I feel so guilty...

(58 Posts)
DaphneMoon1 Sun 25-May-14 19:05:30

I currently live about an hour and a half from my parents. I moved to a different city for Uni, met and married a lovely guy from my Uni city, and never moved back home. My husband is the best bloke I've ever met, I love him to pieces and we have a happy life here. His parents live nearby and I get on well with them, they are lovely.

I also have a fab relationship with my own parents, who I see 2-3 times a month. Whilst I know that an an hour and a half is not a particularly long journey, they rarely visit me and I go to see them. I don't mind that so much, I know they're tired with working all week and it means I get to see my siblings too.

I am 7 weeks pregnant with our first child. I told my family this over the weekend and they were, of course, delighted. It is their first grandchild. However I know my mum is upset/worried because she's so far away (they seem to think it's much further than it is) and she hates that the baby will likely have a closer relationship with my in-laws. She hasn't said much about it but I know she's deliberately down-playing it. My parents work long hours in jobs that don't easily lend themselves to taking days off or early finishes etc (my mum is a deputy head teacher and so doesn't like to take time off out with school hols).

In turn I also feel sad that my mum isn't round the corner and I know it's a while away but I'm worried about her not being there just after the birth. I'm also feeling irrationally angry with my MIL as she's so excited and keeps going on about all the stuff she's going to do with her grandchild (also her first). I know she's just excited so I'm trying to keep that to myself.

I feel horribly guilty that my choice to live here is causing them pain. To be perfectly honest I want to move home. My lovely husband has said that if it'll make me happy then that's what we should do. However, my husband is prone to extreme work-related anxiety and has now found himself a job that he loves and in which he is doing really well. I am loathed to risk putting him through that anxiety again by moving him. I don't tell him how much I want to go home for this reason. He'll feel guilty and will insist we move (although I know he won't really want to move). That would be really selfish of me.

Also not keen on moving to a halfway place as we both agree it's better to be close to one set of grandparents than neither. My own parents have promised they'll visit more, and in turn I'll go down as often as I can, but I just want my mum to be there.

MrsWinnibago Sun 25-May-14 19:14:35

An HOUR and a half away? Are you kidding? I'm moving across the globe next year! your parents need to get a grip I'm afraid.

Rivercam Sun 25-May-14 19:18:56

An hour and a half isn't too far away. Could you meet halfway? The pregnancy has made you feel extra emotional.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 25-May-14 19:19:55

An hour and a half away! I have friends whose grandchildren are in Australia and they manage to keep the relationship going.
Your mother is being sensible and not piling on emotional blackmail, so I don't see why you are. The child will make its own relationship with grandparents- you have no idea of the personality and how they will get on with either side.
Enjoy your pregnancy and relax - I call an hour and a half near!

Delphiniumsblue Sun 25-May-14 19:20:27

Blame it in the hormones- it is irrational!

justmuddlingalong Sun 25-May-14 19:20:36

If the journey is only an hour and a half, can't your parents visit you at the weekend or even after work? I travel 4 hours there and 4 hours back on public transport to visit my nephew regularly.

DaphneMoon1 Sun 25-May-14 19:21:18

I know it's not far and yes it irritates me sometimes that they seem to think it's the other side of the country when it's not. However, it does mean they can't really pop round after work one evening, for example.

I hadn't really considered pregnancy hormones blush

NoodleOodle Sun 25-May-14 19:22:47

How about planning to move back to near your parents for primary school year? Would that make you feel any better? When are you due? Could your mum come and stay with you in the closest school holiday and then you go and stay with them for a while after, so they get a chance at being with PFB as a newborn?

I would want to be close to my mum too. If DH would move now, and it's you not wanting to with his work anxiety as a peg to hang it on, and there's subconsciously some other reason, like deep down you prefer the town you live in now?

MrsWinnibago Sun 25-May-14 19:23:10

No it doesn't mean that at all! My sister lives about that distance away and my Mum pops in.

It's not that far at all! It depends on how you see the world. My AUssie DH thinks that's practically next door! In Oz it's all "Whered'ya live? Oh Possums Point! Just round the corner then!" and "Possum's Point" is three bloody hours drive! grin

justmuddlingalong Sun 25-May-14 19:26:16

Try not to get upset about it. Perhaps the new baby's arrival will encourage your parents to make a bit more effort. I don't think you need to move nearer to them, I think you need to stop allowing them to make you feel guilty.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 25-May-14 19:26:21

The baby stage is over so quickly- you will soon be at the point where the child can go and stay on their own, they can stay with you, you can meet half way, you can go on holiday together, you can Skype regularly.

Oakmaiden Sun 25-May-14 19:27:02

My parents live about 4 hours away from me, and my children have a much closer relationship with her than with my pil, who for most of their lives lived within 20 mins drive.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 25-May-14 19:27:25

My mother lived an hour and a half away- close enough to be in standby to come over if they were ill and I needed child cover. It is no distance!

diddl Sun 25-May-14 19:27:53

Why are you worried about your mum not being there just after the birth?

Do you mean to cook & clean+you've got a husband for that!

Or just for her to see baby asap?

Don't push your MIL away for the sake of it or because of your mum.

If you get on with her-make the most of it!

Kewcumber Sun 25-May-14 19:28:26

Well too far to pop in for a coffee but not too far for an afternoon. I'd go that far for a rugby match or an afternoon shopping - I'm sure when push comes to shove they'll come that far for a grandchild.

Anyway it is what it is. Families move around all the time and cope.

Delphiniumsblue Sun 25-May-14 19:28:37

Distance has absolutely no bearing on relationships, apart from the first few years when all hinges on mother- after that they make their own.

DaphneMoon1 Sun 25-May-14 19:29:54

I'm due mid-January. So after the Christmas hols sadly!! I plan on spending loads of time with my mum over Easter and the Summer hols as my husband will be working and I'll be on mat leave so that will be nice.

I do like where we live now but I wish I was closer to my parents. I'm not a naturally selfish person and I usually put myself last (it bugs my husband, haha) so deciding that I want to stay here at the expense of my parents' feelings just does not come naturally to me. I'm just not convinced that taking my husband out of his great job is a good move right now.

Like the idea of planning to move in say 5 years though. That might be an option....

Hobby2014 Sun 25-May-14 19:30:01

OP I could have written your post, except my mum moved just over an hour away to be with her OH and I stayed here. She's told me feels guilty she moved but I understand. I hate that she misses out on stuff and where we both work find it difficult to find enough time to make a visit worth while.
I'm pregnant and feeling exactly the same, so I don't think it's hormones, I felt like this before I was pregnant. I know that my PIL are round the corner and will no doubt be over every other day whilst it'll be limited as to when my mum gets to come here or me go there.
Me and DH share a car and he uses for work mon-sat and my mum doesn't drive so limits us.
I don't have any practical help but I just wanted to say you're not alone.

DaphneMoon1 Sun 25-May-14 19:31:29

I also have absolutely no idea what to do with a baby...fear!!!

Kewcumber Sun 25-May-14 19:33:00

Luckily Daphne the baby doesn't know that and can;t tell that you haven't a clue what you're doing. AS long as baby is fed, warm and safe everything else is kind of an optional extra.

DaphneMoon1 Sun 25-May-14 19:34:13

I guess I just want her to be there after the birth. Not to cook and clean but to just, I dunno, be there. It's hard to explain. My MIL has said she'll be there but it's not the same.

Hobby - thanks. Good to know it's not just me!!

CharlesRyder Sun 25-May-14 19:34:25

If you want your mum to be there for/ after the birth she will have time. If you call her when you first go into labour she will easily make it.

If she can't because of school then she doesn't really want to (sorry).

McFox Sun 25-May-14 19:35:05

My parents live just as far away as yours and I'm due any day now. I understand how you feel, I want them here too, but really it's not far at all, they can also be with you sharpish if need be.

One thing I've done is to get my parents set up with broadband, a tablet and Skype so that they can see the baby as well as speak to us. They are really happy now because they'll be able to do that throughout the week and we can see them every couple of weekends. Is that worth considering?

Strokethefurrywall Sun 25-May-14 19:35:22

I live 4500 miles away from my family and despite that we're still very close to each other. Ive just had DS2 8 weeks ago and my mum just came and spent three weeks with us and we skype all the time.

Please dont ask your husband to give up a job that he loves to assuage your guilt, it would be an exceptionally selfish thing to do. Presumably your parents love you all and are supportive of your marriage and life so I would go as far as to say that they wouldn't want you to move back just for them.

You have to consider long term as well. You say you have a lovely life where you are now, why would you want to disrupt that?

An hour and a half is nothing. If your parents want to see you, they will do everything they can to make that happen now and after the baby arrives. What's stopping them coming to you after they finish work? What's stopping them coming on Friday evening and staying nearby until Sunday? You shouldn't be the one worry yourself about this and also, just because your in-laws live close by (who sound lovely and also supportive), it doesn't automatically mean that your child will develop a closer relationship with them.

I don't feel guilty for living 4500 miles away and my parents would give me a real talking to if I started feeling guilty! As they say, they gave us life so we could live it and live it as happily as possible. Guilt should not be your motivating factor or emotion in making life choices for your family.

whereisthewitch Sun 25-May-14 19:35:31

OP I live 12miles away from ny parents (I'm in NI so that's the equivalent of half way across the country grin ) and I totally understand. My siblings all live in the same town as them and I felt extremely isolated when my DD as born and really wished I was closer (I'm very close to them).But as time has gone on it hasn't been too bad and in some ways it's actually nice to get a bit of space.

I know my situation isn't as bad as yours or as extreme as in another country but I understand how important it is to have your mum close..I'd have been suicidal (literally I had severe pnd) without my mum but sometimes all I needed was to speak to her on the phone.

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