Gransnet forums


No family nearby

(75 Posts)
NannyB2604 Wed 19-Jun-19 23:02:12

This is just me letting off steam, no sympathy expected.
It just struck me today, how isolated I am from my immediate family. DS, DiL and DGD live abroad, 1000s of miles away (though we communicate regularly and visit each other whenever we can); DB and his family about 100 miles away and all have busy lives, very little free time for visits or even just chatting; DS and her family live in Kent (we're in Yorkshire) and as DS has a job and doesn't drive, and train fares being as they are, has visited us up here less than half a dozen times in 30 odd years. When we visit her, which we have done several times, we have to stay in a hotel as she lives in a tiny flat (those ridiculous southern property prices!).
Is this other people's experience or are we just a weird family?
As I said, not looking for answers or sympathy, but just wondering about others' family experiences.

Farmor15 Wed 19-Jun-19 23:36:47

Never really thought about this much as I never had much family around growing up. I was an only child, with one unmarried aunt, and uncle with family in another country.

I got married to a man whose family live thousands of miles away and we lived about 100 miles from my parents when our children were growing up. Now our adult children have their own lives - closest one is about 60 miles away.

When I hear other people talking about siblings, cousins etc, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have more family, but since I've never known anything different, I just get on with life as it is. Lots of contact with adult children and their families, even though they are some distance away.

MiniMoon Wed 19-Jun-19 23:48:06

I don't live very far from where I grew up. One sister lives 11 miles away and the other 45 miles away, both easy to visit by road or rail. DR and family live 5 minutes up the road, and DS and his partner live about 4 miles aw ay. He visits once a week.
Growing up, we had aunts, uncles and cousins close by, and both sets of grandparents lived in the same little town too. All my life I've been near to family.
I've been very lucky.

MiniMoon Wed 19-Jun-19 23:48:57

That should be DD.

stella1949 Thu 20-Jun-19 00:05:43

Nothing weird about your family at all, OP.

I grew up in a tiny family - just our parents and us three girls. No grandparents, all died early. No aunts / uncles / cousins since our parents were both only children. So it was "just us".

My parents are both long gone , and my sister and daughter live in the same city, 600 miles away from me. I only have my son nearby - he moved here when he became a single father, so I could help him out.

I guess we're all different and we make the most of what we've got. I never had any family around me, and I still only have my DH and my son nearby now. I keep in contact with my sister DD by phone, Facetime and emails so life is good.

BradfordLass72 Thu 20-Jun-19 05:43:47

I recently found a cousin in Cumbria, 13,000km away, otherwise there'd be just two of us in our family.

When I go, my son will be totally alone. That's an awful, terrible feeling.

hondagirl Thu 20-Jun-19 05:50:51

My daughter and family live around 5,000 miles away on the other side of the country. My son lives on another continent. I am feeling really isolated now, having just lost my husband. Those of you who have family close by are very lucky.

JackyB Thu 20-Jun-19 06:28:18

I grew up in a little village in the country, my parents having left London which they hated but where both their families were. My mother had to bring us up entirely on her own, as our Dad was away most of the week. I left home and started a family in another country, again bringing up the family without any help. All my DS are very far away, one on another continent, the nearest is 250 km away.

NannyB, does your DiL have her mother nearby?

Grammaretto Thu 20-Jun-19 06:49:44

I don't think it's unusual anymore to have few family members nearby.
Of the people my age who live locally many have at least one DC living abroad .
Sometimes AC come back to the town to bring up their children so GP can help and houses are affordable.
Our own DC and my siblings are scattered around the world. I still have in-laws locally and one DS and his family within 20 miles.
Our lives do not revolve around eachother.

NannyB2604 Thu 20-Jun-19 07:45:02

Yes, DiL's parents and 2 of her 3 siblings all live within a 5 minute drive, in the area they grew up in

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:22:10

I don't think it's necessarily weird - maybe we move around more than in the past for work, etc. I used to live 250 miles away but am nearer family now and we're within walking distance. It depends on opportunity too.

Newatthis Thu 20-Jun-19 09:25:06

Sounds exactly like my family only different locations - no family around me and even though the nearest live exactly the same distance from me as I do to them (2 hours away). I am the one who gets told off for not visiting them more often even though I am the one who always offers overnight accommodation whereas we always have to drive back, no matter how late. Then they wonder why!!!

MandyRaff Thu 20-Jun-19 09:25:43

We have six children and six (soon to be seven) grandchildren and they all live within a 12 mile radius of us. That doesn't mean we see them as much as we would like though. hmm

Hellsbelles Thu 20-Jun-19 09:27:57

I live about 250 miles away from my daughter. Both parents died, don't really have a close relationship with cousins, no aunt's / uncles.
We have lived here 10 years. If I want to see my daughter I have to travel to see her and her family. They have never came here to me.

jools1903 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:28:28

I have family members all round the globe none near to me and none of us are close (in keeping in touch) unfortunately which I find terribly sad. My twins are 22 and my daughter will live in the same town as me but my son will more than likely move to be near his in-laws, when he gets married, which will be 40 mins away. As a child we moved a lot as my father was only interested in bettering himself work wise so the family community was split.

GrandmaMoira Thu 20-Jun-19 09:30:40

I grew up with no extended family as my parents moved to London for work in the post war period. I only saw my grandparents once a year or less and during visits was told "children should be seen and not heard" so no close connection there. I had one Aunt and some of my parents cousins, all a long way away.
My DC grew up with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins near as my DGC are doing. It is nice to have extended family around if possible but it's certainly not a new thing to live far from family.

polnan Thu 20-Jun-19 09:43:44

Interesting... nothing weird here, I think , was it the Industrial Revolution? cars, trains,, travel made easier for the "peasants" families moved around/away... the 1930`s depression (no not personal experience lol) my parents told me, families had to move away, around to get work.

so whereas, natural families (in my view) grew up together and stayed together.. times changed, and we moved around , not only this country, but the world.

my mum and dad , both had 10/12 brothers/sisters, so I had lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, growing up, and we visited. I so miss that..

I have two grown sons, both live nearby, we all have cars, good dils, one ds has 4 children, but how often do they visit us.. (we are elderly) actually I prefer we go out to them whilst I can still drive ..

I am finding that "friends" real friends are good. mind you, all my working life, I have not kept in touch with quite a few friends I made, so I am making new friends at my local church... weekday get togethers, quite frankly a life saver for me..

Does that make me "weird"? I don`t think so, we are all different.. thank goodness! smile

Wilma65 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:46:36

I have family that I don’t see a lot of. My son lives in the USA with his wife. My brothers all live within about 15 miles of me plus uncles, aunts and cousins but I don’t see them very often. I might see my brothers once or twice a year. Always at Christmas. So distance doesn't seem to be the problem. They are just busy with their own lives and families I guess. I miss them but can’t do anything about it

lmm6 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:49:38

In less better off families where people earn little money they usually stay in the area where they were brought up. When people have better prospects they often move away. It's just a fact. It's very sad too. I only see my DS about 4 times a year and there is a lot of sadness in my heart about that but there's nothing I can do. He'll never move back nearer to me.
So the answer to the question is - no, your family is not odd. But, like me, you probably feel the loss of those far away.

Susiewakie Thu 20-Jun-19 09:51:52

Hi I live 2 and a half hour drive from elderly mum 4and half drive from only brother But DD and DGDx2 live 25 minute drive away so see them weekly .As a child I saw grandparents once or twice a year as lived a long way off .So trying to stay fairly near DGD ..'s .Does seem like everyone else has every relative in 10 minute radius SIL's etc all live in same road as family so you aren't alone

Craftycat Thu 20-Jun-19 09:54:20

I have only moved 3 times & I a still in the county I was born in- Surrey,
As an only child I have no family left except a couple of cousins I only see at funerals & a stepmother I really dislike.
My sons are not far away though so I get to see them &n all the DGC regularly- at least weekly & the DGC stay over a lot too.. My DH's family are in Canada & Portsmouth.
Maybe it is the only child in me but I am very happy with this & I have plenty of friends for company.
My Mum used to say 'you choose your friends- your family gets foisted upon you'. I think I agree.

jenpax Thu 20-Jun-19 09:55:58

I brought my 3 DD up 100 odd miles from where I grew up,and where my parents lived.
Both my parents were only children as was I, so no aunts uncles or cousins. Somehow we toddled along ok.
Now I have moved to be near my 2 eldest DD and 3 DGD (due to health reasons) and youngest AC has followed me and is now settled with her 3 children close by; so finally I now have all my surviving family within a 10 minute drive!
Families come in all different forms and usually make it work somehow, so no you are not weird at all OP!

dragonfly46 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:56:43

I am an only child so no brothers and sisters. My DH's sister is moving nearer so that will be good. My DD lives about 200 miles away and our DS and GC live 250 miles away.
We communicate regularly and see each other when we can.
I do envy those families who all stay in the same area and see each other all the time although I do not envy them child care.

Anniebach Thu 20-Jun-19 10:10:21

I was brought up in a large Welsh extended family, have four siblings, nine nieces and nephews, all married , most living very near . Sadly a family rift at the time of my elder daughter’s death means I have no contact . My younger daughter lives a five hour drive away, I don’t have a car, my three grandchildren moved away after their mothers death.

I find it very hard to adjust from a life time of having a large
extended family very close to no family .

jaylucy Thu 20-Jun-19 10:20:19

My son and I live in the same house I grew up in , in one county. The rest of my immediate family live in the next county , all within a 30 -45 minute drive away. Since my parents died, we only see them about twice a year , unless they cross the county border for a family funeral!
We all get together for a family meal out just before Christmas, but it is always my son and I that have to travel the furthest to their choice of venue - trying to get them to cross the county line to come to a pub or restaurant nearer to us is only met with either "no, don't want to go there" or "we have the children and we'll have to leave too early and it will be sooooooo late when we get home" !!!