1. Initial Separation
Your joy at learning that you are going to be a grandparent may be tempered with sadness if the expectant parents live far away. You may blame or resent the family member whom you feel is to blame for the geographical distance, even though it may not be anyone’s fault. In a slightly different situation, if your grandchild lives near you and then the family decides to move far away, what you feel may be very close to bereavement.
What to Do
2. The Stress of Visiting Them
Your expectations for visiting your grandchild will be high. It is unlikely that everything about the visit will go smoothly. It may take time for your grandchild to feel comfortable with you. When it is time for you to leave, you may feel sadness for two reasons: first, that the trip was not as perfect as you had imagined, and second, that the trip is over.
What to Do
3. The Stress of Entertaining Them
You may be ecstatic at the prospect of your family coming for a visit. If, however, they are coming back to their hometown, they are probably planning to visit friends and perhaps the “other side” of the family as well. You may end up feeling jealous or slighted. If the kids and grandkids are staying with you, you may even feel as if you have been used as a cut-rate hotel.
What to do
4. Reunion Anxiety
For many, it will never happen, but a blessed few will learn that their family is moving back to the area. The grandparents should feel unmixed pleasure, right? Actually, any change in family dynamics can be stressful. Often, the family in transition will rely on the grandparents for housing or babysitting. A long-distance relationship can end up looking like a fairly good thing.