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What would YOU do?

(15 Posts)
JoolsToo Tue 12-Jul-05 20:24:04

As some of you know I'm in early retirement in the Lake District my dear friends of umpteen years live right across the road. My girlfriend is also retired and her dh has 2 years to go. They left Manchester last year and love their house here (they also have a village house in Spain). They are by no means 'rich' but have worked hard and budgeted well so that they can enjoy their retirement.

Their eldest dd has announced that she is pg after always insisting she would never have kids. My bf is absolutely over the moon as she is a real caring, loving person but had resigned herself to the fact that she would never have grandchildren.

She is now talking of selling their lovely home here in the Lakes to move back to a not brilliant part of M/cr (and into a house that wouldn't be as good as the one they sold in 2003) so she can be near her dd and the new baby and be there to do some of the childcare if needed.

Whilst I really understand what she wants to do - I think they are making a big mistake by selling up here and essentially giving up their dream. They only live 1½ hours away anyway so its not as if they would never see the baby and as she doesn't work they could go anytime they wanted - but there's the childcare problem too.

They are not doing anything about it until their dd has used up her maternity leave cos obviously a lot of things could happen/change. Her dd said she would like it if they moved back but she doesn't want to be the reason they give up this life.

From my pov it's a toughey - what do you think?

dizzymama Tue 12-Jul-05 20:54:51

My Mum and Dad were set to move down to Cornwall then I announced I was pregnant. They did move but to a nearby village and i felt very bad that they hadn't made the original move because of me. My Mum, however, told me that there was no way she was not going to be a regular part of her Gd's life and that they were happier being nearer my dd and myself. If she'd have been in Cornwall then she says she would just have felt constant guilt (unneeded from my pov,obviously )at not being near and would have felt I would have felt as if they'd abandonned me (IYSWIM). What I am trying, very badly, to say is that my Mum would have felt guilty and had a rotten time being guilty even though she wouldn't have needed to. I've come to understand that she stayed because of herself and not just me.
Don't know if this helps at all JT but just thought it may be interesting for you to have a view from 'another party in the story' so to speak.
Have you spoken to your bf about this? How does she feel?

SenoraPostrophe Tue 12-Jul-05 20:57:20

one and a half hours isn't far away (sniff)

morningpaper Tue 12-Jul-05 21:01:42


We have six grandparents (four sets) and the only one who has a good relationship with my daughter is my mother, who lives 30 mins away and looks after her once a week. They are desperately in love with each other. It's a joy to watch them together.

I often think about what the other grandparents are missing out on and it's made me realise that if I'm ever lucky enough to have grandchildren, I'd move heaven and earth to be a regular part of their daily lives.

toothyboy Tue 12-Jul-05 21:03:11

My mum has said her and my dad will always want to live reasonably close to one of the three of us so we are on hand when they are much older and frailer. She spent too long worrying about her own parents in their old age, living too far away to be able to help them out (they moved to the south coast in their 60s). Eventually they had to sell their house and move in with my m and d because they could no longer cope on their own. If they had lived closer, my mum could easily have popped in every day to help them with cooking and cleaning etc.

Maybe your friends are thinking that far ahead in making their decision.

compo Tue 12-Jul-05 21:05:36

I wod stay where I was if I were them. Manchester is so close to The Lakes and having lived in The Lakes I know it's an ideal place to retire to

fqueenzebra Tue 12-Jul-05 21:06:25

If I were JT's bf I would move. My grandparents weren't hardly grandparents to me at all (one set too frail, another set I rarely saw, the other set too young). Now my kids don't have much contact with their grandparents. My parents are very far away, DH's biological father he doesn't much like & we rarely see, his mum does her duty but she isn't enthused about being a grandmother.

I would so LOVE my grandchildren to have grandparents like I didn't, and like my kids don't have. Grandparents like you read about in stories that help you out & bring you up & you get to see most days. That would be more important than most any other lifelong dream I might have. So yes, I would move somewhere very close if it were my dd & my first (probably only?) grandchild.

essbee Tue 12-Jul-05 21:07:15

Message withdrawn

assumedname Tue 12-Jul-05 21:11:40

I'd stay.

What a lovely place for the dd and grandchild to visit.

paolosgirl Tue 12-Jul-05 21:12:21

Crikey - one and a half hours away is nothing. She can still be very much a part of her Gd's life, without living so close.
My mum is great with my kids, but she always made it clear that she did her childminding when we were young, and she and my dad are now enjoying their retirement, visiting us (2.5 hours away) when they can. They still babysit for us some weekends to let us have some time to ourselves.
The other thing for your friend to consider is what happens if her daughter (and partner?) move themselves?

JoolsToo Tue 12-Jul-05 21:16:42

I've told my bf I know exactly where she is coming from - I was lucky, I had a lot of time with my dgs before we moved here and I still see them relatively regularly (they also are in South Manchester so only 1½ hours away) and I worried that I'd be in bits when we moved but that's not been the case and I still see them relatively regularly.

I also told her I would not do what she is doing but we are different people - she is the sort of person who would cut an outing short so she could get back to feed that cats whereas I think that's nuts (and she knows that!). As I said she is a lovely, caring person who tends to put others first and although they are waiting to see what happens I really think they will move back and if that's what makes them happy I wish them well - they'll still come and stay with us regularly

Thing is - I see trouble ahead because bf's dh is gagging to finish work and if he had his way they'd move to Spain (which she has always been against) but he's settling for long winters there - BUT if she gets involved in childcare I know she won't go (she's never been that big a fan of their Spanish place from day one) and I can see friction.

Still its a while off - so maybe I'll be back next year with an update!

JoolsToo Tue 12-Jul-05 21:18:23

paolosgirl - you parents sound like me and dh

paolosgirl Tue 12-Jul-05 21:26:18

I must admit, I do agree with my mum. My retirement is going to be spent touring Europe with dh in a camper van and moving to a cottage by the sea on the south coast - not childminding my grandchildren so my kids can go to work!

JoolsToo Tue 12-Jul-05 23:48:53


and you'll have earned the privilege - thankfully my kids want us to enjoy our retirement too!

Tortington Wed 13-Jul-05 00:04:36

mchr isn't a million miles away is it - an hur and hour and a half? i reckon daughter would benefit more from having mum in lake district for holidays long weekends ans such - also great excuse toleave the kid with granny for a whole weekend

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