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How often do your children see their grandparents?

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#1 JomoMum

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:11 AM

Assuming they are still alive, and live within say 1 hour  away?

I’m struggling with my parents inserting themselves in our life and feel like they’re expectation is unreasonable - multiple times over a weekend, at least two weekends a month. They live 2 hours away but have a second house 30 mins away and are spending more time there.

My mum also gets very distressed when I don’t call every second day or so, but that’s a different story ..

How does it work in your family? I’m feeling suffocated.

#2 .Jerry.

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:13 AM

DD sees my parents infrequently.  They live about 1.5 hrs away and we see them a couple of times a year really.  They would like more I imagine, but life is so busy.  They certainly don't insert themselves in my life.

DD sees DP's mother every couple of years, as she lives about 14 hrs drive away.

#3 Expelliarmus

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:14 AM

Before they died, living 2 minutes away by car, multiple times a week. At one point when the children were in primary school it was basically every day.  Mum got quite clingy toward the end as well. Very needy. Dad was much more independent - but he always was.

#4 Caribou

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

My MIL once every 6 weeks or so. She lives about an hour away.
My mother is about 40mins away and insists on weekly but I make sure I’m out of town that day. It’s really hard. Best I can stretch it to is monthly. She’s really suffocating and intense. Never mind we have kids activities and stuff we are expected to make time for her. She messages me daily. I ignore most of it. If I text her back it just goes out of control and I can get a good 20 texts on things that don’t even need to be said or can wait until we catch up. She doesn’t have boundaries. Which sucks. Makes it hard
To relax in my home because she’s prone to ‘drop ins’ even uses friends to come with her because she knows I won’t be rude to her in front of her friends.
I’ve told her we can see her once a month or so but no more. Sadly she won’t accept that. She’s very toxic for me.

I think you’ll find a wide range of answers to this question. There’s no right or wrong. Just what’s best for you and your family. You can draw the line and say stop. But that takes helluva lot of courage and you have to prepare for the fall out if they’re not reasonable people.

#5 Luci

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:25 AM

DH’s parents live 1.5 hours away and we see them approx 3 times a year. My parents live interstate and we see them once a year.

#6 dadwasathome

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:25 AM


My parents used to be more often before dad died and when mum was more mobile. Now maybe every 2-3 months? She lives 90 mins or so away, and I do talk to her every couple of days.

FIL maybe monthly or so. He lives in the same city, but Is busy with volunteering and travelling.

#7 Kallie88

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:29 AM

My in laws are interstate so we don't see them much. My mum is about 15 mins drive away and we see her probably every few weeks on the weekend. She still works full time so I think that makes a difference.

#8 kimasa

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:30 AM

When we lived walking distance from almost everyone I'm related to it was multiple times per week.

Now about an hour away we see my Mum a d min laws about once a month each.

#9 robhat

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:36 AM

I don't have contact with my parents, so my kids have never met them. The in-laws live in Brisbane (we're in Sydney) and spend half their time overseas either touring or visiting family so my kids only see them in person a few times a year.

When I was a kid though, I had both grandmothers living about 30-50 min drive. I saw them each at least once a week, sometimes twice. Before I started school I think I spent most of my time at my grandmother's houses. My mother was pretty dependent on her mother and rang her every day at 8am, even if we were going over to visit the same day. As a kid, I LOVED seeing my grandmothers so often. My mother had issues with my dad's mum though. On the whole this was good because she tended to just leave me with grandma and not stay herself!

I don't think there is a right or wrong here. It's whatever works for each family. I think you'll also find that grandparents tend to get a bit nutty and demanding in their old age.

#10 JRA

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:41 AM

DS doesn't as they are not alive. But when I was a child we would see our grandmother most days when we were young (not at school) as she always called in at our place to pick up her mail.

Once we were at school it was probably only 4 or 5 times a week.  She would generally spend one day a week with the family as she would travel with us (or on her own steam) to horse events to watch us.

When mum  and dad were away she would stay with us to baby sit, when mum and dad had committee meetings (which were at night) she would come and look after us.

She was the BEST grandmother ever. So many amazing memories - Tynee tips Tea cards, lemon slice, Cocky (yes a cockatoo), oh god, the list goes on.

Miss you Ruby

Edited by JRA, 15 June 2019 - 11:42 AM.

#11 Lou-bags

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:41 AM

My mum looks after my kids on Mondays while DH and I are at work so at least once a week for her. I usually take the kids to their place once a month or so, and occasionally Dad will come here.

My in laws caravan a lot (maybe 50-70% of the year, depending on other commitments). We lived in their house for 2 years (until this Jan) so we saw them daily when they were home, lol. Now that we live about 30 min away, we see them once a week or so when they are home. Sometimes more sometimes less. They also have the kids for us a lot.

Suits us fine. Both sets of parents have good respect for boundaries (and DH and I have really relaxed boundaries anyway, which is easy I suppose if your parents are respectful people).

Our DSs adore both sets of grandparents, and I love that they have such close relationships. And DH and I really appreciate all of their help.

#12 Chocolate Addict

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:43 AM

The only living grandparent here is my mother and she lives with us, so always :)

When she lived interstate we saw her maybe 3 times a year.

#13 moc84

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:50 AM

At least once a week we will have a coffee or dinner. I talk to my mum and dad most days. Wouldn't be without them. My kids love them and they are fantastic parents and grandparents

#14 RocktonResident

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:52 AM

Pretty much every day. My parents live one suburb away and do school pick up for me 3 times a week (single parent, working full time). We have dinner there one night a week.

XH's parents I would assume once a week. He is living with them and that's how often he has the kids, but I haven't actually asked them about it.

#15 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:52 AM

My kids see the in-laws on average once a week. More some weeks less other weeks. Often they go with DH without me. Often it’s much needed babysitting. So I feel we have a good balance. DH contacts them every other day I think, but I don’t get involved.

My kids see my parents probably twice a month on average. Sometimes it’s lots because the cousins have lots of birthday parties around the same time. And sometimes we will spend a week with them on holidays. So they see them quite a bit too, but with big breaks in between. We don’t call much but email often and we have Facebook messenger for quick updates and photos as well.

I used to feel a bit suffocated by the in-law visits. It took a while to find the balance between them getting in our way, and helping each other out, but I feel we have a good balance now and I appreciate the help more now. So it’s all worked out in the end.

#16 Kreme

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:53 AM

My mother is my kids’ only living grandparent. She lives 90 mins away and is very independent despite being in her 80s. When the kids were young we saw her at least once a month and she would stay for weekends. She also would come and stay to keep me company if DH was away for work. Now the kids are at school we usually see her in the school holidays plus a weekend or two through the year for special occasions. Either I will take the kids up to her place or she will come and visit us.

#17 No Drama Please

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:54 AM

They live overseas so maybe once a year of so we fly MIL out or mum comes for a few days. When I grew up I mostly lived with my grandparents so saw them every day! Even when moved out I went to visit every weekend. We were freakishly close though.

It’s going to be totally different for everyone so if you think it’s too much maybe think up ways to make it a bit less. Try and explain with all the after school stuff and work etc you’re a bit time poor? Tricky though, good luck!

#18 chillipeppers

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:57 AM

Once a week and we live 45 mins away

#19 BeAwesome

Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:59 AM

We'd see my parents (1/2 hr away) maybe monthly, but that's more about our schedule than theirs.  I'm very close with mum and would talk to her daily on the phone.  

Parents in Law just moved about an hour away, we see them maybe every 2 months, they might phone every 2 weeks or so, DH is a bit slack about calling them.

#20 Soontobegran

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:00 PM

Grandparent here.
Nine grandchildren and three step grand children.

They live between 5 minutes and 35 minutes away from us. Their vicinity to us is because we are actively involved in all their lives.
This does not mean we see all grandchildren every week but we see at least some of them every week.

We take them out for adventures ( usually one or two at a time ) and we have sleep overs however we are not intrusive and would not call in to them unannounced. They are all comfortable coming here without telling us and we are happy with that.

It is all about knowing each other's needs and respecting boundaries which includes ours as well.

As an over 60 year old I have realised the best years are behind us in terms of ability to care for our grandchildren however our love for them all is something I can not put into words. We 'need' them in our lives and they 'need' us too.
At risk of sounding corny we are their village and are very happy about that.

I understand not everyone's family have the same dynamics and therefore do not have the same experience.

#21 livvie7586

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:04 PM

My parents, who live 10 min away, 1-2 times a week.  sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the week (i see them more than that, but during school hours).

Their great grandmother, who lives interstate, we visit once a year.

They've never met their paternal grandmother, and they haven't seen their paternal grandfather in 8 years (and the youngest has never met him).  

Actually, scratch that.  They all saw their paternal grandfather at their great grandfathers funeral 2.5 years ago.  I think he vaguely looked in their direction.

#22 Mollyksy

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:06 PM

Once a week for most weeks a sleepover. Mostly lead by DS who is always asking when he will visit next. My mum has passed and he is totally attached to his granddad, and granddad is in return too. I am a single mum so encourage the boy time and DS has a ball. Plus I get a break!

Paternal grandparents are both passed so granddad (who is a step anyway, both my parents are passed too) is it.

In fact granddad is in my will so my preference for guardian if something should happen to me.

Edited by Mollyksy, 15 June 2019 - 12:07 PM.

#23 Daffy2016

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:18 PM

Both sets live interstate. My parents visit us every few months and stay for a week or so, then do a bigger visit at Christmas. But they have good boundaries so I can tell them to clear off (nicely) and no one is hurt!

In laws have seen DD maybe three times in two years. They don’t care to visit but if we lived nearby they’d want us at their place all the time - not to interact with DD but just to sit around and ‘be there like family’. That would kill me and I’m secretly glad we’re not nearby.

#24 aluminium

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:29 PM

My parents are around the corner. It is often too much for me.

They drop in whenever they feel like it, Mum calls all the time, Dad waits until he knows i'm home from work then walks over for a cuppa. It's really difficult at times but we're close by due to their health, so that keeps it in perspective for me (they wont be around forever).

It can be really stressful at times though and yesterday I spent the entire day with Dad when I really had other things to do.

However, we are managing better with scheduled visits.
Once a week after school the girls catch the bus to their house and stay for dinner. I tell them in advance when sport is on, so they can come along. And if I feel like they're visiting too much, I dump the kids on them and take a night off.

In the end, my girls are building a strong relationship with their grandparents and that really matters to me.

#25 BusbyWilkes

Posted 15 June 2019 - 12:30 PM

View Postmoc84, on 15 June 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

At least once a week we will have a coffee or dinner. I talk to my mum and dad most days. Wouldn't be without them. My kids love them and they are fantastic parents and grandparents

This is us too. We have extended family dinner that mum prepares every week together (17 of us!) Might sound like hell to some, but is super special to us and all the kids. Cousins are close too because of this regular contact. There is never any obligation though. Kids regularly text them too - usually about sporting results (AFL, NBA and their own teams) or to ask for a lift home from school if it's raining and I'm at work.

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