Advanced search

To feel a bit upset by my mother's plans to move.

(69 Posts)
eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 10:20:35

Hi all. Have done my first ever name change for this, as I feared it may be a little outing.
Thing is, I know I'm being unreasonable. But I think that reading a different perspective will actually help me here.
I have never been a demanding daughter, and am very self-sufficient in general and when it comes to raising my children. I've had to be. The rest of my family (by this I mean parents and siblings) live in each other's pockets, but I've always been the one to live further away, due to work or whatever. These days we live an hour apart. I'm the only one not to drive, so it takes me about three times as long, door to door, by public transport.
My mum (young, fit and healthy) visits us three times a year maximum. I travel through to see her more often. We get on well and enjoy a close relationship. Over the years I have had to work hard at managing my expectations of her. She's great, but fairly aloof and not overly maternal. She wouldn't do the small grandparental things, such as phoning my child on the first day of her new school to ask how it went. She was depressed when we were growing up, and completely unavailable emotionally. Things got better as we hit our teens, and these days it's pretty good.
She recently sold the family home (my parents divorced years ago and she lives alone), and is looking for somewhere new to buy. Bit hard at the moment, but doesn't stop her looking online etc. Her dream was always to go a bit more rural; somewhere lovely with good walks. I have always encouraged her to go for it, and really want her to be happy. I've been helping her look for places online too.
Yesterday she had a viewing of an empty property. Somewhere that has been gutted out and done up beautifully. She loved it. It's right by the beach and will suit her needs in many ways.
Thing is, I selfishly feel a bit down about the location of it. For me to visit, it would entail two trains and a short ferry ride, plus walking between each form of transport. It would take HOURS and be quite an expensive trip (I'm a single mum).
I KNOW I'm being selfish. But I had hoped to come out of lockdown seeing a bit more of mum, not far less.
My siblings are on the right side of the country for it, so it will be easier for them. She has always been a bit insular, and I totally understand that the distance doesn't bother her as much. But now that it's looking likely this sale will go ahead, I feel strangely sad about it.
She always told me that my decision to move an hour away meant that's why she doesn't visit me as much (my children's father is here, which is why I prioritised it), but an hour's drive in the car is nothing compared to the journey to see her if she moves.
Thanks in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
ScrapThatThen Mon 08-Jun-20 10:33:14

I think it's ok for her to think about her, and if life is not for living our own dreams and instead all about others it becomes very limited. You have a better relationship now, it's ok to express both excitement for her and sadness or fear about her being further away (without guilt tripping). My ddad did the same, and I just decided our terms about how frequently we travel there (twice a year). He has rarely come to us. But my dc have loved our visits there. Will you be able to go for a few days or a week at a time and stay and enjoy the beach? She might be hoping to see you for holidays.

eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 10:38:45

Thanks for your reply. Weekend visits will be out I think, as it's just too much. Yes, we could go for a few days in the holidays, without the immediate pressure of work (I work in a school) and school being either side. It will just feel a bit weird to see her so infrequently, but will just have to get used to it. And you're right, this really isn't just about me.

OP’s posts: |
Nevertouchakoala Mon 08-Jun-20 10:57:16

I’m sorry yes you’re ok to feel down about it but don’t make it your mums problem. It’s ok to miss her but she has to do what’s right for her. I assume you don’t have a car? Maybe as life goes on you’ll enjoy holidays there by the coast

Haggisfish Mon 08-Jun-20 10:58:43

Could you learn to drive and hire a car? I would feel sad but not surprised in your position.

gutentag1 Mon 08-Jun-20 11:06:21

Why do you not drive?

Waveysnail Mon 08-Jun-20 11:09:26

My parents live a flight or a ferry away. We see them 4x a year in the school holidays and stay with them. Would this be an option?

Mumratheevergiving Mon 08-Jun-20 11:14:22

Totally see why you feel sad about the prospect of seeing her less due to the journey. I think feelings are all amplified at the moment due to the Covid situation and not seeing as much of other people in your life too.
If you can afford to, and want to, learn to drive - I did this as an adult and it has given me many more freedoms to take the dc places as public transport got more expensive as they grew.

There are definitely positives to the situation, if she will have space for you to stay you can look forward to regular visits during school holidays and they may be more memorable / quality time together. My Mum lives at the other end of the country but it means we look forward to seeing each other and don't take time together for granted.

Your Mum is making a big step in her life, try and support her as you would want her to support you. One day it could be you in a similar situation with your DCs. I do understand it's hard not to have family on your doorstepflowers

eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 11:16:32

I took 8 driving tests and failed every one. My intelligence isn't of a practical nature blush and I suspect I'm dyspraxic. Anyway, I live in a city where it's not that unusual not to drive.

OP’s posts: |
eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 11:18:04

I've given up now, as I strongly felt that it wasn't meant to be. It would be so liberating though, for me and my children. I'm nearly 46.

OP’s posts: |
eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 11:18:36

And thank you everyone star

OP’s posts: |
SockYarn Mon 08-Jun-20 11:19:47

Your mother cannot plan her entire life around the fact you can't drive. YABU.

RedskyAtnight Mon 08-Jun-20 11:25:07

My parents made a similar sort of move (moved from somewhere that was 30 minutes drive away to 4 hours away). For them it was moving to the right location. For me, it means that I, of necessity see them less frequently (and will not be guilted into seeing them more) and have had to fall into a new routine of talking more on the phone.
Does your mum drive? Can she (say) collect you off the first train to reduce your public transport time)?

maddy68 Mon 08-Jun-20 11:27:08

You know you are being unreasonable. It sounds like she needs her own space and this is perfect for you. If it's difficult for you to visit she can visit you.

eatsleepread Mon 08-Jun-20 11:28:36

Nor would I ever ask her to hmm Someone asked why I don't drive, so I explained. And it would be a trek even with a car grin
I guess I was only thinking about the logistics of it all. Of course I'll be happy for her, but it is still so new. And the previous poster was right about the virus and lockdown amplifying these feelings of isolation. I feel like I've been on my own with my kids forever!

OP’s posts: |
biglittlemedium Mon 08-Jun-20 11:39:01

Did you try an automatic?

BeyondMyWits Mon 08-Jun-20 11:39:07

My dad moved away when I was expecting my second. I can't drive for medical reasons, so I can see exactly where you are coming from and have every sympathy. I know he moved for him, I know he did not move to get away from me, I saw him off with a cheery wave, but a heavy heart.

It WAS devastating, it felt like that was it - right from the start, the effort to see him was huge - it took hours, he rarely made the effort to come see us despite prior promises, so our relationship sadly dwindled.

Just be aware that if she is a bit of a loner - you will have to make all the effort. It shouldn't feel like an effort to see someone you love, but it does.

whichteaareyou Mon 08-Jun-20 11:40:57

You say it takes an hour in the car but you don't drive so it takes 3 hours so you hardly ever go to visit. your mum probably doesn't see the difference in where she lived if you never visit anyway? Maybe you should look at moving closer to family or learning to drive again so you'll have abit more independence.

Dyrne Mon 08-Jun-20 11:48:10


My parents moved abroad when I was 19 and although at first I was very much “hey, they need to live their own lives, it’s fine”; as I’ve got older it’s really affected me. I was really close to my grandparents growing up and it’s made me extremely sad that my own children will never have that close relationship with them.

My parents moan all the time about how long it’s been since I last came to visit them, and expect me to drop everything to see them when they come over here. I am extremely resentful that they still expect me to reserve my annual leave to accommodate them.

I get where you’re coming from entirely - although it’s important our parents live their own lives there’s still a small part of you that feels rejected, they are basically saying “I don’t consider you enough of a reason to stay local”

Equally, I wouldn’t expect them to live down the road - DP’s parents live a 4 hour drive away and that’s ideal - works out great for a little ‘holiday’ and we can still see them often without feeling claustrophobic.

Would it help to see the positives of this? Yes, it’ll be a ballache to get to but once you’re there you effectively will have a little “holiday home” you can bring the children to, right by the beach with some lovey walks; and all it will cost you is the transport costs.

Dovefeather Mon 08-Jun-20 11:49:47


I would be sad about it too in your position.

Not much you can do though. She needs to live her life. I’d plan to spend a few days with her. And also invite her to spend holidays with you.

MaggieMay1972 Mon 08-Jun-20 11:51:44

Suggest you learn how to drive. You couldn’t function without a car where I live. Public transport is virtually non existent.

allfalldown47 Mon 08-Jun-20 11:54:52

I was totally inept at driving until I tried an automatic. Passed my test last year at 48, best thing I ever did!!

copycopypaste Mon 08-Jun-20 11:55:08

My parents did this, they moved 6 hrs drive away. So even though I do drive I can't just nip for a cuppa, or even for the weekend.

It is sad, and we lost my mum last year, but my dad loves it there and has a lovely social life. It took me a while to realise that them seeing me (or their gc) wasn't a priority for them. But they also had to realise that when things like mum being ill happened. I wasn't a phone call away. I have kids, so does my brother so we could t just jump in the car to help.

Mumratheevergiving Mon 08-Jun-20 11:57:21

My driving licence is automatic only. It was the only manageable way for me to learn. Honestly if I can do it, you can.
Otherwise, get on rightmove and find her some fantastic options along the coast closer to you?

Isthisfinallyit Mon 08-Jun-20 11:58:36

I also can only drive an automatic. If you haven't tried it before then I recommend it. Sooooo much easier!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »