Post # 1
I wanted to put this question out there to get an idea of what is “normal” 🙂
For those of you who live away from your parents, how often do you visit them?
I live about 4 hours from my hometown and make an effort to visit my parents every 4-6 weeks or so. They visit us 1-2 times a year (cities make my dad nervous…he’s very much a woods-man). My mom has really struggled in the past few years with feeling like she does not get to see me enough. It is especially hard because I am an only child and therefor am the ONLY person my mom focuses this type of energy on.
While I enjoy visiting my parents, we have friends and FI’s family (they live 4 hours in a different direction) who we like to visit as well. It is getting tiring to travel 2-4 weekends out of every month.
The big issue is that I left home 8 years ago, moved to another state and eventually fell in love with a man who grew up 4 states away. We are not planning to ever move back to my hometown, but may settle in my home state of Vermont (which is small) at some point. While she does not mean to, my mom has a habit of putting intense guilt on me about moving away and building my own life. The wedding seems to make it a little worse.
So how do you bees handle this? Does anyone else have a similer situation with their parents?
Post # 3
My situation is similar in some ways: I’m the only child, and go back every few weeks for a couple of days… mostly because my mom gets upset otherwise. I’m the only child, too, and she’s really dramatic. I mean, oddly so… always thinks I hate her, mad that I’m independent even though they stopped paying for my groceries when I was 16, etc.
Luckily R’s parents live pretty close to mine, and we have a wonderful relationship with them. They’re really awesome about taking us out to dinner sometimes, or meeting someplace in between the city and where they are.
I do think they’d be upset if we moved away for anything other than grad school, though. Future Sister-In-Law & Future Brother-In-Law were talking about moving to Arizona (where his family is) last year, and Future Sister-In-Law put it very rudely – she would say things like, “I’m finally going to get away from you!” so that really hurt Future Mother-In-Law.
(Ironically, Future Brother-In-Law & Future Sister-In-Law still live rent-free in a house that is owned by my Future In-Laws.)
Post # 4
I’m not an only child, but I live with my sis–so when one of us goes home, the other does too (for right now). We’ve slowly, slowly built up to only going once every two to two and a half months. We know it’s hard on them, but the longer that we wait every time, the better it is that they get adjusted into their routines, not waiting every other weekend for us to come home.
Good luck!! I know it’s hard. Future Mother-In-Law acts like this sometimes, but we have to move out of state regardless of how she acts, so she’s trying hard to not show it. Perhaps you could talk to your mom? Fiance did that and I think it helped.
Post # 5
I do! Actually Fiance and I both deal with this. We both grew up in the same general area (about 45 minutes away from each other) We moved away together and have zero intentions of ever going back. We both didn’t love growing up there and we don’t like it now.
We get guilt from both sides. Honestly, we do not have the desire to visit that often and it seems more like a hassle than anything. If it wasn’t for the wedding, we would visit about once every 2-3 months. My parents visit us a few times a year and his parents never visit. My sister and her Boyfriend or Best Friend also visit relatively often but his brother/his Fiance will not visit us.
My mom is giving me more grief now by claiming that she’ll never be able to see her grandchildren. If she thinks she’ll guilt us into moving back, she is incorrect ;o)
By The Way, we live about 2.5 hours from my parents and about 3.5 hours from his.
Edit/addition: My sister and her boyfriend still live in my hometown and will probably never leave.
Post # 6
My parents live about 4-5 hours away also. I see them probably ever 4 months. They come up about twice a year and we go down about 2-3 times a year. I just don’t have a bunch of time to take off, drive down there, and go visit.
I have my own life now and my parents are very respectful of that. We chat a lot on the phone but they know if i visited them every month, that’s a full weekend out of the month that I don’t tend to my own house. I have laundry to do and traveling just takes it out of me. My parents don’t guilt me about it–they can’t possibly expect me to have a real job in their town of 500. I live in a city and i’m much happier here. It’s just the way life works out sometimes. My DH’s family lives about 30 minutes away. I see them probably every other month for various things. He has lunch with them every wednesday but it’s just not practical for me. I have my own shizzles to do! And it’s stressful going home =]
Post # 7
lilyfaith, our moms are very similer 🙂 Maybe it’s an only-child thing. My mom will think that I am avoiding her or mad at her if I am not able to come up for more then 6 weeks or so. I know it’s her issue, and we have talked about it a lot because she feels guilt over it as well. It’s such a cycle!
Post # 8
My mom does the same thing to me. I’m actually from Somerville, MA! I have an older brother, but he still lives at home and doesn’t have any intention of leaving, so I’m the “weird” one for leaving and doing what I want. I went away a few hours for college, and my parents expected me to come home at least one weekend a month and they called me everyday. I spent one semester abroad and didn’t see them for 6 months, so that kind of prepared them for my moving to Florida. Now I just see them a few times a year, but I talk to them multiple times a week. If I could afford it, I would go home more often than twice a year, but I can’t right now. For me, the key was to move out of driving distance. haha. I’m also very blunt with my parents and tell them that I don’t plan on moving home for a few years, so they stopped guilt tripping me.
Post # 9
Somewhat of a similiar situation but not 4 hours away…
I live in a town near the VT border, about 45mins from where I grew up and lived for 24 years of my life. When I moved to my current town, my BFF FREAKED OUT!!!! We would hang out about 1xweek…I would frequently take her kids and do things with them I LOVE them!). When I moved away she told me that I was too far away (45 mins straight down the highway!), that she would never see me, that I wouldn’t have time for any of my friends. HELLO!?!?!?! Let me also say…she was MORE devasted than I was when I broke up w/ my ex-bf of 6 years….we all did things together…..
I see my parents 1xmonth, sometimes more if there are events going on. I talk to may parents several times throughout the week….sometimes more due to wedding planning. My aprents didn’t care….they like having a quiet house :o)
Post # 10
I live 10 hour drive/or an easy flight away from my parents (I have for six years now) and I only see my parents twice a year.
I would like to see them more, we get along great. It just works out that we can’t usually make it happen more than twice a year. I miss them.
Post # 11
ejs4y8, I would love to have that type of relationship with my mom! Good for you! My dad is more understanding, he hates to travel, and he always tells me to visit only if I have the time and it is safe driving weather. I think that mom’s just have a pull on their daughters that is hard to break.
hotchildinthecity, I think my mom is concerned about seeing her grandkids too! By the time they come she will be retired…so hopefully she will feel welcome to come down to visit them instead of us hauling them all over New England.
laboroflove, I’m glad you have a sister to help in setting boundries! I almost feel like visiting less would be helpful for all of us. I am lucky in that my mom and I are able to talk about it, but the sadness in her voice really gets to me. It’s a process…I feel hopeful it will get easier in time.
Post # 12
I live about 22 hours away from my parents, and we’re about 12 hours away from FI’s parents, so there is not a lot of visiting going on. We see each other around holidays, and then we see each other usually once or twice during the rest of the year. It sort of depends. But definitely not more often than every 3 or 4 months. I do, however, talk to my parents (both of them, they’re divorced) once or twice a day. We’re very connected, they know everything that’s going on with me, they’re a huge part of my life, it’s just not practical for any of us to be visiting each other on a more regular basis. It’s 6 or 7 hours from airport to airport (and really expensive), and 22 hours in a car….it’s just too much. But they’ve never made me feel bad about that at all. My FI’s dad never visits us, which is totally ok with us; his mom makes an effort to visit once or twice a year, but she has three kids spread all over the country, and she has to get to all of them!
Post # 13
@Rosiebear – glad to hear I’m not the only one. I feel it’s very cyclical with us as well. She’ll be fine for a few weeks, and then call in tears asking why I hate her… I walk her through the whole thing (usually with R standing there wide-mouthed at what she’s saying – she’s a loud phone talker) and she calms down until it starts over.
The worst thing is, she’s super competitive with the FIL’s. They’ve helped me through college by giving me a steady job when my parents decided it’d be best to cut me off except for some tuition help. Which was fine except that they changed those terms after I had accepted a place at a university in the city, where rent is sky-high. I worked about 50 hr weeks just to get by and she would get mad at me for not having time to talk on the phone.
Post # 14
This info is great. It’s nice to get your different expereinces and persepctives! Adult child-parent relationships can be so complicated 🙂
Post # 15
I’m on the mom-guilt train too. I have a brother, and he lives about 10 minutes away from where I live now (random that he got a job here after I moved here for school)– so at least when they come to see one of us they can see both. I think it is a little harder on my mom because almost all of my cousins went away for college then came home (to Cleveland area). So she gets to see my aunts/uncles having their kids near them and she doesn’t get to have either of her kids who moved two hours away.
Regarding visits… There are actual reasons to get together generally in February (brother’s bday), April (Easter), May (mother’s day), June (father’s day), September (dad’s birthday), October (my birthday), November (mom’s bday and Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). The hardest time of year is from Jan-April because usually my parents come here to celebrate my brother’s birthday, so that is like 4 months without actually going home. Usually I try to get home at some point in there but sometimes its hard. I feel like the longer I am away from home the less and less I go.
The hardest part for me is the calls. When I first moved away I called about twice/week and that was fine. Then my brother was in the hospital for 3 months and my mom was calling me every day to give me status updates. When he left the hospital (4 years ago)… she kept calling. And if I missed a day calling her or didn’t answer her call she’d kind of freak out. She has some kind of anxiety where if she doesn’t talk to me every day she is convinced that I’m “dead in a ditch” somewhere. It can be really oppressive… sometimes I feel like it is SO ridiculous that I’m 25 years old and I HAVE to call my mom every. single. day. But on the other hand I feel really bad for being upset about it because my mom has done a lot for me and it isn’t really that hard to just do it. Meh– i dunno.
Post # 16
@Corgi – same here. If my mom texts and I don’t hear it, she’ll send the same text over and over for the next 2-3 hours, and eventually call R. I’ve tried telling her I can’t always get to my phone, but she’s downright convinced I’m hurt/dead. She also does that all the time when I’m at work – she’ll even know I’m working, and think something’s terribly wrong because I don’t pick up. It gets really hard on R, because he’s constantly having to explain to her, but she took offense to it when I asked her to stop calling him every time she couldn’t get ahold of me. (Obviously, an emergency would be different.)