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RoseRed135

Are YOU a Longdistance Grandparent?

232 posts in this topic

Every time I see this topic Are You a Long distance Grandparent ? I am tempted to write but for some reason I don't get to it. My heart breaks for those who are far from their grandchildren, I know it is hard. I am fortunate as mine are pretty close by. My son is a about a half hour away and my daughter an hour and a half. We are close but I know people who live even closer in proximity and are not "close" to their grand kids for so many reasons. The relationship is definitely not all about the miles that separate us I think. My own grand-parent lived very far from us. We saw them for a few days at Christmas time and maybe a few days in the summer. (depending where they were living at the time)  We did not have the means to travel nor did they but never the less we were VERY close to them. Long before Skype, Face Time, e-mail and internet there was letter writing, packages and phone calls; that is what we had. My grandmother especially nurtured our relationship with her. She was "famous" for her birthday boxes that she sent us. So often we would be surprised by an unexpected package, card or letter. My mother encouraged us to write regularly to them, keeping them informed of any and all areas of our life. I recall proudly telling them of my good report card and happily receiving a card with a dollar in it a few days later. (that was a long time ago and we were happy to have the dollar ) We grew to love them "long distance". As we got older and they grew elderly we were able to bridge the distance gap and when my grandfather died my grandmother came to live with us. We were still close, but not because she lived with us but because there had been a loving foundation built for us to stand on.

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So wonderful, IMO, Roxie, that you and your GPs were able to maintain  such a close relationship even though at a distance! Kudos to your DM and GM for both being so active in making that happen!  How kind and loving of you and your DH to have GM come and live with you, after GF died. No doubt, of course, that "loving foundation" that you and your siblings had with her made this easier to do.

 

I see that you've also blogged about this issue and I replied there, as well.

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Thank you.

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You're welcome.

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Roxie01966,

 

Welcome to the forum I enjoyed your thoughts on long distance grandparenting.

 

 I am a long distance GP and only get to see GD once or twice a year.  We are lucky that we now have face time and skype, but we also send each other cards and letters and I send her surprises several times a year, I feel we are very close.

 

She is my only GC and is 8 now but she lets me know how she is doing in school and things my DS and DIL are very good about keeping me and DIL's  parents up to date we both live in the same town and DS lives 12 hours away.

 

 My DH passed away when GD was 6 months old but they keep his memory alive for her they have pictures and video of GP holding her so she knows that GP loved her very much.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you Critter

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My girls all live in the same general area of Southern California, and I live in S.E Alaska.

There are good points to this, as far as not being in the middle of squabbles and maybe being an over involved grandparent. The down-side, of course, is that I don't get to see the grandkids growing and experiencing life.The last time I saw any of my 4 daughters, it was for maybe.....2hours, while driving through the area. At that time I saw only two of my granddaughters ( out of my 5 grandchildren ). It has been years and my youngest grandson has never seen me. I left CA, when he was an infant.

We all keep in touch on f.b, email, and when connection is good, by cell phone. Communications here on the island are limited.

YES, I miss them....and if I didn't have recent photos, I probably wouldn't know them, if we passed each other on the street. Maybe for the Holidays this year? It is what it is, and we all are understanding of each other's situations.

Kathryn

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Hi Kath! Welcome back! I'm so sorry you don't get to see your DDs (dear daughters) and GC more often. I get that you miss them and, probably, vice versa.

 

But I'm glad you have the connections you do. It sounds as if you all have a good attitude about this situation and that, IMO, is beautiful! Kudos to you and yours!

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I am new here and today I feel hurt and abandoned. My daughter, SIL and their precious 3 children, 4,5 and 8 have told me they may be moving far away. My daughter wants a better job and my SIL's cousin has recommended her for a job in their same town. The cousin and his wife have 3 children of similar ages to my daughter and they are close. My husband and I chose to move near our daughter 10 years ago when a great job opportunity came available for my husband. We knew they were planning to start a family soon so we jumped at the chance to be part of that. I left my job and for the past 10 years have been incredibly blessed to see these children at least every two weeks. We live now only 2 hours from them. This has enabled us to go back and forth frequently and even meet in between to exchange precious children for visits. Now if they move they will be closer in proximity to SIL's parents who until recently have shown very little interest in the children except for sending them gifts. I am crushed. We have been so close and now we will no longer be the grandparents who can join in activities so easily. We will be 9 hours away. Can't even do that in a weekend realistically. I feel hurt that she would choose this and I am unable to stop crying. I hope I can make this work because I am also angry and resentful that this leaves me out and puts the others able to be there for them.

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I am new here and today I feel hurt and abandoned. My daughter, SIL and their precious 3 children, 4,5 and 8 have told me they may be moving far away. My daughter wants a better job and my SIL's cousin has recommended her for a job in their same town. The cousin and his wife have 3 children of similar ages to my daughter and they are close. My husband and I chose to move near our daughter 10 years ago when a great job opportunity came available for my husband. We knew they were planning to start a family soon so we jumped at the chance to be part of that. I left my job and for the past 10 years have been incredibly blessed to see these children at least every two weeks. We live now only 2 hours from them. This has enabled us to go back and forth frequently and even meet in between to exchange precious children for visits. Now if they move they will be closer in proximity to SIL's parents who until recently have shown very little interest in the children except for sending them gifts. I am crushed. We have been so close and now we will no longer be the grandparents who can join in activities so easily. We will be 9 hours away. Can't even do that in a weekend realistically. I feel hurt that she would choose this and I am unable to stop crying. I hope I can make this work because I am also angry and resentful that this leaves me out and puts the others able to be there for them.

Grammaprecious4, please find someone to talk to about this, outside of your dd.

 

They're looking at a move to better their lives, and those of their children. A better job will benefit them all.

 

They aren't making this decision on a whim, but on the chance to have a better life. They aren't doing it to leave you out, they're doing it b/c it's a better job.

 

Would you be as upset if the better job were in an area that nobody was? Not you, not the inlaws?

 

It sounds as though the proximity of the inlaws is really upsetting to you...but at the same time, you've had years with the same arrangement that you're upset about them potentially having (they were long distance, and now you will be).

 

I think if you try and keep the fact that this will benefit their entire family in the forefront, and not something they're doing to you, it would help, but so would an impartial counsellor, that can help you work through this time, and won't be hurt or upset by anything you say or feel, whereas your DD/SIL very well might.

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Yes it does upset me that the in laws will be near because they have been uninvolved and even cruel at times to my daughter and her husband. It makes me incredibly sad to imagine them far away and no it wouldn't matter if it were somewhere no one else lived. It is because I am grieving about the loss of a precious everyday relationship with my grandchildren and it hurts that my daughter would choose to leave for a job. I feel sad and was hoping to find support here.

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Yes it does upset me that the in laws will be near because they have been uninvolved and even cruel at times to my daughter and her husband. It makes me incredibly sad to imagine them far away and no it wouldn't matter if it were somewhere no one else lived. It is because I am grieving about the loss of a precious everyday relationship with my grandchildren and it hurts that my daughter would choose to leave for a job. I feel sad and was hoping to find support here.

 

Does your daughter have no choice where the job is concerned?

I am sorry that you are losing that everyday relationship.

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Yes she definitely has a choice. Thank you for your kindness. This is so very painful for me. I am very close with these children and my daughter. She is my only daughter and I want to support her but I don't want them to go. Yes it sounds like it is all about me but right now that how I feel. I feel a tremendous sense of loss. It is horrible.

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Yes it does upset me that the in laws will be near because they have been uninvolved and even cruel at times to my daughter and her husband. It makes me incredibly sad to imagine them far away and no it wouldn't matter if it were somewhere no one else lived. It is because I am grieving about the loss of a precious everyday relationship with my grandchildren and it hurts that my daughter would choose to leave for a job. I feel sad and was hoping to find support here.

 

I would be sad if I couldn't see my kids whenever I wanted (all live within minutes). But if my kids were offered a job that was better financially I would be very thrilled. Times are so hard and money is so tight, I'd love it if my kids didn't have to struggle monetarily. Hopefully you can find many good times to visit over 3 day weekends and such. Perhaps counseling could help you feel better?

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Yes she definitely has a choice. Thank you for your kindness. This is so very painful for me. I am very close with these children and my daughter. She is my only daughter and I want to support her but I don't want them to go. Yes it sounds like it is all about me but right now that how I feel. I feel a tremendous sense of loss. It is horrible.

I'm not negating your feelings. That's why I suggested a counsellor could be of help, to get you through this time.

 

It could be very damaging to your relationship if your dd heard this from you, which is why I really encourage you to find a professional to help guide you through this.

 

I'm not saying that you *have* said anything...but when emotions build, they can bubble over without meaning to. A therapist could be your 'release valve' to ensure that doesn't happen.

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I am new here and today I feel hurt and abandoned. My daughter, SIL and their precious 3 children, 4,5 and 8 have told me they may be moving far away. My daughter wants a better job and my SIL's cousin has recommended her for a job in their same town. The cousin and his wife have 3 children of similar ages to my daughter and they are close. My husband and I chose to move near our daughter 10 years ago when a great job opportunity came available for my husband. We knew they were planning to start a family soon so we jumped at the chance to be part of that. I left my job and for the past 10 years have been incredibly blessed to see these children at least every two weeks. We live now only 2 hours from them. This has enabled us to go back and forth frequently and even meet in between to exchange precious children for visits. Now if they move they will be closer in proximity to SIL's parents who until recently have shown very little interest in the children except for sending them gifts. I am crushed. We have been so close and now we will no longer be the grandparents who can join in activities so easily. We will be 9 hours away. Can't even do that in a weekend realistically. I feel hurt that she would choose this and I am unable to stop crying. I hope I can make this work because I am also angry and resentful that this leaves me out and puts the others able to be there for them.

Welcome to this forum Grammaprecious4, I'm sorry that you are feeling hurt and abandoned.  I'm sure your DD & SIL didn't intend to make you feel this way.  They are just trying to better their family life with better jobs, unfortunately in these times we have to sometimes move far away for the opportunities.

 

I am also a Long distant GP I only see my GD once or twice a year we are over 12 hours apart, but that is where my DS and DIL had to go for good jobs in their chosen careers.  I miss them but we do facetime and I am always sending GD and DS & DIL surprises. I was never in the position to see them very often, so I can't know exactly  how you feel but I can empathize with you.

 

Also I think it would help you to get counseling, and keep venting here. You really don't want to cause bad feelings between you and your DD's family.  We have to remember we raise our kids to grow up and live their own lives so we have to let go, I know it is hard.

 

As for the other GP's maybe they have changed, I don't worry about what my GD's other GP's are getting or doing with them I just worry about me, if I worried about them it would drive me nuts.

 

I hope you don't say anything about this to your DD.  I'm sure others will be in with more advice.

 

Hugs Critter

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Another welcome, Gramma! And more (((hugs!))) It must be very hard to face the fact that DD (dear daughter) and family will be moving so far away, after 10 years of living so reasonably close. And to think that you and DH (dear husband) uprooted your loves, 10 years ago, to be closer to them, just to have them move away now.

 

Unfortunately, your relocating that way didn't guarantee that they wouldn't relocate, themselves, someday. Like some PPs (previous posters) I'm deeply sorry you feel "hurt and abandoned." But also, like PPs,  I'm sure DD and SIL didn't make this decision in that spirit, but are just trying to do what they feel is best for their own family unit, regarding jobs, etc. You can't help how you feel and I think many GPs in your situation would experience the same emotions. But please realize that wasn't DD's and SIL's intention.

 

I am grieving about the loss of a precious everyday relationship with my grandchildren

 

This is totally normal, IMO. And like any other grieving process, it will, most likely, go through various stages, w/ the worst emotions subsiding in time. If it's any comfort, I'm sure there are many ways you'll still be able to keep up contact w/ DD and family. If you look around this forum and read a few threads, you'll see that many LDGPs keep in touch via Skype and FaceTime, etc. Granted, some parents aren't as open to these ideas as others. But since DD and SIL seem to have been happy to include you in their and their children's lives, all these years, I'm confident that they'll agree to one or both of these ideas. And since you already have an established relationship w/ your GC, these measures should be able, IMO, to help you sustain it. Perhaps once they're settled in their new home, you can do Skype or FT every couple of weeks, the same way you see them "at least every two weeks" now. I know, I know, it's not the same as being w/ them. But it's better than hardly seeing them, at all. So it's worth discussing w/ DD, IMO.

 

Also, no doubt, you'll be able to visit, now and then. Not as often as you do now, of course, but I'm sure you'll enjoy those visits just as much. These ideas may not seem helpful, right now, I understand. But hopefully, they will, after a while.

 

But this is getting long, so I'll continue below...

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... Continuing...

 

Now if they move they will be closer in proximity to SIL's parents who until recently have shown very little interest in the children except for sending them gifts. I am crushed. We have been so close and now we will no longer be the grandparents who can join in activities so easily.

 

IMO, under the circumstances, it's not unusual, either, for you to be feeling envious of the other GPs.  Very understandable, I think, but please try to let go of that, if you can and not let it increase your sorrow. As critter says, worrying about what the other GPs are doing will only "drive (you)nuts."

 

I was going to say that perhaps the PGPs (paternal grandparents) "have shown very little interest in the children" b/c they lived at a distance and didn't think they'd ever get to be a big part of their lives, anyhow. (Unlike you, they didn't already have an established relationship w/ them.) But since you say they have also been "cruel at times" to DD and SIL, IDK what to think. Could it be that they have settled their differences?

 

If not - or if the PGPs are simply not that interested in the GC - then chances are, they won't be "joining in activities," as often as you think, if that's any help. You can't really know how involved they're going to be in the GC's lives, so please avoid making any assumptions, one way or the other (that's the part that will drive you crazy). You may not be ready, right now, but when you are, please just focus on how you can maintain contact w/ DD and family.

 

Also, if you find you can't get past the grief, after a while, yes, a counselor may help, as Imp suggests. And I hope you keep reaching out here, as well.

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Thank you for all the advice. I am trying very hard to be supportive of any decision my daughter makes and to watch what I say. I certainly don't want to damage our relationship. However, I joined this forum so I could say things about my true feelings and get compassion and support from others who may have experienced this. The pain and hurt you feel are real losses and impossible to deny. I read several posts regarding this before I joined and wanted to use this forum to get help and also just some listening non- judgmental support. Rose Red, I thank you for being there for me. I am trying my hardest to work through this and yes, counseling is always a good idea. Also, my daughter and I both believe, as does our whole family, that God will lead her to make the right decision. However, this does not keep me from having these feelings of sadness, tremendous loss and yes, anger, because sadly, I am just a regular person, desperately loving my grandchildren. Thanks for your help in keeping me on the right track.

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Gramma, glad to hear you are trying to be supportive of your DD's decision.

 

We are here to listen to you and hopefully give you some helpful advice.  

 

I know it hurts when you can't be around your AC (adult children) and GK's (grandkids)  I live with it all the time my DS has been gone for over 15 years and I still miss him and now GD also. I have had all the same feelings you have had of sadness, loss and even anger. Over the years I have learned a lot of patience try to be happy with what I get.  I try very hard to not make them feel guilty or sad that they had to move, we all want what is best for our kids even if that sometimes means it isn't good for us. 

 

I don't think any of us were being judgmental, we just didn't want you to say these things to your DD.

 

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  Critter

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Thank you for all the advice. I am trying very hard to be supportive of any decision my daughter makes and to watch what I say. I certainly don't want to damage our relationship. However, I joined this forum so I could say things about my true feelings and get compassion and support from others who may have experienced this. The pain and hurt you feel are real losses and impossible to deny. I read several posts regarding this before I joined and wanted to use this forum to get help and also just some listening non- judgmental support. Rose Red, I thank you for being there for me. I am trying my hardest to work through this and yes, counseling is always a good idea. Also, my daughter and I both believe, as does our whole family, that God will lead her to make the right decision. However, this does not keep me from having these feelings of sadness, tremendous loss and yes, anger, because sadly, I am just a regular person, desperately loving my grandchildren. Thanks for your help in keeping me on the right track.

 

As you may know, the feelings you're experiencing all go along w/ the idea that you are grieving. Often they come in stages, but, to my understanding, they can also overlap, as they seem to be doing w/ you. It may not help, right now, but, in time, no doubt, they will subside, for the most part and you will find a less painful perspective.

 

Glad you feel our  comments are helping to keep you "on track," even if you think that some posts were "judgmental." As critter says, I don't think it was anyone's intention to judge.

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Bummer you have to deal with this. Sadly, we all have to adapt to our ever changing world.

 

I think the jealousy toward the other GP is a smoke screen to cover your unspoken anger at your daughter for making the choice to leave you. There is every possibility those other GP will continue on as they have in the past so may have no dog in this fight.

 

I have 3 gk 6 hours away.....I got home this evening from a quick trip to see them....the oldest just had his birthday; the party was Sunday. It was important, I went. My son is career Navy. He's lived on the East Coast, Northwest and now SoCal....I go. I was there for the births of all 3 kids, go to as many special events as possible. They come to me whenever they can. You just call it the new normal and get on with it. I have very special relationships with all 3 of these kids. They fly into my arms. The girlie likes the way I braid her hair. The older boy shares his ideas and interests (I spent yesterday in his 2nd grade class, enlightening....) and the little guy is a big pile of personality who offers up kisses and hugs and falls asleep in my arms.....its all good.

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I'm the grandfather (Geepa). We live in Maryland and our 8 year granddaugher live in Washington State. We normally see her about every 6 months for about 21 days. Either here or in Washington State. We always try and talk to her on via social media. I also drop her a letter every so often to let her know we are thinking of her. We have a new 14 month grandson,  it was important for her to know her standing when she came this past month since she is far away and he is in the local area. She is very close to us especially Meema. Because she know she is a priority because we give her the most important thing, our time when she comes. She was watching us closely to see where she stood with the arrival or our second grandchild. We let her help us and she was very instrumental in playing with him which was important. We made sure we spent alot of "alone" time with our granddaughter.

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Welcome BoopaGeepa! How beautiful that you are able to keep up such a good relationship w/ your GD (granddaughter)! And how kind and loving of you and "Meema" to be sensitive to her feelings about the new, more local GS. Most of all, thank you for this delightful post! Hope we hear from you some more! :)

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I'm the grandfather (Geepa). We live in Maryland and our 8 year granddaugher live in Washington State. We normally see her about every 6 months for about 21 days. Either here or in Washington State. We always try and talk to her on via social media. I also drop her a letter every so often to let her know we are thinking of her. We have a new 14 month grandson,  it was important for her to know her standing when she came this past month since she is far away and he is in the local area. She is very close to us especially Meema. Because she know she is a priority because we give her the most important thing, our time when she comes. She was watching us closely to see where she stood with the arrival or our second grandchild. We let her help us and she was very instrumental in playing with him which was important. We made sure we spent alot of "alone" time with our granddaughter.

Welcome BoopaGeepa,  Glad you joined us sounds like you have a great relationship with your GD. 

 

My GD lives about 12 hours from me but we Face Time and are always talking on the phone.  

 

Congratulations to you and Meema on your new GS.  It sounds like you are keeping your GD's feelings in mind.

 

Hope you Join in again.

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2 days ago I had to say goodbye to my son, wife and 20 month old grand daughter (my only grandchild) who I looked after 2 days a week since she was 6 months old. We are in UK and they have moved to the other side of the world Australia. I am devastated, my heart is broken and I don't like to say it but it almost feels like a bereavement. I knew it would be tough but had no idea it would be this painful. There are memories of her everywhere. I have a sticky fingered door handle that I haven't yet cleaned. We had developed a real bond, noticed by everyone. I don't know if it will ever become easier, I am crying and have had a couple of occasions where I have maybe dropped something and ended up screaming at the top of my lungs. Very out of character but I think it is the stress/emotion etc coming out

 

 

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