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Grandchildren moving house - distraught

(63 Posts)
GranJan60 Mon 22-Feb-21 12:58:06

Have regularly looked after GC now 8 and 6 since birth and done best to support DS and family. DIL now fancies living by sea so they intend moving away - both freelance jobs.
Feel devastated to think about losing them - I am a very anxious driver and the family have a busy social life so usually don’t have much time for visits here.
Lost job a couple of years ago and main social/volunteer thing curtailed by Brexit/lockdown. Have become worried about going out and generally feeling worried and down. Can’t concentrate on any activities or think what to do next. Any advice please?

Alexa Mon 22-Feb-21 13:01:09

At ages eight and six the children will remember and appreciate you in later years. You have not lost them.

Peasblossom Mon 22-Feb-21 13:27:54

If they have to find somewhere, sell and buy it could be ages yet. Years, literally. Don’t make yourself miserable now about something that might or might not happen in the future.

And you’ll be able to catch a train if you don’t want to drive.

Sara1954 Mon 22-Feb-21 13:41:31

Be happy for them, if they have the opportunity to take their little family, and make a life by the seaside, who can blame them.
Of course they won’t forget you, but time moves on wherever they are, and they become more independent.

Redhead56 Mon 22-Feb-21 14:08:22

Honestly you are not on your own try not to be anxious it will make you ill. You don't know when the move will take place yet. Things will brighten up soon the weather improving is a start covid rules will be relaxing. You will be able to get out and about more and see friends and do what you are used to doing. Do something you like a hobby maybe that you can pick up again.
If your family do eventually move you will have things to do to occupy your time. Visiting them will be something to look forward too and not something you need to stress about. A train is a good solution or a coach let someone else do the driving when the time comes. It's most certainly something I would do as I really don't drive far from home even before the restrictions.

Antonia Mon 22-Feb-21 14:22:13

I can understand that you are feeling anxious about having less contact with your grandchildren. Using public transport should be an option in the future, especially if you have been vaccinated. If they do move to a seaside resort there will be hotels and guest houses, so you could combine visiting them with a holiday for yourself. But, please don't borrow trouble -at present they are only thinking about moving, and it may never happen. Even if it does, they won't be going anywhere anytime soon, especially with restrictions still in place.

Grandmadinosaur Mon 22-Feb-21 15:28:44

I agree with Antonia about using this opportunity to use it as a holiday away for yourself. When my son was at university in a large city I used to go and stay for a few days about once a month and looked forward to these times.
Another way of looking at it is although you must send them with your blessings will they have anyone there to help with the GC? I wonder if that has occurred to them what they will be losing but it’s up to them to work that out themselves. Would it be an option for you to move closer too perhaps?

SusieB50 Mon 22-Feb-21 16:25:52

My DD and family, GC aged 9 and nearly 5 are moving away . They will be about 2 hours away by train .They want to be away from the city and are in the process of buying a house with a large garden in a small village . I’m mainly worried the children will find it difficult going to a small village school, when they have been in a large 4 form in each year city Primary . But I am being positive - I know I will miss them dreadfully as I see them 2-3 times a week at the moment, I’m in their bubble, hopefully life will improve soon and we can get out more. GranJan60 don’t stress yet, it may not happen but if it does at least we have all got used to zoom and FaceTime with our families. Be happy for them , life by the sea will be wonderful for them .

susantrubey Tue 23-Feb-21 10:37:22

Is there anything keeping you in the city? Go with them.

Larsonsmum Tue 23-Feb-21 10:38:53

Be happy for them. Think your current outlook on life is colouring how you see this.

JaneJudge Tue 23-Feb-21 10:45:53

Susie, my children moved from a 4 form entry school to a village school and they loved it and then when they went to high school a few years later they were not daunted by the size of it.

I think it is natural to feel anxious about your family moving away. You will still see them though

amwelljulia Tue 23-Feb-21 10:46:10

Hi there I understand how you feel as our family moved away after 5 years close by. We had looked after the children regularly from birth and we built a close bond with them. It does get better and nobody can take away those lovely times you had with them while they were small. We keep in touch now by Skype and could usually see them once a month before the pandemic started. They do become more independent though especially when they start school and make friends.

marq66 Tue 23-Feb-21 10:46:24

GranJan60 I am sorry to hear how their news is distressing you and the other issues in your life that are also troubling. I am in France and have found it distressing not seeing our grandchildren. However during this latest lockdown I have been using two book reading apps (Caribu and Readeo) to read with my 6 year old GD. The books are not brilliant (being American) but my GD enjoys the hour we spend together. On Caribu we play word games as well as read. This also lets us chat to DD who joins us at the end of the call. DD welcomes this as it gives her a break twice a week. It is better than zoom asGD is occupied and she also tells me things going on in her life (she adores Horrible Histories!). I know when lockdown finishes these calls will end but I treasure this time we have had.
As others have said, do think about planning holidays for yourself near your GC. Particularly during school holidays, I am sure you will be welcome to help out with child care!
As lockdown eases, are there other activities you could get involved in such as WI or U3A where you will find like minded people? Possibly even volunteering as a school reader as you are obviously great with children? This forum can provide a wealth of ideas I'm sure!

wildswan16 Tue 23-Feb-21 10:48:14

Maybe this potential moving away is just one thing too much for you. Life has been difficult for a while and you are seeing this as the "final straw"?

Be happy for your family - they are parents trying to do the best for their children. Don't make it hard for them - let them go with your blessing and be happy for the new opportunities the children will have.

Take a deep breath, make any changes necessary to enjoy your own life. Your grandchildren will welcome all visits from a happy granny.

HannahLoisLuke Tue 23-Feb-21 10:49:08


Is there anything keeping you in the city? Go with them.

Although tempting, I don’t think you should follow them around unless they absolutely beg you to of course.
This would look needy and dependant and you don’t want to give that impression.
Anyway, as others have said it might not happen for ages.

crazygranny Tue 23-Feb-21 10:49:31

There's a long gap between fancying a move and making it. This might seem like a good idea now during lockdown but much has to happen before it's a reality. When faced with uprooting children from a school that they have only just returned to she may reconsider. House prices may prove unaffordable and, as friends who live at the seaside tell me, holiday season becomes a total nightmare. Encourage her to visit prospective houses at the height of summer and see how she fancies being blocked in by inconsiderate visitors on a regular basis. Don't despair. It's not a reality yet.

Lulu16 Tue 23-Feb-21 10:49:56

Think of it as a challenge and an opportunity to get to know a new area. There will be something new to explore. I grew up by the seaside and there is so much to do - rock pools, swimming, sandcastles, coastal walks etc It is will be a new environment for your grandchildren and you will be able to share this too. As previous messages have said, don't stress too much until it actually happens.

jaylucy Tue 23-Feb-21 10:53:24

How many people have looked back on their life and wished they had done something when they were younger? DS and DiL are doing that now while the children are young enough to settle easier.
They really need to think hard about where this seaside is - if used to living in a city, many places on the coast do not have the facilities they will be used to. If too far, they probably won't be having so busy a social life after all!
Surely there will be no reason why the GC will not be able to stay with you during school holidays or you staying with them. I am sure that your son will be factoring that into their plans. Don't assume that because they are moving away, that you will never see them all again. Besides, in a few weeks, your volunteer work may well be starting again to get you out and about and meeting people once more.

Dylant1234 Tue 23-Feb-21 10:54:38

Plenty of good and positive advice for you on this thread. I’d just add to be happy that they’re not moving to Australia or NZ as my poor brother’s grandchildren have! Even without Covid (which has meant no physical contact for what what will probably be two years or more) they were understandably devastated esp. as the grandchildren were still quite young.

JaneJudge Tue 23-Feb-21 10:55:01

I agree with crazygranny too. Although I have always been impulsive and just move when I have wanted to, a lot of my friends and family have planned to move away and it has either taken ages OR they have decided not to move in the end. BUT if they do move, you honestly will still see them and they will keep in touch and it will be such a treat to see Granny.

red1 Tue 23-Feb-21 10:57:42

this happens to a lot of us,at first we are grief stricken-i was! a friend gave me some good advice, don't follow them straightaway, they may come back.Visit them or they can visit you?
In time if they have settled in their new place, then you could join them.It is so difficult emotionally when they first leave. It does get easier in time,lots of people with families who move away feel an ache that i don't see how can go away?

BlackSheep46 Tue 23-Feb-21 11:02:53

There's always a silver lining to any change - get looking for it Gran, the kids will need your cheerful face not one full of gloom and anxiety !

Chaitriona Tue 23-Feb-21 11:03:29

It is understandable that this potential loss on top of the current restrictions has made you anxious, stressed and down. Positive thoughts of the kind people have suggested can help. Eg “It’s not happening right now. It may not happen, If it does happen I will still be able to keep in touch and visit my family. As my grandchildren get older they can come and stay with me. When things are normal again, I will get my own interests back and develop new activities.” In the meantime anything that soothes and calms will help. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness, prayer if you have a religion, a helpline where you can talk to someone. Going out for a short walk is good. Doing some work in the house or garden. Best to make yourself do these things even if you don’t feel you want to. If things get very bad, you could consider speaking to your GP. Posting on here is good. A little cry can sometimes help one pick oneself up again. I’m sure you will adjust and cope whatever happens. This must happen to many others. We have to learn to accept however hard things may seem. This is such a difficult time for so many people. But people are resilient and I am sure you are too and these feelings will pass. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this at the moment. Best wishes and good luck.

LyWa Tue 23-Feb-21 11:09:44

It’s really not all bad news! My 3 grandchildren (8,5&2)did exactly that with their parents, moved to the coast. It is a long drive, but in better times I do go and visit them, I can JUST manage a day visit, but it does mean equal times with them and in the car. BUT the good news is that they come and stay (again, in better times), so I get them for a week at a time in each of the school holidays, not the little one so far but maybe soon? It is so wonderful to have them to ourselves, they snuggle up in bed with us first thing in the morning for a story, we go off exploring, have picnics, have craft sessions, play in the garden, all the fun things. They love helping prepare our meals and bath time is hilarious. Once they go home I am flat out for a few days, but those weeks are the highlights of my year. Look on the bright side, it’s not the same but it is good.

PippaZ Tue 23-Feb-21 11:14:58

It's as if there are few buffers when issues arise at the moment isn't it GranJan60? You would probably have tossed this about with volunteer colleagues or friends but it just isn't possible at the moment.

If your anxiety is limiting and affecting your life - as it seems to be with not wanting to go out - you should get in touch with your doctor and have a (probably online) chat. They may be limited in what they can do at the moment but it flags this up for them and I'm sure just talking it over will help.