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Moving away and being the “new mum in the playground”(28 Posts)
Sooooo me, DH and 3 DD’s are planning to relocate around 300 miles away from Kent. We have visited the county we want to live in and love it (before visiting it was a huge amount of research into it) We really can’t afford to stay in Kent house prices have gone crazy (we rent) if we picked our current house up and moved it to the new place we would save around £500pm on rent! So in reality we could actually get a much nicer and bigger house too!
The part of Kent I’m in isn’t even that good.. nothing to do with the kids unless drive away for the day I’ve been here all my life (32 years) our jobs we can do anywhere so no issue there. Our children are 13yrs 8yrs and 2yrs the biggest issue I’m having which may sound totally crazy is leaving the primary school! Bonkers I know! The age gaps I have mean that I’ve been doing that same school run for the past 10 years and therefore have built up a lovely relationship with staff and some of the other parents. (This has been a massively important thing to me as I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety a lot) the school have been like a family to me and filled in the gap of lack of family I have. If I have an issue even on a Sunday morning I can email the head of the assistant head and will always get a reply and support!
Every other aspect of our lives would improve with the move.. our secondary schools are not great and my eldest travels 30mins by car then15 mins on coach just to get to the best of the worst schools! I know we won’t have the primary school forever anyway but including my youngest children if we stayed here it would be another 8 years there and if we leave I may never get that sort of school again but if we don’t leave then finding new mummy friends is going to be so much harder without having that primary school- school run! We have outgrown our house and the rent will be increasing next year.
Sorry for the long post I’m just wondering if anyone else has started again somewhere new with children and been that new mum and wether they feel it was the right choice etc or even if you know someone who has or been in a school where a new mum has joined!
The kids are very happy with the idea of moving mainly because there are a huge amount of schools to choose from which will mean the possibility of walking to school as well as more things to do and bigger house/garden. As I write this it does sound silly that a primary school is holding me back but they really do feel like family!
If you’ve got to the end of this thank you 😂 I hope it’s not too jumbled up and confusing just tried to type as much about what I’m feeling as possible. It’s a huge decision and it’s not something we can actually reverse if we move as we will be priced out!
I was in this position 3 years ago OP and whilst our family life has improved exponentially, I will say that I have struggled to make meaningful friendships. I moved to a part of the country where people don’t tend to move away from, with the result that the other mums at the school gates / baby groups etc were all very well established with longstanding friends from school and uni days. The vast majority also have parents / sisters / family members living in close proximity. So whilst everyone I have met has been welcoming and very friendly, the reality is that with full and busy lives they just don’t seem to need more friends to add to their already sizeable social networks.
Day to day life is fine, I have many friendly chats at the school gates, but no-one I would call a friend as such, or could call if I was having a bad day and wanted a cry or a bit of moral support. I do miss that aspect of life, but the flip side is that our family life is lovely and quality of life is great for my children so I suppose the hit to my social life was worth it for the greater good of the family as a whole.
Sorry, a bit of a jumble of thoughts there!
I’m 5 years on. Also in a place where lots have many old friends and family connections. I’ve got to a point where I have several friends, a few of whom I could - have have - lean on in tough times. It’s luck really who you end up with around you.
That’s really helpful thank you! I currently want to leave an area that is like that too. Everyone at this school (parents) have that local connection a lot of them even went to that school when they were little so I know exactly what you mean! I literally only have a handful of close friends but even know I’ve known them a long time (met through work) I don’t particularly have much of a social life but I’m ok with that I know two of my friends will travel the distance to visit I’m just hoping I’m not going to be a complete outcast if that makes sense? The current school run some days I won’t chat to anyone (mainly due to the pandemic) but other days several parents will stop and chat a a distance which I find nice.
I’m glad your family life improved
It’s great you have got people you can lean on in tough times I’m not sure I even have that now but maybe one day. I do feel that this part of the country people mostly keep themselves to their selves
How has everything else been in the last 5 years?
We moved for the same reason as you, it was a good move for the children and they thrived in good schools but it's the kind of area where people stay all their life and so everybody has family and friends locally. 12 years on and I've lost touch with my old friends and haven't made any new ones. Lockdown has been easy for me because I haven't had to stop seeing anybody because I didn't see anybody anyway so there's a silver lining but not one you'd hope for.
I found it easier to make friends even through I don’t do the school run. We moved when DD started secondary, she took the school bus, hardly met any parents.
But I joined a couple of clubs, had more time to meet my neighbours etc, I now have a much larger circle of friends.
You will be absolutely fine because your youngest hasn't yet started primary and you can do it all over again with that child.
Enjoy the new life. (I moved my younger kids primary as we moved house and I don't have the connections at the new school....but....the most important bit - the kids are happy.)
I'm about to move county too, op. I'm watching this thread! I've lived in my close knit area all my life and nobody really speaks so I don't feel I've got much to lose.
I’ve just moved in August.... and still doing the school run but not really made any friends as due to pandemic social distancing, no play dates etc etc.... no clubs happening... I don’t want a dog but I think walking a dog is about the only way you could make friends currently.
I do get lonely and miss coffee and park dates afterschool.
I moved to a new area. Not particularly far from where I was but it meant a new school. DD had only been in nursery one term. That's how I met my new friends. The kids started getting friendly so the mums did too. There are 9 of us now with a WhatsApp group which we use to plan drinks out birthdays or can someone grab my kid from school if you're running late
We've been a great support and I consider them great friends. Your youngest presents you with a great opportunity when they start school. Until then get your face noticed with your middle child. Good luck
Totally get what you are saying. I've done this and was very lucky as a few mums recognised that I was new the first day in the playground, scooped me up, asked me for coffee and that was it.. Although of course it takes time to make close friends, from day one I thought "Oh thank God this is going to be OK".
I think I was just very lucky that we moved into a friendly area. And that's the thing .. I would totally recommend that you try to live in an area where people come and go for work and not where everyone has lived there forever. Research that if you can. Asking on Mumsnet would be one good way of checking that out. It makes a big big difference.
And also I think visiting schools, and not just going by Ofsted reports, is very useful. Not sure whether Covid has affected the ability to do this this though. I got such a good feeling about our new primary school during the visit and it was a big part of my life in the early years .. PA, helping with listening to reading etc.
I was also lucky as I went on to have another baby after the move and that led to meeting lots of people, but a 2-year-old is just as good for that! The local NCT coffee mornings were great and I ended up being the local contact so I got phone numbers of new mums in the area and would call round to invite them to come along. I made some lovely friends through that. Of course, Covid will have temporarily changed things but hopefuly it won't be too long before life is more normal.
Having said all that, I'm going to be honest and admit that the first few months felt lonely at times. Next time I moved I was more ready for that and knew I just had to get through it and not be too downhearted. It wouldn't phase me to do it again if I had to now the kids have grown up.
You are definitely making the move at the right stage in your family life. Do you want to tell us roughly where you are moving to?
We moved countries last January, and, despite the fact that DS had exactly 8 weeks at his new school before lockdown closed it till September, the school run has turned out to be much, much better than previous experiences at the village school DS attended for four years before that — despite the fact that it’s a city school on a busy street in a pandemic so not much lingering. Friendly and interesting people, lots of potential friends, DS has made a great friendship group.
Last school was very insular, with only three working mothers out of 27 children in DS’s class, and though DS was happy, it didn’t really work at all for me socially, as I wasn’t that interested in minor enmities that had been going on since parents had themselves been at school there.
I would say go for it, if the move will significantly improve your lives in other ways.
Wow so many comments thank you all! Can I take you all with me as you’re so kind
So we are looking to relocate to Cheshire from the south and obviously it is a known fact that people are friendlier and more welcoming up north!
It’s deffo a good age especially with the youngest starting it all over again in primary. I do make friends easily and have prepared myself for a lonely beginning but I think I’m more sad about leaving the staff! Parents have come and gone and so have some staff but the ones I’ve built a relationship with over the past 10 years really have become a massive support and family like.
All of your comments are interesting and reassuring though!
Whole of lockdown I was doing research like it was a full time job but it’s very overwhelming to get the right balance in terms of where in Cheshire!
Majority of the mums at current village school I don’t have anything to do with but a fair few I will chat with and a couple I’ve had coffee with etc so I don’t really need a massive social circle as my anxiety doesn’t allow for that but to have a school that feels like a family would be great and I’m just worried about making the wrong choices!
Sorry babbling again haha thanks all so much!
People commenting that have done it or thinking of doing it can I ask where you were and where you moved to?
Once you've got your school places sorted I'd recommend join the school FB pages for your year groups (if they exist) and the PTA. My friend relocated 300 miles when hers were similar age and slotted right in.
CAn't see it's going to be easy with the virus though. Hopefully Easter by the time you move and vacine+ summer lull will mean you can meet up with others
P.S the school viewings etc is all online due to the pandemic which is obviously not great so I may have to hold things until I can view in person! Have seen some amazing virtual tours that gave me good vibes but then there’s schools that don’t have a tour online that I want to see
Yes @Ariela thank you I’m hoping to be up there in time for them to start the new summer term fingers crossed!
I grew up on the Dee side of the Wirral, which is (just inside) Cheshire OP people are lovely and friendly.and I had heaps of friends who I'm still friends with even though we've all moved around the country. My parents moved there from the South when they were first married and made good friends quickly who they remained friends with all their lives.
Good luck with the move - I'm sure you won't regret it.
Our new primary school let us look round physically.
Yes, we moved 10 years ago, from one side of the country to another, we rented for just under a year so had to face two school moves - it was absolutely fine, I made a nice circle of friends at both schools (I did join the PTA immediately which I know not everyone likes doing ). One of the friends from the first school, where my DS was only at for a few months, remains a good friend to this day.
Like anything, you have to be friendly, outgoing and positive.
@Bmidreams oh that’s so lucky! I’ve tried around 40 schools and all say no
Thanks @Ragwort good to know and glad it worked out
I know, I was really surprised. We're going to Shropshire, so not too far from you!
@Bmidreams did you have to wear a mask etc? Did it feel like you were having a proper viewing?... interesting!
Oh lovely good luck with the move
Yes even the dc wore masks. I think the only thing that felt different is that schools can't do their whole range of activities, so nothing is all singing and dancing, just children sat in rows etc. It was a sunny day so the majority was held outside following a quick tour. At least the dc can visualise and have met their teacher. It's a big move for us, from a large city to a teeny village. Good luck!
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