and in lockdown.
you also admit to being jealous of DIL's parents, but it seems naive to think greater contact with GC was mainly because of proximity. it is usually so with the mother's parents, nothing to do with location.
i feel sorry for you but not sure what to suggest.
what does your husband think. maybe ask for his advice and apologise for messing him about by insisting on a whim.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 19-Jan-21 04:23:00

Well I think that we can all agree that it was a daft thing to do and I feel sorry for your DH, however, it’s done and the cost of moving back would be horrendous, so you have to try to find a way to make it work or at least give it a year or two.
Firstly, stop relying on your family to make your new life work for you.
Star making more of an effort to settle into your new town/ village, this is hard because of lockdown, get out and about and find your way around your new area and start saying hello to the neighbours, even if from a distance.
Sort your house out, stop asking your son to help and get on with it, maybe you will start to love it if you stop hankering after what you have behind.
Get a new job later in the year and make new friends, stop your life revolving around your son and his family and live your own life with your long suffering husband.
If you BOTH really hate it and can afford it then move back, but at least try to make it work and try to calm down, the worst bit is over (the moving) enjoy Spring and Summer and maybe the relationship with your GD will make it all worthwhile.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 19-Jan-21 04:23:38

What you have left behind

BlueBelle Tue 19-Jan-21 04:55:43

Oh dear aken what a pickle I ve got to agree with others it was a badly thought out move, an hour away is absolutely nothing and probably a nice healthy distance, I m not at all keen on parents following adult children to be nearer, you should be living your own life and the children and grandchildren are the wonderful additions not the be all and end all
So you ve swapped travelling an hour a week to see them because it was too expensive to travelling three times a week to continue your job so that makes no sense

You ve left all the good things you had built up to follow a dream did you’re husband want to do this to or did he follow what his wife wanted?

Unfortunately your jealousy of the in laws will only make matters worse and perhaps is at the centre of your move there is often one lot of grandparents nearer or in more contact and whilst that can be difficult to accept it does need to be accepted ( and it’s often the daughters family) many of us have had to accept this

Was your son happy when you said you would move nearer? perhaps he thought it would be a help but you found two days too much and cut down to one which was what you were doing anyway before the moved

As opps says if you can afford to move back do, but if you can’t move then change your thought process and accept that you’re living in a new house in a new area and use the lockdown to sort you’re new house and garden out but don’t expect any more helps from your child than you had when you were an hour away and make the best of it in time it may well all settle down and you ll love it as much as your other place
Good luck

nadateturbe Tue 19-Jan-21 05:33:48

I'm sorry it hasn't worked out, so far, for you. You were expecting to see much more of your son, visiting once isn't much. Hes obviously content with rhat level of contact. I find that my DiL's family are treated very differently to me and ny OH. Its annoying but I've got used to it. It's often that way with DiLs. Perhaps concentrate on your own life at the minute. And keep helping with the gc. Hopefully as they get older you will be able to have a nice relationship with them, which will be better if you live close. Just don't expect too much. I don't think your family should be your life.
Don't make any hasty decisions about moving. I doubt whether your OH will agree again anyway.

Sara1954 Tue 19-Jan-21 06:56:06

I think I would move back, if it’s not going too well now, I can’t see it will get any better.
As others have said, an hour is nothing, we have a daughter two hours away, and apart from the past year, we usually see each other fairly regularly. Obviously I haven’t been hands on with the children day to day, but I don’t feel I know them less well than the local ones, who I do see every day.
I would cut my losses, and go home, it may seem like you’re giving up before you’ve given it a chance, but I’m sure, for everyone, it will be for the best.

janeainsworth Tue 19-Jan-21 07:31:44

Akenside I feel sorry for you but even sorrier for your DH who appears to have gone along with your wishes and is now having to bear the brunt of your unhappiness.
You’ve written at length about your relationship with your DS and DiL and how unsatisfactory it feels to you, but they are probably too busy living their own lives to have much emotional energy to devote to you, and why should they? They have their own family who need them more than you do. It’s not as though you’re widowed, very old or frail.

You briefly say your new house isn’t right. In what way? Is it fixable? You can do a lot to a house with the money it would cost you to move back.

You need to ask yourself the ‘what would a perfect world look like for me?’ question.
What would make you happy?
Seeing your grandchildren once a week? Twice a week? A text from your son every day? A good relationship with your DiL?
A better relationship with her parents?
A nicer house? A nicer garden?

Only you can decide which of all those is a) important to you and b) achievable, but when working out what you really want, bear in mind we can rarely have everything we want in life, and compromise and second-best is what we have to accept.
Change what you can, but accept what you can’t.
But be very sure about what you actually do want.

NfkDumpling Tue 19-Jan-21 07:38:36

Your DS now has two young children taking up most of his time and, if you're in the UK, you shouldn't be seeing them 'in the flesh' anyway. It sounds as if you're both quite capable people having moved yourselves and your DS probably didn't think you needed help - especially if he was heavily involved in his own growing family at the time.

What does come across is that you're finding the new house difficult. Is it too big? Too small? Perhaps you should look at the lessons learnt from this move and look for a new home half an hour or so away, between your last home and this one. Half an hour is quite a do-able practical distance to keep in touch with your old life and your family. Look for a neighbourhood which you like this time.

Kandinsky Tue 19-Jan-21 07:40:00

Maybe you had unrealistic expectations about what your new life would be like, perhaps thinking it would be like Coronation St. with your son popping in & out every 5 minutes? Well he can’t in lockdown can he.
I’d give it another year personally - once lockdown is completely over & the longer sunnier days are here, things will be different I’m sure. It’s a big change for all of you. give it time.
If you’re still unhappy this time next year move back. At least you’d have given it a go!
All the best.

M0nica Tue 19-Jan-21 07:58:47

An hour journey is nothing. I used to travel that and more twice each day just going to work and thought I got off lightly.

It is easy, also, for some to just say that the wifes family are always closer than the son's parents. I am a son's parents I had never heard of this concept of variation of contact because of which side of the couple you came from. until I joined GN, but if you now get stuck on this, it will only be another excuse.

In fixating on a move, moving, hating it, you are using where you live as an alternative to facing up to the real problem, which is your relationship with your son.

At the end of the day, the problem is that your son is disinclined to have much of a relationship with you and not bothered whether you see your grandchildren or not.

That is the problem. Think through and sort that out, and all the other decsions on where you live etc etc will fall into place.

NotAGran55 Tue 19-Jan-21 08:17:00

This may sound harsh , but did you discuss the move with your son and DIL before you went ahead ? Perhaps it wasn’t only your husband who wasn’t too keen on it .

I would have been livid if my in-laws turned up 5 minutes away hoping to spend more time with us .

Personally I would wait and see how it all pans out over the summer and not make any rush decisions just yet . You won’t be able to move back to your old house I presume and could be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire again.

Sara1954 Tue 19-Jan-21 08:34:15

When my older children were little, for a few years we lived very close to my in-laws, definitely within popping in distance.
I knew straight away we had made a mistake, yes, it was a big help in school holidays, but I really hated that they were so close.
We had always got on quite well before, but it got that every little thing my mother in law said or did annoyed me. My husband was their precious only child, and I think she thought I should treat him like a prince or something, instead of a husband and father!
We moved, but things were never the same.

sodapop Tue 19-Jan-21 08:44:37

Not really helpful telling the OP she has made a mistake, its done now. I agree with Kandinsky give it time, relax a bit and don't rely on your son and family to make things better Akenside it's a difficult time all round and we have to find new ways of occupying our time. There must be things you need to do in your new house so get things as you want them. When the weather is better and lock down eased you will be able to get out and about.

NotSpaghetti Tue 19-Jan-21 08:45:49

I have read through all the thread now and feel you need something constructive

I know you now think thus move was a mistake so I suggest you do as Oopsadaisy says and make an attempt to settle, to get to know your neighbours from a sensible distance and put your energy into your house so that it becomes a home.
What is the matter with it? You say the size is an issue. Is it too big, too small? Is your furniture inappropriate? Does it need decorating? I think you should take a look at it and start with fixing your little nest.

I also think you should try to be strong here and stop looking for equity in terms of time spent with different grandparents. I am a living in the same area as one of my sons and since lockdown have barely seen him and his family. The extra pressure of the pandemic means that hardly anyone has an entirely normal relationship with the people they love.

Please concentrate on the things you can improve and give it a year. If nothing changes,fair enough, move back. But do try to settle and put your heart into it.
Good luck!

flowers

Georgesgran Tue 19-Jan-21 09:02:50

I can only agree with the bulk of what’s been said. I’m 25 miles from my DDs - half an hour on a good day, but double and then some during rush hour. As long as I can drive, it’s no problem - I did a similar school run for years on the same route.
It’s a shame you feel unhappy, perhaps a change in the weather and less rigid Covid restrictions will help. I’d be getting ‘a man in’ to sort out jobs in the house and accept that you’ve made the move and have to make the most of it. Hopefully you are overthinking the situation with your son and things will get better.

Peasblossom Tue 19-Jan-21 09:58:48

Oh dear, do you think they might be feeling a bit cross with you?

You want more contact, then decided that you couldn’t help out for two days with your granddaughter and a new baby. Then even though, as you say, they were struggling, you expected (and still expect) your son to come round and help you with your home. The baby is only about four months old.
I don’t expect they can get their own stuff done, let alone yours.
They just need to focus on managing their own home and family at the moment.

I wouldn’t do anything hasty though. I moved just before first lockdown so I’ve no idea whether I’ll like this town or not yet. When we can all get out and about you can see what life will really look like in your new home.🙂

NotSpaghetti Tue 19-Jan-21 10:05:07

Good point Peaceblossom - if you've been moved a year and still aren't 100% sure on the area, it's bound to be unlikely at 4 months that Akenside has "settled".

honeyrose Tue 19-Jan-21 10:06:13

I agree with most of what’s been said here, but please give it more time and don’t have too high expectations of your son and his family. They do have their own lives too and have a lot on their plates at the moment with the new baby and lockdown etc. Life very difficult - and different - for everyone at the moment. If you’re not keen on the house, try to make it your own with some redecoration etc. Do you like gardening? Maybe plan out how you can make the garden look nice for the oncoming Spring and Summer. Try some new hobbies at home. DH and I live close to our DD (our only child) who has 2 little girls who we adore, but we hardly see them at the moment because of COVID, although we used to look after the girls on a regular basis whilst DD and SIL at work. Had a window visit last week! Better than nothing. I have found not seeing them very hard, but have embraced my stay-at-home hobbies - knitting, sewing, jigsaws, crosswords etc. I also chat with friends on the phone regularly. This always makes me feel better, more connected. It’s not an easy time to engage with new neighbours at the moment, but as the better weather comes along in the Spring, this should get easier. If you can do this, you’ll maybe feel a bit more settled. Please give it more time and keep yourself occupied. Don’t always expect family to keep you occupied. I’ve learned this along the way. Hope this does sound too harsh. Beat wishes. flowers

Sarnia Tue 19-Jan-21 10:07:03

I wonder if you really thought out this move. You say you didn't like the area you were moving to, you are faced with finding a new job (not easy in the present climate) or keeping the job you have and face driving an hour there and back 3 days a week, so more travelling than you did before and your husband didn't want to go anyway. I have to say I feel some sympathy for him and I am not surprised he is driven mad by it all. I suppose all you can do is try to make the best of it and if that fails look at moving.

GrandmaKT Tue 19-Jan-21 10:09:26

Hi Akenside I feel sorry for you in your predicament.

Just an observation - I noticed that all the thought before the move was of how you could help out your DS and his family. Then you moved and suddenly expected him to be helping you out! Was that discussed before the move? I isn't something I would expect when they are struggling with a young family.

Things are so different now because of lockdown. I'd do as others have suggested and try to settle in for a year or so before you think about moving back (unless there are any other factors such as your old house still being empty?)

Dinahmo Tue 19-Jan-21 10:10:38

Akenside Being a bit personal here but your name? Are you a lover of the book and/or the film or did you just live near the mythical village?

Dearknees1 Tue 19-Jan-21 10:13:19

I do empathise with a lot of what you're going through. We live about an hour from our only son whereas our DIL's mother lives 3 hours away. Nevertheless she seems to see more of them as she comes to stay for long periods so she sees not only more of my granddaughters but also my son. Also we're the ones who are to go rushing over when there's a problem. I'm human so admit to being jealous and don't find the 'get over it' advice helpful. However I do try to hide my feelings as we generally get on well with our DIL and her mother so don't want to spoil the relationship. My positive spin on your move would be to say, if an hour wasn't a long journey to visit your family, conversely it presumably isn't a long journey to carry on with some of your previous life there. At the same time, as you build up a new life in your new home, hopefully that will become necessary. Hard to do this at the moment I know but there is light at the end of the tunnel.