How To Cope Being a Long Distance GrandmotherI am very lucky that my son and daughter in law live close to me. I care for my grandson whilst they work and see him lots every week. Many grandmothers are not so lucky and have families spread around the world. If they could move to be near one, they would be moving away from another. Recently someone asked on Gransnet how to cope being a long distance grandmother. They wrote that having their family living far away had made them both angry and depressed. I could understand how difficult it must be to be a long distance grandmother but couldn't give any advice. Other grandmothers in the same position shared some of their coping strategies.
How To Cope Being a Long Distance GrandmotherBelow are some tips for coping and some practical advice from real grandmothers who are in the same position. Even if you do not think they would work for you, there is no harm in trying. They have worked for others.
1. If you are depressed speak to your doctor.Don't drift into depression alone, seek help. This doesn't always mean you will receive medication but will get good, sound advice and if necessary a referral to a counsellor or other helper.
2. Find some distractionsFind some distractions, anything to fill your time, something to give you other interests and to occupy your mind. Take up a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Offer to help at the local school by listening to children read or join a book club.
Join the WI, Red Hatters or U3A. Do something active, learn to dance, join a gym or a walking group such as Ramblers. Help others with the Royal Voluntary Service.
3. Treat yourself to a few little things
Treat yourself occasionally to something small, just a magazine, something nice to eat or a visit to another part of town. They are only small things but soon add up.
4. Embrace your childs life choices
Be proud of the confidence that you have developed in your child to go out into the world and make a better life
5. Plan a visit
If possible arrange a visit, if this is not possible and you can afford it, help fund their visit to you
6. Keep in touch
There are lots of ways to keep in touch via social media. Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype are just a few.
Write them letters and send little gifts, just a £1 colouring book or something equally inexpensive. Maybe include something you have drawn or made especially for them.
7. Get a Dog
Get a small dog as a companion and it's also a great excuse to get out and about. If you can't commit to your own pet then maybe help train puppies for the blind or offer to walk someone else's dog.
8. Combine a hobby with helping a charity
Lots of premature baby units love receiving blankets, hats and other knitted or crocheted items. The websites Knit for Life and Saga have lots of suggestions. It's not just knitting and crochet, offer to help at a food bank or record an audio book with Calibre for the blind.
9. Join forums
I have already mentioned Gransnet. It's a magazine type website with lots of good advice and very active forums.
On the internet there are forums for everything, from mountaineering to knitting. Find your interests and join in. You can google your interest + forum or search a listing such as Top Site.
Sadly there is no magic answer but many have said it gets easier with time.
Are you a long distance grandmother? Do you have any tips that work for you?