How to Survive As The Absentee Grandmother

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By: Susan "Honey" Good

My Grands, like many of yours, have moved away with their parents. It is the modern-world syndrome and not only do grandmother's suffer but so do our adult children and of course, our Grands. We are the scattered generation.

My grown children occasionally chastise me with comments, I feel often unfairly, yet I admit I ask myself, "Could I do more?

"Mom, there is a house next door to ours for sale, please ask Papa to buy it."

"Mom, why don't you come and visit us more often? We miss you."

"Mom, your life is so busy you have no time to visit."

"Mom, you have time to travel far and wide but not enough time to visit as often as other grandparents."

I shake my head as I listen; feeling sad. And then reality hits me and I think, but never say...


I know many absentee grandmothers feel as I do. We are saddened that society has changed from the golden days when we all lived near family. We wish we could hop in our cars; pick up our Grands from school, help them with their homework or take them for a dairy queen. We want to hug them; we want to look at them; we want to be hugged back. But we cannot! It is the scattered generation.

The question I ask myself time and time again to reassure myself, as an absentee grandmother and the question you should ask yourself,

"Am I doing all that I can to keep up my loving relationships with my Grands; connected and secure across the miles?" If I am so be it because I cannot change what is. If I am not, I act and do something about it. And so should you, darlings.

The cold fact is, I know no matter how often I am with my Grands, the distance creates a sense of loss and sadness for the family. For you, too, I am sure. After all, after our Grands' parents, we are our Grands' next security blanket. They feel and know we are unconditional love.

I don't want, my darlings to be sad; so here are a few thoughts that will brighten the spirits of an absentee grandmother.

First of all make peace with your situation.

Secondly, there is a little bit of a silver lining in being an absentee grandmother!

~Wrongdoing: You will never have the problem of feeling guilty turning your daughter or daughter-in-law down when she asks you to babysit, at the last minute!

~Culpability: You will never be blamed for intruding in your children's and Grands' lives.

~My grandchildren don't take me for granted. My visits are an event. I become their emotional and gift bearing tooth fairy. We do special things. Have special talks. I take them shopping for that 1 special present.

~My life is diversified. I have my own full life and I spend 'concentrated time' with my Grands.

~My children don't take me for granted. They appreciate me. They are happy to see me. They love me.

I ask myself,

"How would react if I got an announcement our entire family was moving back to Chicago? I would bring out the band, darlings."

And so would you, of that I am sure.