Who Should Travel?

Updated on March 19, 2011
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
21 answers

I know I will get a good mix of answers to this question....and I am looking forward to them.

When a family has small children (new baby, other smalls at home), do you think it is equally their responsibility to travel to visit grandparents, or do you think that because traveling with small children (baby is breastfeeding still) is a task, that most visitors should come to the family with smalls most times?

Obviously there will be exceptions just like every question, ie if someone is handicapped and cannot travel, etc etc. I am just looking for the "normal" situation - mom, dad, 2-3 small kids and a nursing baby - able-bodied somewhat young grandparents who live within a 45 mile range - who should do the traveling for the visits? Equal, one more than the other?

EDIT: I am referring to just regular visits - not holidays. Holidays are always at their house and we travel for that.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think that since it is driving distance, when the kids are small the grandparents should come to you more often. There will probably be special occasions where they will want you to come over, but for the normal visits I would say they should visit you. If it were my daughter who had a young baby and small children, I would want to help out any way I can, because when I had my two babies under two, I didn't really have any help or support at all other than my husband.

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P.O.

answers from Harrisburg on

I think whomever wants the interraction the most. If the parent with small children wants them to see their grandparents more often, they choose to take the trip when they can but if the grandparents want to see them more, they should travel the distance. Either way, there should be a compromise and a mutual understanding.

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T.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I would think it would be equal. I'm sure you don't always like to travel and I'm sure probably don't always want to travel either. Breastfeeding or not if they live 45 miles away your baby should be able to make that trip without any problems.

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T.N.

answers from Albany on

For me it depended on the ocassion when the kids were babies/ preschoolers.
If it were for something very important, an event, baptism, wedding, some milestone party, of course I went. My kids traveled well.
But just for regular visits, well, not really so much. They came to us. Of course when THEY had a baby, we went to them.

Past 5 years or so, everyone in my fam is local! In laws all live in the Northeast, no more than a 3 hour drive so it's no big deal.

:)

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K.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I've NEVER let kids slow me down in travel.

I will admit it's cheaper for me to fly my parents, who live on the other side of the country, to ME rather than spending airfare on 4....

but I will and have traveled with nursing babies. It makes take off and easier if they are at the breast any way!

If my parents only lived 45 miles away - I would go to them. But I see your point about them coming to you as well.....taking turns works well for me!!

4 moms found this helpful

C.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

45 miles? That's not even an hour drive :) I believe it should be equal, more or less, just because gas is so stinkin high! The family should be sensitive that you have small children and a breast-feeding baby though.

And of course, as a mom said below other factors like nap time? baby proofed house or not dangerous?

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J.P.

answers from Stockton on

I think it depends - is the house you are taking these small children to child proof? That is what I find the hardest when we are going places with our kids - it is not the hour long car ride, it is when we get there and I can't sit down for however long we are there because nothing is child friendly and it just is not a very pleasant visit for me. In that case, it is easier for them to come to me. Also - then I don't have to pack up all the things that I may need - diapers, wipees, extra clothes, pack n' play, toys, etc......

Now if I was going to say my brothers house who has a child the same age then it would be different.

But to be honest, I feel it is easier for me when people come to my house. I hate to have to worry about my kids breaking something of someone else's. Even though if a child was to break something at my house, I really wouldn't care, it seems different if it is reversed.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

I guess my response is each family has to decide based on what their dynamic is and what works for them. Schedules vary, etc. I always preferred getting out of the house when my kids were little, so I liked going to visit my mom and dad with the kids 45 minutes away. My mom has never been one to impose guilt trips though, and often came and helped out when my kids were sick and I had to work. Growing up I remember going to visit grandparents more often than they came to our house too. Whether is was "normal" or not I can't say, it is just what we did and I don't remember anyone complaining.

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

If the grandparents are able, and it's safe to do so, they should travel more often (in my humble opinion). Small children and babies need naps etc, and it's just easier to be home.

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Both sets of grandparents have always come to us. They're retired, healthy and it's easier for them to make the trek than us. Luckily, we're all on board w/ that one!

3 moms found this helpful

M.L.

answers from Chicago on

Wow - good question as it resonates w/my family. I live in the Chicago suburbs and my parents live near Springfield (4 hours or so). I used to drive to see them at least a weekend or so each month. When I had one child - even as a baby - I'd travel with him once every other month or so. Now I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Over the past year I've noticed how hard it is to do that on my own. Yes, I am married but my husband doesn't always go with us - either he doesn't want to or something 'comes up.' I have started thinking though that they really should understand it's hard for me so I am not going to come up with excuses etc. Well.....my kids haven't seen their grandparents (my parents) since Christmas.........it's really gotten to me. OK, my dad works weekends and my mom works during the week - she doesn't want to travel by herself and I think he feels that even though he could come up during the week he feels guilty that he'd be coming and she cant'.......anyway - it's frustrating.......

I'm not just saying - they should come, it's their job - however last summer I tried a couple of times (was also breastfeeding and would have to feed my daughter while at a rest area with my son just sittin' inthe back) and they saw how exhausting it was for me......

I guess my vote is - whomever it is easiest for!!!!! I wish my family was only 45 miles away - that's nothin!! :)

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R.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I think if you have really small children that people should just recognize that it is easier for them to come to you. I live about 2 hours from my nearest family member when the boys were little we would go to them a couple times a year but mostly they would come to us because it was just easier for everyone.

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

I would say that the grandparents should come to you more often-not every time, but more often than you go there. They should realize how much work it is for you to pack up and take 3 small kids to their house.

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T.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I think it should be equal. I know that it's hard to travel with small kids, I am right there with you, but it's tiring to travel, for anyone. It can also get expensive and people like to be in their own surroundings, so to me, as equal as possible is better. I also think a 45 mile range is pretty close so it should be do-able for either party, even on short notice. I agree with mamaof3 when she says that she doesn't let her kids slow her down...I try and live by that too. I get up and go and make it work, but yes, I agree with you, you also want to feel that others are willing to do the same for you and if you aren't feeling that it can easily get you down! IF that is your situation, and maybe it's not, I would talk to the parties involved and see if you can work out a plan or rough schedule!

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B.C.

answers from Phoenix on

It usually just works out a certain way because someone is willing to do it and someone is not. We use to live 2.5 hours from my in-laws and we usually made the trip out to see them about 1 every month or two.. BIL and SIL came to our house about 3X in an 8yr period. But the whole family lived near eachother except for us. So we just tended to go to them.

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C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

i think it depends on the family. in some families the dynamic is just "tolerating" each other and each is looking to get out of putting out the effort. in others, everyone does whatever they have to to see family. and most are some mixture in between. there's not one answer, and no one can answer for your family. in my own personal family, we live 30 or 45 minutes away from almost all family - but we are in the nearest big city. so my family comes up here almost as much as we go down there. if it's been awhile, i will get a call from them inviting my son to come visit, and usually then we each do one trip. i take him down, they bring him back. EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT. again, none of us can answer what "should" happen. you will need to discuss this with those involved.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't know, I think a big deal can be made out of anything. Honestly, a 45 min car ride isn't very long at all, so I don't see the big deal in both parties traveling to each other's houses and I have small kids myself. I think if you start keeping track of something so trivial, it's just going to be the beginning of many more problems that will start.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

If that close I think the grandparents should make most of the effort, but there are always special reasons that may not apply.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

I don't think there is a set etiquette for this. If you don't want to leave town to visit relatives, then invite them to you. I'd say, within 45 miles?-- everyone can make a little effort when they want to see each other. I personally find that when we're home, Kiddo's on his turf, has his toys and is comfortable. The toys at the grandparents house, too, are novel. That said, if the Grandparent's house is not set up for younger kids (at least kid-friendly), that's something to consider.

When I was nursing, it was more work, but we did road trips and I just learned to get comfortable nursing in the car on stops. AND we did the in-law visit cross country-- a long flight with a then-9-month old nurser.

I guess people should do what they like, and what works for everyone. My folks live 4 hours away and we've visited about once a year there, and usually another visit annually at another family event. My folks come to us about the same amount.

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N.W.

answers from Eugene on

I love having people over, the more the merrier. So I wish my family came to see us more but we are the only ones in my big family who moved away from Southern California. So we do the traveling. And even tho it's easier because my kids are older now, it gets expensive. Now that my parents are older, too, they've decided not to travel to see us at all so they send me travel money once or twice a year to come see them. Since it's snowing right now at our house and 80 degrees at theirs, I wish I could go visit them right now!

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K.N.

answers from Boston on

My folks and many of my siblings live about an hour away. We do much of the driving (probably about 65% or so) but I kind of figure that's the way it should be. First off, Im the one who chose to move away. I don't see that anyone else should have to be inconvenienced because of a choice my husband & I made willingly (granted, we did moved to be closer to my work and so I wouldn't have anywhere near as long a commute but still, we chose it). Additionally, I kind of figure it's a respect thing. They're the parents/grandparents; we as children/grandchildren do the driving. It was inconvenient when the kids were little (heck, it's STILL inconvenient!!) but to me, that's just the way it works.

For what it's worth, my parents & sibs have never made a big deal of driving here -- and whenever made an issue of driving there. We just do it and make it work.

That's what you do for family...

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