‘Is it fair to move our young son miles away from his grandparents?’

Dear Vix,

My wife and I are considering moving out of the town we live in to another town, a few hours away. We’re really excited at the prospect of life changing for us – in a positive way – but my parents seem annoyed by the news, especially since they’re currently spending so much time together. our little boy. I’m really afraid that our move might take away the only thing my parents love to do together, and it might tear them apart. What should I do?

Colin, West Midlands

Dear Colin,

I sympathize with you here – you are dealing with a lot of conflicting emotions, roles and family pressures, and you are speaking both as a son. and a father. However, there is one thing that surprises me more than anything else: whereas in the past, as children, we tended to focus solely on our parents; Now you are a father. It’s time to put your family’s needs first.

This sounds harsh – and I’m not telling you Not to think about your mom and dad’s feelings. It’s a beautiful, lovely thing that you worry about if you move. You can be callous and uncaring, and just do it without regard for their hearts, but you are not. Give yourself credit. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s not easy for you to make either – so try and be a little less self-conscious about it.

We could spend our lives trying to please everyone – it just won’t work. That’s just the harsh reality of life. Sometimes our need to keep everyone around us happy can be so strong that we have to sacrifice our own needs and want to take care of others – which is also unhealthy and unhealthy. Be a good role model for your son. he grew up.

It’s a delicate balance: we naturally want to protect and care for those we love – our children, our parents, our romantic partners, our friends – but We also need to do what is right for us. There’s nothing selfish about it unless you shape it that way.

What you need to think about, carefully, is your feelings about the responsibility towards your parent’s relationship. I feel a lot of unnecessary guilt and duty that you are carrying here, and let me put it bluntly: you are not responsible for whether your father and mother are together. You can’t carry it with you – the weight (and pressure) is too much. You are not directly responsible for the happiness of anyone but yourself, and (at least while he is young and so dependent) your young son.

What you decide to do – move out or stay – will not determine what happens in your parents’ marriage. So take that burden off yourself. That’s for them to find out.

It can be worthwhile (perhaps through therapy, if that feels right) why you are specifically aiming to be a carer and examine what constitutes friend delight. To me, reading your letter, it sounds like you’re actually quite excited at the prospect of being moved elsewhere. “Change your life” is a strong and positive word choice. That means it’s likely the right one.

As for telling your parents, my main advice is to do it sooner rather than later – don’t wait until you’ve packed to tell them you’re moving. Give them time to get used to the idea; but accept that they may need to go away and work to solve the problem. No one likes a bomb.

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Assert yourself with some emotional reactions to the news, but let’s reiterate what we’ve learned during the past 18 months of the pandemic – distance doesn’t mean lack of connection, that you will Do your best to visit them and will welcome them to you. Enter the first date in the diary as soon as you can – it will help give them something to look forward to.

Remind them of the practicality of phone calls and FaceTime and even a quiz, for example, one night of the week. Perhaps you could suggest a family vacation together when travel restrictions become easier.

Remember to tell them how important they are to both you and your son, and how you want them to continue to play an important role in your life. They may just need a little reassurance that they matter. Make sure you give it to them – and to yourself.

Victoria Richards is an advice columnist for The Independent. Having problems with work, love, family or friends? Contact ‘Is it fair to move our young son miles away from his grandparents?’


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