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to ask those of you without cars how often you go 'visiting' on long (ish) day trips with small children?

(12 Posts)
whistledownthewind Mon 12-Sep-11 13:56:15

DD is 17 months old and is a very friendly, sociable child. DP and I try to make sure we have contact with friends and family BUT we don't have a car and rely on public transport (we live in a city and know lots of newish parents in the same position).

People are welcome to call at ours (both sets of grandparents call very regularly) and we do make an effort to go 'visiting' and attend family events. HOWEVER, we do feel a lot of people in the wider family (and some friends) expect us to go to them rather than the other way round and don't appreciate how much of an ordeal it is to try and get to places via a mix of buses, trains and walking with a toddler. This includes those who are fit and well and have cars.

At the moment, we go visiting for the day about once a month (3-4 hour round trip travelling plus several hours at hosts, apart from those who are several 100 miles away and then we stay overnight/for a few days) but pressure is being applied on us to come more often (particularly by DP's side).

DD gets exhausted by these trips and afterwards gets very tired and grizzly. I don't mind biting the bullet and going visiting once a month but I am not keen to do it more than that given the end-result for poor DD (which relatives often don't see). Anyone is welcome to visit us but I don't feel I want to go visiting others say every 2 or 3 weeks (plus we do need to have some family time to ourselves).


avoider Mon 12-Sep-11 14:01:30

No. We probably visit friends who live a distance away once every two months and we have a car. We both work so rely on weekends for housework and washing. If we don't have the weekend we end up trying to do it at night and get exhausted. We tend to take turns with people - they come to us, we go to them. But I guess you just need to space them out more and ignore the pressure.

whistledownthewind Mon 12-Sep-11 14:20:08


I should probably add DP and I work full time so weekends are our only 'downtime'.

On both sides, there is at least one elderly person who we feel we should call on more often (and we will be making an effort), but in all other cases I do feel pressure is being being applied on us really very unfairly.

I think much of the trouble is that DP's family all live very close and comparisons are always made amongst siblings and cousins. The attitude is that 'X and Y call every other week.....they bring their children to visit all the time' you don't!

True but then X and Y only live half an hour away and have a car....

DamselInDisarray Mon 12-Sep-11 14:23:28

If they're that keen to see you more often, they can come to you. You're well within your rights to tell them that too.

notcitrus Mon 12-Sep-11 14:55:09

I probably do a 3-4 hour round trip with ds and sometimes dn as well every week, by public transport. Since they put lifts in at Clapham Jn this has become one heck of a lot easier.
Train is a lot easier than bus for keeping small children entertained and for getting them to sleep in a pushchair. Also easier than cars as ds hates traffic jams and cries and dn is carsick...

If fit healthy people are expecting you to do all the running and can't be arsed to visit you, YANBU, but flinging a child and a bag of clothes/nappies/snacks/toys into a pushchair and heading off isn't that onerous every couple weeks.

BellaneyMimphus Mon 12-Sep-11 14:56:57

Older generation and my mother expect visits. We never saw grandparents as children unless we visited. So she carries on that pattern.
Well, she would if I would agree smile
I never visit aunts and uncles, they're unbearable.

Blu Mon 12-Sep-11 15:02:19

I also worked f/t from when DS was a baby and I can't say that spending precious weekend days off carting a baby / toddler round on public transport for 4 hours on a regular basis would have been restful or enjoyable. Or long car journeys, for that matter.

And sometimes you just want your child to yourself.

YANBU. tell them that you simply cannnot fit in the travel on a frequent basis but they are welcome (ish) to visit you any time. Or just issue the invite before they do.

DogsBestFriend Mon 12-Sep-11 15:03:09

I used to do it all quite often, at least 3 or 4 times a month with my DDs who have a 19 month age gap. Started doing it when DD1 was a baby and carried on when DD2 came along.

It was no big deal and I enjoyed the travel and the change of scenery, going from my home back to London, some 70 or 80 miles away on the bus, train then bus again. The only time I recall a problem was when the train station lifts were out of order on the outward journey and I was refused help by staff, instead being told to carry baby DD2 down in the buggy, leaving 2 yo toddler DD1 at the top of two flights of stone stairs, then leave baby and buggy on the platform and go back for DD1. angry

DogsBestFriend Mon 12-Sep-11 15:05:35

Sorry, hit send too soon. YOU are not being unreasonable - you don't HAVE to visit anyone - if you don't feel that the journey is bearable just say no, I won't go.

MamaChoo Mon 12-Sep-11 15:25:18

Often (almost every week) use train even though i have a car for 3- 4 hour round trips, i bribe DD with a magazine and crayons and have a nice sit down and a cup of tea on the train instead of having to drive 180 miles in a day.

whackamole Mon 12-Sep-11 18:12:04

Never. We have 2.7 year old twins, 10 year old DSS and one on the way. We do not have a car.

It is hard enough getting to OHs grandparents who live not far, but still a bus ride away let alone anyone else! We try and visit my parents 200 miles away every so often, the train ride is about 2-3 hours (and hell with the 2 little ones!) so we would never do a day trip.

For us it's a case of not having the funds to do it hugely often, having to fit round my relatives lives as well as ours, and wanting to make it 'worthwhile' - we have several sets of people to visit which means yet more travelling when we get to my mum or dads house.

Firawla Mon 12-Sep-11 18:24:31

once a month sounds fine to me
i would say we travel for visiting less often than that, although inlaws are just one bus ride away and my parents tend to come to us, bros and sister come to us etc, but we are moving to outer london and i think probably gonna be expected to still come every week to inlaws which will be quite a long journey and we dont drive either (although hoping to learn..) so realistically i dont think we will stick to travelling every week, they will have to come to us half the time or something. the journey is okay (long tho!) but if tube lines are down it can become a nightmare of changing so many times, and so many stairs to drag the buggy up and down (double buggy + extra toddler, so too much of a handful!) and that is the problem that visiting is mainly on weekends, when the tube lines tend to be screwed up
i think yanbu to just tell people, the travelling can be a bit much, so we are happy to come but not sooo much, and you are very welcome to come to ours

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