AIBU to uproot my family for my own(148 Posts)
I am a long time lurker but irregular poster on Mumsnet. Am in a pickle and could do with some good advice.
Long story short - did a bad move out of London to rural Midlands 5 years ago, something that I hugely regret and have not settled. I have now persuaded DH to move back to the smoke ( he works in central London and commutes) however, it also means a move for my DD and DS ( 8 and 5) who are both settled and happy at an idyllic country school. When we have bought up a move, it has not gone down well, lots of tears and anxiety. If we moved I could actually do a job I like and be nearer to the action. AIBU and v selfish? As parents should you put your kids happiness first? Need words of wisdom and any good news stories of those who have done similar.
Um that should read - AIBU to uproot my family for my happiness? whoops!
I have moved out of London and do miss it in many ways, however the issue of pollution alone would stop me moving my dc back into London - even if they wanted to.
It really is a very unhealthy environment and significantly impacts health in the longer term.
Is there a compromise solution where you can be out of London but a bit closer so you don't feel so isolated?
I live in London and raised my DD (16) in London, she was just saying today how fantastic it is to live inLondon and that she wants to bring her children up here. (Let's hope that's a few years off!) OP weigh up what is most important to you as a family eg happy mum, dad that has a shorter commute. Your children will title I a few months, and they shouldn't be the reason you don't move. They would likely be saying no I'd you we're suggesting moving where you are now. Children are very change resistant, any change. Talk to your DH and then make a decision, as adults, for your family.
I'd try and address the reasons you haven't settled first.
I would be very reluctant to move the children.
I'm afraid I do think YABU to move them unless you really have to. How bad is it for you there? Is there any other way you can improve things for yourself other than moving house and schools?
I think YANBU. You have tried for five years to settle and haven't. They are small children and more easily adaptable.
Plus, will it be quite so idyllic when they are teens and you have to drive them everywhere, when they have nothing to do?
Op I feel for you. I understand what it's like to not be able to settle. Pre DC I moved to Leicestershire and it just made me miserable as I couldn't connect with the place or the people. Don't stay unhappy for the sake of the children when they can and will be perfectly fine in London.
It may take a while for them to settle but they will. Your youngest is young enough that she won't remember living elsewhere.
Thanks for the responses - hugely helpful for me.
Liara - yes I hadn't considered the pollution, good point!
Foxes - thanks for that, great to hear positive stories and yes I agree children are resilient. It's so difficult as a parent trying not to f**k up your DC's lives though and I am lacking confidence in my decision making!
whaleshark - it's not that bad - just boring and unfulfilling, have to drive everywhere, no culture etc etc
If we move back to London we'll see more of DH, he is a hands on Dad but leaves at 6:30am and isn't home til after 8pm which means he misses bedtimes, so I think him being closer to home will have a positive impact on us as a family, but mostly ( selfishly) I just miss the vibrancy of London and have found it difficult to find a job I like in this area and people on my wave length. Strangely, this is the area I grew up in and even with family and some old friends nearby, i still find it all a bit alien! Probably because I went to Uni in London and lived there for 20 years...
Will the shorter commute mean that your DH gets to see them more during the week?
My parents moved when I was 6, and again at 8. I wasn't consulted either time. I don't think I would have really understood what it was about the first time tbh.
Felicia - thanks- yup, I hated it here in my teens and my parents were not prepared to give lifts to the local town. Funny I hadn't thought about the teenage years but they will soon be upon us!
You've been there long enough that you'd know if it was going to grow on you. I'd move sooner rather than later while they're still little. Moving is scary but they'll settle, make friends etc. They'll be happier in london for the same reasons you will be - more to do, more opportunities, more culture. It's 100% the best place to bring up kids in the uk IMO - I say this as someone who grew up in Yorkshire and was bored out of my mind. Plus if they have an unhappy and unfulfilled mother they will notice and be affected. Especialky if you have a girl the best role model you can be is someone who is fulfilling their own ambitions. Plus your mental health is important for it's own sake. I have strong views on this but IMO it's a no brainer.
Yanbu, but then again I love the city and feel absolutely stifled in some rural place. No amount of fresh air will entice me. When your dc begin to see how much London has to offer them, especially as they get into their teens they will thank you for it.
I'm in a similar predicament but ultimately a happy mummy is pretty crucial to the well being of the family as a whole. Just make it a big adventure and keep telling them about the positives of the move for THEM. Good luck it's very hard to make a decision like this.
Oops, crosspost. Seeing more of their Dad is a massive bonus.
As a thought experiment, assuming your DH and you swapped - he did a less fulfilling role locally, allowing you to commute into London. How would that work for the family? If your DH wanted to move back to London, would you consider that selfish?
glitter - yes we are looking at zone 2/3 in London which means DH can take them to school and be home for dinner every night. This is unheard of at the moment and the kids do miss him every night. He'll cut his daily commute from 2 hours 15 mins each way ( 4.5 hours a day) to 30 mins each way tops. You say you moved at a young age - was it a positive experience for you? My DD is having real physical and anxious reactions to the prospect of moving school...
Could you stick it out until they are teenagers and move then?
Could you buy a big enough house in London for them to have space to be kids?
I would also be very reluctant to move happy kids- but then I love the countryside so I am biased by that.
What about Brighton (or Lewes) instead of London? then kids will have sea and countryside nearby, you will be more in the thick of things, and DH only a short train commute to town?
mellojello - thanks, loving your positivity about London! Lots of friends in RL think I'm crazy to contemplate this move ( which is hugely knocking my confidence) but for the reasons you outline, a move could be a wonderful experience for us all.
Always - exactly, this experience has taught me I am a city girl through and through!
Glitter - nice idea on the swap, I'm sure DH would feel the same as me in this scenario, London is a life line for him and he loves his job, TBH I think he is ready for a move although he also wants to do what's right for the kids.
Scottishgymnast - yes agree, paint it as an adventure. Could you try that too? You say you're in the same predicament?
Thanks for the wisdom - I am feeling so much more certain that a move is the right thing to do.
We moved to a different country so it was a total upheaval! New language to deal with as well. In hindsight, it was good for me - totally confusing at first (didn't understand a word, but picked it up) but it was interesting and exciting and I think made me more resilient. If you and DH will be there more that will help - more attention for them.
I'm sort of on the other side of this - DH yearns to go and live in idyllic country village instead of busy city (not London). I think I'd die of boredom and lack of opportunities to be social with my kind of people. Plus being able to get on a bus at the drop of a hat with DS and go see a dinosaur, or play with science exhibits, or a railway, or...any number of other things he enjoys.
Obviously this biases me wrt to benefits of city life. But for me having time and attention from both parents would be the biggest thing.
OMG def crack on with it if you and dh are in agreement. Anyone who has not lived in a main city seems horrified at the thought of raising children there but seriously, it is wonderful.
Pollution may be a problem if you're living right in the centre, but presumably you'd be zone 2 or further? It's not impregnable Shangai smog either. Living somewhere you don't want to be is death by a thousand cuts, and if you have ever met the students who lived somewhere rural and then feel as if university in a big city is nivarna.... your children will be fine.
My kids are similar ages and up in arms about moving 2 miles away .
Plus it's your lives, they can do what they want when they're older.
Can you tell I have a vested interest?
Sister - I always thought it would be more difficult to move as teenagers as that's the time you make friends for life? We would have to compromise on space though for sure....
Laska - Love Brighton! DH is only keen to make a move that will significantly cut down the commute, and I'm kind of with him on that. I think the attraction of London is also that we still have friends there and he can be 20-30 mins from home rather than an hour plus
YANBU, most important that you are happy parents. I moved my DD in year 4 and it did take quite a long time for her to properly settle in, and spent a year or two saying that I'd ruined her life, but that's all forgotten now and a plus thing is that she knows she can handle change, she was talking about moving somewhere else (hypothetically) and said "I've done it once so I can do it again". I wanted to move her well before secondary school as I thought that would be a harder move to make.
Childen are very adaptable, especially at that age. Much better to do it now rather than when older.
Just a thought, at the moment your kids are thinking about what they would lose by the move- everything they know, basically. They can't see what they would gain. Give some thought to where you would move to and what this has to offer for them. Do you have already have friends they know in London? Maybe spend half term visiting exciting places, staying with friends who have kids and choosing an area.
I think if your kids can envisage what they might be moving to it could be different, and seeing more of their Dad would be a huge bonus. Tell them all the things you miss, etc.
I recently decided we need to move, albeit in the same town. DD (9)'s initial reaction was 'no way, this is where I live'. So I asked..ok, but if we did move, what would you like our new house to be like? By the next day I had a checklist of things that were important to her plus a drawing of her new bedroom, the house was on the market and she was packing.
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