Clergy wives...how have your children found the frequent moves that come with the job?

(11 Posts)
thegreatestMadHairDayinhistory Wed 27-Mar-13 12:07:03

Sorry I didn't get back to you OP, not too well.

We've moved a few times - to college, then to curacy then to first incumbency where we are now. We moved to college when the dc were 5 and 2 so very similar to your situation now. College was brilliant - the dc loved it - it was very family friendly so we had a great time and it was hard to leave, they had settled in very quickly due to there being so many their age in the same situation.

Moving to curacy and to here were more difficult. DD started y3 in curacy and DS reception, he was fine and hardly remembers college. dd really missed her friends but having already moved she was good at making new friends and I was surprised how quickly she settled in. Moving here DS found more difficult as he started y3 here, and it was hard for dd as she started y6 then had to go to yet another new school for y7. However, they both adapted surprisingly well and are very settled now, 18 months in, with good friends and happy at school in general.

I would say it's made them adaptable and very friendly, and people comment on how they will talk to anyone and how outgoing they are. I think the moves have helped form this in them as well as their personalities. ds is more introvert and has taken longer this time but he's fine.

One good thing it's done is bond us so closely as a family. we're a team. I always felt this growing up as a vicar's kid too - that our family unit were so close and worked together. We've included the dc in big decisions and make sure we listen to them a lot and hear their side of it. They are very strong I think in their faith as well which is lovely.

It's not all good, it's damn hard at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I too said I'd never marry a vicar but look what I ended up doing grin We love it.

thanksamillion Tue 26-Mar-13 21:25:19

I'm not a clergy wife, but I'm a missionary and we've had a fair number of moves. DD who is 8 had now on her 5th house, plus we've had 3 stints of 3 months when we've been staying with family and friends and moving on every week/fortnight when we've overstayed our welcome. It isn't easy but they will cope, as will you grin

I second the trying to disrupt schooling as little as possible, but in reality plenty of people move regularly. Are you C0fE? I'm wondering because I come from a family of Methodist clergy and IME they move much more regularly than CofE clergy do, in which case it might be harder.

TwoBoiledEggs Sun 24-Mar-13 19:00:01

I moved 12 times as a child - quite normal to have to make that much due to temporary accommodation, houses not being ready, etc.. It was horrible!!! But actually what made it so tough was the lack of money with each move. If the other partner earns (an actual salary rather than a 'stipend') it's a hell of a lot easier in moving. Each move was draining but the biggy move was 200 miles when I was 5... And I still have not got over that....!

Being the vicar's daughter has absolutely no advantage locally, especially if you are a little wild. Mind you, daughters of bishops are much worse, or at least the one I went to school was. Having to try and behave all the time and be outwardly perfect was horrible.

I was absolutely determined not to marry a vicar! But actually, we have moved a lot as a family anyway. So who can say if it's any better?

Actual advice - decorate their bedrooms first. Don't be tempted to do a throw out of old toys during the move as they will remember and resent it. When they are teenagers, never ever make them come to church with you. Try and move within a diocese when they are in exam years so they can attend the same school.

WhatSheSaid Sun 24-Mar-13 18:53:08

Yep, another daughter of a clergyman here, we only moved twice, once when I was 3 and again at 14. I hardly remember the move at 3, just remember the excitement of running round a big house the day we moved in.

sarahtigh Sun 24-Mar-13 18:47:23

as said upthread unusual to move more frequently than 5 years lots of vicars stay put for years we are not anglican but local minister has just moved on after 19 years

all sorts of jobs require moves there are a few bad times to move like when 14-18 with exams or after just one year but I think moving before your DS starts school is probably one of the best times and then he will get a few years there, Ok first curate type posting may be shorter 2-3 years but after that 5 -10 years will be more like the norm unless Dh is after promotion up ecclesiastical ladder

MadHairDay Sun 24-Mar-13 09:44:03

Will be back later to share some of my experience as a vicar's wife (and vicar's kid) grin - off to church in the snow now.

lucjam Sat 23-Mar-13 21:06:41

Hi there, can't reply as vicars wife but as a dd of a vicar. My dad was a curate when I was born, we moved when I was 2, 7 and 19 (but by then I was at uni so it didn't affect me massively.) Obviously the move at 7 was the biggie for me but being the local vicars daughter does have advantages in a local community!

We didn't move often as you can see and I think most vicars are in their jobs for 5 years or so. So its not like being in the army etc.

At the end of the day its a vocation not a normal job. Goes with the territory.

Good luck xxxx

MrTumbleForPM Sat 23-Mar-13 20:47:49

I think it depends on how you as parents react to it. If you are relaxed and positive about it, especially with how young your children are, in my experience that makes all the difference.

We had DD1 when DH was just about to finish Year 2 of a 3 year course. In our case he was training at a college a 50 minute drive away and lived there Monday to Friday. We made it work, even though the final year was hard work with me and DD1 being in one place and him in another, and me working full time. But it was a decision that we both agreed on and worked for us. We now have a second DD (2weeks old!) We are moving in a couple of months to a new parish. It is a bit of an upheaval, but it's also quite exciting - and I think DD1 has picked up on the fact that we are excited. She's quite a sociable thing anyway and by her knowing that we are happy and looking forward to it, she's very relaxed and looking forward to her new bigger bedroom.

Obviously she was only 1 when DH finsihed studying and was ordained, so this move will be different and to be honest we're not sure how DD1 will be when we actually move, but we are doing stuff now to get her involved in it. Have already got plenty of her favourite wall stickers to decorate her bedroom and she has decided what curtains she wants, plus we're going to take a trip after the madness of Easter has passed to show her the house. Hopefully it'll all go ok!

MarianneM Sat 23-Mar-13 20:34:45

Thanks Wally!!

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 23-Mar-13 20:22:57

You may get some similar advice and support from the Forces Sweetheart section if you don't get a reply.

Plenty of army families move every 2 years.....

MarianneM Sat 23-Mar-13 20:19:21

I'm very happy and excited that my DH starts his training in a residential college (in another town) this autumn.

However, we have two children aged (by then) 3 and almost 5. They will have to leave what they have come to see as their home, an area that they love, people they have got to know...

I feel heavy at heart thinking about it. The eldest will start school too in the new town.

If any clergy wives with children are reading this, please tell me your experiences.

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