Grandparents at a Distance: A Double Edged Sword

We don’t have the occasional drop ins “just to say hi to our grandson”. We don’t have free babysitters. We don’t have grandma, grandpa, nana, or papa visits weekly.

Instead we have grandparents at a distance.

We have long weekend visits filled with memories. We have daily Facetimes with grandma, grandpa, nana, and papa.

We have involved grandparents that love their grandson

from a distance a majority of the time. 



When we moved to Cedar Rapids from the towns we grew up in, we made the conscious decision to three hours away. We agreed that this was close enough to our hometowns (compared to the across the country options), but also far enough away for random pop-in surprise visits. Once we had our son, this view changed. There are days where I love that we have the technology we do so we can have lunch with grandma via Facetime or call Nana to say hi. That doesn’t make it any easier on the days when mom needs a break and wishes grandma could actually come keep the little guy entertained for a couple of hours or have an in person lunch date. 

It is hard to think at times, what if we didn’t move?

What if we were able to call nana or papa for a free date night? The reality of it is, grandparents at a distance is a double edged sword. We’re extremely grateful to have grandparents that want to be involved in our son’s life, but also selfishly wish we were closer to see them in person more often and have someone to call on when we need some mom and dad time. 

After having our son, I asked around for what daycares were suggested or previously used and babysitters in the area that our neighbors and friends would recommend. Daycares, that was a list a mile long. Babysitters… “we use our parents”, “we call on grandma and grandpa”, or “we have family watch them”. I hated those answers because what do you do when you don’t have that option? I found myself extremely jealous of those that can call grandma and grandpa and they’re a 10 to 30 minutes drive away… not three hours. I was and still am frustrated sometimes that we made the decision to move away and chose distance. 

At the same time, we love having grandparents at a distance.

We love when they plan a trip to visit and keep us going all weekend with all sorts of fun activities. We have countdowns till the grandparents come or we go visit them. The weekends are planned with Children’s Museums, favorite meals, get-togethers with friends, and family. These weekends are the best in our books.

As time goes on, I’ve found friends that have become “family” when we need a sitter during the day or on the weekends so mom and dad can have date night. They are not nana or grandma but they can fill in for the time being. We are grateful for the move that helped us grow as adults and now parents, even if that meant putting some distance between us and our families. 

Grandparents at a distance truly is a double edged sword. 

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