I'm Having Aunt Guilt, What Should I Do?

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"I'm just an auntie who feels bad. Please tell me what you think. My sister had her first baby 2 years ago and I've been there for her and my niece since day 1… I recently have moved 8 hours away with my husband and feel absolutely terrible.. my sister is having her next child In a Few months and I promised I would come home to watch my niece while she's in the hospital which is fine but why do I feel so bad?… Was I selfish to move 8 hours away.. I'm nervous my niece and I won't be so close .. I'm unsure if I made the right decision. (My sister has a learning disability) so she has a hard time keeping up so I've helped her the whole time.. and my family is there to support her but I'm making more money where I am now.. I'm unsure… Should I move back?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"My aunt moved 8 hours away when I was very young. But I can tell you it didn’t hurt our relationship much. I talk to her all the time. She visits several times a year. I know that even 8 hours away she has my back and is here for me no matter what. The love we share isnt dimmed by the distance."

"I loved my favorite aunt even though she lived on another continent and it would be a year or even much more between visits."

"My oldest nephew was born and lived over 6 hours away from me for a good chunk of his life. He would visit a couple times a year. When he was 8 he started coming around more and for the last few years he lived within 30minutes of me. Through all the years, we have been the best of friends. He’s 15 now and we’re still close. Distance means nothing."

"My aunt lives overseas she has since I was born. I am so close to her she is like my sister, her yearly visits are the highlight of my year her being far away had no affect on our relationship and when my mom died she came as soon as she could, she is my best friend no matter the distance. She has helped us all so much from so far and nothing will come between us."

"It’s not selfish of you to do what’s best for your family. You can still have a great relationship with your sister and kids. Is it possible that if she needs more help that she could move to the same area you are in?"

"While I think it would be better if you lived close by, you do need to put yourself and your family first. I think that your relationship with your niece is going to be however you make it. You can still be there for her by calling, FaceTime/zoom, visiting, as long as you’re putting in a effort to love & be there for her then she will know that & you can still be close with her."

"My daughter is 6, she only gets to see my sister about once a year ever since she was born. My sister usually stays for a week and she usually spends 99.9% of her time with my daughter. We also video chat and talk on the phone whenever possible which is not that often because my sister is dealing with mental health and sometimes she’s just not in a place to talk on the phone. My daughter is still very close with my sister and she loves her and always has a great time with my sister. We’ve never had an issue with their bond or with my daughter not remembering my sister. Every time they see each other they’re still two peas in a pod. It’s very hard for my sister not living in the same state and only getting to see her niece once a year but they always make the best of the time and their closeness never decreases. During your time apart just try to video chat talk on the phone send pictures and ask for pictures. When you guys finally get to spend time together just try to make it all about them and try to plan memorable times take lots of pictures with each other and try to get them stuffed animals. My daughter has a stuffed dog from when she was two from my sister and a stuffed flamingo from when she was four and she does not need any reminding of who those came from. She holds those stuffed animals very close to her heart and she never forgets who gave them to her."

"It’s only 8 hrs - there is family near for emergencies- you need to do what’s good for you - no guilt needed."

"You feel bad because your a good sister, but you need to live for you and your family unit not for your sister. You’ve said you’ll go back to help when babies born, you’re still on the end of a phone, she still has other family for support it’s not like you’ve completely abandoned her alone."

"You feel bad I get it, but you have to do what’s best for your and your family. They’re still apart of your life. You may live further now but that’s not going to change the love and bond you have with your niece"

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