Aibu to not know if I'm selfish or sensible?(31 Posts)
I'm a British citizen and spent most of my life living in South Wales. I do desperately miss it and my family - My visa here is only valid for another 6 months but (at great cost) I can apply for a visa that would be permanent after a few years (as long as I keep my nose clean and abide by the requirements of the visa, so to speak).
I live in Australia. 9hr time difference and an expensive flight to get home (24+ hrs) . I'm aiming to always visit at least twice a year (I'll be visiting this December and then either coming home in April or visiting later in the year again) where possible. But it is a tough journey.
If it was down to just emotion I'd be coming home (as in the uk) in April and never returning to Australia. The reason why I'm stuck is because of money. I feel like a cunt to put money above family.
I can't speak for all of Aus but here my expenses are similar to that of the UK. My cigarettes are considerably more expensive but for example, renters aren't liable for council tax or water and I don't have TV license. My rent is £100GBP a month more expensive but I live right near a shopping centre and in a lovely area with reliable public transport vs in the middle of nowhere with only a police station and unreliable train station so everything evens out. But my income is considerably more (more than double in GBP).
I never earned more than £24k in the UK, was on 21 when I left and could probably earn up to 30k if I moved to a more expensive part of the UK but here I earn approx £66k. I'm quite lucky as there's a shortage of my profession here at the moment and I know some roles in my field don't pay as well, I did get quite lucky.
I can actually live here. I can save, I can go out for dinner, I can DO stuff! I don't panic if something breaks and then I need a new pair of shoes and also my credit card bill is due all in the same week. I wouldn't call myself rich but I certainly am not poor anymore. I'm not driving around in a Lamborghini but I am happy with my financial situation for the first time in my life.
Stuff seems to work better here in general for example I'm entitled to healthcare like a resident or citizen under the reciprocal healthcare agreement. I can go online and get a GP appointment at 2hrs notice with any GP without having to register in advance, pay nothing for it and only pay $2-$10 for my prescription costs if applicable I don't know how it works in other states though, but that's how it works here. But in my home town you have to be poised on the phone at 8:30am when they open if you have a hope in hell of getting an appointment before the week is out and that's if it's something reasonably urgent. I've unfortunately had a few encounters with the local Gp (abscess, infection and a sprained ankle ) but I've never had to experience what I have in the UK re waiting times and being shoved out of the door in 2 mins.
My mum and sister are laying on the guilt trip now though. Isn't family more important than money etc? You rarely need to use the NHS, you don't need to apply for an expensive visa to live here forever and so forth.
Wwyd? Am I being sensible or selfish? on the one hand I feel bad for putting money over family but on the other hand they aren't the ones living on sweet fuck all after bills and rent, scrimping and saving to afford a pair of work shoes (which is what I'd be doing back home)
I feel confused and at a loss regarding what to do
Short summary; here my life is better, I live in a better area in a better house with a garden vs a flat with no garden, healthcare is better and my working conditions are (slightly) better but my salary is considerably better. I'm no longer poor.
God stay where you are
You can't live your life to make someone else happy if it means you not being happy
You are incredibly lucky
. Little bit jealous
I'm biased as I'm the opposite to you (grew up between nz and aus now living in a small English town) but I'd continue building your life in aus and popping back for holidays
I suspected I'd be told that
Does anyone have any tips for what I can say to my mum (it's mainly her) or sister when they lay on the guilt trip about it?
Are you happy? Is there someone special in your life to share all the positives in Aus?
I'm mostly happy, I do get homesick sometimes. It's not constant but every so often I'll see/smell or think of something that reminds me of home then I'm bawling for a bit. But on the whole I'm happy. I do have someone special here
Your life sounds amazing! I don't think you are being selfish at all. You're out making the most of your own life. The simple fact is you have found some great opportunities in Oz that you haven't found in the UK.
They miss you and thats understandable but doesnt mean you have to come home. Just let it over your head and say oh looking forward to seeing ye all in Dec. Maybe tell your dm you miss her and dont go on too much about how wonderful it is. But dont come home.
I know they miss me (I miss them, too) but I feel it's a bit unfair that they're putting so much guilt on me. I think your suggestion sounds best June
I do feel guilty for putting money above them but then I wonder if they'd do the same in reverse
here my life is better
That's it op. They love you - yes they missyou but tell them that abdxthey should understand.
It's not putting money ahead of them - it's prioritising your quality of life and honestly, I think a parent should understand that and be happy for you. I understand that your mum misses you, but hopefully she will appreciate that you are able to live without stress and worry where you are - that's a huge thing to be able to say, and something I think most parents really want for their kids.
My DD is in your position - moved to Oz for a better life and, by God, she's got it.
She's aiming to come back once every couple of years, and we are hoping to go out (at least one member of the family, her brothers and sisters or me) to go and see her on the alternate year. Can your family not travel to see you? Yes, we miss her horribly, but we Facetime and text and chat... and, I tell myself, it would have been pretty much the same had she moved to the Orkneys, rather than Oz.
Her quality of life is so much better out there (like you, much better paid job, reliable renting, weather etc), so I don't blame you at all for going.
Also, don't visit too much. Once a year should be plenty, otherwise it's much harder to separate. If they want to, they can visit you!
I think they're being selfish - parents have to accept that one day their kids grow up and lead their own lives.
My family do the same. Especially my Mum.
We have a huge house here and lots of land. We live next to a beach. Ds will go to an amazing free school with just 7 other kids in his class and most probably get his entire uni paid for in scholarships.
I don't work, we rely on dh's income, it's a little tight sometimes but wouldn't be an option in the U.K.
I would love to move home to be with my family but i firmly believe ds is much safer, happier and has more opportunities here.
Stay where you are op!
It sounds like you'd have to live quite far away from them if you came back to the UK anyway, if you wanted a better salary. I'd just enjoy Australia and the better living standards if it were me!
My sister emigrated to Aus. She is now a citizen. She has a great quality of life, money, husband and son, house with swimming pool. She misses home, but would never come back now. She flies back every couple of years for a few weeks. We miss her. Our mother is in poor health too, and I know my sister feels very guilty about being so far away from her. But, she is wise enough to know that she needs to live her life for her and not our Mum. We skype from time to time, and intend to fly over there at some point. The world is much smaller these days, and you sound like you are quite happy where you are and doing very well. Enjoy your life, its all yours afterall.
You sound like you want to stay so that's what you should do - there would be no point in you coming home and wishing you were back in Australia.
However, you will have to learn to live with feeling guilty because in truth as your Mum gets older and needs more care, you are not going to be in a position to do anything like half of your share of taking her to medical appointments etc etc - all the day to day stuff that you will prob need to rely on your sister to do. I always feel a bit sorry for siblings who are left! (I'm not in another country but a lot further away from my parents than my sibling and am conscious that they do so much more than I do - I pop home whenever possible: getting easier now DC is older).
It's a real dilemma but I am sure that your Mum would want you to be happy above all else.
No one's being selfish imo, it's normal for your Mum to miss her daughter and it's normal for you to prioritize your own life
Wish I could visit Australia if only to see the sharks
Your quality of life is better- that answers the, dilemma!
It's reasonable to miss people. It's not fair to guilt them though.
You are an adult, and you absolutely should carve out the best life for you. Your Mum and sister are awful in trying to make you feel guilty. Yes, they miss you, but that is for them to deal with.
Have they been to visit ?
You coming home 2x a year seems ridiculously extreme.
Why don't they come out and see your new home and how happy you are there?
Have they ever been to visit you, taken the opportunity to have a fabulous holiday?
Perhaps if they did they might better understand why living in Australia is giving you a better quality of life.
I used to live in Australia (I was raised there) but moved to the UK. I really wouldn't bother living in the UK unless you are very wealthy (you have to go private here for everything because state services just don't work). The thing about Australia is that it has a bit of a ceiling, after you spend a certain amount of money youreally can't buy anything better. In the uk on the other hand that threshold is far higher. Even if you've paid your health insurance, Waitrose shop, fees at Eton, the cost of running your country estate etc you can just spend the surplus on a weekend in Geneva or go to London any day of the week to the theatre. In Australia you need to travel quite far for culture. At you I find level though I would just stay put in Australia. In Britain you will always struggle, in Australia on the other hand you have a chance to make a very comfortable life for yourself. Life is just much easier over there. I am sorely tempted to move back myself.
Stay where you are if you’re happy there and have a better quality of life, OP. Your mum and sister shouldn’t be laying this guilt on you. Visiting twice a year seems OTT to me, they should come and visit you IMO.
We’re in Scandinavia, so nowhere near as hard to get back, but it is tough isn’t it? My heart would love to go home, but in so many ways we are better off here that moving back would be utterly illogical.
So I don’t have anything to offer but sympathy. At least none of my family give us a hard time, though I know they’d love to have us closer.
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