To feel hemmed in and want to move away despite dd starting secondary this sept. just want a chat about it really!

(49 Posts)
piratecat Tue 05-Mar-13 18:21:55

I have been single for 8 yrs since ex dh left. We had moved to a very rural town for a new start and just afterwards dd came along, after trying for many yrs.

The town is lovely, but a real trek to anywhere where there's a bit of life. (think 20 miles in any direction-cinema museums, B&Q lol)Very small place large elderly population. I have spent the last 8 yrs getting over my husband leaving, dealing with him, dealing with many problems with dd mentally and physically.

I feel trapped, and sometimes want to get out of here, in the long term it would mean more opportunity for me and dd in so many ways. Yes it's safe here, the school she will go to is wonderful, and we have a friend base. Yet I look at courses, and job opps and there's nothing here. I feel that my time is coming now, that i am finally at a place to get to be me again. I suffered terribly with depression etc and have lived a very quiet life for the last 8 yrs.

There are no men here, sounds trivial, but actually it's not, it's so rural and a very family orientated environment. A place people move to iyswim. I know there's more fun out there somewhere, or at least more to do, more choice.

Then, i feel, hey, it's your dd's turn in life to shine not yours but the thought of staying here for another 8 yrs seems pretty bleak. She would be devastated to leave, but i know she could adapt in time. I also know that she will prob leave this area when she wants to leave school (as i did!)

I'm hankering after a big town again, i lived in London for 12 yrs, (where ex dh met and moved from for our new life-but he left when dd was 2)

thoughts generally, as i need to get a wide response.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Tue 05-Mar-13 18:24:20

Do it now, while dd is relatively flexible. It's much easier persuading a 10/11 yr old than a 14 yr old. Sounds like it would do you the world of good.

piratecat Tue 05-Mar-13 18:29:01

My biggest fear if i moved (based on my experience of living in London) is even more isolation away from friends. At least i have some here, and realistically making new ones would be harder with dd being 11.
It's much easier to make friends when they are primary school age isn't it with the school gate culture.

I lived in south east London and knew sod all people apart from those i worked with. Hmm.

giraffesCantDateDucks Tue 05-Mar-13 18:34:07

How far is it from a big town you could move to?

giraffesCantDateDucks Tue 05-Mar-13 18:34:38

Like 6 hours away from current friends is a big difference from say an hour/hour and a half.

HildaOgden Tue 05-Mar-13 18:34:41

I'd move.Your gut is telling you to.

If you stay,you would be knowingly and consciously sacrificing your happiness/fulfillment by the sounds of it.In a few short years,your dd will be moving on to her own choices in life...and you may well have missed the boat.I can't help feeling that you might end up very bitter about it.

Seize this opportunity (do your research first though re where you will move to,and get as much 'in place' before you go as possible).

Go for it.Best of luck in the next stage of life smile

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Tue 05-Mar-13 18:36:17

Tricky, took me about a year to make new friends at school gate after moving. Will you work? That would make it easier. Does it have to be London? Could it be in a town that is near to the secondary school you have chosen? 20 miles from town seems really really remote.
Could you afford to move back?

uptomyeyes Tue 05-Mar-13 18:39:30

I live in South East London - you can come and be my friend smile

You don't make friends just at the school gate. I make friends through work, through evening classes, at my allotment, my neighbours etc.

Work opportunities would be better and London schools are definitely better than they used to be.

Agree that its either now or never as moving a child higher up the school becomes more problematic, but not insurmountable. A friend of my has recently moved her daughter in year 10.

MN044 Tue 05-Mar-13 18:46:03

Piratecat, you are me right now. We only moved in November but I hate it. Coming to a small town is a shock after even a small city. My children have no sense of community here, there is nothing going on at all. It's begun to depress me tbh as it was my choice to move us here, like you after a relationship breakup. I thought I'd get more support here as my family are here but they are useless and it makes it worse in a way- when we were 300 miles away I could understand them not helping. Now, there's no excuse. I feel I'm doing my dc a real disservice by staying in this place where there is just no aspiration. I'm looking to get out asap. The positive is thast I've already shown myself that I am capable of organising the move, as it was something that really scared me before doing it. But I made my life back where we were before, I was there for 9 years and moving away has made me incredibly homsick. Though I grew up here, it's not home. I feel no kind of attatchment to it at all. We can hold hands if you like. Fwiw, look on Gumtree for properties. I found my current (lovely, shame about the town) house there and have been emailing prospective landlords too. My problem is that I signed fro a year. I hope my landlord will be understanding and let me out early if needs be. I'm aiming to be moved by summer so the dc can start school in september. I want to leave this place, look on it as my year of stupid mistakes, and never look back.

Ionasky Tue 05-Mar-13 18:47:33

this might be a silly comment - but if it's mainly about meeting someone, have you tried online dating? Got several friends that met that way - you might have more people nearish than you think. It'd be better if you could figure some halfway house of keeping your network within a reasonable distance whilst trying to get more job/life opportunities. Tough decision...

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 18:49:41

I wouldn't move to London but I would consider moving to a larger county town so that your DD has things to do via public transport as she get older, and you stand more chance of fun.

PurplePidjin Tue 05-Mar-13 19:08:27

I lived in a small village exactly like you describe (south coast? Begins with h?) as a teenager. It was horrible. Had to persuade my parents to drive me everywhere or buses and trains were hourly, took a ridiculously meandering route, cost the earth and were a 20 minute walk away. Employment for adults was scarce, as a teen it was virtually non-existent. I would move.

frazmum Tue 05-Mar-13 19:10:02

We moved from London to a small city when oldest in their early teens. We looked at villages nearby but decided while peace & quiet was good for us we'd spend our time commuting kids everywhere. They are really happy here as lots for them (and us) to do and they can get out and about on their own.

I think you'll find your DD will thank you for moving. And as NaturalBlonde said, much easier now than in a few years.

Chandon Tue 05-Mar-13 19:15:51

We have moved a fair bit, the way to do it imo is by creating possibilities.

So start looking for courses or work a bit further afield, if something good cmes up, accept. Then look for dd school options and a place to live. If the stars are well aligned, you may find a job, school place and house! ( that is what has happened to us a few times).

Just randomly moving to a bigger town is a no-no, you need something like a job or course to build your new life around.

Good luck, you can make this happen smile

Hissy Tue 05-Mar-13 19:16:17

Another one here too that has moved to 'home' region, south east countryside, small village, small village mentality. I love my home, love my neighbours, but hate the school, and everthing else.

I'd love to move, but can't afford to atm. Don't earn enough.

You have given me hope for the future. I will move, and we will improve our life.

I second the internet dating thing too! There are literally no men around here, and NO chance of ever meeting anyone. I have a lovely boyf, lives 30 mins away.

CremeEggThief Tue 05-Mar-13 19:23:33

I have almost the same problem, OP, only DS is a year younger. It's tearing me apart. In my case, the two places I could move back to worry me, as I doubt I'd get the support I need right now, similar to what MN044 says.

Am I right in thinking there is a city/larger town 20 miles away from where you are now? Could that be an option for you?

Floggingmolly Tue 05-Mar-13 19:26:13

Do it now, don't wait until your dd leaves school and flies the nest.

ThreeWheelsGood Tue 05-Mar-13 19:32:27

My mum's best friends are still the parents of friends I had at secondary school (not younger).

For your DD starting secondary school in a new area at the start of year 7 will be fine, usually there are quite a few feeder schools so although some people will already know each other, there will be lots of new friendship groups forming. In your position I'd move, no question.

piratecat Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:50

hello will read your replies, am tending to ill child. thanks so far x

piratecat Tue 05-Mar-13 21:04:32

arghhh I've opened up my head wizz. My recovery from ex has taken so long, and I am so scared to move 'on' somewhere new. It will all be down to me, which may sound ridiculous, but as it's all down to me anyway-re dd I should be used to it, but it will be an upheaval. So much to think about.

Online dating tried it on and off for yrs, same prob as most who have tried it in that not alot on the sites to choose from and because of my location, they are always miles away.
I live in the south of Devon, so that will give you an idea of what my locality is. Dartmoor or the sea are within a 20 miles radius for men hunting!!

There is only one secondary here, and the next big school would be in one of the two large towns each, 20 miles away. There is a secondary school in another town which is 8 miles from here, but that town is no bigger really than this one.

I am lucky to live in a HA property, and have been looking for house swaps.

I don't think i would really truly like to go back to London, i rather think a bit of my heart was left there (where ex and i began married life). Yet, saying that I miss south east london too, and perhaps I would look at it differently too, now i seem to have a bit of oomph within me again.

I'm confused arent I. smile I really feel for anyone in this sort of position. Don't know about any one else but you feel like you should be happy, for your home, for your health but then there's something niggling too. Prob my age too, i am early 40's and i feel life racing by quicker.

tiredaftertwo Tue 05-Mar-13 21:29:14

Move. Move. Move

I am not surprised you feel trapped. I can imagine feeling safe and secure for a while was what you needed. But not now.

Of course you want more to do and more choice. New activities and new people. You have had a lot to cope with and you deserve a chance now to make a new start. I have started a couple of new things recently (nothing major) and I just feel so much happier, able to cope with normal everyday problems, and energetic.

It will get harder to move your dd once she is settled, made friends, chosen options and so on. But it may be hard to get her in somewhere decent now.

I'd start with a list of possibles and take it from there - where do you know people, where might you get a job and where is there a fair bit of mobility so if you move close to a school your dd can slot in near the top of a wait list? South east London has some lovely friendly people in it smile.

Personally, I'd look at cities because there is so much going on. It is much easier to make friends and meet people if you can do courses, do some volunteering, retrain, join clubs. And then even if your social life takes a while to get going, in the meantime you are doing interesting things with people with whom you have something in common.

Really good luck.

dummad Tue 05-Mar-13 21:36:49

To be honest I think the other way around - that it'd nice to move to the county but I couldn't do it to the kids. I worry they would be cut off and miss out on play dates etc. I also think about when they are 12ish and want to exert their independence. They'd miss out on going to the cinema in town. And the big one: when they're teenagers, worrying me to death getting lifts home from 17 year olds, driving thru country lanes at top speed to drop them back - of driving themselves! Argh! It fills be with dread.

Move while you can to a house near a bus route and taxi rank.grin

DrasticAction Tue 05-Mar-13 22:08:38

I really feel for you, its so horrible not being happy and being stuck somewhere.

I think you have to be realistic with yourself before you move - are you the kind of person who will struggle anywhere or is it truely your current environment?

The old adage if you move you will take your problems with you.

I have always found London to be liberating and I think there is more chance of you meeting a man there? Purely because there is a higher flow of human traffic there. Towns where I am are dead at night except for teenagers and binge drinkers there is little for people my age to do ( late 30's).

Be careful which town you move too if not London.

I would move to London immedialty if we won the lottery - actually thats a lie as DD1 is in primary, however, I would move I think and chauffer her to her school and slowly move life to London.

I had a friend struggling in a great town - she struggled for years and is quite timid but she moved. I would love her bravado but we could only afford a studio in London, in an OK area with two DC's!

But where I am depresses me and I can't seem to meet friends who are like minded.

MN044 Tue 05-Mar-13 23:14:18

Piratecat I'm trying to move back to Devon! The hardest part is making the decision. Trust me, I've moved a drastically long way and once the decision was made, we were gone in a month. Your dd will adapt, my own dc have done remarkably so. But they deserve so much more than to be stuck in this rotten town. Change and responsibility is scary when you're the only adult. But as much as I hate it here, having the balls to actually do it has been so liberating for me. I honestly feel I a, in charge now and it's given me a real sense of direction. I took life totally for granted, didn't know what I wanted except to escape my ex after he royally fucked me over. This has in many ways been the worst year of my life. But I'm not going to dwell, it's done, and i know what to do to make it better. Whatever happens, this time next year I'm going to be back in the place that really feels like home and giving my dc the childhood and opportunities they deserve. And you will toosmile

piratecat Wed 06-Mar-13 10:08:06

that's the thing isn't it, you are taking yourself with you!

I really love the place where i live, it's beautiful, it's safe, it's homely and friendly. I have already listed the downsides.

Maybe I need to seriously pinpoint what it is I think i am looking for. It's hard though to find that time to pinpoint it. Each day you just get on with what your day brings, school, dd, money, food etc...
What am I looking for?? I am very used to being single now, but i do miss having someone for me.
Agree that i need to be very careful what town i settle on.

Where in Devon are you looking to move MN044?

DrasticAction, I enjoyed London but felt it was time to go, well me and ex did but that decision wasn't taken lightly and we struggled for months to come to terms with moving on and out of it. I enjoyed the annonymity but also found it despairingly competitive and too keepy up with the Jonses at times. Or maybe it was just just magnified as it was London. I love the fact in Devon that it's so very laid back. BUT I am 20 yrs older than when i first moved to London and a very different grown up person now, who would find London different now for different reasons.

Finding a house swap is proving tricky too, thought there would be lots of people gagging to get out!

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Mar-13 11:50:03


you are sooooo not BU

you deserve a life and happiness too, and I can imagine how tough it is where you are

London rocks baby! come here. serously its booming, and work prospects are good

Yes it will be hard for your DD, but children do get moved ALOT and they survive

I think, if you approach this from a commercial POV it will be easier, ie

You move away, get a better job, better prospects etc

whatever you decide, stick with it- have the courage of your convictions


fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Mar-13 11:58:57

BTW I agree, do not think school gate is NOT the place to make friends

work friends
hobby friends
dating friends

London is diverse, and IMO alot less cliquey and MC

But I agree with what you said, "you will take you with you", how can you stregthen your emotional resilience

can you move and rent maybe, dip toe in?

Callisto Wed 06-Mar-13 12:24:13

I think you should think very carefully about uprooting your DD and sending her to a school in a bigger town/city. My parents moved several times when I was school age and it was hell trying to fit in to new schools, and I was used to the upheaval. I never fitted in, I under-achieved, I always had the wrong accent/clothes/interests and was bullied for it, and I suffered from low self-esteem for a long time afterwards. I would never, ever put my DD through what I went through unless I had absolutely no other choice.

TroublesomeEx Wed 06-Mar-13 12:25:11

If you do it, think really carefully about why you are going and what you want to achieve. And implement it from day one.

Yes you are taking you with you, but you can take whatever you you want to be with you.

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Mar-13 13:04:47

That's a lovel concept actually, Folkgirl, whatever you you want to be...
I could do with applying that to certain parts of my life.

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Mar-13 13:05:18

lovely, obviously blush

GrendelsMum Wed 06-Mar-13 13:31:48

Does it have to be London you move to? Would it be more fun to move to a smaller city where things are closer together? How about Bristol, for example, or Brighton or Oxford?

tiredaftertwo Wed 06-Mar-13 13:38:00


It's got a great and cheap public transport system, masses to do for teenagers, and loads of areas that are buzzy, and people would think it most uncool to be "keeping up with the Joneses". And a reasonably mobile population so you stand a chance with a school place/people will be sued to new folk/if you miss September start, the school is also likely to be welcoming kids mid year.

I suppose I think that as you want to find yourself (sort of?), build a new life, why not go for London because it will have the most opportunities? There will be courses in everything you can imagine, and loads of free or cheap things to do.

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Mar-13 14:25:01

"I always had the wrong accent/clothes/interests and was bullied for it,

Poor Callisto, that must have been shite

I do think though the beauty of London is DIVERSITY so everyone is different ???

piratecat Wed 06-Mar-13 16:50:14

Callisto, I too moved from school to school as a youngster, sorry you had an awful time of it. I went to four different primary schools in one year!
Yet the same secondary school so that bit was settled ish, as my parents divorced and i had a really troubled time at home from age 13.

I will be renting as i am in a Housing association home, luckily, and you can swap with people. It's quite an amazing thing having that.

I am looking in London, outside of London, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, South east generally.

sarahtigh Wed 06-Mar-13 17:46:10

moving if you have to before secondary is the best time as all the kids will be in a new school even if some know each other from before what about exeter or torquay

nearer enough to see your new friends at weekends etc but exeter is smallish city

MN044 Wed 06-Mar-13 19:02:31

Piratecat, we're moving back to the city with an E. this thread really spurred me on and just one day of looking has hopefully provided a very good result. It looks as though we'll be back by summer smile I private rent though and I totally understand you not wanting to give up a housing association home. But if it means you're stuck waiting for an exchange that might never happen, I might just do it. There are lots of private lets in the city and you could claim housing benefit to top up your rent. I can't tell you how much more positive I feel today knowing that once I've pulled myself out of the 'woe is me, I hate it here' doldrums I've been in, it's actually been very easy to send out some emails and get the ball rolling. I love that city. But I am going back knowing exactly what to expect from it. You may find it completely different. Certainly I wouldn't want to live the wrong side of the river, but that's my own personal bias. Maybe go on the local site and ask people for truthful accounts of how they find the area. One thing that sticks out to me here is that everyone looks miserable and tired. There's none of the vibrancy I'm used to.

newyearnewattitude Wed 06-Mar-13 19:43:49

Move to Exeter!!! I grew up there and my sister is still there with her kids and it is a lively place, the uni helps but for a teen it's great, not too big but enough shops etc and hanging out on the cathedral green is a good timewaster!

I put my son into a school at 11 where he knew no one and he quickly made friends and loves it there.

Go for it!

piratecat Sun 28-Jul-13 18:50:44

can't believe how old this thread is now.

Well the summer holidays is here, how is everyone doing who contributed to my thread, those who were moving or thinking of it?

We are still in Devon, nothing has come up to swap to, and dd, having just gone though the last weeks of term at primary school is hell bent on wanting to start secondary with her friends.

Very upset indeed when i talked to her again about how she felt about moving.

I mean, i know it's up to me, but as a single mum, with no support form family or ex, i feel i am the rock. It would be cruel to move her in so many ways. It's not that i can't/won't put my foot down, but i also have to take this young person's feeling into consideration.

Perhaps my life should take a back seat for the next 6 yrs?

Perhaps i should really try and make it more fulfilling, somehow. Yet as i said in my original post, there is so little opportunity here.

I have said to her that it looks like she will indeed be starting secondary with her friends, but that i don't know if this will be her forever school.

Just don't want her to have more uncertainty in her head, she's tired and needs the break.

anyhow, just thought i'd resurrect my thread for a bit of a chat. thanks!

piratecat Mon 29-Jul-13 09:21:17

still here musing x

Helltotheno Mon 29-Jul-13 09:37:48

OP it's a very tough decision for you but tbh if your child is very happy and settled and you see a smooth path for her into adulthood/college in the place you are now, I'd be reluctant to change that.

I'm in a small town now, having moved from a city when pregnant and although I don't hate the town and have a good life, I recognise that I want to get back to the city no matter what. But the DC are happy here and I won't be considering a move until they're college age.

Of course you could move and it could work out but it just may not work out for your child and you only have one shot at that....

Assuming that you've picked the school she is to go to, is there any other bigger town in the broad vicinity that would offer more but would still be close enough to the school?

shewhowines Mon 29-Jul-13 09:48:50

Good luck. Fwiw I think you are doing the right thing for your child. I know it's hard on you but you can revisit the situation later.

It's such a fine line as to how much to sacrifice for your children. You will know when that sacrifice becomes too great. The decision will make itself when you can bear it no longer. In the mean time just try to make the most of the life you have.

Hope it all goes well.

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 10:02:25

didn't realise old thread. anyway I was going to say don't move, at least not yet, as your reasons seem vague.

you can be very bloody lonely anywhere even in London.

your dd is very happy and you don't have that worry.

there must be clubs, societies to join even if they're not strictly your thing? I bet the man if your dreams is sniffingky near but you my guess is you are still carrying a torch for your ex.

apologies if wrong.

theboutiquemummy Mon 29-Jul-13 10:37:20

You sound as if you are living in our village

Follow your heart and see what you find give yourself permission to have an adventure x

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 10:41:36

yes but unfortunately this isn't a novel or a film is it?

the op has a dd to consider. and I think she's being very measured in not jumping out of the frying pan into a potential fire.

op your only 40, you still have a lot of time for adventures belive me.

glastocat Mon 29-Jul-13 10:55:32

I would move, nothing worse than being stuck somewhere feeling trapped and unhappy. I am 44 and emigrated six months ago, my eleven year old son couldn't be happier in his new school. We sold the whole thing to him as a massive adventure and he has really matured and come out of his shell since the move, I think it has been a great opportunity for him.he has made a lovely group of friends and is getting opportunities to do all sorts of things that his old school didn't do, like swimming, frisbee, ukelele, tap and Indonesian lessons! So your child may be upset at the thought of moving, but I am sure she will adjust, and perhaps she will love it!

formicadinosaur Mon 29-Jul-13 10:57:57

What about a different town like totnes? Small but lots going on. Or Bristol - although most secondary schools in Bristol are awful.

piratecat Mon 29-Jul-13 12:46:17

hiya, thanks all. i know it's an old thread, sorry but i just needed to have a reality check.

It's funny old age, feels mid life crisis ee! Totnes isn't too far, but would drive me loopy. I can do it for a day, then the essential oils get to me wink

We do have lots of places to go, but it is remote, i crave museums, and 'life', but have to think of dd. I will prob reasses over the next year.

It's a place where all the clubs are family orientated, or for the retired. Trust me, i have many single woman friends in the same boat, who feel similarly about the lack of males about.
I do miss my ex, but i miss more having a family unit, more than him himself iyswim.
It would be fun to share. yrs on my own is just getting me down, and i wonder where time is going.x

piratecat Mon 29-Jul-13 12:46:40

oh, have been looking for Exeter too btw. x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now