No idea what to do or say for the best re move overseas....

(110 Posts)
Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 10:10:10

This is probably more a wwyd but it looks ever so quiet in there!

The facts:

I am 12 weeks pregnant, and have ds who's 2.5. I'm a SAHM.

Dh works very hard in a good job and earns good money. However, he works long hours, often has a massive commute (we live in the midlands, close to his family, but he spends a lot of time in London) he is usually away at least 2 nights a week. He has hated his job for a while now, his boss (who owns the company) is, shall we say, somewhat eccentric, very demanding of dh, and frequently ridiculously unreasonable. Dh (and a number of his colleagues) have very serious concerns that the company may go under soon.

Dh has been approached re a new job. He hasn't had an offer yet, but he has been for an interview and is fairly sure that they would like to make him an offer. New job is just what dh would like to do, massive and very secure company, regular hours with v little travel, excellent pay. Oh..... And based in Dubai.

He has been looking for other jobs in London/where we live, but has not found anything comparable to either the potential job or his current role.

Dh wants to go to Dubai. However, he's basically said its up to me, as I'm the one who'd have to make a new life over there.

I don't want to go. I'm terrified of losing family support, my friends, of having a baby abroad, of being so far from everyone, of trying to sort out a life for ds over there. this is not helped by the fact that I've been so sick and so tired for the last 6 weeks or so now and feeling like utter shit form the pregnancy. Also terrified of having 2 and being all alone abroad - I find it hard enough with 1 sometimes!!

In addition, it would break my mums heart, my brother already lives overseas. She and my dad are divorced and she is on her own.

I also have dsd8, and I don't think dh has properly thought through how that would work either.

I know it may all be irrelevant, there has been no offer as yet, but dh is supposed to be meeting someone v senior in the company next week, and is talking about cancelling it as I'm obviously not keen.

I don't know what to do! I am considering suggesting that I stay here and see how that works to begin with.... I don't think dh would be very happy with that though.....

Euphemia Sun 23-Mar-14 10:12:43

Don't go. Tell him your reasons now, before he takes this any further. Don't go.

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 10:16:20

He is convinced he's going to be out of a job soon though....

corduroyslacks Sun 23-Mar-14 10:17:24

I have lived abroad for the past 16 years. We left when I was in my 20's and we lived in 3 different countries. It has been the best time in my whole life. The things I have seen and done are amazing. The money we have saved is wonderful. The people I have met and been friends with are unbelievable.

Living in Dubai will be very different but it will have it's major pluses. You will be able to afford live in or part time help as a lot of ladies from places like the Philippines go to work there as live in helpers. Most expats in Dubai leave for the whole summer and go back to the UK due to the heat. Your mum could also come out to see you during the other months and she would have a great time in the warmth. You will be able to take her to great places like Muscat.

I know lots of ex-expats from Dubai and they LOVED living there. What you will find is that the expats are very friendly and helpful and will be your support network. My parents and PIL have all said that they have loved the travelling they have done to see us and the surrounding areas. One thing I would not do OP is let your DH go there alone and you stay behind to keep your mum happy. This is really not a very good idea.

Kinraddie Sun 23-Mar-14 10:19:19

Up until the point where I read about the DSD, I would have said Go, you won't regret it. When your kids are young, you can do these things. You will find a welcoming and open expat community there and you wouldn't be alone. These friends quickly become like family. I moved abroad a few years ago with my husbands job, and I felt all those things too, but it was the best thing we ever did. But, you are right, how will it work with your DSD? It's not fair to leave her in the UK if your husband has regular contact with her.

GreenLandsOfHome Sun 23-Mar-14 10:20:33

Is this for ever? Or could it be a temporary position?

We are actually planning on moving abroad next year (Malta). I've been offered a position there with my company, next March when a new department opens.

So the kids (6 and 4) will stay in their school until the Xmas Holidays, then we'll move in the New Year.

However, I don't want to 'live' there permanently. We're looking at it as a huge adventure - the dc are very excited too. We'll probably stay 2 years then move back. I've been told that the option will always be there for me to be transferred home. If we end up loving it, we may stay, who knows...but looking at it as an adventure/extended holiday is the only way I can deal with not getting sucked into thoughts of how I'll miss family and friends.

corduroyslacks Sun 23-Mar-14 10:21:19

Agree with Kin that it depends on the contact. The stepdaughter may love coming over for long holidays though. She would have a brilliant time.

Hoppinggreen Sun 23-Mar-14 10:23:06

I'm not going to tell you what to do because it's your decision but a few things to consider.
You won't be a alone, your DH will be there
You will have domestic help
Your mum can visit and you can come back to The UK often
There are pots of other people in the same position so you should make friends
It will be easier for your DH - what if existing company does go bust?
The children are young enough, it would be harder if they were at school
Will DH resent you if you say no?
Better lifestyle - there's a reason people go there on holiday!!!
There is a living overseas section on MN, have a look on there, you will get lots of advice from ladies who have done what you are considering. Also look on some Dubai expat forums.
Good luck whatever you choose.

mateysmum Sun 23-Mar-14 10:23:17

You're feeling sick, tired and emotional and are finding it hard to deal with this extra stress, but I think you need to take a deep breath and consider it as rationally as you can.

I lived in Dubai for years and of course you will get plenty of people on here saying don't go because of human rights abuses/shallow lifestyle etc. But I would disagree.

Yes you will be away from family, but it is a great place to make a life for yourself with a young family. You will be able to have help in the house and there are really strong networks of expat women there. No expats have family to hand, so your friends become your family and support each other in all sorts of ways.

Healthcare is pretty good and there are lots of places for young mums to meet. You won't be alone for long!

Also, there are numerous flights a day to and from the UK. Your mum can come and stay. In the winter the weather is great and in the summer when it's too hot, you will probably come back here for a few weeks.

Sure, there are challenges in Dubai, but you could make it work provided DH gets the right financial package. You need to make sure school fees, rent private healthcare are all accounted for. Go on www.expatwoman.com for loads of information about the cost of living.

All I'm saying is don't just dismiss it. The alternative might be an unhappy/unemployed DH.

Good Luck whatever you decide.

mateysmum Sun 23-Mar-14 10:25:27

Ah - lots of cross posting, all of us saying similar things OP, so we must be talking sense grin.

chesterberry Sun 23-Mar-14 10:26:14

Don't go if you think you'll be unhappy. Moving to a completely different country and culture away from all of your friends and family is a monumental decision and I think needs to be something you want to do because you think it will be best for your family and something you all will benefit from rather than purely because it will be ideal for DH.

That said I wouldn't write the idea off completely without doing a little research on the area and at least considering whether it may be somewhere you could live. I have a friend whose DH was recently relocated to the UAE, she went with him and found there are a lot of British expats out there and she has quickly found friends, that said she and her DH have no DC yet so it was less of a risk for them. If you have the time and money to do so then I would suggest you go out there together for a week's holiday to see if you can picture yourself living out there but I appreciate that may not be possible.

I also think it is unfair for your DH to put the entire decision on you - he may think he is doing the right thing in letting you decide but it puts a lot of pressure on you including all of the anxiety of making the 'wrong' decision or having your partner resent your choice. This is a big decision for your family and I think the two of you need to sit down together and both discuss what life would look like for your family if you go, and what it will look like if you stay. You both need to outline clearly what you would prefer to do and then come to an agreed decision about whether you all relocate, whether you all stay or whether he does go out there alone for a time. But make sure it is a joint decision you have agreed on having weighed up the pros and cons for each of you, including your DS and DSD.

Good luck making your decision.

Bearbehind Sun 23-Mar-14 10:35:47

If you don't want to do it at all then ask your DH to pull out from the process but if you even have a tiny bit of you that wants to consider it you really can't do anything until the job offer is on the table.

I have looked very seriously into living in Dubai and, whilst it's tax free and salaries are generally high, the old days of fabulous expat packages are few and far between now.

If accommodation isn't included in your DH's package you'll likely have to stump up a years rent in advance (at least £12k).

School fees are high and there is no state option and the cost of living is generally higher than in the UK.

All this means that you'll potentially end up in a worse financial position in a place you don't want to be.

Bearbehind Sun 23-Mar-14 10:48:20

Meant to add, in your position now I wouldn't do or say anything.

If you rule it out now it could cause resentment.

He might not even get the job and if he does but the package isn't good enough to be financially viable then he'll have to turn it down without you making the decision.

If it is a fabulous package then it might be a wonderful opportunity for you all and at that stage you'll need to do some serious thinking.

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 10:57:51

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. A few weeks ago when I was not feeling quite so awful I was far more open to the idea, mainly for what it would mean for the future. I did have a look on expat forum, and what they are offering dh is good (although it doesn't include accommodation) one of the reasons we would be doing this is to save money, and while we haven't done exact sums, I think if we were careful over there we would be able to save in the region of 30-40k per year.

We would be going over there with an initial view of maybe doing it for 5 years or so.

I think the thing that I see as the biggest positive though is that when I say it's a good job, I mean it's really a GOOD job. Very senior, so much potential. Regardless of how much money we managed to save I think it would stand him in extremely good stead for work when we returned.

I think I'm not the right person to make the decision at present. I'm hormonal, tired and sick. The thought of moving like that scares me witless. We moved areas when I was heavily pregnant with ds and that was enough effort!

Bearbehind Sun 23-Mar-14 11:07:00

Wow, if you honestly think you'll be able to save that kind of money it must be a pretty amazing job opportunity.

Kind of makes me wonder why he can't look for something different in the UK as from your OP, it sounded like it was the Dubai job or potentially no job.

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:10:38

I think, bearbehind, that financially this is one of those once in a life time opportunities. Dh is very good at what he does, but the field in which he has practical experience is limited. In addition, he has years and years of experience but not necessarily the qualifications you would expect. He has looked in to obtaining some of theses qualifications which would open up more uk opportunities, but they are expensive and take a long time. He was toying with the idea of getting his current company to pay for him to do this, but as I mentioned, there are substantial concerns about the future there.....

GertTheFlirt Sun 23-Mar-14 11:16:41

I would say go - go now - and you will still have the house in the UK to come back to. two years in somewhere like Dubai and you're made for life. I have colleagues who have done it and never looked back. With small families too. The standard of education in the British schools is far higher than here.

DSD - not a problem so long as her mother plays ball. There are 13 weeks school holidays - no reason why she cant fly out and spend them with you. It would probably be a better quality of time than she gets already.

Do it!

Bearbehind Sun 23-Mar-14 11:17:39

It does sound like a fabulous opportunity OP. I'm guessing you might not want to disclose the salary he has been offered but unless it's significantly more than £100k a year you will struggle to save £30/£40k after funding even a modest lifestyle in Dubai.

If it is much more then, as others have said, your mum can visit, you can go back home, it's less than 7 hours flights and most major UK airport have at least 2 direct flights a day

batteryhen Sun 23-Mar-14 11:23:03

Hi OP. I'm in a similar position. DH has been offered a job abroad for 2 years. In my heart I don't want to go. I have a 19 month old Ds and a part time job I love. It's my job that is really holding me back. For the first time ever I love going to work and I know I won't get this type of job when I get back.
However, we will go. I love my job but it's important to me that we go as a family. I want Ds to have the next 2 years knowing his daddy and us all being together as a family. I just hope we enjoy it as we are going a bit further afield than Dubai so not very easy to come home for a visit.

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:23:54

It's in that region bearbehind smile it's a lot of money. I think dh is even more optimistic about how much we could save, but I am trying to be more realistic. But even if it was only 20k it would still end up being a decent amount of money, certainly more than we'd ever dream of saving here.

But I suppose regardless of saving any money at all, I just feel this job would open so many doors for him work wise that it would almost be worth it just for that.

batteryhen Sun 23-Mar-14 11:24:11

Oh and I have 2 DSCs too.

mateysmum Sun 23-Mar-14 11:25:33

OP do make sure you work out the finances carefully. Dubai is not a cheap place to live and there are a lot of up front costs. Accommodation is expensive and the norm is for rent to be paid a year up front - or 2 cheques if you are lucky. For a 3 bed house in a decent area, you could be looking at around 180 000dhs p.a = thats about £30,000. Have a look at dubizzle.com.

Also once your DS gets to school age, school fees are considerable. Expatwoman has lots on this.

Private healthcare is essential and this may not include your upcoming birth, so that needs to be carefully researched and costed. Private healthcare is run on the American system and can be expensive.

You will need to buy 2 cars. Motoring is way cheaper in the UAE - petrol is about 20% of the UK cost and cars are also cheaper, but it is another up front cost you need to consider.

You really need to do a proper budget to check that you can save as much as you expect.

We saved lots, but first went there more than 10yrs ago when expat packages were more generous.

You will of course save on tax, but think about how your pension will be affected and you may want to still save for this. Dubai firms do not run pensions, you get a gratuity at then end of service instead.

Make sure DH reads any conditions of employment very carefully - eg. re paid flights home for family, severance conditions etc. What will they pay to ship your possessions out.

Not trying to scare you at all, but the move will only work if it is financially viable and that is quite a complex thing to work out. Don't just look at the salary and think WOW.

Bearbehind Sun 23-Mar-14 11:28:05

It sounds like deep down in your mind you know what the best thing for your family will be, you just need to convince your heart now.

I'd read that your DC1 was 5, not 2.5, not having school fees to start with will make a huge difference in what you can save.

Good luck

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:28:11

Batteryhen, for me it's being pregnant that's the big issue. If it was just us and ds I think I'd be quite up for it. It's hard isn't it. I'm still circling round suggesting that dh goes alone and we see what happens.....

Oh and re dsd, I am not sure what her mum will do to be honest. We took her away for 2.5 weeks last year and her mum really struggled with it and said no more than a week at a time in future!! I know that will (or should) change as dsd gets older, but equally I'm not sure that dsd would want to spend vast amounts of time away from her mum and brother.

Tory79 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:33:12

Batteryhen, how old are your dsc and what are your plans in terms of seeing them?

Matey, we have looked in to some of this, company will cover advance rent as a loan. They pay an allowance for school fees in addition to salary, by my estimation it would cover about 75%. We would definitely continue to pay into dh's private pension. Healthcare is included but yes we would need to look at the details. Although I would still prefer to have the baby here I think.....

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