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feeling guilty about family

(14 Posts)
Allstoppedup Mon 29-Dec-14 14:22:51

I live the opposite end of the country to my family. I don't drive so usually go via a cheap flight or train journey, whatever works out cheapest. I go down to see them twice a year or so and my mum and dad visit us about the same. My siblings don't really visit but we are all busy etc so I completely understand.

DP and I now have DS who has just turned one. I get 'guilt tripped' quite a lot for living away, every conversation I have involves 'how difficult' it is for them to not see DS. I am aware that it's tough and I miss them all especially when they have time together , however I own my house down here, am settled, happy and unlikely to change my living situation so try not to dwell on it and instead enjoy the time we CAN spend together.

Everything guilt wise ramped up on the build up to Christmas so we decided we would go up in the New Year and have some time with my family. We've just come to book tickets for the three of us at the prices are obscene. The cheapest option (is still a lot to us!) also involves 9hours travel each way so DP effectively loses two days of holiday Sat on a coach whilst we both try to entertain a 1 year old.

To afford the tickets we have to use all of the collective 'Christmas money' we received which I was really excited to put towards decorating DS's playroom (the whole house is in dire need of decorating really?) but I just feel so guilty that I feel this way. I want to see my family but I also feel deflated that this is always how it is going to be, us having to use what little spare cash we have to go to see them. At the moment it feels like obligation but at the same time not because I genuinely do miss them. sad

AIBU to feel like I will never be able to balance life like this and worry that something has to give.

Sorry this is rambly...I just feel fed up.

Babyroobs Mon 29-Dec-14 14:29:44

This happened to us when our first child was born, although we were living the other side of the world so more extreme. First grandchild for both sets of GP's and we felt so guilty living abroad. We eventaully returned to the Uk through guilt that our parents were missing out and our child was missing out. We lost huge amounts of money on the house we owned abroad and had to borrow the money fro the flights home. Ten years down the line I do think it was worth it to be near our family as sadly we have lost both Grandma's suddenly in the past five years. I am forever grateful that we did come back and that both our mums got to spent lovely times with their Granchildren and that our kids have some memories of them.

bigbluestars Mon 29-Dec-14 14:30:34

I think it's something you have to learn to live with. We are a fragmented family because of emigrations, there is no doubt that distance massively impacts families.
Much to my sadness.

QTPie Mon 29-Dec-14 14:31:43


Very difficult, for all of you.

However, I will say that you are completely mad, looking for travel for New Year now. If you are making long distance journeys, then you need to be looking a month (or considerably longer if considering flying) or so before travelling. So, you are mad for not being organised.

If you want to fly, then if you are considering Easyjet/Ryanair, then you want to be looking at booking at the earliest opportunity - ie when the flights first become available (since prices only go up).

We are currently visiting DH's family (California, from the UK) - so know that you have to pre-plan to get it to work.

Rumplestrumpet Mon 29-Dec-14 14:34:48

This sounds tough, you have my sympathy. DH and I have lived overseas since we got married, and our parents live in two different countries. The first couple of years we seemed to spend all our money (and leave allowance!) travelling either to my family or to his, and still it seemed like no one was really satisfied. Now we do a max of one visit to his family and one to mine per year, and even then tell our family not to expect us home each year. It is hard, but when we've sat down and balanced it all out, living overseas has given us so much else, including careers, that it's been worth it.

I think the important thing is making the right decision for you as a family. If you think that now you have a son you actually want to be closer to your family's home, then it's fine to explore that, and see if you can make it work. But if you're worried about upsetting your families, I'd say forget it - be kind, be thoughtful, keep in touch with them, but don't waste all your money and holidays just trekking back to see them. The world is a huge place to discover - how about all meeting up on a summer holiday somewhere? Weekend in Paris anyone?!

Allstoppedup Mon 29-Dec-14 14:37:05

babyroobs I'm glad that you felt you made the right choice.

I do worry about DS's relationship with my family, we regularly Skype and I've said they are all welcome to visit us whenever they wish!

We live very close to DSs paternal GP and I have a great relationship with DPs family so we would have the same problem but reversed if we went up to my family! grin

My mum and dad have other grandchildren they see very often and I feel sad that my DS will not have the same relationship with his GP that they have. It's just a no win situation but I feel especially guilty for feeling slightly resentful about things as fickle as money when it's about family. sad

LiegeAndLief Mon 29-Dec-14 14:40:13

We have a similar problem, although it was actually my parents how moved away so no guilt tripping, but the time and money issues involved in visiting are significant. OuOur solution is that dh stays behind. That way he doesn't have to use his annual leave (I get more than him) and it's one less adult ticket, which makes a big difference to the cost.

Oh, and definitely always book well in advance.

Allstoppedup Mon 29-Dec-14 14:41:27

Ooh more responses! QT Sorry, I want very clear! We aren't looking to go down FOR New Year, before Christmas we had just said we would visit IN the New Year! We are looking to go Feb/March time!

I dread to think the cost of travelling for New Year a couple of days in advance! * faints *grin

DandyHighwayman Mon 29-Dec-14 14:41:51


Just to say we have a Family Railcard, stump up about £30 for one then it offers brill reductions. We too live far from one set of family, and it don't half sting the wallet

Do investigate the Railcard for future travel

QTPie Mon 29-Dec-14 14:52:17

Sorry, OP, didn't read your original post correctly - the cost of travel at NY would be extortionate, hence why I thought that you were BLU :D

Very difficult. I think that we can't base where we live solely on our family (we live in the UK, DH's close family are in California and Hong Kong), but you do need to work out if you can keep in touch (phone, Skype, visits). Maybe they can come down to see you?

Definitely look long term too - if you look at flights (now) for the Summer or Autumn, does it make them more affordable? I think that you need to think quite far in advance for very long distance journeys...

Good luck smile

livingonaprayer1986 Mon 29-Dec-14 14:59:15

Could you explain to your mum and dad how bad its making you feel and maybe ask to borrow the money to visit them? We are looking to move home and I'm the opposite in that my daughter has an amazing relationship with my mum but we have to move due to husbands work being further away sad we cant afford to live here anymore so we have to move. I do feel guilty but we need money to feed and clothe ourselves etc so needs must : - / I'm hoping we still see our familys often x

Ridingthestorm Mon 29-Dec-14 15:03:59

If this is going to be a long term problem, have you or your DH/DP thought about learning to drive?
I used to live on the east coast and was unable to drive. Visiting family was a nightmare. It involved three trains and in winter, I had to travel south to travel north because one of the trains didn't run on Sunday's. Also once I had turned 26, I didn't qualify for a railcard. So I learnt to drive.
It has given me the freedom not just to visit my family any weekend I like (finances permitting) but opened up the world to me. I was considered 'late' in my social and family circles to drive (23 nearly 24 when I passed my test) and it has been the best thing ever.
It isn't cheap but if you are likely to visit a lot of places, shop etc, the costs can actually be far less than public transport. A train journey to work and back would probably cost me in the region of £200 a month. I spend less than that a month on fuel. But that is just to work and back. With all the aded extra journeys I take in my car, it works out cheaper.

BalloonSlayer Mon 29-Dec-14 15:06:11

Why can't they visit you?

Invite them. If they decline because of cost, time, mumble mumble, well you've asked them, the ball's in their court.

I agree that if you are the one who has moved away the onus is always more on you to keep in touch but they have to do their bit too surely?

Email "So sorry, we have looked at the options coming up and the cheapest one is just not do-able with a one year old (do not mention cost). Any chance you could some to us? We would so love to see you. xxx"

Brandysnapper Mon 29-Dec-14 15:36:03

Do not travel for 9 hours on a coach with a one year old. That sounds cruel to me. If you are booking far enough in advance, are there no train fares that come in more reasonably? You won't even need to pay for a one year old. Or flights?
I suppose it depends on what you are viewing as an obscene amount, £50? £200? But long coach journeys - what you'd save would not make up for the trauma!

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