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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.

Lulabellarama Tue 07-May-13 15:40:41

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.

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