To think that I could happily leave family behind without a second thought?

(109 Posts)
shrimponastick Sat 19-Jan-13 16:57:35

Just been watching Wanted Down Under Revisited.

Obviously it is a great show - you get to see a bit of each region, find out about the way of life etc. But the bit which gets my goat is the dvd showing the distraught family members 'back home' saying how much they will miss the grand kids etc. Everyone gets upset.

So, am I wrong in thinking that if I/We wanted to go and live elsewhere in the near future that I wouldn't miss my family/friends?

Are we supposed to live in our families' pockets and see them every day?

I would want to take DH and DS - the rest I can take or leave.

Am I the only one??

We moved - for DH's job- 70 miles further from our nearest relative and live 4hours minimum from the rest of our families. I do miss having my friends/family but with the internet and Skype you're never really far away from family!

I know my IL's and my mum miss seeing the DC but it's not as if we were in each others pockets in the first place.

ceres Sat 19-Jan-13 17:08:49

i wouldn't consider moving anywhere too far away.

i'm irish and lived in england for years - always with the view of moving home eventually because of wanting to be near my family.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 19-Jan-13 17:13:05

I'd miss them to bits but it wouldn't stop me moving for a better life.
So YABU and YANBU.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 17:15:01

"I would want to take DH and DS - the rest I can take or leave."

I pity you.

Ruprekt Sat 19-Jan-13 17:16:42

I live 200 miles away from mine and do not miss any of them at all.

Tis nice to meet up but great to get home again.

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 17:17:48

That's a shame. Your poor mammy. sad

TraineeBabyCatcher Sat 19-Jan-13 17:18:08

I have a very good relationship with my family but I would have no qualms moving from the UK to the other side of the world so long as I had ds and dp with me, and a good means of contact.
Dp on the other hand, I think, is still attached to the umbilical cord and would never cope.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Sat 19-Jan-13 17:19:24

How sad that you can take or leave your family and friends and wouldn't miss them. Like AThingInYourLife I pity you, I really do.

Ragwort Sat 19-Jan-13 17:24:53

My parents happily moved 300 miles away from their own (grown up) children grin - for the last 20 years I haven't lived near any family members, it would be nice (in some ways) to be nearer family especially for babysitting but I find it a little odd that so many adult families almost live in each others' pockets IYSWIM. (Just look at some of the bizarre threads on mumsnet !) Now my own son is growing up I would want him to take every opportunity that life offers him and if that means moving to Australia then so be it; I would be glad I had bought him up to be confident. smile.

Celticlassie Sat 19-Jan-13 17:25:07

I'd really miss family and friends - I don't think I could move.

WidowWadman Sat 19-Jan-13 17:26:51

When I moved abroad (nowhere near as far as Australia but just from Germany to the UK) it hurt me to leave my family and friends behind, and it hurt them that I left. I knew it was the right decision and I've got no regrets, and they were all genuinly happy for me, but of course it hurts, and of course I miss them, and no matter how happy I'm here, and how much skype, facebook, phone and holiday help, it's not that easy to leave, and I'd find it really weird if it was.

I'd be quite upset, if noone was sad at seeing me leave, too.

That said, I had no idea how hard it is, until it became reality.

Pandemoniaa Sat 19-Jan-13 17:26:52

2 out of our combined 5 dcs work and live outside the UK for most of the time. My ds1 is likely to settle permanently in the USA. We would never dream of putting pressure on them to stay in England but while we mightn't be distraught or devastated we miss them nonetheless because we love them. I hadn't realised this was abnormal.

blueraincoat Sat 19-Jan-13 17:27:06

What is all this pitying going on? How patronising! The OP doesn't need to see her family all the time, so what? doesn't mean she loves them any less than all those people who pop in and out of their families houses everyday. Families are different, people are different.

thegreylady Sat 19-Jan-13 17:30:06

My son lives in Turkey and he has a great life there. I miss him and his family very much but I am also glad he has found success and happiness.

TraineeBabyCatcher Sat 19-Jan-13 17:31:24

I was thinking the same bluerain. Why pity people who are perfectly happy individuals, who love and care about people important to them, just because they don't have the same sort of relationships/attachments as others.
I know I don't have the same requirement to see my family as dp does his but I don't think either is better than the other.

shrimponastick Sat 19-Jan-13 17:32:16

Thanks for all your responses.

Perhaps those of you who wouldn't leave their family like them? I would probably miss friends more than family - as they are the people that I choose to spend time with, rather than being obliged to.

Everyone has different ideas when it comes to familes.

AlienReflux Sat 19-Jan-13 17:33:51

Funny this because my DP would love to move to Oz, we could too, better pay,bigger house. I couldn't do it though, I live 60 miles from my family, and that's too far!
family is really important to me, a big house vs my kids knowing my mum? no contest.

DameFanny Sat 19-Jan-13 17:35:24

today I'm not even sure I'd want to take DH and DS with me

LovesGSD Sat 19-Jan-13 17:35:41

I agree with OP, if I had the chance to move then I wouldsmile, not everyone has a great family.

AlienReflux Sat 19-Jan-13 17:36:23

Yes shrimp if I didn't get on with my family, I could live just seeing friends once a year, and make new ones.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 19-Jan-13 17:36:29

For those of you who "pity" the OP....does it ever occur to you that not everyone has close, loving relationships with their extended family. Everyone/every family is different and not all people feel that they have to have daily contact with their mums/dads/siblings etc.

Also, it is possible to love and feel close to relations without living in each others pockets.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 17:41:17

I think it is really sad to have nobody in your life other than your spouse and child that you couldn't "take or leave".

It clearly does mean you love the people in your life less than someone who cares about them deeply and would miss them if they moved away.

A good support network is one of the most valuable things you can have in life.

Some people hold it cheap and think "quality of life" is defined by the number of bedrooms in your house.

They are fools.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 17:43:14

"For those of you who "pity" the OP....does it ever occur to you that not everyone has close, loving relationships with their extended family"

Um... obviously.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sat 19-Jan-13 17:44:00

When younger I might have done it. I was very glad that my parents moved close to me when they grew older. I have seen the stress on friends in Australia and USA when parents are increasingly vulnerable and they live too far away to be able to care for them. I'm glad I was able to be there for them in their later years.
What my own children will do I have no idea. They are currently studying 300 miles away from home. It's not ideal but we're in touch every day by text, phone,Skype, whatever. I would never try to hold them back but I can understand why some parents are tempted to.

blueraincoat Sat 19-Jan-13 17:47:09

A good support network is one of the most valuable things you can have in life

That network doesn't have to be family. You don't need to live near that network necessarily. People build new networks all the time.

It clearly does mean you love the people in your life less than someone who cares about them deeply and would miss them if they moved away.

Wow you are nice. hmm You are also so wrong.

flossy101 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:47:21

I'm not sure i could move away. Just because I suppose if i could i would go looking for the opportunity rather than wait for it to be presented to me.

shrimponastick Sat 19-Jan-13 17:47:29

Everyone has to love their family?

What if they are just not likeable people that you want to spend time with?

WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 19-Jan-13 17:49:46

AThingInYourLife You are being a knob. That is all.

DontmindifIdo Sat 19-Jan-13 18:27:07

This is interesting, we've had these discussions recently as DH was contacted about a job in the middle east. It would have been great money, great lifestyle, but he didn't get the job.

We thought in terms of how our families might react, and assumed my parents would go into slight meltdown at me 'taking DS away' (and the new baby, I'm pregnant and we would have moved before it was born), i think DH's parents would have been very upset but be excited for us. I think it helps that both sides have enough money that we know they could afford flights a couple of times a year (we'd agreed we'd have to hav 3 bed place so we could put the two DCs together when we had guests).

However, neither of us thought about missing them as a reason not to go. I really don't think I would miss them that much. I worried about my friendship network, having a new baby in a country where I knew noone, but then I moved here when 7 months pregnant, and have built a network of friends in that short time so am relatively confident I could do it again in another country amongst an expat community (plus DH is more confident/relaxed as he has lived abroad before, albeit much closer in Europe and could and did pop back for weekends).

Mind you, neither DH or I are only children, both of us have DBs who live closer to our respective parents than we do (although for BIL, it's only about 15 minutes closer for him than us and he works longer hours!), and both sets of parents are very healthy, so it's not like we'd be leaving elderly, infirm parents on their own.

If DH got another great job offer overseas (he's recently been headhunted for a job in HongKong but turned that down as he didn't like the job), I don't think we'd let family and friends hold us back if it was best for our little unit. That might make me selfish, but I also would hate to think that DS when he grows up would turn down opportunities just because i'd miss him...

Booyhoo Sat 19-Jan-13 18:31:04

i could easily leave behind everyone but my dcs. i think the only person i would miss is my best friend who i see about 4 times a week and is a real rock when things are shit. but as others say, she's only be a phonecall away.

i would love to do it. dont trust myself enough to be able to do it though. i'd fuck up and have to come home again. maybe if i was partnered up with someone capable.

13Iggis Sat 19-Jan-13 18:32:48

I don't live near any family, but close enough for a few visits a year - not possible if you're talking Australia.
I would hate to move away from my friends. Yes I could make new ones, but it's lovely having friends you've shared a fair bit of history with, who knew you before you had kids or got married.
I think the OP's approach is quite common (I see it on property programmes often when they move quite far with just their nuclear family) but it is not for me.

verybadhairdoo Sat 19-Jan-13 18:37:49

DontmindifIdo well said my friend. We moved from the Australia to the UK over 15 years ago now. Since having the DC (DS1 is 6, DS2 is 4) we have been accused of "robbing" the PIL of their grandchildren. Seriously ! We are happy here, have a great group of friends, and frankly if we moved back would have a lower standard of living, would need to move to a different city (work reasons) rather than the backwater we are from and so would have to get a completely new set of friends. Whilst it would be nice to have more family "support" here, we are happy. And realistically, that is all that matters - you cant live your life to please other people. I sincerely hope my DS's when they grow up would live their lives as they see it rather than staying somewhere to please me.

JoandMax Sat 19-Jan-13 18:38:21

We're moving to Dubai at Easter and although I'm very excited and looking forward to new experiences etc I am dreading saying goodbye to family and friends, I can feel a lump in my throat just thinking about it!

I'm reassured by the fact my ILs have lived abroad the whole time I've been with DH and we are very close, we see FIL once a year on average (MIL more as she comes back every few months) and have a great relationship. They Skype loads, we talk every week and send photos so the DCs do know and love them. So I know the closeness emotionally can be maintained even if you're far away.

Also, my parents,, siblings etc all live apart anyway so my parents are 2.5 hour drive, my sister 1.5 hours so day to day I don't see them anyway.

MrsApplepants Sat 19-Jan-13 18:39:30

We moved 200 miles away from my parents and sisters we had no choice, very few decent jobs and limited opportunities where i come from. Most of my old friends have moved away too, to various places around the country. I also didnt want to spend my life in the same dull town as i grew up in. I miss my close family, but not enough to move back. No qualms about leaving extended family, aunts, cousins etc.

Have made a wonderful group of friends here though who are a great support and it would be a huge wrench to leave them if we ever had to.

HannahsSister Sat 19-Jan-13 18:40:31

I get you, op. I could do it. I wouldn't miss people after a while, but I would definitely miss my old life.
We've moved around the uk a few times and currently live about 70 miles from dh's rellys and 280 miles from mine.
I find folk who stay in their home town their entire life, 2 miles from their parents/siblings etc harder to understand than those who upsticks and move abroad.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 18:46:30

You don't have to like your family.

But if you don't then it's a bit weird for people to claim you "don't love them any less" than people who do like theirs.

"You don't need to live near that network necessarily"

Not necessarily.

But geographically distant network is a lot less useful than one that allows for regular face to face contact (not Skype).

"People build new networks all the time."

Sure. But it's time consuming and you will be at a disadvantage compared with people with more established connections.

If your network where you live is weak, then it is true that you have nothing to lose by going elsewhere.

But the sneery tone of the OP seems a little unnecessary when it's basically saying that she has nobody to care about leaving behind.

It's not really something to boast about.

And people who would be less willing to leave behind a lot of people they care about aren't weak or lacking.

malteserzz Sat 19-Jan-13 18:46:54

I couldn't do it and I always feel so sorry for the families left behind on that programme, imagine having a grandchild who lived on the other side of the world do you hardly saw them . I couldn't do it to my parents or in laws

Mintyy Sat 19-Jan-13 18:47:17

Strange post from Norbert.

I think people who feel sorry for op are sorry that she does not have a closer relationship with her family and friends. Surely it is what we all want ... to love and be loved in return?

If your family are so rubbish that you wouldn't miss them if you moved to the other side of the world then that is kind sad.

Or am I missing something?

Lueji Sat 19-Jan-13 18:47:24

No.

I lived in a different country from my family for about 15 years, although we did meet about twice a year.

I even managed to keep in touch with a few friends.

TheFallenNinja Sat 19-Jan-13 18:48:50

I wouldn't hesitate.

Mintyy Sat 19-Jan-13 18:50:31

Dear Lord, I moved from London to Devon and hated it! Am obviously some sort of wuss grin.

IWasSara Sat 19-Jan-13 18:50:47

I think a support network is important when you have children but if you don't have that then I suppose moving far away would bother you.

PrettyKitty1986 Sat 19-Jan-13 18:57:43

No need for the pity party hmm. I have a great relationship with my friends and family, and I would miss not seeing them regularly. But the only people I NEED are df and my children. I could survive perfectly well without the rest. It doesn't mean I love my extended family any less than someone who 'couldn't bear to leave'. It just makes me more adaptable IMO.

God, no, I'd hate to be separated from my extended family shock. We all live in the same village, next door to each other though, so clearly weirdos grin. I love the fact that our kids are growing up together and see each other every day. I also love the continuity, sense of roots/history, knowledge of the community etc etc

Hassled Sat 19-Jan-13 19:05:53

I couldn't/wouldn't leave my friends. Have no family in the UK so that's not an issue.

I was an expat child who moved around the world, and for a large part of my adult life I moved around the UK. I've lived in this house 10 years and it's the longest I've ever lived in the same place, and I wouldn't give it up easily. I love the sense of being part of a community and the fact I can walk down the street and meet someone I know - it's very important to me, having been rootless most of my life.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Sat 19-Jan-13 19:06:08

The OP hasn't asked would she be unreasonable for moving away from her family and friends - of course she wouldn't be unreasonable to move abroad if that was right for her, her DH and child. She said she wouldn't miss her family and friends. I appreciate that we cannot choose out family but why bother having friends in your life if they mean so little to you.

Why the assumption that those who say they would miss their family if they moved abroad must automatically live in each other's pockets?! I live at least an hour away from my family and only see them every few weeks, and others less, but I would still miss them if I moved thousands of miles away.

I can't comprehend my family and friends meaning so little to me that I wouldn't miss them if I moved thousands of miles away. I would still move away (Spain if I had the chance) but I would certainly miss them.

AThingInYourLife Sat 19-Jan-13 19:07:31

It's also worth bearing in mind that the Family Guilt Trip is a big part of the Wanted Down Under format.

I'm sure some of the tears that are shed by distraught grandmas are motivated more by giving the producers what they want so your child gets a free holiday, as they are by any genuine sadness.

Hassled - you come from Naarfuk. You probably know every one in Norwich by now wink

Flossiechops Sat 19-Jan-13 19:10:12

I could never consider moving away from my parents. I love them dearly and they love me and my dc dearly too. For me the better climate etc could never be worth the sacrifice of leaving them behind. It's not about living in each others pockets but about us being part of one another's lives, this can't achieved on the other side of the world!

13Iggis Sat 19-Jan-13 19:13:19

I need my friends. They were there before my dh, for the most part!

AmberSocks Sat 19-Jan-13 19:18:19

we live in sussex and my family are in the midlands,dhs family are in devon.

we love it,i enjoy visiting them but wouldnt want to live in the same area,it wouldnt be the same.

we are planning n moving abroad in the next 3 or 4 years,being further away from family isnt something that would stp us from wanting to,if you want t see each other enough then you will.

shrimponastick Sat 19-Jan-13 19:42:14

I wasn't being 'sneery' about it - just my writing style I guess.

If anything I have been pondering recently why I don't feel the need to see family members so much. I wondered/worried if I was normal/weird/cold hearted? Whatever - it is what it is.

So my query was regarding that point in conjunction with watching the Down Under show and others' attitudes to families etc.

DontmindifIdo Sat 19-Jan-13 19:55:10

I think it's helped that I've moved just before having DS so pretty much all my 'mummy friends' and network are newer friends, and before that I lived in London, not my home town, so having done it both as 'working woman' making friends at work and building a network that way, and 'parent' making a complete new group of friends, I guess I'm not that scared about going somewhere where I know noone, I know I'm perfectly capable of creating a network (and tend to find in expat communities where noone has extended family/friends they have known since primary school, people do tend to be more open to becoming a friend). I do have a couple of old friends I'm still in touch with, but the bulk are people i've met in the last 6 years or so.

I think once you'd moved away once from family, even within the same country, the idea of going abroad is less scary.

Smudging Sat 19-Jan-13 20:14:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rhondajean Sat 19-Jan-13 20:18:46

I wouldn't miss anyone. At all. Dds are trying to kill each other on couch at moment, I'd even leave them.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sat 19-Jan-13 20:20:09

I think it must be an age thing.
Everyone seems to be commenting about whether they need their parents or not, whether their children's grandparents get to see them enough.

What about if you have a vulnerable parent who's not coping with living on their own? What if they have problems with their health or their neighbours and there's no one there to help them and you live hundreds or thousands of miles away? That's what I would find most stressful on moving away and what many of my friends are finding an issue now. A young family can choose to buy in support- we did. A vulnerable, possibly confused parent has more limited options.

WidowWadman Sat 19-Jan-13 20:30:23

That's actually something that's preying on my mind, whatdoiknow. My parents are in their 70ies and hopefully will be around for a while still, but I'm concious they're getting older and will need more help. What if one of them passes away?

In a way we're lucky in that my sister lives right next door to them, and my brother will soon move into an empty flat in their house, however I know that I am far away so can't help as much, and that bothers me.

DontmindifIdo Sat 19-Jan-13 20:31:34

Well, I raised the parents thing, but then as neither DH or I are only children, it's not just us to cover parental care. Put then, if you were an only child or have feckless siblings, then I can see why you'd worry more.

Then again, I don't feel I can put off doing something that would be best for my family unit on the off chance that in 10 years time my parents might need me to be here...

LaCiccolina Sat 19-Jan-13 20:36:52

I always thought I could do that too. We did last year. We moved back in 8wks. It made me ill. I was crying, homesick, depressed, as near mad as I have ever been. It genuinely frightened me, my reaction I mean. Now looking back its like a fog. I barely remember it.

Home is more than people is what I learned. It's all intertwined. It's not as easy to extrapolate as u might initially believe.

nooka Sat 19-Jan-13 20:44:23

Another thing to consider is that there is a huge difference between moving somewhere a few hours away and somewhere essentially a few days away. My family is quite dispersed. For a long time my eldest brother and sister lived four or so hours away from my parents, whereas me and my other sister lived about half an hour away. In practice we all saw my parents about the same amount of time, mostly for holiday visits, with a few extra weekend visits for those of us who lived closer together.

Then I moved to Canada and my middle sister moved to Australia. In the last four years we have been together as a family once (previously twice a year) and apart from recent trips to visit my father who is very ill I would have seen my eldest sister and brother once and my sister in Australia not at all. Extended family I really haven't seen at all. My children don't really know their cousins in any meaningful way. With my father being very ill I can't just drop everything and be there for him (or my mother) as it takes about 18 hours door to door - for my sister in Australia it's closer to two days.

So don't kid yourself that your relationships don't change, because they do. I don't regret having moved and I still have a very close relationship with my family but it is very different, and it does make my parents sad, and I am sorry for that.

Mutley77 Sat 19-Jan-13 20:52:51

We are emigrating to Australia but it's not "a la Wanted Down Under" - my husband is Australian and his family live there. We won't be expecting a particularly higher standard of living as where we want to live in the city is not cheap and therefore our house may if anything be smaller.

Part of the move is obviously to live nearer family and part of it is for us and our children to experience something different.

I agree with you - that to me the priority is DH, DD, DS (and unborn DC). While my mum, dad, sister and friends are really important to me I can't run my lives around them - nor would I expect them to do that for me. I am lucky in that my parents can and will travel to see us at least once a year.

Whatdoiknowanyway Sat 19-Jan-13 21:02:41

I'm one of 5 children btw. Having siblings doesn't necessarily make it easier. My Australia based friend's siblings don't seem to see the things that his mum needs.

WhataSook Sat 19-Jan-13 21:11:05

That part of the show can really piss me off! So many people turn into a blubbering mess during that part, did they not think about being so far away from family before they went?!

I am a long way from family and friends and have just had to get on with it, so I think when I go home the 'support network' could piss me off a bit - we've got used to doing it on our own!

CailinDana Sat 19-Jan-13 21:35:36

Moving from ireland to england 4 years ago, away from my family is the best thing i ever did. It cured my depression and actually improved my relationship with my mother. My father has opted out of being a dad which i should have expected but anyway it underlines the fact that i made the right decision. I don't have to endure my toxic sister any more. My wonderful younger sister moved close to me a few months ago, i have some fantastic new friends here, my friends in my home town are great for keeping in contact and i don't feel homesick at all. I had the opportunity to move back to my home town recently and the prospect made me feel sick.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 19-Jan-13 21:37:57

YANBU. I love my mum and dad and sisters but don't need to see them all the time. We moved 800 miles away and see them a few times a year. It's enough as long as I have DH and the DC!

kickassangel Sat 19-Jan-13 21:43:43

We live about 4,000 miles from our family. But then DH's parents once moved house and didn't tell us til we tracked them down several months later shock so I wouldn't say we were close.

We probably see them for as many days in a year, but they're all in one go rather than over a few weekends

lynniep Sat 19-Jan-13 21:56:34

I don't think its really an aibu question because its how you feel. the thing is, once you do the move, its the loss of the option that is the wrench. I very rarely saw my family before I moved to oz( er did cone back after 15 months as I had to make the choice and the fact I found out I was pg did it for me) and whilst is never missed them in the UK (we didn't live close) I found when I was away I wanted to speak to them. same with friends. I'd hardly seen them for years anyway having moved to Scotland from London, but when the option to visit is removed entirely its a whole different ball game. that said you have to do what's right for you. my stepmum was so relieved when we came back and still says now I made the right choice to do so, but even knowing how the reality of it was, if I thought it would be a good idea to go back I would.

skratta Sat 19-Jan-13 22:39:11

I moved first to the UK from Sweden then to the US. I took DH and the DC. My parents are miles and miles away. I miss the support, but I didn't miss them as much as I expected. By the time I moved to the UK, I'd obviously moved out etc; so although the differences and realisation of a previously three hour trip was now a plane trip, to see my family, I missed the familiarity of my surroundings more.

One of my friends recently moved to San Marino from the USA (her father was from there apparently. I really want to visit, San Marino sounds so...tiny but nice!). Does she miss her family? Of course. We chatted about being an expat yesterday. But being an adult means shaping a life for yourself, not for your relatives, and when you become a couple or parent, then those are the people who are the main parts of your life. Having a new family doesn't mean you don't miss or care about your parents or siblings, just as moving is a means of shaping a new life for you. Your life shouldn't be determined by your parents, however much I miss them, being miles away is part of my life and it's my life, not my family's life. Everyone moves, moving country means a gigantic distance, culture shock, sometimes a different language. And although I miss their support, I don't really achingly miss them.

pointythings Sat 19-Jan-13 22:42:56

DH and I have both moved abroad - him from the US, me from Holland. We love it here and would not want to live anywhere else. But...

You do have to realise there will be downsides. When my FIL ended up in hospital with a perforated bowel, from which he eventually died, DH was stuck here, powerless to even be there. It happened again when MIL died very suddenly three years later. He could only make the memorial services, it tore him up.

And my father has Parkinsons and is unwell enough that travelling to see us is not an option. We cannot afford to come over often, so we only see my parents once a year and they only see the DDs once a year. We email a lot and call a lot, but it's not the same.

Having said all that, neither my MIL and FIL nor my parents ever held us back from making our lives here.

freddiefrog Sat 19-Jan-13 22:45:35

I wouldn't consider moving that far away from my family.

We don't live in each others pockets in the slightest, we've been 200 miles away for the last 10 years, but that's far enough for me

ithaka Sat 19-Jan-13 22:48:58

I couldn't move to another country & leave my family behind, I just couldn't. We have discussed it, as DH could work abroad and he isn't close to his family. But we live in the same village as my mum and the children are always popping round to granny, they see her most days. She has been a rock helping me out when they were wee and she won't live forever, so I couldn't up sticks & leave her now.

I know I am lucky to have such a great relationship with my mum - I hope I get on as well with my girls when they are grown up.

Pudgy2011 Sat 19-Jan-13 22:57:35

When I was 28, single and carefree, I moved here to Grand Cayman. Five years later, I'm married with a house, two dogs and a baby.

We love our life here but I miss my family terribly. Unfortunately I've dealt with the pain of living far away when something goes wrong. My brother lost his battle with cancer in June last year. I flew back to London 3 times in 6 months with my baby to spend time with my family, especially once we knew it was terminal. After he passed away, having to leave my family and come back here was horrendous.

DH and I would love to move to Perth, Australia - plenty of work for us and would be incredible to go there and lay down some roots but in all honesty I couldn't move further away. We're already 12 hours away from London but two flights and 17 hours is just a bit too far.

If you'd asked me before my brother had died if I'd move (further away) from my family I'd have said yes in a heartbeat. Now, 12 hours away is too far. We have to do what's right for our family though and being here is what is right for us and my family in London understands that.

Sometimes it's easier with no ties though!!

GinghamChic Sat 19-Jan-13 23:28:48

I pity the posters whi have said they pity the op. God forbid having the desire to move away and life in a dufferent place from your family grin . How sad that you could not, more like.
There is a big world out there. You can keep in touch ffs and open up new experiences gor them too!

googlyeyes Sat 19-Jan-13 23:58:00

I'm another one who could never do it.

Before we had children we considered DH getting a transfer to New York at some point but when we thought through the reality of being far from home we abandoned the idea quick smart. And then once we had children, the joy that they and my mum get from each others' company, the hugs, the tickles, the deep bond they share because of the regular contact....well to me that's priceless. Way, way more important than things like a bigger house and beach lifestyle. My mum isn't going to be here forever and I want to see her on a regular basis.,

My sister lives in LA and DH's brother lives in Japan and although they skype, and visit once a year or so, it's really, really not the same. And the tears and histrionics when they have to go back home (not so much from the grandparents but from the children and grandchildren!) are hard for everyone. They have a lovely 2weeks immersed with family and then return knowing it'll be 12 months til they meet again. A long time in a child's life!

It's horses for courses. I admire people who take that huge step to move away but I won't be made to feel like I'm a wuss, tied to the apron strings just because I see my mum as a vital part of my close family, as well as DH and the DC

googlyeyes Sun 20-Jan-13 00:02:41

Just to add I was also an expat kid who grew up in a huge house, with a swimming pool and beautiful sunshine everyday. But all I remember is the near-constant ache to be closer to my extended family. The trappings really did not compensate for the distance between us. Every baptism, holy communion, birthday, Christmas Day etc etc etc it was only ever the 5 of us and I was very saddened by that

That's why I feel more qualified to judge that my kids will be happier in a small house close to family. Doubtless they'll have their own views!

gloucestergirl Sun 20-Jan-13 00:15:06

On these shows no-one says - good luck and all the best! We are thinking of moving to australia and part of the deal is that we rein in the spending (no problem as used to being skint) and save for a long holiday in europe once a year. Also my parents are really looking forward to the idea and are threatening to show up with suitcases and stay for months!!! We want an experience for our family and that won't happen living in the same town for the entire time our DD grows up.

blueshoes Sun 20-Jan-13 01:01:57

I moved from my home country (13 hour flight away) to UK 14 years ago to take up a job in London. I knew no one. I did not miss my parents or friends too much. I had a shiny new job and new colleagues and just made new friends - cannot say the British were particularly easy nut to crack though, though I eventually married one. In London, there are lots of people who work here that were not born here, many Antipodeans, Europeans, Americans included.

I would be gobsmacked if anyone said they felt sorry for me. They should feel sorry for my parents, perhaps. The thought you could not move away from your family and friends is so limiting in a global economy. My colleagues would find some of the attitudes on this thread quite bizarre.

exexpat Sun 20-Jan-13 01:09:56

I have a good relationship with my family but had no qualms at all about moving overseas.

I did build up gradually - 6 months in Europe aged 17/18, a year in Asia aged 20/21, then a move to Japan 'for maybe three years or so' aged 26, which turned into 12 years; both DCs were born there. We only moved back to the UK a few years ago because DH died, otherwise we would probably still be somewhere in Asia or Australia.

I was in regular touch with my family through letters, phone calls & later email; if we were still there we'd probably be skyping. We came back to the UK for a few weeks every year, and to be honest probably spent as much time in total with the family as we would have if we'd stayed in the UK, as we wouldn't have been in the same city and so would only have seen them for a few weekends/holidays a year.

The only time when distance is an issue is if there is some major crisis, which with my increasingly frail and elderly parents is happening more regularly.

exexpat Sun 20-Jan-13 01:14:27

googlyeyes I find it odd that a child would miss having extended family around if they had only ever had the nuclear family there - how can they miss what they have never had? Or did you move abroad mid-childhood? I don't think my DCs found it odd not to have grandparents etc around at Christmas, because that is what they were used to.

HRMumness Sun 20-Jan-13 06:29:58

YANBU at all

I was 22 when I moved to London to further my career. I had never even lived out of home, never left Perth, Australia. Had no friends or family here, no job or home to go to. That was 10 years ago this year.

I have had a great career so far, I met my (Sydney, Australian) DH here, bought a house here, had my daughter here. I love London. I like that we don't need a car here or live in a woeful kit home suburb. I love that there is loads to do and it is easy to travel.

I do miss my family but we Skype and phone all the time. Sometimes they feel like they see me more than my brothers who live in the same town still. My Mum was here for the birth and my MIL was here just before (planned her trip a few weeks before we fell pregnant!). We spent a month in Australia last year visiting both sides of the family. This year we are going to Sydney for SILs wedding, with a week stopover in Singapore with my parents. Even if we wanted to move back it would mean choosing one family over the other and it is still best for us career wise here.

Our daughter is a dual citizen and I genuinely hope this gives her the opportunity to settle where she is happy. Although thankfully she is only 6 months old so have a few years before that happens.

Daddelion Sun 20-Jan-13 06:42:04

I think it just shows people are different aren't they? No one is wrong or right.
And the world needs travellers and people who like their roots.

But to the posters who would go as long as they have their partners and children, aren't your children likely to be more nomadic?

And how would you cope with that? I hope my children go off travelling and live in other countries, but I know I'll find it difficult.

Homebird8 Sun 20-Jan-13 06:55:03

We went 12,000 miles and don't miss any of them. Two reasons - the first that we just don't miss some of them, and the second that we have these wonderful things called telephones and Skype.

We have been inundated with relations since mid December and they won't all go until the end of December. Most we might admit to being glad to wave off!

Friends on the other hand are a different matter. There are some with open hearts and arms I would love to be able to see in person but have to manage with e-relationships.

There are more friends we've made since the move who I would feel the same about if we reversed our decision. In that way whatever we do in the future it'll be difficult. But you know what? We're grownups and can cope! And the DSs are wonderful and happy and miss some people like we do but also have wonderful friends where we live now.

If you want to go for it then do it for you and your very nearest. Good luck to anyone considering it. We haven't looked back.

NumericalMum Sun 20-Jan-13 07:23:31

I do sometimes miss my family but mostly not unless there is a crisis. We also have agreed to always go back once a year and our parents come over frequently too. There is talk of them coming to live here which would be great.

The thing that amazes me more about those programs is how little research people seem to have done! They all think Australia will mean an enormous house, life at the beach, more time with their kids etc but in reality houses are expensive unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you still have to work there, same as here and often people can't afford to live on the beach.

I grew up in a lovely sunny climate but for 6 months of the year we never ventured outdoors as it was raining! I love the British attitude of enjoying the sunshine or getting dressed up for the rain and carrying on regardless. The long summer nights are amazing too. At least there are months when you see daylight after work.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 07:25:26

"I pity the posters whi have said they pity the op. God forbid having the desire to move away and life in a dufferent place from your family"

I have moved to several countries and multiple continents in my life.

I still feel sorry for people with nobody to miss if they leave.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 07:30:50

"We want an experience for our family and that won't happen living in the same town for the entire time our DD grows up."

Travelling is only one kind of experience.

Someone who lived in the same town all their life could have more interesting and worthwhile experiences than someone who moved far away.

WinkyWinkola Sun 20-Jan-13 07:35:24

I'm close to my mum and dad but if living abroad meant better opportunities for me and my family, I would go like a shot.

And they would never bleat about missing us - they would never lay that kind if emotional guilt on me.

Life is for living and you must do as you see fit.

Pity the op? Ridiculous statement although I think she would find she would miss those she left behind. That's fine and normal though.

Weissdorn Sun 20-Jan-13 07:41:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weissdorn Sun 20-Jan-13 07:43:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 07:52:30

Going to different places doesn't make you interesting.

Some of the most tedious people, with the least insight, and the most anodyne stories to tell, are people who are always moving from place to place but never settle anywhere.

It's not the fact of moving about (particularly now that it is trivially easy) that makes for interesting experiences. It's what you do when you get there.

nooka Sun 20-Jan-13 07:56:27

Unless you move somewhere really interesting and different then life in your home country and life in your new country are essentially going to be the same. We've enjoyed exploring North America, but there again we've missed out on exploring Europe. Our children can't really remember the UK or English life, so if we stay here they will be as interesting or boring as every other Canadian.

I don't think that personally my life is any more exciting than my siblings who have not left the UK or my sister in Australia. There are cultural differences of course, but they are all still very much in the Western world. If I'd really wanted adventure I'd have up sticks and traveled to far more interesting places (but not lived there I suspect) but that's not really the premise of Down Under, as it's more about leaving for good, which not surprisingly can upset those left behind.

13Iggis Sun 20-Jan-13 08:00:57

It's a lot easier if all your relatives are fairly young and healthy. Then there's "always next year" in your thoughts about seeing them. We are having a family bereavement at the moment and it is awful to be in separate countries from eachother and of no practical help.
I only live <an hour by plane from my mum, and see her 3 or 4 times a year. I could move back but I don't want to. But I often see women out for coffee with their mums and I really want that simple thing - to phone her up and meet for an afternoon, not always a pre-arranged week's visit.
Very happy with where I live and my life, but that is not the same as never missing the 'other life' you could be having.

ihavenonameonhere Sun 20-Jan-13 08:07:10

I currently live the other side of the world but dont have kids. It is hard, I speak to my parents everyday using skype and similar services and miss them, especially at the moment as I am just back from a visit and it takes a while for me to settle.

I always talked about going home when I have kids so I can be near them (they are amazing Grandparents) but they want me to do whats best for me and my family and Australia does offer some great opportunities so we will see! The bf is Aussie but hes not very close to his family so there wouldnt a problem there.

I also miss my friends but not in the same way

janey68 Sun 20-Jan-13 09:07:25

Wow, lots of value judgements going on about people not loving or caring about their family much if they can comfortably move away.

Everyone is an individual, not simply an extension of their family. It's quite possible to love and like your wider family without feeling you have to live within spitting distance of them. We're hundreds of miles from family and I don't see it as a problem at all- we visit now and then and obviously there are phone calls and texts. Australia is obviously a lot further but tbh the only thing that might hold me back was whether family (and us) has sufficient funds for visits. Not the distance itself.

I always find it weird when adults can't contemplate moving any distance from their extended family. Life is there to be lived. I would feel awful if my kids grew up and didn't feel able to live and work where they wanted because of some 'duty' to not move too far

DontmindifIdo Sun 20-Jan-13 09:15:41

thinking about it more, I do think money makes the distance a lot less. When we were doing our plans to move (which if DH had got the job, we'd have done) we were assuming 2 trips back to the UK a year, we were planning those costs in to our budget (assuming coming back for Christmas, and us coming back in the summer, DH only staying a couple of weeks then returning to work and then me staying another month over the school holidays).

We are also fortunate enough that both sets of parents could easily afford at least one, probably 2 trips a year if they wanted to come over, both siblings could also easily afford flights and we could have afforded a 3 bed place (so putting the DCs in together and having a spare room for guests). That would mean realistically, we'd see family every 3-4 months if they wanted to come over, 6 months if they didn't. In an emergancy, we'd always be able to afford for at least me and the DCs to fly home under short notice.

You do hear of people moving to the otherside of the world who don't budget in flights back to their home country, or can only afford to come home every other year, their families not having the disposable income to go to them frequently.

Near and far are relative to your ability to cover that distance. (that and as my parents have a holiday house in France, I'm used to them disappearing for a month at a time and it not being a big deal...)

DontmindifIdo Sun 20-Jan-13 09:19:37

Plus I do think that it's unfair on future generations that effectively where you've chosen to settle limits their life chances. Why should their choice to live in city X mean that I have to stay there for my life/within a 1 hour drive when city Y or even country Y might be more suitable for my family needs? Why should the decisions taken by the previous generations limit the current ones options?

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 09:23:59

"I always find it weird when adults can't contemplate moving any distance from their extended family. Life is there to be lived. I would feel awful if my kids grew up and didn't feel able to live and work where they wanted because of some 'duty' to not move too far"

I find it weird that you think the only reason to live near to people you love is a sense of duty.

For some people living life is about the people in that life.

"Wow, lots of value judgements going on about people not loving or caring about their family much if they can comfortably move away."

Your post is just a value judgment of people who don't want to move away.

People who think they're wild adventurous moving to the Ozzie suburbs seem to be happily disparaging of others who like where they grew up and then terribly offended if anyone disparages their choices.

janey68 Sun 20-Jan-13 09:34:43

Absolutely- life is about the people in your life- but that doesn't have to be just your extended family. And why should loving and caring about people mean you need to be geographically close?
I think a good way to look at this is to think about your own children, and how you would feel if as adults they get married, get jobs, and want to move somewhere else in the world? Are you going to assume that means they don't love you any more? Are you going to use subtle guilt tripping to make them feel bad about their choice? Or would you embrace the fact that you've raised confident and Independent individuals?

Another thought- many people meet their Partner at university or through work so it's highly likely you won't have come from the same area anyway. So it would be physically impossible to live near both sets of extended family even if you wanted to.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 09:43:51

But what if my children don't want to move away, do I need to presume I have raised losers who are unable to live their own lives?

"And why should loving and caring about people mean you need to be geographically close?"

Because maybe you want the special intimacy that comes from casual, regular, corporeal interaction?

Wanting to make your life far away from where you were raised isn't better than wanting to stay nearby.

It's just different.

And I say that as someone who doesn't live where I grew up and who has made my home in various places around the world over the years.

My preferences don't have any moral dimension. They don 't make me better than friends and family who stayed.

janey68 Sun 20-Jan-13 09:51:32

I didn't say anything about a moral dimension. I was responding to some of the astoundingly ignorant and narrow views that unless you live close enough to pop into family every day or week then you can't love or like them as much as if you do.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 10:01:57

I don't think anyone said that, did they?

People seem to think that I said that and I said nothing of the sort.

And sorry, but there's plenty of moral dimension in thinking people are weird if they want to live close to family.

And while you might well care very much for the people you leave behind, it is likely that the bonds between the people who stay close and see one another regularly will grow ever closer while you will have to work hard to keep them at the same level as when you left.

amillionyears Sun 20-Jan-13 10:07:51

I have watched several episodes of the show, though none of the recent series.
I have noticed that a lot of the participants have families that live very near, they see very regularly, and are often in contact with sometimes daily.
I have wondered whether the producers deliberately choose those people to go on the show, to make the programme more emotionally interesting.
To my mind, I dont think that is the norm in most families generally.

op, from your most recent post especially, I am wondering whether you wrote your post more from a personal, maybe a bit wistful, comparing your family life with others, pov. Not sure I have written exactly what I am meaning to.

peacefuloptimist Sun 20-Jan-13 10:10:04

I agree with googlyeyes, exexpat. We moved to the UK and grew up without having any extended family around. Even though we never really lived near our relatives (came to the UK quite young and only had limited contact with a few relatives before that) throughout my childhood I did feel that we were missing out because we did not grow up around gps, aunts and uncles, cousins etc. Even if you never experienced what that was like, seeing other people with their families, watching tv or films where you see big extended families gives you an insight in to what it would be like and you do crave that experience of having that dependable love and loyalty (even though I know that is certainly not the case with everyone). I feel so happy when I see my dniece, dnephew and my own ds getting to interact with their gps, aunts and uncles etc. The love a gp has for their gchild and the relationship between them can be very special and I personally feel it is wrong to deny your child that. Having said that I would move away from family (I already have) if the need arose and for better opportunities/quality of life but I would miss them all terribly and do visit often.

Pinkerl Sun 20-Jan-13 10:11:27

I think what some people are saying, and I tend to agree, is not that moving away is better or worse than living near family, but is a little sad to do so knowing you would not miss a single friend or family member

I am the only member of my immediate family left in the UK, as both my sister and my parents emigrated (to different countries) when I was 20. If anything it has improved our relationship as we know time together is precious so none of those AIBU petty arguments arise. I've read enough threads on here to know that living just down the road from parents and PILS isn't all it's cracked up to be.

AThingInYourLife Sun 20-Jan-13 11:09:12

"I have wondered whether the producers deliberately choose those people to go on the show, to make the programme more emotionally interesting."

Of course they do.

YANBU, I feel the same way. It used to really confuse me when I was seasonal working and my friends, back home and jobless because there weren't jobs, would say "Oh, I couldn't do what you do! I'd miss my family and friends!". Surely having a job is better than staying home trying to find one in a local economy that is non-existent?

gotthemoononastick Sun 20-Jan-13 11:22:38

We have children in Europe,Australia ,Uk,and huge extended family in Africa.They all have a wonderful life.Living in u.k. at present.Of course it is very hard as we age,but little birds must fly.I always compare what I have with Skype,internet etc.,with those poor Victorian mums ,who said goodbye forever at the docks, as families went out to the colonies! Much easier now.OP,go see the wide world if you can!

WhataSook Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:58

gotthemoon that's exactly what my parents and I say! The world is a much smaller place now with skype, email, calls etc that I probably speak more to my parents now I'm in the UK then when I was at home. Because of the time diff we have set days and approximate times to call/skype, it works really well for us.

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