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Upset at Family moving abroad

(36 Posts)
DollyD Fri 01-Apr-22 14:08:15

I know there are many Gransnetters who have family living abroad so I thought I would ask for advice.
My sons partner is from Italy and they have talked of one day moving there and I thought I was ok with it but they are now intent on going this year so that Grandson can attend school there.
They are going today for a week to look at the school etc. When he told me on the phone I was surprised to start shaking and had what I think was a panic attack, my anxiety is through the roof and I’m waking in panic in the night.
My son has always lived close by and calls round quite often in the week and helps me quite a bit with advise and things around the house and I’m panicking that I won’t be able to cope on my own.
I feel selfish feeling this way and of course wouldn’t dream of mentioning it to him, it’s just the fear of not having him around that I’m dreading.

BlueBelle Fri 01-Apr-22 14:24:42

It ll pass of course it will DollyD it’s been a shock but it’s not the end of the world
My son left for NZ 25 years ago I cried many tears (to myself of course) while smiling and telling him and his then girlfriend now wife to have a great life
I too live alone and although they sugarcoated it by saying they were just going for a look round I knew they d never come back and they haven’t They are no longer British but New Zealand citizens
It will get a lot lot easier and you are not too far away for lovely holidays and meet ups and videos and calls
Our children HAVE to live their own lives they are only lent to us for a short time you have been very lucky to have them living nearby for so long and for having a good relationship
It’s their life now
My two daughters also moved overseas (although one is back) but all 7 of my grandkids were born overseas

You will be fine think of the meet ups and holidays for them and you don’t panic, don’t be sad, be happy for them, you will be fine, it just takes time
Good Luck ?

mokryna Fri 01-Apr-22 15:08:14

Try to think about visiting them, Italy isn’t too far away, and keep smiling for their benefit although it must be hard for you.

DD 1 and family left for England for a few years and then went to live in Sydney. I had some lovely memories visiting them. They came back after some years but DD3 left for Manchester UK for good. Family reunions are hard to arrange but they are fun when it works out. I have just booked my ticket for the next visit to the UK.

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 01-Apr-22 15:22:21

My brother and sister and their families live in Australia. So my children have cousins they rarely see. One of my children has a daughter and my niece has a son. We get together sometimes and it’s wonderful. What with the pandemic we haven’t seen everyone since my niece’s wedding in December 2019. I have missed seeing my nephew and nieces grow up and obviously there have been difficult things happening in both countries. My brother had a dreadful accident over ten years ago. My sister was able to visit him daily but I couldn’t get out there for a few months. Italy though, is so close! A two hour flight and no jet lag. Just think of all that beautiful Italian food!

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 01-Apr-22 15:24:51

I should add that my mother was still alive when my brother and sister first went to Australia. She was devastated - my sister was her favourite child. But she flew out there every year right up to the year she died. She did say that if OH and I went out there, she would move out there too.

DollyD Fri 01-Apr-22 16:22:20

Thanks for your replies, I do feel a bit better having read them and as BlueBelle said it will get a lot easier as I get used to it.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 01-Apr-22 16:25:50

Anything that disrupts our familiarity can be shocking in the first instance. Certainly being older, but I’m sure it’ll settle down, and you’ll adapt.

Think of all the lovely trips you’ll be able to take. Try not to worry.

mumofmadboys Fri 01-Apr-22 16:40:37

I have 5 sons and 3 live abroad at the moment

BlueBelle Fri 01-Apr-22 16:45:41

It will DollyD it s bitter /sweet you know you want them to have the best life possible but you want that to be with you or near you ? we always want the best of both worlds but believe me it will gradually get better
Because I don’t have a high income I ve not managed too many visits to Nz and now in my late 70 s I don’t really want to do that long trip I ve seen them about every five years but we talk every week and they are happy have had lots of good opportunities and it’s their life to do what they wish with

Build up your opportunities for doing things yourself, friends hobbies maybe voluntary work and try not to be too sad
I still cry a bucket when I return after seeing them but you just learn to accept it
Takes time.. be kind to yourself

NotSpaghetti Fri 01-Apr-22 16:51:17

I'm another who has "adult children" living abroad.
Italy is such a fabulous country and easy to get to (as others have said).
Just keep smiling and it really will get easier.

Many years ago I took my family (and only granddaughter, to America. I know now how hard it must have been for my mum but to this day I'm still thankful that she made it easy for me - only ever speaking to me of the adventure and positives and the great life experience it would be for our little one. She was braver than I ever knew. And wiser than I ever gave her credit for.

grannyactivist Fri 01-Apr-22 17:00:33

I have a daughter in NZ and my biggest sadness is that she misses out on the closeness that being in the UK brings to the rest of the family. She’s had some really hard times and we offer what support we can from a distance, but it’s not the same as jumping in the car to be with her.

FaceTime and WhatsApp are your friends - and Italy is close enough that in an emergency flights are regular and not too long. You will adjust, but right now continue to try keeping your anxious feelings to yourself. ?

LOUISA1523 Fri 01-Apr-22 17:12:45

My eldest lives in Canada...has done on and off for around 10 years...sometimes comes home for 2 weeks ...sometimes for 5 months...I just enjoy him when I'm with him....I still cry everything I drop him at the airport...but I never cry when he drops me off at airport to fly back to UK ( not sure why that is?) .....when I retire I hope to get over there more often... but we will see...I used to think he's just a plane journey away...but covid skewed things a bit...I'm sure it would be much harder if he had 3 GD and other 2 DC are all on my door you gave other DC or GC here? I completely get why it will be hard seeing your GS go ... that stabbing pain of missing them does ease kinda get used to them not being you use WhatsApp? We have a family group....we all message stuff every day ...send to day of our meals...places we keeps us all connected

BlueBalou Fri 01-Apr-22 17:24:05

My DDIL is Italian and DS has said they want to move to Italy sometime, I was pretty upset but hid it when it was first mentioned.
Realistically it’s not difficult to fly there from where we live, it would be a fabulous opportunity for holidays and I would never, ever be anything other than fully supportive.
With being able to message and FaceTime we would probably speak more to them than we do now when they live 100 miles away!
My mother used blackmail to stop me living abroad, I wasn’t strong enough to ignore her. I regret lost opportunities.

silverlining48 Fri 01-Apr-22 17:25:21

Its hard and will take a while to accept, if it actually happens.
My dd has lived in Europe for over 15 years and though not so far its still a flight and I hadnt seen her fir 2 years til recently. I miss the spontaneity because visits are arranged months in advance and cant easily be altered after flights and airport parking etc have all been booked.
However it is still much closer than those much further distant places she coukd have moved to, and for that I have to count my blessings,
You will be ok in time, try to keep busy and look firward to visits.

CanadianGran Fri 01-Apr-22 18:03:01

I have a daughter in the southern part of the province, and we are in the northern part of BC. I just googled the distance, and it is very similar from London to Rome, over 1000 km, plus a ferry.

We facetime several times a week, and I manage to see her about 3 times a year. It's about a 2 hour flight for me, or 2 days driving, which we usually do in the summer. The grandchildren know us just as well as their other grandparents, and receive us with open arms when we visit. I also send little packages to the GC with candies, colouring books, etc., just as I give little gifts to the CG I have in town still.

You can make it work to have a good relationship with them, and have lovely visits to look forward to.

Gilly3 Fri 01-Apr-22 18:13:03

Our DD moved to Spain which seemed like the other side of the world at first. I can understand how you feel but you son will still be at the end of a phone to help and advise you, and Italy is a nice place to visit.

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Apr-22 18:19:34

It's not easy, DollyD, especially if they have lived close to you and are so supportive but Italy is not too far and now restrictions are lifted I hope you can visit regularly.

SueDonim Fri 01-Apr-22 20:06:44

It’s twenty years this year since my son moved the US after marrying his American wife. He’ll never come back to the UK to live but I think I’ve made my peace with that. We’ve seen him almost every year since, pandemic excepting. You do get used to it and it’s given us all opportunities we never dreamt we’d have.

Is your son your only child? Would he be open to you moving there as well, once settled? If that’s not a prospect, then I agree it’s not a huge journey to undertake and you may end having adventures too.

Nannarose Fri 01-Apr-22 21:17:32

I just want to recognise that you are keeping your feelings in check around your son. He must know how hard this will be for you. This sounds like a difficult decision for the family to have made, they must have worried about your reaction.
Yet you are stepping back and allowing them to make their decision. This is such a good forum to allow anonymous sharing, and I'm glad it has helped you.
Your son and his family will be so grateful to you for taking this stance.

DollyD Fri 01-Apr-22 21:18:29

A couple of people have asked if I have other DC or GC and I do have a lovely DD, Sil and three GC, who I am also very close to, so I’m not totally bereft but because he has his own business, he’s the one who just pops round during the day, usually to raid my fridge, while my Dd and husband have 9 to 5 jobs and are busy in the evenings running around with after school activities, although I do see my Gson a couple of times after school and socially I actually do see more of them.
It’s the joshing and banter and cheeky chappie I’ll miss when he drops by for five minutes.

bunneykins8 Tue 25-Apr-23 16:14:19

I need some support. My son who is in the RAF has been posted to Gibraltar for 3 years and I am distraught. I don't think I will be able to visit as I have kidney failure and severe depression and insomnia which would prevent me from. travelling let alone getting travel insurance.I can't imagine life without him being near.I stay indoors by myself as I cannot face normal people. I have lost a good job and good friends because of this and I totally blame myself for this - it need not have happened.We have been through thick and thin together - that's a long story.I don't even want to talk to him anymore because the hurt is too much - he finds it difficult coping with the mental health issues. I have a wonderful husband but sometimes I feel that it gets him down because I have turned fro a fun loving girl to a complete wreck in the space of a year.I don't know what the future holds for me I suppose it will be dialysis. Any help would be appreciated

Hithere Tue 25-Apr-23 16:21:45

Please talk to your GP asap - you need immediate help that is beyond the scope of this board

You cannot rely on your son for your happiness

NanaDana Tue 25-Apr-23 16:31:24

Quite a common experience these days, and it can be a hard lesson to learn, that your adult children must not only be allowed to, but should also be supported and encouraged to lead their own lives, even if that includes emigrating. In your case, relatively speaking, Italy is so much more accessible than OZ or NZ, so that's a positive, plus we're all so much more connected these days via the Internet. Be happy for your Son and his partner, and think of those lovely holidays you can look forward to. A negative or unsupportive response will only cause resentment.

Chardy Tue 25-Apr-23 16:36:58

Italy is a couple of hours away on a plane. If they are not too far from an airport that has flights to somewhere vaguely near you, you could do less travel time than if they were moving to an inaccessible bit of UK. Good luck.

tanith Tue 25-Apr-23 16:44:11

Do speak to your GP for help with your depression and insomnia. My son lives in Gibraltar its only 2/1/2 hr flight in fact I'm going next week to visit. They have a good hospital and as Gib is a UK territory its possible they could arrange Dialysis if you should need it. Its a wonderful place to visit lots to do and see and its history and relationship with nearby neighbour Spain is so interesting. It is possible once you get your depression treated. Good luck.