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Grandparent Time

My wife and I live approximately 40 minutes by car from her parents, at least when they are not living up north at the cottage for the summer. Since their town is smaller and has fewer “essential” ammenities (like a mall, big box stores, etc.) they are often in our neck of the woods, and tend to stop by every time. If I were to put an average on it, I would say they visit about one or two times per week, generally for a lunch or at least a couple of hours. We occasionally go to their place for family dinners, but I would estimate that number at five times per year, making it insignificant in the grand scheme.

My parents live quite a bit further away – the car trip takes about five hours, depending on bladder capacity (did I mention my wife is pregnant?) and travel companion mood (did I mention my daughter is a normal three year old kid?). We try to get there once every four to six weeks or so, depending on schedules, weather, and holidays. Also, my parents cannot travel to see us because of health reasons, so whenever we get to them is all that they see of my daughter.

I understand the discrepancy between families is directly a function of our distance. I am not comparing the two. What I am wondering is whether or not our frequencies (for either family) are typical or average. I think a big part of our desire to give our daughter as much time with them as possible is the knowledge that since they are older, they will not be around forever. (Yes, this post is partially driven by guilt that I feel for not visiting my parents more often.)

How often do your children see their grandparents? How much does distance factor into that decision? Do you feel comfortable with the amount of time they spend together, or do you always feel like there should be more? Is the whole “they will not be around forever” argument part of your consideration?

You can read more SciFi Dad at Tales From The Dad Side.

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