How would/did you react if your adult child moved far away with your beloved grandchildren?
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heartcat
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:05:44 AM

They want me to talk to their dd because I moved away from home 20 years ago & I have talked to my bff about my regrets, etc. in the past. I know there isn't a thing I can say to their dd that would make her decide not to move. I love her to pieces too & have know her all of her life.


What did you say when friend made this request?

I would have told that it's none of my business, that my experience might not be theirs, and that unless her dd asked me about my moving away and any regrets I might have, and for any advice about that, that I was not comfortable just offering that unsolicited. And that I would appreciate not being put in the middle.

I'd let my friend know that I could understand that this must be a shock for her, if she had had no prior inkling, and that I could understand why she would be sad not to see them as frequently.

I'd encourage her to be glad that her dd and sil have the freedom to pursue other options and opportunities for themselves and their family. Many people do not.

I'd encourage her to continue to be there for them in those ways that she still could be. By providing her emotional support. By not making it more difficult for them. I would imagine they have a certain degree of uncertainty and sadness already, despite any joy or anticipation.

I would tell her that just because they were moving 'now' did not mean that they would be gone forever.

I would tell her that she is lucky to have at her disposal all of the technology we have today. Social media, for the easy and instant sharing of photographs and messages. Webcams so that she can not only talk to them, but see them.

I would let her know that it's okay to feel sorrow and disappointment. That she 'is' losing something by not having them nearby. But that ultimately this is not about 'her'. It is about her dd and sil doing what they feel is right for 'their' family. And that she has two choices. She can be supportive and loving and be strong for them, which will likely strengthen their bond and encourage future relationships. Or she can make this all about her, and internalize this, and see nothing but the negative and make herself miserable with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I would tell her that I was here with a shoulder for her to cry on, to get it out of her system. And that then we were going shopping for a new webcam, if she did not already have one. And then perhaps we'd go sign up for some class we had expressed an interest in taking (assuming you are local, if not I'd encourage her to take one on her own).

Of course I would be very disappointed and sad if 'anyone' that I had such a close and loving relationship with, and had imagined being in my life in that same way indefinitely, was moving far away. I think that's only natural.

But it's one of those things that you have no control over. You can only control how you deal with it. And you can choose to make the most of it, or you can choose to make it as bad as possible.


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writermom1
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:06:50 AM
I would be devastated privately but would question how much my "planning my whole life around my grandchildren" was driving them away.



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Maryland
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:09:39 AM
I think everyone has a right to live where they want. I think the reason my husband and I have such a great relationship with our parents is because we live 3 hrs. away from his and 5 hrs. away from mine. My inlaws and parents visit us often and we visit them a couple times a year. Before we had kids we would visit them all the time, but with kids, it's too hard. Our parents love to see the grandchildren, but they are our children, and they know that. Our parents enjoy visiting with us just as much as with the grandchildren.

Could she just move to where they are living? Or visit them and maybe rent a place nearby and stay for a couple months at a time? I know it would be very hard for them, as it was hard for me when my best friend who lived 2 doors down moved 3 miles away!!

We have teens and a 9 yr. old and they have all made it clear that they will not live in PA when they grow up, they will live somewhere really hot near a beach! So we have no expectations that we will live near them unless we move somewhere hot near a beach (which was our idea first anyways!!).

I hope your friend feels better. I completely understand how much she will miss her kids! Does she have other family/friends in her area that she could spend time with once her kids move?


Artbabe
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:18:38 AM

And I really don't mean to be harsh, I just simply can't imagine my family so ingrained in my life. Saying goodbye is never easy. Not having family near to help can be difficult but none of it is the end of the world.


This just shows how different family dynamics are.

My parents live a mile from their grandchildren. They moved from an hour away to down the street so they wouldn't see their grandchildren only on holidays.

Now they see the grandchildren several times a week. I see my nephews several times a week, too. We all pitch in with childcare.

I live a half hour from my sister and parents and I'm planning on moving to be closer.

My sister and I have talked about moving to a warmer climate but it won't happen because all three families would have to move so we would still be together. We are just that close.

My parents would be really sad if the kids moved far away.


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Maryland
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:19:00 AM
I forgot to add above, that one of my grandparents lived 30 min. away, the other set of grandparents 4 hrs. away.

The nearby grandparents came over for Sunday dinners (if the Redskins weren't playing home - grandparents had season tickets). They didn't interfere in our life in any way. We had neighbor kids babysit and we did our own thing. If my brother and I wanted to play with friends when they were there, that was fine. They didn't smother us at all.

The 4 hr. away grandparents visited a couple times a year and we visited them a couple times a year. Their other son lived 5 hrs. away so no kids/grandkids in the area. They became "grandparents" to the little kids next door!

It worked well for our family and no one smothered and no one felt left out. Perhaps the kids did feel like the grandparents were trying to take over and they didn't get much time with just them and their kids. Just a thought after reading the other posts.


*Erin
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:43:26 AM
Reading your post makes me so grateful that my parents never made me feel guilty for moving away when I was younger. I moved out of the country for three years and when DH and I came back to the US we settled 3000 miles away on the opposite coast. They've never been negative about it, not once.

My brother and I both made the decision to move away, and for both of us it was a lifestyle decision and not work related. Our parents always felt that raising us to be strong enough to stand on our own two feet included letting go and supporting our decision to leave CA.

I will admit that it was harder to be away from family when we started having children, but we get together with our parents when we can. It's also harder now that *they* are getting older.



scoobers
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:49:19 AM
Who really knows what is prompting the move but I know one thing for sure - I would stay out of it. If g-grandma wants answers, she should be talking to her DD and SIl, not asking you to do it.



ashazamm
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:53:21 AM
This is a scenario I've played over and over in my head. I would be devastated to say the least and my kids are only 6 & 8!

I would support them in leaving and never make them feel guilty or bad about it. I would visit them as much as I could. I would even consider moving to where they are.

My DH will be retiring approx. 10-12 years after they graduate high school. So during that time they would be setting down with career, spouses and having children. We would then be in a position to visit for long periods of time if one or both were to move far away.

Although my kids have grandparents, they are almost 100% inactive (I've bitched about this before on posts) so I know I'll be the doting grandma and I hope my kids will want the doting grandma for their kids because they missed out on it. Who knows what the future will bring.

raindancer
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:15:59 AM

This just shows how different family dynamics are.

My parents live a mile from their grandchildren. They moved from an hour away to down the street so they wouldn't see their grandchildren only on holidays.

Now they see the grandchildren several times a week. I see my nephews several times a week, too. We all pitch in with childcare.

I live a half hour from my sister and parents and I'm planning on moving to be closer.

My sister and I have talked about moving to a warmer climate but it won't happen because all three families would have to move so we would still be together. We are just that close.

My parents would be really sad if the kids moved far away.




My family all lives close and we all are very active in each others lives. The brothers in law are all good friends and have a weekly game night on Thursdays. My sisters and mom have a weekly girls night on Wed.
We babysit for each other, we see each other several times a week.

That being said, my dh's job can and has taken us anywhere at any moment and we have gone and will go again.

So you are right. All families have a different dynamic, and sometimes people can be really, really close to family and yet still move away.

It is possible to maintain strong bonds and relationships with family when you live far away, it takes effort and time. But it doesn't have to break a family and it doesn't mean that the relationships are ruined.

I think people should live their lives, live in the moment and live for themselves. You can't just live your life around what everyone else wants for you. If you stay where you are and live close because that is what you want then there is nothing wrong with that. But say your sister made a different choice. That should be ok too, because we all need to make our own decisions. Just like you would not like to be told you should move further away, I imagine, others would not like to be told they must stay "for the sake of family".

And leaving doesn't mean that you just aren't 'close' to your family.



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beachgurl
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:23:10 AM
People are reacting to the idea that these grandparents "have planned their lives around the children and now the grandchildren". It is assumed by many that they are therefore overbearing and smothering.

The catch is that to be the sort of grandparents that are directly involved in the grandkid's lives, you do have to be planning your life around them. If you do not plan your location to be convenient for frequent visits, then it won't be. If you do not plan your own activities and even work schedule to accomodate the grandkids, then it won't. I suppose there are some people who just happen to live close by and just happen to have plenty of free time on their hands, but really, how many do? Do we think these grandparents would just be sitting at home, doing nothing but waiting? I suggest not. They would have some sort of other thing going on, except that they are planning their lives to make room for the grandchildren. Why so many think that grandparents should be the ones to give up part of their "freedom", rather than the children, is something I will never understand. Haven't they worked to earn that independence just as much as the children have worked to grow into independent adults with their own lives and interests? It seems appropriate to me that there be some accomodation on both sides.

I would suggest that your friend say to her dd and sil, do you have any plans for how we should continue to be good grandparents and be involved in your kids lives? She can hear what sort of actions or sacrifices they are willing to make, and that will help her know if their own sacrifices to be grandparents are appreciated, and should be continued.




GrinningCat
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:23:28 AM

So you are right. All families have a different dynamic, and sometimes people can be really, really close to family and yet still move away.

It is possible to maintain strong bonds and relationships with family when you live far away, it takes effort and time. But it doesn't have to break a family and it doesn't mean that the relationships are ruined.

I think people should live their lives, live in the moment and live for themselves. You can't just live your life around what everyone else wants for you. If you stay where you are and live close because that is what you want then there is nothing wrong with that. But say your sister made a different choice. That should be ok too, because we all need to make our own decisions. Just like you would not like to be told you should move further away, I imagine, others would not like to be told they must stay "for the sake of family".

And leaving doesn't mean that you just aren't 'close' to your family.

Exactly.

Georgiapea
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:39:17 AM
I find it mind boggling that your friend has so little life of her own that she is trying to live through her adult children and grandchildren. If I had a parent like that I'd move away too. Adulthood is when you make your own way in life, generally away from your parents. Hovering over ones adult children and invading their lives is not good. Not mentally healthy.

They can enjoy that lake house all on their own. It can still be a place where everyone gathers for vacations.

ETA: Look4angel, you must be an extremely negative person in general, because you are sure espousing negativity with your posts here.

My own DD is very upset because my DGD is moving from WV to MI with her 8 month old son. DD says she has been "sobbing" for days over her first grandchild leaving.

gar
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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:57:24 AM

The catch is that to be the sort of grandparents that are directly involved in the grandkid's lives, you do have to be planning your life around them.


I disagree. There's a difference between being available any time and not planning anything that doesn't involve the kids versus having other interests but seeing tfamily a couple times a week, keeping special event days free etc but also saying, occasionally, 'sorry, we can't babysit that evening, we already have plans'.

My parents were like that - they have lovely active social lives. They LOVED spending time with my DDS and my niece and nephews (and were definitely very hands on) and would often alter their plans if they were invited to sports day/nativity/to babysit or whatever, but not at the expense of everything else.

I feel that's a far healthier balance.





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beachgurl
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:08:13 AM

I disagree. There's a difference between being available any time and not planning anything that doesn't involve the kids versus having other interests but seeing family a couple times a week, keeping special event days free etc but also saying, occasionally, 'sorry, we can't babysit that evening, we already have plans'.


We don't have any reason to believe that the grandparents in question are available all the time and don't plan anything that doesn't involve their kids. We really know nothing about them other than they both work outside the home, that they plan their lives to have time with their grandkids, and that they are sad that their children and grandchildren will be moving far away. Nothing in that says psycho controlling grandparents to me.





knit.pea
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:35:42 AM

Bff & her dh have pretty much planned their whole lives around their children & now their grandchildren. (These 2 babies are their only grandchildren so far). They also have a son who is still in college, out of state. Bff & her dh just bought a lake house expecting it to be a way to have family time w/ their children & grandchildren & be close to them throughout their lives. They have hopes and dreams about grandparenting & feel like the rug is being pulled out from under them.


What advice would you give my bff if she were sobbing uncontrollably on the phone? I've told them they have to support their dd & deal with it & they know that. But she says she can't breathe without her grandchildren. I'm sad for them!

Of course, they are crushed. It's ok to be sad about it.

But is it really healthy for all these dreams and hopes to be created ... about your
adult children's lives? Isn't it time for hands-off so the new family can make their
own way?

BTDT with the "we bought this place specifically half way, so we can all get
together more often". That's YOUR dream. People want to do different vacation
locations or may move (for whatever reason).
In this day and economy, it doesn't make sense to pin everything on the hope
that your kids will stay "in town". It's just not a realistic view.

If they were *asked* to move along with them, great.

gar
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:39:53 AM

I disagree. There's a difference between being available any time and not planning anything that doesn't involve the kids versus having other interests but seeing family a couple times a week, keeping special event days free etc but also saying, occasionally, 'sorry, we can't babysit that evening, we already have plans'.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



We don't have any reason to believe that the grandparents in question are available all the time and don't plan anything that doesn't involve their kids. We really know nothing about them other than they both work outside the home, that they plan their lives to have time with their grandkids, and that they are sad that their children and grandchildren will be moving far away. Nothing in that says psycho controlling grandparents to me.




I agree, nothing says psycho grandparents but I was responding to your sentiment that to be involved you HAVE to plan your lives around the grandchildren and I don't think that's true.





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gar
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:44:41 AM

But she says she can't breathe without her grandchildren.


That's either melodramatic in the extreme or tragic if she truly feels that way.

I understand being deeply attached to family, of course I do, but to feel that you have nothing else that makes life worth living is awful







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Maizie
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:53:30 AM
Honestly, it is their lives and they need to do what they need to do. I feel it is haphazard for a parent to bank their entire life around grand children. And I find it bizarre that a family should be made to feel guilty about something like a move.


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writermom1
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:59:13 AM

We really know nothing about them other than they both work outside the home, that they plan their lives to have time with their grandkids, and that they are sad that their children and grandchildren will be moving far away. Nothing in that says psycho controlling grandparents to me.


Asking OP to intervene is skating close to that edge for me.



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606slz
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:13:48 AM
I agree about your friend sounding like she is too involved. I love my mother in law dearly but she tries to get too involved sometimes. I know she would give us a very hard time if we moved.

UkSue
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:20:37 AM

I know of only two people in our lives who live within 30 minutes of their parents; it's a different world today than before.


It is, and I think society is suffering because of it.

Here in the UK, small as it is, we are seeing the problems in society where young mums at one end of the scale, and elderly at the other, have become unsupported. There are some really interesting research papers about this, the one I can think of off hand is by a PeterTownsend. The trend to move away from extended family living close has had a pretty detrimental effect on society in my opinion.

Having said that, there are real reasons why it happens. People move for all sorts of reasons: work, housing, better environment for their family amongst others. The world has shrunk due to high speed rail and road travel and air travel and it is obvious that many people want to stretch their wings and experience different things in different places. Technology helps people stay in touch, as some posters have pointed out here.

If it happened to me I would be sad. I was sad when my daughter was in Spain for a year to attend University. However I have never lived completely for my children, as much as they are the priority in my life. I have always made sure that I have plenty of things to interest me, and I don't want to be one of those over-imposing parents/grandparents .

This woman is making this all about her, and it isn't. She needs to make plans of how she can keep in touch and how she will keep herself interested in future. Maybe she can give her hubby some extra attention, if he has felt a bit left out over the years!


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Posted: 2/3/2013 12:10:39 PM
Seriously? Your friend needs to grow up. It's normal to be really upset about family moving away, but saying she doesn't think she will survive and asking you to talk them out of it is unhealthy.

IMO, parents are responsible for helping children and grandparents maintain a relationship. They are NOT responsible for keeping them geographically close. My kids have grandparents in 3 different parts of the country. We couldn't live near all of them even if we wanted to. Currently we live near 1 set (my IL's) and that may not always be the case. We have *gasp* our own dreams of moving that are not directly career related.



Sara


Mallie
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Posted: 2/3/2013 12:58:28 PM


Bff & her dh just bought a lake house expecting it to be a way to have family time w/ their children & grandchildren & be close to them throughout their lives. They have hopes and dreams about grandparenting & feel like the rug is being pulled out from under them.


What advice would you give my bff if she were sobbing uncontrollably on the phone? I've told them they have to support their dd & deal with it & they know that. But she says she can't breathe without her grandchildren.



Then how did she survive before they were born? Before her kids were born?

Sorry, but that sort of commentary and attitude sounds dysfunctional, melodramatic and like someone trying use guilt in a power play to make her daughter bend to her wishes. That attitude would make me want to get out of Dodge asap.

If I were her friend there is no stinking way I'd take any part in a power play against her daughter. I'd be telling my friend this:

I'm not sad for you because your dd and your grandkids are moving out of town. I'm sad for you that your entire life, hopes and expectations revolve around others to the point that you "can't breathe" without them. You needs to get a life that is less dependent upon the presence of others for fulfillment and happiness. Volunteer, join a book group, take up a hobby, travel... There is so much to do in life if you'll only open your eyes and do it.

tamhugh
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Posted: 2/3/2013 1:43:11 PM

We don't have any reason to believe that the grandparents in question are available all the time and don't plan anything that doesn't involve their kids. We really know nothing about them other than they both work outside the home, that they plan their lives to have time with their grandkids, and that they are sad that their children and grandchildren will be moving far away. Nothing in that says psycho controlling grandparents to me.


The fact that the grandmother is afraid she won't survive them moving away, feels she can't breathe without them, and is asking friends to step in and convince them not to move away makes me think she is too attached. I think any grandparent would be sad to have them move away. But this grandma is either a major drama queen (which I would want to get away from myself) or she needs to get some interests of her own. Both my mother and MIL adore their grandchildren and hate that they live far away. But the both also have active lives with their husbands, friends, and activities. My mom decided not to retire this year because she feels her job keeps her mind active.

BEF2008
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Posted: 2/3/2013 1:45:54 PM
My family is so close I told my DH before we were married that living elsewhere while my parents were still was never going to be an option. He had no problem with that.

If my children moved away from me with my grandchildren then I would be devastated but hopefully I am raising my children with wings, KWIM? I would be happy for them and encourage them, and then start selling off my belongings to pay for all the plane flights I'd be taking to visit my grandchildren!!!

IleneTell
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Posted: 2/3/2013 1:48:45 PM
Since there isn't much they can do about their daughter's decision, I'd recommend they find new things to give their life meaning and new things to revolve their life around. It's time to focus on themselves.



eebud
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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:01:27 PM

Bff & her dh have pretty much planned their whole lives around their children & now their grandchildren.

Your BFF and her DH need to get their own lives. I'm with those who think that your friend sounds smothering. That is something I have never been able to relate to because I can't say that anyone in my family has totally planned their lives around their kids being down the street their whole lives.





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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:30:35 PM
I'd be supportive of her but try to stay out of it. At least she has friends! She should keep herself busy and know that she'll have many options of keeping in touch with her child/grandchildren. They could travel back home or your bff could travel to see her son. I moved to FL over a year ago and my entire family is still back in NY. I envisioned driving back to NY or flying back a few times a year, and it's barely worked out. We got to go back twice in 16 months and one of my siblings came to visit me last summer. We moved b/c this was DH's dream, but I can't tell you how much I miss my family and the closeness of a HUGE family like mine!!! We stay in touch by phoning, nearly daily, and we text and skype, but that's not the same as BEING there with them all. We're working towards moving back up North, as DH sees how important family is to me now!!

One more thing: If we had been able to go up and see my family about 4-5 times during a year, and if some of them came down here to see us, I'd find it bearable, but being SO out of touch is heartbreaking to me. At least your friend has you and probably other friends where she is now. We really have no one here!









beachgurl
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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:35:12 PM

Asking OP to intervene is skating close to that edge for me.



Ok, you got me. I do agree that is skating way too close to psycho controlling.


I tend to relate these situations to other grandparents I currently know, and while we do need to plan time and locations to be available to grandkids, I can't picture any of us asking a third party to intervene. I overlooked that when I was considering the situation.

I still think flat out asking the adult chilcren what sort of plans they had in mind for maintaining contact would be a good idea. It will give everyone an idea of what to expect going forward.




MorticiaA
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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:38:41 PM
Our son and dil moved away and they now have our only grandchild. Instead of dwelling what we cannot change and feeling sorry for yourself, make a life of your own and include your grandchildren when they visit and when you visit them.

No one should ever "build their life around their children." That is a selfish thing to do. It doesn't matter what the reason is for moving away, it is a fact of life.

And to advise someone to pack up and move. They are adults, they should not let their child's life dictate where they live.

Tell your friend that she should be grateful she has grandchildren. Email, Skype, Facetime, airline reservations make it easy to stay connected.

MorticiaA
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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:43:57 PM
Well said heartcat!

snugglebutter
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Posted: 2/3/2013 2:47:43 PM

No one should ever "build their life around their children." That is a selfish thing to do. It doesn't matter what the reason is for moving away, it is a fact of life.


And it puts an enormous amount of pressure on the child/children. My grandparents reacted very strongly when I moved away during college. That doesn't make someone feel loved. It makes them feel like they are only loved if they are pleasing you. These same grandparents also had a pretty negative response when one of my cousins joined the military.

There is a fine line between "we will miss you so much!" and "how can you do this to US? we will never survive!"


Sara


ksuheather
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Posted: 2/3/2013 3:20:55 PM
From what the OP has written, I would be wanting to move 1000 miles away as well. BFF sounds like she is smothering - that is just my take, and I could be wrong.

I a married a soldier and moved myself and my parents, then, only grandchild 700+ miles away. If my mom had sent her friend to talk me out of it I would have gone through the roof.

As for regretting not having grandparents there to help with kids, it is possible to have friends and sitters who help out. They may also want less grandparent help. My own children have a sitter and a day care provider who they adore and I'm sure I'll hear their complaints when we move in March.

For the poster who said her brother ended up moving back with the grandparents at 14 it sounds like there were other factors there, just a hunch.

OP, I'd stay out of it.



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LeoGirl76
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Posted: 2/3/2013 3:26:41 PM
I moved away from my hometown (where my family lives) when my boys were 2 years and 3 months. I moved 4 hours away, and my mom was devastated. That was 15 years ago, and I still regret it.



Mallie
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Posted: 2/3/2013 3:37:55 PM


My grandparents reacted very strongly when I moved away during college. That doesn't make someone feel loved. It makes them feel like they are only loved if they are pleasing you. These same grandparents also had a pretty negative response when one of my cousins joined the military.

There is a fine line between "we will miss you so much!" and "how can you do this to US? we will never survive!"
I agree with this. My ILs pulled the guilt trip card and it did not make us change our minds nor did it build good, lasting bonds, It really made us want to get out of there asap. (And to be honest, watching how they interact with their nearby grandchildren makes us think we escaped!)

momof1child
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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:20:36 PM

I'm sorry your friend's DD is doing this to her parents.


The DD is an adult. There isn't an umbilical cord attaching one to another.

How selfish of the grandparents to put this guilt trip on their daughter and sil.

smilesnpeacesigns
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Posted: 2/3/2013 6:38:35 PM
My DD moved all the way to RI from Ar. I watched my DGC for 12 hours a day. I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest. My DD is happy and expecting a new baby in May. I am happy for her and can't wait until May when I will fly down to see them all.

I am terrified of flying, I have not been on a plane since 1990 but I'll put my fears aside to go and see them.

It's not easy. I'm not used to it yet. I feel sorry for your BFF.

Sometimes though your kids have to do what is right for them.


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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:03:57 PM
I wouldn't get involved. In my case it was my IL's who moved despite being as close as they are to the kids and how involved they are. We had to just live with it, like in the case of this young family, it is what they wish. Hopefully your friend at least can have a good conversation with her child to let her know how hard it will be for her. I don't think she should lie to her child and hold it in.


Jenny





TXDancermom
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:14:40 PM
I would prefer them to be close, but chances are any grandchildren we have will not live close to us. both dd and ds live about 900-1000 miles from us, and when they marry they will probably live near where they are now, and any grandkids will be born there.

We lived a ways from all of our parents, they would visit about once a year and we would go to them as we could.

Locally, we filled the "need" for grandparents with our church "family"

pat

look4angel
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:49:12 PM

For the poster who said her brother ended up moving back with the grandparents at 14 it sounds like there were other factors there, just a hunch.

I think the reason it affected our family so strongly is that my father wasn't that involved in our lives, and his place was taken by my grandparents, which STILL happens in many of today's families. Moving away from my grandparent's was just like a divorce would be for most children, and as with a lot of divorces some children end up in the household where they can best survive the break up. This is how it was for us, when my brother moved back in with my grandparents.

This was YEARS ago, there was no facebook, no internet, and long distance calls at that time were too expensive for our families income except for a few holiday's and birthdays, as was those other suggetions such as "take a vacation" or "grab a flight" options people keep saying..

Neither my grandparents, nor my mother had the money to travel that far except for perhaps every 4 or 5 years. You are kidding yourself if you think that airline fees, and vacations are something all families can afford even now.

Plus my grandmother was in a wheelchair and rarely even traveled by car for short distances much less a 3000 mile trip. Not every situation fits into these cookie cutter molds.



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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:51:12 PM
Get over it because its not my choice to make.



Maryland
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:57:09 PM
We have lots of friends in our area that we met when our kids were little. We babysat each others kids all the time. Even the ones whose parents were in the area. They didn't want to take advantage of their parents (the grandparents) and the kids loved to be able to play with their friends.

I never felt things were hard for me because I didn't have local family to rely on. I relied on friends and it's nice to be independent from family taking care of us.

Also, it's nice to not have family know our every move if they were local. And it's hard on the spouse if he/she felt like the others parents were too involved all the time.


SDeven
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Posted: 2/3/2013 7:59:34 PM
I read this thread earlier and have been pondering it on and off all day. Maybe it's because I'm an oldest child married to an oldest child and both of us are super independent...but I just don't get this.

We've been married for 21 years and we have *never* lived in the same state as any of our family. We chose where we wanted to live 14 years ago. We live in Nashville, my family lives in Texas, his in Texas and New York. Our families are both in professions where they tend to move around a bit and I was *not* about to follow one set or the other as the move around. I grew up in that and I didn't want it for my children during their younger years.

That said, there's a slim chance my in-laws will retire to an area near us. I am absolutely fine with that...but that is their choice.

We have travelled a great deal to see them, by car and by plane. No big deal.

There is at least one obvious upside to having family in other parts of the country--you get to go visit them and explore their areas. For a few years my in-laws lived near Hershey, PA. We went to visit them and got to explore Hershey as a bonus. Now they live an hour outside New York City...we are planning a trip to see them and we will go to the Statue of Liberty too. They lived in Bangor, ME...we got to visit them and spend a few days in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Visiting these extra places would not have been on our radar, had they not been in those locations.

Because we've never lived near our families, my sons are great travelers and have had lots of experiences that they probably never would have had if we didn't have family in other parts of the country.

I have never regretted our choice to put down our family roots in a certain place, not near family. I have two children who talk to their grandparents on the phone almost every day now, on SKYPE and write letters back and forth. We visit several times a year.

I would resent the heck out of my parents or my in-laws if they even hinted that we should build our lives around where they live.

I also hope that my son will build a life with his (future) wife in a place that they both love, wherever that may be. I love his but I am raising him to fly and be free. I don't need to be his be all end all...he needs to build his own life with his wife and children.






cyndijane
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Posted: 2/3/2013 8:21:54 PM
I hesitate to comment, because this sounds like something my MIL would say. We have her only grandchildren. We have never lived anywhere near her current home, and honestly, don't ever plan to. My heart hurts for her, because we don't get a single email, phone call, card, letter, etc. without her "wishing" for more- more time, more visits, more calls, more relationship, basically. (I frequently get the impression that the life she lives is so much less than what she'd hoped for and dreamed of.)

However, the distance is what her son is comfortable with. She does not respect healthy boundaries, so he does what he feels is best for his family. I couldn't imagine trying to live in the same city. The relationship they do have is so different from what I have with my parents, and it's difficult for me to navigate.

OP, just a bit of advice for your friend- I'm sure it will be painful, but I agree that trying to cling to her kids will only push them farther away. I think it would help their relationship so much more if she could see this as an adventure for her daughter, and encourage her daughter as she makes this transition. Find the *good* in this choice, and give them something to miss.

gmcwife1
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:13:53 PM

I think your friend is being selfish and overly dramatic. Don't we raise our children to be independent? Her DD and SIL need to spread their wings and do what's best for their little family. Yes, it's harder when your grandchildren live so far away but it's not the end of the world. You go visit as often as you can, FaceTime, Skype, telephone, send cards, whatever.
I'd suggest your friend start finding her own interests and develop a social life that doesn't revolve around her grandkids. I don't think making your grandchildren your whole life can be very healthy. I'm also wondering if the kids aren't moving to put some distance between them and overbearing grandparents. Your friend needs to let go and trust that her DD and SIL are doing what they think is best for their family.


That's what I thinking too.

My job as a parent is to raise my kids to be self sufficient, happy productive members of society. So why would I be upset if they lived their lives and made their own choices?

My ds was thinking about moving a few states away. Of course I would miss him, but I wouldn't stop him. I want him to live his life for him and his family, not me.


~ Dori ~

ctencza
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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:57:46 PM
I was my mother's "whole life" and trust me, it's awful. I had to be careful of every decision I made for fear I was "ruining her life!"

I'm sure your friend means well, but she is not helping. In fact she is putting horrible pressure on people she says she loves. I hope she realizes it before it's too late.



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ScrampingMomof3
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:24:03 PM
Sounds like your BFF set up expectations that she didn't discuss with the other family members involved! In doing so, she also set herself up for disappointment because it was unlikely that her dictated expectations would be fulfilled to her liking.

Her DD has her own family and her DD's DH has a family of origin as well. Why would your BFF's dreams be the ones to be considered?

What is she going to do if her DS graduates from college, gets married and gets a job across the country?

It will be best is she wished them well and talks about visitations expectations/plans. Be excited for the new life ahead, be available when things don't go so well, be happy when things go great.


Is It Spring Yet?
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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:09:32 AM
Since my dad died 20 years ago, my mother has made her life revolve around my kids. Now they are all grown men and she can't understand why they don't want to spend all their spare time with an 81 year old woman. Her over-attachment is driving them away completely.

She just moved into a nice assisted living apartment, and keeps calling the grandkids to do jobs for her that are included in her rent at the facility--she tells them she needs no help, then calls us. Ack! Like she refuses to ride the van to the doctor, and expects us to drop everything to take her.

If my kids moved away with the grandkids I would wish them well, and after they got settled I would call to ask when was a convenient time to visit. In my mind it's an opportunity to go somewhere new and see new things.

writermom1
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:05:50 AM
I'm in the spread your wings camp.

That said is some of this coming from the assumption on most parts that regular travel would be possible?

Tight budgets and people working well past retirement age may lead to an inability to travel to see the children and grandchildren. Could that be the issue here?



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Mallie
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:11:01 AM

Tight budgets and people working well past retirement age may lead to an inability to travel to see the children and grandchildren. Could that be the issue here?
Well, they bought a lake house on the assumption that these kids/grandkids would be around. I don't know anyone who buys a second home for occasional use that doesn't have extra money. So I wouldn't think they are on a tight budget.
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