For grandchildren, grandma and grandpa represent boundless, unrestricted, expectation-free love. Fun happens at their house. It’s where ice cream gets served for dinner, bedtimes are just a suggestion, and $20 bills mysteriously appear in pockets.
For grandparents, grandkids offer a do-over to relive the best parts of parenthood without the pressures. Their grandchildren bring joy and excitement, reconnect them to youthful wonder, give baggage-free love, and fill them up with purpose and pride.
It’s difficult for everyone when extended families are geographically separated from each other, but it’s especially grueling for grandparents.
This week, Helen Ellis joins us to share her personal story, professional experience, and thought-provoking research on grandparenting from afar. A writer, scholar, and proud grandma, Helen’s Distance Families project brings the grandparent’s perspective to light.
Through her work, Helen exposes the need for heightened empathy. She also reveals creative solutions to help the whole family adapt and fight for these valuable multigenerational relationships.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Why being “seen” matters
- The middle generation’s responsibility
- Absence, presence, and copresence
- The importance of one-on-one time
- Age and increased risk aversion
Listen to the Full Episode:
Important note: In my last episode I promised I’d offer you something FRESH to add energy and focus to your everyday life due to the COVID crisis. That just doesn’t feel in alignment. I am going to hit PAUSE this week, and focus my attention and efforts to follow the lead of anti-racism activists. You can learn more here. Right now as a global community we need all hands on deck.
Featured on the Show:
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
- Helen Ellis’s Facebook Group – Distance Grandparents
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Before we dive into today’s episode, It is imperative to acknowledge our current reality. If you are listening to this now in June 2020 you know what I am talking about. If you are listing to this later, this episode was recorded during nationwide and global protests, an uprise against the murder of black people and police abuse. In recent episodes and on social media I had promised you something FRESH, for you to add energy and focus to your everyday life due to the COVID crisis. Right now, though, that does not feel in alignment. Right now, I am going to hit PAUSE. in my heart I know that what we need right now is all hands on deck. I am going to use that time to reflect on what needs my own urgent attention in terms of my own learning, where I need to be taking action in support of this movement, as well as examining what changes I can make within my power and within my own business. I want to say thank you for sticking with me in this conversation. It is literally a matter of not just justice and dignity – but one of life and death.
Hello. It is 3:30 a.m in New York, 9:30 a.m in Johannesburg and 2:30 p.m in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
In Helen Ellis’s forthcoming book on distance grandparenting, she shares: “I remember deciding to delay cleaning the glass ranch slider door when my family returned home. I wanted to retain the knee-high toddler footprints for just a bit longer. When I saw the footprints and sensed my grandson’s imagery, presence, my feelings of absence and emptiness were both heightened and lessened.” This passage caught my attention because it sounds exactly like a conversation I had with my own mother who said that she waited at least a week to clean the sliding glass doors because the handprints of my son were still there.
Presence and absence at the same time. These are the realities of distance grandparenting. So Helen, thank you so much for joining us. You are the founder of www.distancefamilies.com, a researcher, a scholar, writer and distant grandparent. We are so happy to have you here today on Expat Happy Hour.
Helen: Thank you Sundae. It’s lovely to be here and a really special occasion and I thank you for inviting me.
Sundae: Well, let me tell you a little bit more about Helen. So what I love about Helen is she’s actually not an expat but she totally gets expat life. I’ll tell you a little bit more about her and her family: She and her husband are New Zealanders and Auckland has always been their home. They’ve got 30 plus years together and in their second marriage together, they created a blended family each of them bringing to their union a son and a daughter. Helen is younger than Clive and in the year of their wedding, their children turned 21, 20, 5 and 3. What an amazing blended family that is, to begin with. They went on to have a family that others would describe as not conventional.
These days their children are in their 50s and 30s. Since early in their marriage the children have been on the move. That might sound familiar for some of our listeners. One of them has lived for months or years or even permanently in any one of these places: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, USA, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Sudan, and Pakistan.
Needless to say, they get it – what it feels like to have your family at a distance. Helen and Clive have told their children “you can do anything”, and that’s exactly what they did. My mother told me that she raised me to be independent and that she thinks she did too good of a job.
Helen: I can understand it.
Sundae: So tell us more about you. Thank you so much for being here. This is such a unique perspective. I obviously have the biased opinion of a parent of family at a distance. So my parents are then the grandparents of my children, so I see it through the parent lens. I’m so interested in hearing it from the grandparent lens. So tell us a little bit more about you and what is your motivation behind your research and this book?
Helen: I think the story starts when I decided to put my career to one side for a while. I went back to university for the first time as a mature student and I did a Bachelor of Arts. One of the very last papers I had to do was how to do a research proposal, and we had to pretend that we were going to do our masters, and what we would do our research on. I had no idea. All I felt I knew was something about distance grandparenting. So I suggested that, and my professor who is a distance grandparent herself said that was a fantastic idea. Then I thought “let’s do a little bit of research here.”
I found there was nothing pinned by a New Zealand academic on the subject. Roughly 23% of New Zealand grandparents have grandchildren overseas. So this is crazy. So I figured there was a gap in the market – something needed to be done. So I decided I would do my masters and my topic would be Distance Grandparenting from a New Zealand Standpoint. Also, being an over-productive person, I needed to have a reason why the heck I was doing this. I was taking a year off from any travel, I just wanted to get this thing done as quickly as possible. At about that time I started to really plug into the expat world.
I was listening to podcasts like your own, and others, and reading books, and learning about third culture kids. I started to realize that each generation knew how it was for them, but we all didn’t know how it was for the other generations. I just felt passionate, that by sharing our various experiences, we would each grow in understanding and have empathy for each other’s worlds. It’s not going to solve it, but we can understand better.
So through the masters I then realized it wasn’t just a book about distance grandparenting, It was another book about being a distant son and daughter, and another one about being a distance grandchild. My idea is that everybody reads all the books.
Sundae: That’s so wonderful, I love that! This is one thing you and I have talked about: This is not a how-to book, but rather how it is and by understanding the other’s perspective that will automatically create more empathy and more understanding. What I love about your approach is, if we understand the other perspective, then creatively we will come to find our own solutions. You don’t need to prescribe solutions.
Sundae: So it starts there. The thing is if you are a distant grandparent and you feel seen, like allowed to be seen in how hard that role is, then you feel more willing to be flexible and to see the other. That’s the way I’m guessing because I feel like when I’ve been a distant parent or daughter, with my children to my parents, there have been so many times where I’ve been in the position where I’m like “do you see me?”, “do you see what I do?” I have to give kudos to my parents because there have been many times where they’ve said, “thank you for coming all this way, we so much appreciate the distance that you make, we so much appreciate the financial investment.” That need to be seen is so important and when I reflect on it, I don’t know how active I have been in truly seeing my parents and their role as distance grandparents.
Helen: I think we all want to be accepted and just be understood a little bit more. There’s so much to be gained for sure.
Sundae: I was lucky to have a sneak peek at some of your work and there were three concepts that came out there. There was one of absence, presence and co-presence. Can you share more about that?
Helen: I think it was a void. You can’t avoid it. You know when you are miles and miles away, and your time zone is different. There was this big gap and you can’t escape it, and that is the absence of what’s missing. The co-presence is when we can connect via technology and we sort of connect in the cloud. We have this sort of weird place that we meet and it can be in the form of a video call.
We have different types of ways that we are present with each other and also present with each other in different places. The places of distance family is not just in your lounge room, it could be in the holiday where we meet somewhere else or a central place that you meet and have a holiday or vacation together. It could be in the home of your distance family. It could be in your home. We do distance grandparenting in our empty home, with the bedrooms that we walk past all the time that hardly get slept in. So we do it in a full house, we do it in an empty house, we go to visit our kids in their full house, and this is an absence and a presence that keeps on coming and going.
When the family leaves, you’ve got those smells of something that’s left. There’s a presence of something that’s left like the fingerprints on the glass door.
Sundae: It totally caught me! You said “absence and presence for distance grandparents are either all on or all off. There is rarely a middle of the road in between us. It can be both joy-filled while exhausting than hollow and lonely.” I watched my mother do that. She has this very clean house and everything is in its order and then I come through like a tornado with my two young active boys and everything gets put upside down and it’s this whirlwind. Even for four weeks, we come in the summer and then suddenly we’re gone and it’s silent. She always talks about the silence and then she’ll find a sock under the bed and it will bring sadness. It is a reminder of the void.
Helen: And what do you do with the sock?
Sundae: My mom has this little shrine. When she came over to Switzerland we had the babies and there was one of the tiny clothes that they wear, like a baby sock. She took one of those home and I think she added it to her shrine.
Helen: And I bet she doesn’t wash it either.
Sundae: No, because she wants to smell it because it smells like the boys. This is what about seeing. I didn’t see this. Obviously, I’ve observed it, but when you named it, I was able to see it. In the communication literature, we talk about emotional labor – how people in the service industry, who wait tables have emotional labor. They need to act happy and kind even if they’re having a bad day. It’s a high emotional labor position.
There’s emotional labor in being a grandparent because you need to pretend like you’re happy because you are, but you’re also sad at the same time, or overwhelmed, or needing space. What do you know from your research? What have you noticed?
Helen: I’ve noticed that everybody has to come to a place of acceptance. I described it like telling your kids they have to eat their veggies. You don’t have to like them. You just have to eat them. You don’t really like distance grandparenting. You don’t have to like the fact that this is what’s happened in your world. You just have to accept it, because that’s what your kids want. You need to come to a place of acceptance. That’s what I found, it was a consistent finding all the time – We just have to accept it. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back and then things happen in the world like they have just recently and it gets tricky. The key is finding that you have to come to a place of acceptance. Once you’ve got there like you said before, you can then get to a place of being a little bit more creative because you’re not resenting, you’re going “how can we make this work, what’s the best time of the day to ring you and let’s get some systems” and you feel like you maybe got a little bit of control at this thing that’s been thrown at you.
Sundae: That’s great. I remember the moment that I watched my parents come to more acceptance about us being abroad. We were at my sister’s wedding in Puerto Rico and my parents were talking to their best friends from ages ago since I was born. They said to my parents “you don’t know how lucky you are because you get to spend so much time with your grandkids” and they said “what do you mean, your grandkids live in the United States and so do you” and they said “our kids only come with the grandkids every once in a while for a birthday or a quick weekend, they don’t get to spend four weeks with us” and it was that aha moment for my parents, they realize that the fact that we were broad, enabled us to actually spend more intensive intimate time together, than had we lived in the same state.
Helen: True. It’s absolutely true.
Sundae: Let’s talk about now, because this recording is done at the very start of June 2020, after we’re watching protests go down in the United States and people are dealing with COVID-19. There’s so much going on in the world right now that is unnerving and disruptive, and our hearts are aching, and when that happens we want to be with our loved ones. So say more about how world events, like now, impact maybe you personally as a distance grandparent, or those that you’ve done your research with.
Helen: I think right now, I can certainly speak from my own perspective. We have one [child] in the UK who is pretty safe. But, my son and my daughter live in the United States. My son is in Chicago and he is 400 yards from the barrier where they have closed off the city and it’s pretty scary. My daughter is in Atlanta and she works with the Centers for Disease Control, so that’s an interesting connection. I spoke with my son this morning and he’s a pretty tough cookie, but he was pretty put out, but he’s not talking about him coming back to New Zealand.
He’s engaged to a lovely American girl, and even if he could physically come back to New Zealand (New Zealand is letting New Zealanders come back if they can get a fight) his fiance could not come back. She would not be allowed here. So it’s pretty confusing. They’re getting married in June next year and we have no idea if we’ll get to the wedding. My daughter in Atlanta and her little kids are already booked to come and visit us at Christmas time which is a big deal but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
None of us in this world of distance families know when we are going to see our family face-to-face.
Sundae: I’m with you! I should actually be on an airplane this Friday and I’m not getting on that airplane to see my family, which I’ve done every year for the last 21 years. I have only missed once or twice because I was too pregnant to fly. My parents are supposed to be coming to South Africa this Christmas, to our summer in South Africa and that doesn’t feel very likely. Here is the thing, we all agree to this distance parenting and distance grandparenting business because we can hop on the airplane. Well those of us who have enough resources and privilege. There are many, many families I know in West Africa, who once you go, you come back once every 10 years. So not everybody has that privilege or access, but the many expats on our rotational assignments, through their corporation or through their ministry have that ability to see their family regularly and predictably. When that’s taken away from you it kind of makes you wonder whether all of this is worth it.
Helen: I think that’s a very relevant point. We said “no travel in 2019” so my reward was “hand in that thesis and get on a plane” and we were booked to go and see my family in the United States on the 27th of March – that was not a good day. Our son was due to come down afterwards, so everything is up in the air and I think it would be absolutely right to question “is this really a good idea?” Maybe people will make some changes on the way they think about the future and whether they want to continue.
Sundae: I’m someone who says “let’s live abroad without regrets”, so what I really focus on is “how do we do this?” with the current limitations, “how do we do this without regret?” What we do have control over, is how we connect with the technological means that we have, until we can see each other. I had a Zoom call with my nuclear family (my mother, my father, my sister and my brother) and it was hysterical because I’ve never been on a Zoom call with my family before. For me Zoom is work-related, so it was really fun. It was a new memory to make.
So I want to just touch on a couple other themes. I just want to reiterate even though it’s hard, I think we have control over how we show up during these unusual circumstances. This is temporary, it’s not long-term and I’m committed to finding a way to make it work. I want to also, at the same time, acknowledge that it’s hard. So I’m curious to hear from you: one of the things that I’ve noticed with my own family is there is this desire to know that they’re not forgotten. So, for example, my mother will say “do the boys ever ask about me or do they ever talk about us?” or even when they were younger they would wonder if they know who Grandma and Grandpa are.
It’s always been a resounding “yes”, but I’ve noticed a desire to not be forgotten, or a desire to be known. Do you see that with other people in your research?
Helen: It wasn’t something that really jumped out. A good number of my participants were actually very new to the distance grandparenting thing and they had babies and toddlers the other side of the world. So that’s a different kind of connection when they’re so young. Then others had older ones and once the older, you know that they’re thinking about you and we’ve got some proof about it. So it wasn’t something that came out really, but I could quite understand it.
My daughter, for example, will dial-up and I’ll be there with her three and five year old. I come on the phone and they get the grandparents mixed up, they call me the other grandmother and I don’t have any problem with that. The poor kids are talking with these phones all the time. So no, I don’t have that feeling myself because I just think “it is what it is” Once you’ve got a toddler that’s been in your home or you’ve been in their home, they don’t forget you. They’ll never forget you. So if you keep working at it, they don’t forget you but they probably don’t bring you up in conversations very much and that’s just the way it is.
Sundae: I’ve just noticed with my kids that when we have that intense interaction for four weeks in Summer, It’s like deeply embedded in my boys and they talk about Grandma and Grandpa all the time. It’s the quality of that experience, it enters deep into them, and that’s where I retain confidence., We had for a while been living near one set of grandparents and away from another set and they’re just different, they love them both. They just engage differently, and the kids are not holding back love because of the way that they’re engaged with, they just accept it as it is.
So there’s a theme of acceptance that I’m seeing here, from the child side and from the grandparent side. I have a hunch that it’s hard for the parent to accept something. So here’s what I see with my clients: there’s some resentment when they’re always the one going to the grandparents. It’s the grandparents that have maybe more money or more time than the dual working parents with their small children. So there is some resentment that comes up with parents saying “I wish that Grandma and Grandpa would come to us more”, “why aren’t they coming to us more?” I don’t know if you’ve learned that in your research at all and if that’s a thing that you see.
Helen: I’m not an expert at this yet but I think there might be something cultural there. New Zealanders live so far away from the rest of the world, traveling is in our DNA. We all travel, so you know all my grandparents traveled. When I mixed with distance grandparents, conversations are about frequent flyer programs, noise-canceling headphones and that sort of thing. We New Zealanders fly a lot.
Sundae: Right. So people who are from an area will travel within your country, but those outside of your country are like “you’re the ones who left so you come to see us” It could be a mindset around “what is normal travel.”
Helen: All the people that I researched, with all their children, were in regular Western countries, as in England, America and Germany. So they were not going to potentially dangerous destinations that maybe make expats who are involved in NGOs or other humanitarian aid work less appealing destinations for people who are not well-travelled.
New Zealanders as a bunch, will get on a plane. When I owned a travel company for 11 years, I had been in the travel industry for a long time. I had my own business for quite a long time and it was through the time of 9/11 and SARS and Foot and Mouth Disease – I mean just one problem after another and it was always the New Zealanders, Australians and South Africans who got on the plane quickly. When everything happened and everybody started canceling their flights, it was those cultures that got on the plane first. So there could be something culturally here, as to the direction, and maybe it could also relate to whether the positions that the sons and daughters hold are ones that provide travel back in the Northern hemisphere’s Summer.
Sundae: I think it goes back to understanding, which we spoke about in the beginning. For example, for me to live in West Africa or South Africa or Switzerland, it hasn’t been a huge paradigm shift, but for my parents, that was kind of mind-blowing. So when I think from my perspective “let’s live anywhere on the planet as long as we have Wi-Fi and my kids. are relatively safe” it’s different from maybe my parent’s Paradigm.
So I think it goes back to understanding: to see where they’re coming from and get that maybe this is a huge paradigm shift. One of the things is that I’ve been abroad for 21 years. So what feels normal to me might feel like a big stretch for other people.
Helen: Absolutely. It’s so out of their comfort zone, they would be miserable because they’re so out of the comfort zone.
Sundae: Well, and I don’t know if this is true, this could be a stereotype, but I noticed for myself as I’ve aged, when I was 20, I would jump from a cliff, into water and I wouldn’t hesitate about it. Now I’m in my 40s. I’m like, “I don’t know, I’m more risk-averse.” I don’t know if it also has to do with risk aversion, about doing something new. Would that also play a role?
Sundae: So I’m just curious, there’s one other thing that’s kind of on my mind and that I’ve noticed for my clients and it’s whose responsibility is it to navigate the relationships with the grandchildren? I feel like there’s one camp that’s like “listen. they’re your grandkids if you want a relationship with them you make an effort” and then there’s this other camp which says “I’m the one who is in between the grandparents and the grandchild. So it’s my job to navigate that relationship.” I’m curious what you’ve learned from the people you’ve interviewed and how they see their responsibility to connect.
Helen: Well, the grandparents absolutely see that they have a responsibility to be the best grandparents that you can possibly be, given the circumstances. My experience is that they will move mountains to do that. It is very important for the middle generation to realize that they are the ones that make it possible. They’re the gate openers or the gatekeepers. We would be on the phone every day if it was convenient or the time zones worked or whatever. We will rearrange our life, we will get up early because it’s the time you’re up. We will go to bed late and talk on the phone, but if the family is busy doing what they’re doing and it can’t be managed, well then we can’t connect.
I suppose from A New Zealanders perspective we’re willing to get on a plane (assuming we’re not too old) and we’re willing to spend the money if we can afford it. We will go and visit, but keeping that communication up in between, we’ll need the middle generation to make it feasible.
Sundae: I’m hearing are you a gate opener or a gatekeeper? I know from my clients that they’re trying to keep a gate open, but see some rigidity in the grandparent’s schedules and routines. So I know that there’s two sides of that depending on the family, and of course the culture, time zones, all of those things.
interesting conversation. You said your work is around presenting what is rather than how-to, but I’m just curious if we can explore a little bit. Based on what you know, maybe there are some kernels of learning here on how. What do you think every grandparent wishes the parent knew about grandparenting at a distance?
Helen: That there’s a big grief. There’s a lot of grief that you go through to make that adjustment. To just keep working at it, be positive about working at it, and remember them and put them in the routine so that the connections can be made. Depending on the distances between the family’s time zones, it can be incredibly, incredibly imposing. If you’re only an hour difference, you can’t compare a distance family experience when you only got a couple of hours difference. When you’ve got a big distance it takes work. So I think that it’s important to realize that there is grief and there’s a loss
Once, my participants said something to me and I thought it was an amazing line. They live here obviously and they are a bit too old to travel now. It’s just too hard for them, but they have traveled an awful lot, and their family live in Germany. Their son is in Germany and their German daughter-in-law. This is important, they always say to my participants “Mom and Dad, there will always be money for an airfare” and what they mean by that is, if something’s happening at home in New Zealand and you need us, we will find that airfare.
So, I guess to answer your question “what would you love them to know?” If anyone’s living overseas and they could say to their mom and dad “there will always be an airfare”, that’s a really powerful thing. A very comforting thing to say to their parents and obviously for some people they could not make that statement but it’s made on the basis of somehow, “we’ll figure it out, stick it on the credit card or whatever, we will be there for you.” I think to answer your question, “what would be something you would love to say to them?” and I think that would be it.
Sundae: Yeah, it’s powerful. It’s basically seeing “you’re so important to us, we will find a way.”
Helen: Yes, “we will find a way.”
Sundae: What other sort of insight do you have, maybe even surprises that came up from the research that you can offer to help this connection stay strong. I kind of see it like a chain. You’ve got the grandparents that are linked to the parents, and that are linked to the grandchildren. Any ideas on how to keep that connection strong from any direction?
Helen: One I could suggest is from my personal experience and it definitely came out of my research. It’s what I call “alone time is the greatest gift.” When you are a distance family, you get on Skype and there’s a whole crowd of you in the room and there’s kids screaming and it’s very noisy and you’re doing your best to say “hello.” Or, even when you are together and they come visit you or you go and visit them, there’s a lot of dynamics, there’s kids, there’s people and you’re all together. What the grandparents really crave is one on one time, it doesn’t matter whether it’s their daughter, their son, their daughter-in-law, son-in-law, each grandchild.
They just want occasions where you could just be with them, because if you have to take it back to the experience that they’re probably having back at home, where maybe they do have their grandchildren down the road. I mean I have a granddaughter here and often I’ll get asked “could you pick her up from school, or drop here, or drop her there” it’s no problem. We have a fabulous time in the car, we have great conversations. I don’t get that with my teenage grandchildren overseas, because when we visit there’s a whole bunch of us and we’re all in the house together, and there’s that dynamic.
So I think working on having one-on-one conversation. So when they’re little toddlers, actually giving up that time once you’ve got those kids in bed, devote time to your mom or your dad and give them that time. Just a really good chat, because it’s so different.
Sundae: I will be in the airplane, we haven’t even landed yet and my kids will go “Mom, when are you going on your business trip so we can be with Grandma and Grandpa?” They are hungry for it, they want that attention. They don’t want mom to put in all the rules and limits. They want to be spoiled and all of them just want me to get out of the house so that they can be with each other.
So I love that. Just taking that to the awareness on the one-to-one level, whether it’s parent to grandparent, grandchild to grandparent, whatever dynamic that is, creating an opportunity to be one-to-one. I think that’s wonderful. So I know that our time is coming short, but I want people to know where they can find you and how they can help in your research.
What we do know is we can go to www.distantfamilies.com that will be in the show notes as well. But how can we find out more, or how can we help with your research project?
Helen: Well, I have an unusual request. I am asking distance families of all generations, grandparents, sons, daughters and grandchildren, I’m asking for your stories. I know it’s a big ask, but I want your true stories so that we learn and we can understand. I want this to be a global book, I want everybody from all over the place. So on my website, I am asking for your stories and right now the first book I’m working on, well on all three books at the same time, but right now I’m particularly focused on the distance grandparenting book.
I’m going to be setting up on my website some Zoom conversations that your parents who are listening, can plug into and we can have a great conversation. I’ve set it up with different time zones and they can dive in and meet some new people from around the world to just share your experiences.
That’s the way (with their permission), I can maybe share some of those stories. That’s a new initiative that’s happening right now and you’ll be able to find that on the website. So I welcome stories, I welcome connections, I welcome dialing someone up anywhere to have a chat. I welcome someone sending their own stories and then we can really produce some diverse conversations on these books.
Sundae: That’s wonderful. I know I’ve got some grannies in my group, who’ve asked me “you always talk about parenting, what about grandparenting?” So they’re going to be really happy to hear this and lots and lots of parents in this group. I think the parent and grandparent approach can be reached through Expat Happy Hour. If you’re a parent, forward this podcast to the grandparents, so that they can feel seen and heard and you can create a dialogue around your experience and listen to there’s. If you’re a grandparent, consider the opportunity of taking part in this research, so that you can add your story and expand that awareness and keep the conversation going.
I’ll put the link on the show notes. Helen, thank you so much for your time today. I think this is a topic we don’t talk about, I think people hold this in their heart sometimes with resentment, sometimes with uncertainty, and what I’m taking away from our conversation today is to create more space for acceptance and understanding so that we can find more creative strategies.
Helen: Absolutely. Thank you very much for this opportunity. I really enjoyed it.
Sundae: It’s wonderful having you. Everybody, thank you for listening.
You’ve been listening to expat happy hour with Sunday Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening. All right, I’ll leave you with a quote that I found around grandparents that resonated from the perspective of my own children.
The anonymous quote is: “grandparents are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know, they’re there.”
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