To really not want to move? Advice and possibly stern talking to needed

(52 Posts)
Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 14:29:18

I have lived in London for all my adult life. DH and I live in SW London with two DCs in a small two bedroom house.

Since DC2 was born, we have been very squashed in this house, we cannot afford a bigger house in the area or anywhere near. I now work part time (full time wouldnt help much due to double childcare costs) and we cant afford to extend the house. We have some debt which we are struggling with too. Schools are also really overcrowded and not the best, and we might struggle to get DC 1 in anywhere near us in a couple of years. Also DH is just sick of where we live, the traffic, the noise and hates the commute into central London which he does for work most days.

DH has an option to work from a different office in a city still in the south. I didn't like that city to live in as its expensive again, but there is a nice location nearby which would give DH a short commute, but is still relatively quick into London (35 mins) for my job, we can afford a much bigger house and pay off our debt without increasing the mortgage (have seen one we love) so less money worries, the schools are fabulous, naice shops, lots for the kids to do, it seems a nice community and DH is really excited.

We just got an offer on our house and I am in floods of tears. I don't want to leave here and I am so worried we are making a mistake as there will be no going back as we be going for a slightly cheaper house than our current one.

On the other hand, I don't know why I am hanging on to london. I only have one friend in the area as they have moved out, one of my closest friends is going to be much nearer and I very, very rarely go to central London for anything but work since the kids were born. I think I need to face up to the reality that I can't afford to live in London anymore.

Has anyone else moved out and either loved it or hated it? Should we just stay here and squash the children or am I being ridiculous? Do I need to get a grip and do what is best for the whole family.

Bricklestick Tue 07-May-13 14:33:55

Re-read this:

Since DC2 was born, we have been very squashed in this house, we cannot afford a bigger house in the area or anywhere near. I now work part time (full time wouldnt help much due to double childcare costs) and we cant afford to extend the house. We have some debt which we are struggling with too. Schools are also really overcrowded and not the best, and we might struggle to get DC 1 in anywhere near us in a couple of years. Also DH is just sick of where we live, the traffic, the noise and hates the commute into central London which he does for work most days.

And move the heck out. It's understandable to be stressed about moving, to be upset about leaving a house with so many associations, but it really does sound like it's the right choice, tbh.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 07-May-13 14:35:50

You're scared of the unknown, that's normal. It sounds like you have every reason to move and no reasons to stay.

PicardyThird Tue 07-May-13 14:38:54

<hands over grip, but with lots of stroking and sympathy>

We left the city we loved and still love nearly 2 years ago now. It broke our hearts tbh, but dh has a fantastic job here - in a small and remote town - that he would never have been able to get in our previous home, we have a beautiful flat twice the size of our old one for only minimally more rent, the dc are happy and we have enough disposable income to visit our old home - which is 5 hours away (one way!) as opposed to your 35 minutes - regularly.

I think you know you have to do it, and I can promise you your overall happiness will be the better for it - we are happier for being here with money and opportunities rather than there and struggling. I won't pretend it doesn't hurt, though.

Almostfifty Tue 07-May-13 14:40:12

We had to move with DH's job years ago, leaving a lot of friends behind.

I didn't want to move, was in bits for about six months but looking back it was the best thing we ever did.

pinkdelight Tue 07-May-13 14:42:16

Where in London are you living? We tried to leave a few times, got v close, but couldn't go through with it, so I feel your anguish, and have never regretted staying. We just moved to zone 4 to get a bigger house and decent schools. Are you sure you've explored all the possibilities that don't involve leaving? I genuinely think there are people who are ready to leave and they feel a bit scared but are basically happy to move out, and there are others (like me) who just aren't ready to go (yet?). I'd also say it's tricky leaving when the kids are really little because I know my life changed a lot after the youngest got older than 2, and I started being able to go out a lot more again. In those first years, I might (but might not) have been happy in a different place, but now I'm very glad I stayed.

Sorry that was long. What I'm saying is - are you SURE you can't afford to stay somewhere you like in London? Oh and one other thing - it does skew things a bit when people say childcare costs don't make f/t work feasible and all that. It's really only for a couple of years and for some reason people always make the calculation that if the childcare costs more than the wife's salary then it's not cost-effective. But it really doesn't work like that, when you look a bit longer-term. Just saying.

Asheth Tue 07-May-13 14:47:06

I moved out of London to a much more rural location. It was a move I really wanted. But when it came to leaving our little London house I was in floods of tears. It was our first owned home and all my memories of DS1's babyhood and toddlerdom were there! So Yanbu for feeling like this!

But a few years on, 2 more DC and many new friends I know it was the best move we could have made. So grit your teeth for the next few weeks - they will be tough emotionally. And get ready to make many new happy memories in your new home!

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 14:50:03

Am now in tears because this house is where I bought my much longed for babies home.

Part time is primarily because I want to be with the kids and can keep my career ticking over while the kids are small then ramp back up when they are older. I know it's short term, but its now we need the money really to move.

DH won't consider moving too far out and still commuting to London as more than an hour commute and he wouldn't see the DC Monday to Friday.

MummytoMog Tue 07-May-13 14:58:52

We moved out to Zone 4 and frankly we may as well have moved totally out. We're tied to the tube running to get home, none of our 'london' friends come and see us because we're SO far away and the one couple we knew in the area moved the week after we moved in. PAH. Should have just moved to the small town where my BF lives and sucked up the commuting costs. We could be living in a mansion! I still regret it in some ways, being able to cycle to work, having brilliant things on my doorstep, but I cannot in a million years imagine DD going to the local school by our old house. Or taking them out to play in the local park (drug dealers) or letting them play on our patio (which used to have discarded needles chucked over the fence) or being able to let them go out to play on their own in a few years, which I will be comfortable with in our new place. Come live near us, we could do with some new friends!

Bricklestick Tue 07-May-13 15:04:21

It's perfectly normal to be upset at leaving the place where you created those wonderful memories lambzig, but you'll always HAVE those memories. It genuinely does sound like the right thing to do, but be gentle with yourself, change is scary, but you'll adjust, I promise.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:11:24

We decided on this because DH won't have the commuting costs this way, or the crazy commute.

Muumytomog, our park is described as harbouring 'low level drug dealing' and there is no way I would let DC play out alone anywhere in London, even our bit of it.

magimedi Tue 07-May-13 15:12:34

Lambzig - I had 14 moves in 25 years & some of them were not of my choosing, but related to OH's job as he was the main earner. I always felt sad leaving but then excited by the new. Change is always positive - even if it doesn't seem so at the time.

And here's wine for you & I'll give you flowers when you are talking about your lovely new home.

Would you be happy to say where the new location is - I suspect you'll then get a flood of positive postings about the place. Does it begin with B?

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:23:47

Eek, I am worried about outing myself. Small market town near Oxford on oxon/bucks borders. Now I want to know what begins with B.

I am not normally a wimp and usually love the drama of change. Before the DC I would have said I didn't have a sentimental bone in my body, but they have reduced me to a blubbering wreck.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-May-13 15:28:24

Blimey, when I read the threads here about the problems people have getting their kids into schools in London, not just a good school but any school even, I'm so glad I don't live there.

Why on earth do you want to stay in London??

quesadilla Tue 07-May-13 15:31:13

I was a similar situation to you a year ago: was in a one bed flat with DH and dd and couldn't afford to stay in the area (which we loved) apart from a handful of really crummy ex LA flats (nothing against ex LA by the way but these were not nice). For me it was mainly about leaving an area I associated with being young and wild etc and moving to the dreaded suburbia. In fact, since doing it I haven't really looked back. Most of the people I hung out with have long since moved out and the stuff I liked (access to bars, cinema etc) are not really relevant any more. But psychologically it felt like a huge and irreversible step and led to a lot of soul searching.

In fact since moving I haven't really missed my old neighbourhood. I have come to really appreciate certain things (being able to have my coffee in the garden, not always being 30 seconds from the next police siren etc,) And since moving, most of my remaining friends have also left.

Living in central London with small kids is hard unless you are seriously wealthy. It's natural to feel nostalgic and torn if you are leaving an area where you have been happy bit if you are ready you will make it work.

magimedi Tue 07-May-13 15:31:21

B was Brighton - it was because you said 'city' rather than town in your original post & had it been Brighton I could have cheered you up about it grin

I lived near Oxford for 9 months & really enjoyed it. Lots of fab countryside, riverside walks etc. Oxford itself has loads going on & a (then) good Park & Ride, which made visiting it much less stressful.

DCs do make one much more emotional - but I suspect they'll have a better time in your new location, especially if they are allowed to play out. And if you are worried about them 'playing out' just think how stressed you'll be when they are teenagers & really out & about!

Have a good weep - never hurts & then go & have brew or wine & make a list of the positives.

Good luck & do update when you've moved, please.

DontmindifIdo Tue 07-May-13 15:33:09

It's actually quite scary doing the 'grown up move away from London' - because it does feel far more sensible. London becomes the place you go to work, not live.

But, realistically, unless you have a lot of money, you will be having a much lower living standard just to be able to live in London. The only people I know who've made a really good life for themselves there are v high earning.

whoneedssleepanyway Tue 07-May-13 15:37:03

Are you sure you can't afford to move where you are?

We lived in a small 2 bedroom house with 2 DCs in SW London and were convinced there was no way we could afford something bigger in the area. We moved just a further 10 minute walk from the station (so we are now 15 mins away from town centre as opposed to 5 mins) and we got a house almost twice the size, 3 bedrooms, huge reception rooms and a massive garden which I never dreamed we would be able to afford in London. We have done a loft converstion and made it into a 5 bedroom house.

I am so glad we didn't move out, I love where we live and my DD had started school and I didn't want to move her.

I know things are a bit different for you as your DCs aren't at school yet and you say you don't have loads of friends in the area but maybe look a little bit further afield from where you are and see what you could afford (maybe you have already done this).

On paper the move sounds like a no brainer though....good luck.

We did it almost a year ago and I still have mixed feelings. I was born and bred in London and it had been my only home. We're now about an hour south, in a lovely town, in a house with a big garden that we could actually afford to buy. We have beautiful countryside on our doorstep and the children are happy. It's a great place to be.
But, I miss London. I feel claustrophobic sometimes with knowing how small the boundaries of this town are and how few people there are to meet. I miss the scale and possibilities of London.
On balance I think it was a good decision to move, but I hope I become more attached to this town soon.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:43:15

I have definitely looked in the area and there really is nothing. The difference in cost between 2 and 3 beds is staggering and certainly more than we could get as a mortgage.

I think I just have to grow up about it.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:44:23

I wish it was Brighton, I love Brighton and we have lots of friends there, but the commute to central London is punishing.

MummytoMog Tue 07-May-13 15:46:02

I bawled for a couple of days when I nipped back to our old flat and realised they'd ripped out the kitchen that I had laboured over for weeks the year before. And flattened my tiny garden sad Then I lost the video footage I shot of the flat before we moved out and howled even louder sad We were really really happy there, and if it had been in an even slightly nicer area, we might have stayed. But we didn't and in general I am much happier where we are.

Of course it didn't help that DH's brother and his partner bought a flat in Hampstead chalk farm and DH's parents keep going on about how we might move back into London in a few years only if you die and leave us all your money.

DontmindifIdo Tue 07-May-13 15:48:43

I think it will help you that you are going to be commuting into London for work anyway. I certainly think that helped me with the "small town" move - so I can pop up to Oxford Street on my lunch break still, and if DH is doing pick up, meet a friend after work for a drink/dinner - you still feel part of it.

And the regular commuting means that taking DS into London on a weekend/days I don't work to meet London friends for lunch doesn't feel like a big deal, it's where i go to work anyway, whereas local friends who don't work or work locally find going upto London a big deal and find it odd I'll pop there to meet a friend for lunch with DS.

I'm just starting mat leave with DC2 so not sure how that will change the way i feel about 'town'. I guess it will become more of a distant place...

DontmindifIdo Tue 07-May-13 15:53:36

oh and you won't move back - because unless you or your DH gets a massive pay rise and you do it straight away, the cut in your standard of living will be too great! It's always the way, once you get used to having the extra space, the extra money, the extra feeling of security, the school access - you'll want to recreate those standards in London and as that will take a lot of money to do it, you'll feel you can't afford to live in London (but friends who've never moved out have accepted a lower standard of living and don't see what they are giving up by living in London - once you've had it for a while, you will)

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:53:51

I will be working three days per week when I go back. Typically, I do one day per week WFH, one with clients and one in the office, so not too gruelling.

I do work somewhere where nipping to oxford street is possible.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 15:55:53

If we do the move we will be debt free (apart from mortgage), in a close to dream home (we may have found one). A better standard of living. I genuinely don't know why it makes me feel so sad.

DontmindifIdo Tue 07-May-13 15:57:32

you'd probably feel sad if you were moving from that house to another 10 minutes down the road you know...

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 07-May-13 16:04:51

We are moving 10 minutes up the road (a 10 minute walk that is!)
And I feel sad about leaving my beautiful home. We've been here nearly 10 years, got married, had two babies in that time and those memories belong in this house.

We aren't moving for any of the reasons you are just for a bigger 4 bed detached backing onto school fields. With potential to extend for my CM business.

But I cried when the Estate Agent came to do the pictures and have asked DH a million times is the right thing to do?

Your move sounds like a great opportunity.

EssieW Tue 07-May-13 16:12:24

We moved from London when DD was 4 weeks old. I was so sad at the time even though I wanted the move (more space less traffic etc). It was fear of the unknown and change. It wasn't easy for about 6-12 months but 3 years down the line, it's great. We have a good networks of friends here (more so than in London) and a much better lifestyle.

TheBookofRuth Tue 07-May-13 16:19:06

We moved from North London in January for very similar reasons and like you, I was reluctant, as was DH - we loved where we love.

We love where we are now even more. Seriously, it was the best move we ever made. We have so much more space, everything we need is in waking distance, it's really child-friendly - it's pretty much perfect. Yes, there are things we miss about London, but it's only a short train ride away, and the positives about where we are now more than compensate.

Apparentlychilled Tue 07-May-13 16:39:01

We moved from London pre-DC and though I was sad leaving (and was sad after we moved till we had DC), it was definitely the right thing to do. And I say that even after just spending this weekend in London, which used to invoke huge amounts of nostalgia and homesickness for London.

And I think it's an easier move to make w DC.

apatchylass Tue 07-May-13 16:48:04

If the commute to London really is only 35 mins then you can return to your old neighbourhood easily and friends can come out to visit you.

Fear of the new can put you off making a change you need. the way you describe the new place makes it sound ideal. You could all be much happier with more space to spread out, great schools not to worry about and your DH happier.

You'll not only survive, you'll probably love it within six months of settling in.

gindrinker Tue 07-May-13 17:42:32

Not being in London doesn't exclude you from London.
I'm about 90 mins door to door from Oxford Street (live 70 miles away) my friends live in the greater London boundary and it takes them as long to get there.
Trains run to my town until about midnight.
You can have fun in London and not be in the M25.

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 07-May-13 17:59:20

London won't explode. It will still be there. Your memories go with u too.

Reread ur post. And MOVE! Good luck smile

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 18:08:40

Oh thank goodness some really positive stories about moving out. Thank you so much for all your replies and sympathy, I am feeling a little better now. DH just rolls his eyes at me, so really good to get some other views.
Glass of wine and deep breath now I think.

Vakant Tue 07-May-13 18:16:09

We moved out of London to a small town still within commuting distance of the city when I was pregnant with our first child. We don't regret it. Bigger and more affordable house, family orientated area with great schools. It was the right choice for us as a family but I do miss London and if we won the lottery I'd move back. But where we are now is right for now, we will possibly move back to the city once the kids have finished school though!

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Tue 07-May-13 18:18:33

Mmm, I can guess which town it might be. Train commute adds up. hmm

Well, I think it a lovely area, there is beautiful countryside and easy access to everything. I would move with no hesitation. I must admit to never feeling sentimental about houses. I even happily moved out of a fairly new and beautiful house we built for ourselves. It's only bricks and mortar or wood and chipboard if its timber frame

It may take you a while to feel settled but you will get there in the end. It's much easier to feel part of a community when you have little kids.

Good luck.

(Ps YABU but its understandable smile )

MistyB Tue 07-May-13 18:33:41

I know this is going against the grain but moving takes a huge amount of energy and is a big upheaval.

Do you usually find your gut feelings to be right?

Can you write down all of the reasons to go and the reasons to stay as well as the down sides of both?

Can you try and put youself in a positive frame of mind about moving for a few days and talk the positive points through with your DH?

If at the end of all of that, you still feel sick at the thought of moving, then I think you need to see if there is another solution.

I have moved a lot and each time have been positive about all the reasons it is a good move. If everyone is not happy then the bad times can be really rubbish. I really think you have to be positive about a move to make it work. We considered a move where we couldn't really see the positives outweighing the negatives and despite trying hard to be really positive about it, in the end decided against it and felt huge relief.

Good luck!!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 07-May-13 18:40:24

We moved out 5 years ago and it has been the best thing ever. We have moved to a particularly amazing part of the UK, but tbh, all my friends who've left London are all really happy with the move, wherever they've moved to. DH still commutes there and we can visit friends sometimes (however, his commute is very long - but that's a downside we decided on). We lived in a really nice part of London, but I've never regretted leaving. And a house, is just that - you will make lovely memories wherever you go, as long as you're all happy and together.

RenterNomad Tue 07-May-13 19:00:24

I wish we hadn't moved out of London (zone 3, walking distance of zone 2). I really dislike the sprawl of the "burbs", which means we I do a lot more driving, and DC2 is growing up walking a lot less. DC1's old friends are still where they were and both he and I are having a hard time, breaking into social networks, mostly, again, because the "sprawl" means people don't "pop" casually to the park and know they'll see someone they know (though we were spoiled with our local park, which really was excellent).

Sorry to be negative and moany, but it's not helpful to listen exclusively to good news: if it does go wrong for you, you might feel a real failure because "everyone else manages/d it".

I don't think that, by the way. Moving is hard, especially at the stage you describe. I would have done a lot better, had I been working, as you say you are: keep hold of work, as it will ease your trandition! smile

kerala Tue 07-May-13 19:23:00

If you are going to move out of London I would move right out - the outer suburb thing looks unappealing to me. I felt like you did, we were relatively central and I loved the buzz of the City and didnt really want to go. But... the area had dodgy bits, the schools were crowded, neighbours were drug dealers and it took so long to get everywhere it just got exhausting.

We moved to a smaller, pretty city in the south west and we LOVE it. It is way way easier than London life is so much more pleasant. Lots going on culturally but we can walk/cycle to it rather than 20 min bus ride (and we were quite central in London). Met much more friendly interesting people here and now have a good strong group of pals all with kids the same age which we didnt have in London as our old friends lived all over town and it took at least an hour to get anywhere. We are in walking distance now. I am so pleased we made the move. Still go back to visit friends but not that often to be honest as so much going on here.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 07-May-13 19:55:39

I agree with getting out of the burbs. We felt that if we were going to do it, we should do it "properly".

happyyonisleepyyoni Tue 07-May-13 20:28:17

What does doing it properly mean though. On TV property shows , leaving London seems to mean you have to move 400 miles away! We live in a small market (commuter) town with a lovely community. There are fields backing onto our house but We are 5 mins walk from a mainline station and can be in central London in 40 minutes. Ofsted outstanding schools and nice coffee shops, pubs, parks, loads of local groups. Lots of people here have "moved out" from London when they've had their first DC.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 22:20:09

This is definitely not London suburbs and definitely away from London. I agree that suburbs wasnt for us.

Feeling a lot more positive this evening, your comments for and against have really helped.

magimedi Tue 07-May-13 22:51:06

Feeling a lot more positive this evening,


Life can be a bit of a bugger at times...........

So pleaed you are feeling a bit better.

Lambzig Tue 07-May-13 22:57:39

Yes, weirdly I found myself feeling defensive against and arguing in my head with people who were saying stay in London.

This is despite crying for an hour about leaving earlier.

I really have lost the plot, haven't I?

Mums net is so helpful as DH did indeed roll his eyes at me over this.

magimedi Tue 07-May-13 23:00:22

I really have lost the plot, haven't I?


You have just listened to lots of people & come to your own decision.*

(*Helped by wonderful Mn all over the place).

Get the to bed & have some rest!

Finola1step Tue 07-May-13 23:04:47

We did the big move out nearly two years ago. First six months were tough and we were in a rental for a while. But, we now have our lovely house on the very road that I really wanted (and thought we would never be able to afford). DS goes to a fab school and we should get DD in for Reception later on. Lots of lovely new friends. Great things to do outdoors esp in Spring and Summer. Fab garden. And I even love going to the local country fairs and shows!!

All this from a born and bred Londoner who had lived in central London all her life. I thought I would never settle elsewhere but it's the best decision we ever made. This is despite being very attached to our london house which was meant to be our forever home and where I gave birth.

Kasterborous Wed 08-May-13 00:23:05

We had to move in January due to DH work which meant selling the house we had lived in for seven years and leaving an area I loved. I was heartbroken. But we went back end of April to visit our friend and popped into our old house. I thought it would make me miserable about the home we had left behind but it didn't at all. Our home is where we live now. It sounds like you are moving for all the right reasons, do it and don't look back.

ivanapoo Wed 08-May-13 08:34:54

You know, visiting London is (I think) better than living there.

You make more of an effort to see/do all the great things on offer, and see friends.

You (can) save a LOT of money IMO.

I live in a city 1.5 hours by train from London now. When I lived in the SW London burbs it took me longer than that to see my sister, who lived north and not near a tube stop.

flipflump Wed 08-May-13 09:10:57

We moved out last year and it's the best thing we have ever done! I thought I'd miss my old life, our house, the shops, bright lights of the city, how wrong was I?!

We've made more friends in 6 months than I'd made in 12 years in London. We have everything we need here, ok, Harvey Nic's and Selfridges aren't accessible these days, but we can all live without them.

We now enjoy the simple things, country walks, cycling, gardening, having a local where people know your name. We have been back to London once since we left, having thought we'd visit often to get our London fix. I now find the tubes hot and exhausting and people are less friendly (I'd have defended Londoners to the death whilst living there)

You have to think about what London gives you that no where else can - do you use museums and galleries often? Do you eat in lots of different restaurants? Are the shops exclusive? Do you visit all the big attractions? Like I said, thought we'd miss it and now realise how wrong we were. We will of course take our children to visit and it's always there if we feel the urge but life doesn't revolve around London.

DIYapprentice Wed 08-May-13 09:44:35

We moved out of London nearly 5 years ago now. DS1 was born in London, DS2 was born here. We are a commute out of London - about 45 mins by train. But we picked a very rural spot. Yes, if we want to go somewhere we need to drive a lot.

But we have found a lovely house in a small rural village, the DSs go to an infant school and nursery in the village. It's taken some time, but I've made some good friends here. Moving with young children is perhaps when you will find it the easiest to make friends, as you will be meeting a lot of other mums at nursery and school runs.

DH has now joined the local cricket team for Sunday afternoon games, we attend the local church, and really feel a part of the community. And I LOVE my trips into London to work now!!! smile

The DSs have so much fun playing in our large garden, exploring our local woodlands, we see deer in our garden (not so nice when they eat our veg!!) and have lots of sheep nearby. We even have newts in our pond!

There is no way any of us would have this in London.

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