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How do you deal with grown children living so far away from you?


My son, aged 26, moved away to college 8 years ago, and then later settled in that area. We live in the same state. He lives about 90 miles north of where I live. Close enough that I can drive up there in 1 1/2 hours, but far enough that I can't just pop in whenever I am missing him.

It's been hard with him living 1 1/2 hours away, but I've always said that at least I don't have to deal with the possibility of him living out of state. :(

In addition to missing him, it has been particularly hard not being able to see my granddaughter whenever I want. She is 3 now. And it seems that the older she becomes, and the longer it has been since my son moved out into the world, the more I am missing him.

I feel guilty even writing this, because others are not so fortunate to still have their sons, or daughters, still in their lives. But, I am feeling pretty blue today, after he dropped a bombshell on me that he is considering moving out of the state.

My heart is broken. Yet, I can't tell him how I really feel as I don't want my emotions to influence HIS life, which HE has to live. I want him to be happy and if moving out of state makes him happy, then that is what he needs to do.

But, then there are all these emotions I am dealing with. I can't stop crying. I cried from the moment I left his apartment over 2 hours ago and am still crying. I just don't feel very important at the moment. My head knows this is not about me. But my heart feels like if I were a better and more interesting mother, he would have no desire to move so far away from me.

I don't know if I should tell him how I am feeling or not. What would you do? And those of you who have had children move out of state, how have you dealt with it?


Some assembly required
I'm not the right person to answer this question, as I have no children and can't know what it's like. But I am so sorry for how much sadness and anticipated loss you're feeling. :(

Distance does funny things to parent-child relationships. In my case, I needed to get far away from the place where I grew up, in order to keep growing as an adult. Oddly enough, even though we were an 8-hour drive apart and rarely visited, my mother and I grew much closer emotionally... and continued to grow very close, both as friends and as mother-daughter, over the years.

On the other hand, my sister stayed living very close to home, but she put a wall of emotional distance between herself and my mother, even though they visited each other often.

Fast forward to many years later, when my mother was sick in the hospital and dying... guess which daughter was there at her bedside and which one vanished. From time to time, a well-meaning nurse would poke her head in the room and ask me sadly, "Are you an only child?" My mother, even though her eyes were closed, would hear that question and I could see a faint flinch of pain cross her face. I wanted to say to the nurse, "No, I'm not an only child, but I'm the only one here." Instead, I just put my finger to my lips and whispered Shhh...

I'm sorry to get so far off-track from your question, Katrina. but I just wanted to say that love can't be measured by geographical distance.


Orchid, he currently lives 1 1/2 hours away. He is wanting to move further. And I am heartbroken for all the kinds of reasons you just mentioned. I don't want them to be any further from me than they are now. I don't want to drive a full day or fly just to go see them.


New member
Orchid, he currently lives 1 1/2 hours away. He is wanting to move further. And I am heartbroken for all the kinds of reasons you just mentioned. I don't want them to be any further from me than they are now. I don't want to drive a full day or fly just to go see them.

My 2 oldest live about a 2 hour drive away, along with my 2 year old grandson, and my youngest plans on moving to the area they are in, less than a year. I don't find it far. I'm just very grateful that they have jobs, homes, health and are happy.

I'll soon be 2000 sky miles away from mine. Webcams and phones will be my best friends. (Not as good as being there in person, but betterthan not seeing them.)


Live your dreams!
You are an interesting person................!

Hi Katrina, I know you're sad at the thought of him moving to another state but it is NOT because you are not an interesting person. Put that out of your mind right now! I realise that I don't know you personally, but I sure as hell know that's not true! :no::no::no:

Adult children move away to pursue study, careers, relationships, etc and to find out who they are and where they are going. My son went to study overseas (Germany) for a year when he was 18 and it was the most difficult time for me and I couldn't wait for him to be back home in the nest.....little did I know it would be temporary. He spent SIX YEARS out of the next eight years living overseas pursuing studies, jobs, girls, etc, etc. I got used to it. The only way I coped was to be completely interested in his pursuits so that he shared everything (almost everything) with me!

Don't, let me repeat the word DON'T, put any pressure on him or let him see that you are needy or clingy. Be happy for him and feel proud as a parent that you have raised an independent, responsible adult who has direction in his life and is able to pursue his dreams and desires! Isn't that what we want for our children?

You have obviously done a great job being a parent!

I currently have oldest son (mentioned above) living 2 hours away and see him maybe once a month. Number 2 son and his wife are travelling the world - haven't seen them since November last year. I have no other extended family. I accept that I have to make my own life and treasure the family time - when I get it! (Skype is wonderful to keep in touch in the mean time.)

The main thing is......keep yourself busy with YOUR life. This doesn't mean forgetting about them but they don't need to be the main focus in your life. Have some fun! You can do it! :yes::yes::yes:

Repeat after me:

I have done a great job being a parent!


Katrina, BD had some very good points.

When I was 18 I joined the Canadian Forces and moved far away from home. I've lived away from my parents for most of my adult life. Even so, my kids have still managed to develop a bond and loving relationship with their grandparents.

My parents live 3200 miles away by air, I try to visit them once a year. I spend more time with my parents in a year than either my brother or sister who live in the same province.

Last year my oldest son went to Canada to stay with my brother and straighten up his life. Although I haven't seen him in almost a year and don't talk to him often, I'm really proud of what he's accomplished with his life.

Just a few weeks ago my youngest son went to live with his brother in Canada. There are no jobs here in Florida and little future. I was sad to see him go, but I was also excited and happy for him to be getting on with his life. I wanted to see him happy and productive even if it meant him being so far away from me.

So now both my sons are 3500 miles away from me, but both have decent jobs and are happy. I'm proud of them.

Last night they were out buying groceries and the oldest one called me asking me where he could find gravy mix in a grocery store 3500 miles away from me.

They never leave our hearts :)


Live your dreams!
How are you doing?

Hey Katrina, let us know how you are feeling.

I always find comfort in quotes - thought you might too (start with the last one first):

Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.
- Elizabeth Stone

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
-Carl W. Buechner on children

Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
- Bill Cosby

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
- Richard Bach

Harmonizing heart and brain through love is what can establish a complete intelligence, a complete self, where a child can look at life and realize there are no dead ends, there are always possibilities. The greatest gift a parent can give a child during all the ups and downs of life is love.
- Doc Childre on Teaching Children to Love

There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
- Graham Green

The character and history of each child may be a new and poetic experience to the parent, if the parent will let it.
- Margaret Fuller

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

The solution to stress management lies in how we perceive the stresses in our lives. It's not really the events taking place in our lives that cause stress. Stress depends entirely on how we perceive the events that happen to us. The good news is that since stress is a response—not the event that triggers the response—we can control it. Once we shift our perception of a situation and see it with more clarity, the stressful reaction can be reduced or released.
- Doc Childre and Howard Martin in The HeartMath Solution

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the atomic age — as in being able to remake ourselves.
- Mahatma Gandhi

That which happens in life is not as important as how you accept it.

- Unknown

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

- Hodding Carter

Take care of you. :grouphug:


My aging dad (75) just sold his house (which was a 1 hour flight/8 hour drive) away and moved to the other coast (8 hour flight -no non/stops and 6 day drive) to be with his new girlfriend (my dead step mother's dead brother's widow) and her family. So yeh, I can relate. He's been there 3 months and her grown children and grandchildren are now the center of his life when his own children were begging him to move closer to us...

My question is this...will your son's life be better if he moves? Is it an area with better job or housing opportunities? Or is he moving for some reason that doesn't quite make sense?


Registered member
I really don't know how to deal with these things either, like they said, I guess we just find a way to cope.

I raised my kids basically alone most their lives...so my entire life centered around my kids and school activities and cheerleading and voice lessons and...ugh. As each moves out, my life gets kind of emptier and emptier.

My son lives about an hour from me, and my daughter goes to school about 1-1/2 hours away...but I still hear from them every day, and see them at least a couple weekends a month.

I would say about the only advice I have to stay feeling close is to use the phone more, use webcam, etc...so you can still feel connected. I wish I had something better to say. :( My kids call me just about every day, sometimes twice....and we text each other quite a bit.

((hugs)) Being a mommy is just the hardest thing sometimes, isn't it?


Thanks everyone. I am just crushed. That's how I am doing. :(

My son and I have always been very close and to think that he would even consider moving further away when he knows how much we miss them already, and it's not even because he has a job opportunity or anything, it just hurts too much to bear to think about.

He simply wants to try living somewhere else. He doesn't like Indiana and "the way that people think around here." :rolleyes: People are people everywhere.

And I live right across the river from Kentucky, which he could move to and then he'd accomplish his mission and be closer to me. But his wife doesn't think it's "all that."

Apparently, this is serious enough to him that he felt he needed to prepare me. But it was a huge bombshell for me and I am not ready to be further away from my son and my granddaughter than I already am now. :(

Maybe that makes me selfish as a mother. But I've had 8 years of life without him being nearby and I don't want the distance to be further.


I love being a redhead!
I feel kind of bad because I can relate to what your son and his wife are saying. Individually, yes, people are people everywhere but collectively, group norms prevail and those vary widely from community to community.

I wouldn't say anything. Our kids' lives reach a point where we, the parents, get put on the back burner for a while and letting go is never easy. My son, his wonderful girlfriend and my grand daughter live 2 hours away and I miss them so much that it feels like there's a big, ragged hole in my heart. Learning to redefine myself as simply Kelley and not so-and-so's mom after more than 20 years of full-time parenting was *really* difficult!

We close the gap by actively participating daily on facebook, frequent texting and a weekly hour-long phone call. I don't push for more because I know their focus is on working hard being good to each other and good for Lilly. And that's okay.
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Would you consider moving (and following them) to their new city/town? I live in SF where housing costs are extreme and jobs are still out there.

My dad just moved to Tampa. He wants me to move there because housing is so cheap but there are no jobs. It's a trade off.

Would you have objections to moving?


Right now, I could not move. But, perhaps one day after retirement, it may be something I'd consider, depending on many factors including whether my elderly mother is still alive and needs me.

Besides, I would feel like I'm invading on their territory if I followed them around moving along with them. It would be weird unless he asked me to.


He simply wants to try living somewhere else. He doesn't like Indiana and "the way that people think around here." :rolleyes: People are people everywhere.

To some extent, yes, however there are very obvious regional flavors of people that differ depending where one resides. Having lived rural, in major cities, and now in suburbia, I know this to be true.

Maybe that makes me selfish as a mother. But I've had 8 years of life without him being nearby and I don't want the distance to be further.

I can totally understand that, and being far from your parents or children/grandchildren can be very tough. Even though I myself don't get along well with my parents, them moving 996 miles away does bother me quite a bit.


I agree with Truckman completely. People are -NOT- people everywhere. A person born and raised in San Francisco is not the same as a person born and raised in Amish Country or Appalachia or the Bible Belt or Utah. You haven't said where they are considering moving to. If it's a big liberal city, for certain it won't be like where you live much at all.


Thanks everyone for your input. Yeah, I'm doing better, but am not happy with this idea. My hope is that they will choose to settle in the Louisville area, which is near here, but I gather that is only one of many options they are considering.

But, he and I talked last night about it and he knows that whatever they decide, they have my support. But he also knows how concerned I am about how this will impact my ability to remain close to my granddaughter and any future grandchildren.

Let's face it, I would be a stranger to them. Webcams, phone calls, etc., are not the same as hopping into your car and driving 1 1/2 hours to pick up your grandbaby for the weekend. :(


While I completely agree that webcams, phone calls, etc., are not the same as hopping into your car and driving 1 1/2 hours to pick up your grandbaby for the weekend and that you might be a stranger to them, I wonder how you feel about LDRs where "partners" have never met and only have webcams and phone calls/emails. Just curious.


Almost 7 years ago I fell in love with a YM from Romania through chatting and webcamming. I came to this site as a result of our relationship. We were engaged for 4 years, breaking up about 1 1/2 years ago. Over seven years after we originally met online, we are still very close and talk almost daily.

Webcamming, phone calls, emails, chats are a wonderful way to remain connected in LDRs. I cannot even imagine how people in LDRs before the age of technology were able to do it by snail mail.

But, I have been there and done that. For me, it just isn't as satisfying as being with that person in the same physical space where I can see them, touch them, and kiss them. Especially not my grandbaby.


Registered member
I certainly understand what you are saying.

My mother was/is considering moving back to the South (i.e. Georgia), and we have had the same discussions. Although my kids are certainly older than your sweet granddaughter, she would very much like to stay involved in their lives.

At one point I thought about moving right along with her, but my situation changed, and now she plans on flying back once every three months.

However, even that will not be the same, and I really feel for her. I'll sure miss her. There is a definite difference between my mom meeting up with me for lunch or holidays or whatever, and flying in every 3-4 months and being a guest.

Ugh...I really hate being a grownup. :(