Aibu to be scared of moving abroad?(176 Posts)
We have a chance to move to Oz for a job DH has been offered. But I am terrified at the prospect (though also maybe a bit excited at the potential too?). We have 3 DC - 1,5 and 7. It's a good job, good money. We are in London and my eldest DC's friends already seem to have started with tutors, loads of talk about schools etc and that sort of thing really stresses me out. She is only 7! Don't get me wrong, I think school is important and I went to Oxbridge but certainly never had a tutor or any of that stress in those days. Competitive London mums and schools isn't what I want and so am probably ready for a move anyway. But my worry is, how will the kids find it? And how will I find it? I won't have any support network and currently I have my parents and brother within 30mins of me so I always have someone to call if I need help with the kids. I worry about leaving my parents (early 70s) as they don't get on well and neither really have friends. Their lives are based around the DC. So is it selfish to take their main source of joy away? But would it be good for me and DH to strike out on our own? I am a bit of a mummy's girl I guess and it could be good for us to have our own adventure? Oh, I don't know. Any insight from anyone who has done it / regretted it appreciated!
Ps, aim would be to stay about 3 years
Just to add, DH would be working long hours so we wouldn't all be going to beach after school together etc!
Yanbu to be scared (but excited).
I think this is a fantastic opportunity, and your DCs are at an ideal age for such a move for a few years. It will be a great experience I’m sure.
You will adapt a lot faster than you suspect The kids certainly will!
Be aware of 'immigrant flu', you'll catch every cold under the sun for a while until your system gets used to the new illnesses over there. It feelsl ike you're catching up for not having run the gamut there as a child!
It's also really hard behind away from your parents/family, particularly with parents in their 70s. My mother is in her mid 70s too I felt sad that I couldn't fly to see my dad enough in his final months, that was hard too.
BUT, moving to a new country is exhilarating! You'll experience so much and make new friends. I think Australia is fab too so there's that It'll be hard, basically, but worth it in my opinion.
I moved to Norway from London 12 years ago last week
You won't believe how quickly the first year goes by. You'll spend it getting to know your new home and the quirks and local customs. You can see by my username that I'm still in Europe so moving very far away isn't something I've got experience of.
I second "immigrant flu" I had a cough for 6 weeks shortly after we moved!
Making the decision to go is by far the hardest part. Once it's done you get swept up in the details and before you know it you're on your way and it's very surreal.
However, doing it is an amazing experience. We've moved a lot and as a consequence our teenage DD is very mature, sociable, eloquent and multilingual (French, Italian, English and Spanish). I know that's not necessarily the case for going to another English speaking country but international living really does make a difference to kids.
Hi OP - firstly, if you want to move - move because you want to and its a good opportunity for you and your family, dont use the excuse of 'competive london mothers' because not every mother in london is competitive and that is not a reason to relocate continents.
Will it be good to move? Perhaps. You say you plan to be there for only 3 years, will your oldest be put in a british school to prepare her for when she returns? What about her friends - im sure she will make more, but she will also have made firm friends here.
I moved from Asia many years ago, i didnt have children though. I do now and it would take alot of money for us to consider moving, mainly for the disruption in the childrens lives and also their schooling. Only you and your husband can decide if its worth it.
Get your parents used to skype before you leave . Make this your main for of contact instead of phone. Make sure your parents can use email. Start this now. This is so when you go , they are happy and confident in using the computer.
We emigrated to Australia nearly 10 years ago. Are boys were 3.5 and 5.5. They settled very quickly. The schools are about 5 months behind the uk system, which is great. It means your dd will only really have to worry about making friends for a couple of months, rather than learning. We like the school system here. The class sizes are certainly smaller and you are guaranteed a space in your local school ( well at least in our part of WA!).
I knew no one and had never been to Australia before we emigrated. It didn’t faze me. I made friends very quickly. The school playgrounds are great.
I wasn’t used to seeing family all the time in the uk and they certainly didn’t help very much with child care, so coming here didn’t make much of a difference for us.
3 years will go so fast. You’ll not regret it and will be back before the important school years for your children.
Embrace the experience . If you end up in WA there’s some great wine tours we can go on😂😂
I don't know if I am so worried about friends and schooling. Where we live in London, kids paths separate at 11. There isn't a local school that people go to - as an idea, out of a school year of 60 last year, the most number of kids that went to any one school was 5, as people move, go to grammars and independents all over London and Home Counties. So it's not like she would be leaving a group that she may have stayed with until she was 16/18. I know her best friends family are planning a move out of London before secondary.
Go for it. My neighbour went for one year , that was five years ago, (she’s not coming back is she? 😕)
If you can try it you can return should you hate it. If you don’t try, you may well regret never going.
See it as an adventure rather than torture and just have a great time being ex-pats.
I'm the other way round. From Australia, my parents in Sydney, but I live in London with DC ages 5 and 2. I say do it! You will love Sydney - best city in the world (not that I'm biased!). Great education system but nothing like the mad pressure of London. Much more outdoor time.
I agree with the PP who said getting your parents onto either Skype or FaceTime before you go is crucial. We FaceTime my parents every weekend and my 2 year old has no trouble recognising them and is always excited to see them.
Posted too soon! Also, at early 70s, your parents are still young enough to visit you - mine are similar and do it ever year. Assuming they are retired, they can fly at times of year when airfares are cheap, and possibly spent a night in the airport hotel in Dubai or Singapore on the way over if they think flying straight through is too much. I suggest you all get credit cards that give you frequent flyer points and if you start channelling everything through them (weekly grocery shop, etc) you'll earn enough for a free trip or upgrade.
It is sad for my parents that we are here with two of the grandchildren and my brother and his European wife are in her home town with the other two, but they manage. They don't grudge us our adventures.
I can't speak about Australia, because I have no experience and have never visited, as much as I'd love to one day.
I'm an 'expat'. It's one of the best things I've ever done, because I would never have met my husband otherwise. I've loved finding out about all of the customs here and trying my best to fit in (even if I do STILL have to remind myself to join the end of a queue sometimes!).
Personally, it's in two halves for me. On the one hand, I love living here and have (I hope!) integrated pretty well. On the other, there are still many things I miss about home and whenever I go back, I still feel very much as though I'm home. The winner for me is that I've become a much more informed and tolerant person as a consequence of travelling, and that's something that I hope to pass onto my DS, also.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, embrace the change if you do decide to emigrate - it'll enrich your lives in ways that you never believed were possible, but also be prepared to have a longing for home that may never leave you.
A friend of mine once said to me, "if you go, everything will still be here, exactly the same as it was when you return." He was right!
Good luck with whatever you choose.
My parents are retired and have disposable income so they would be able to afford to visit or meet in the middle for holidays in Dubai etc.
Another factor I suppose I shouldn't ignore is that the job for DH is a very interesting job - not a city type job but quite a unique opportunity he may never get get again. Where does it leave us if he doesn't taken an opportunity that is something he's worked towards? Will he resent me?
Another point which is crucial is that you'll be moving from one English-speaking country to another. That must be helpful in terms of integration and getting along with setting up bank accounts, finding work, somewhere to live etc.
I already could speak English, but believe me, that was no help when I moved to the North East.
Personally I'd say there is nothing to lose by going and seeing how it goes. But if you pass up the opportunity, you may not ever have an equivalent one. And it's not as though you are going to a country with a different language or a radically different culture, values, food, TV, music, sporting interests, etc.
Yanbu it is scary but at least they speak english, i've lived in countries where I don't speak the language.
But given the cjoice between London and Oz and only for 3 years I'd be off like a shot.
Imagine what a great time you'll have all that sea and sun and a much easier way of life. DO IT!!!!!
Where does it leave us if he doesn't taken an opportunity that is something he's worked towards? Will he resent me?
My question was what about your work? (Or your work prospects if you're not currently working.) Everything you write is about your children's education, your parents, and husband's job. How does this move benefit you?
I'm not so bothered about my work - I have a profession and have worked part time since the kids were born but I'm not working at the moment. I'm not really worried about that as I could get a job again in the future. My career is the last thing on my list of considerations!
I'd be very careful about this. (speaking from experience)
You have NO idea how isolated you will feel. None.
No job, DC's at school, no friends and no family and not even familiar food/culture. It's tough, believe me. Totally reliant on your DH.
But good luck
There's a great board called "Living Overseas" - you might want to ask MNHQ to move your post over so that you can get more advice from people who have done it, including moving to Oz
But YANBU to be scared - moving countries is a huge thing. We've done it three times now, and even though each time has been for good reasons and we have all benefited significantly, we have also lost out on other things (particularly seeing the children of family and friends grow up).
Do your research, work out what your living expenses would be compared to your DH's salary, look at the sort of housing you could afford.
I'd say that your DC are a perfect age for the move - primary education is much more international than secondary education
Think about what would happen if dh doesn't want to come back after 3 years.
I wish I had never left the UK. It's worse every year. 15 years now. Do you have the right to work?
Hmm, it would be a big lifestyle change. We are in London so have a tiny (albeit expensive) house, so we would have lots of space. Huge income, double what we have now. I guess one thought is that we could make the sort of money in 3 years that it would take a lot longer to earn if we stayed here. But I do worry about being lonely, definitely. And if I'm lonely I'm more likely to be homesick
Where in Australia would you be? I've moved around a lot, and will be moving countries again in the next year or two -- with a seven or eight year old -- and I actively like moving on, but I haven't lived in my home country since 1994, so you're obviously in a very different situation.
Australia doesn't attract me at all as an idea, though. Another thing to ask yourself -- do you return to London in three years? Has your husband's job been transferred to Australia so that he can transfer back again in three years, or would he have to quit and jobhunt to return? Have you researched the cost of living, to see how much you can realistically save? Will he get a relocation allowance? Will your visa allow you to work there?
Go enjoy! It doesn't have to be forever but you can experience a different kind of lifestyle and if you love it stay, if not return to the U.K. in 4-5 years. I would suggest that you budget for you not to work for the first year as it takes so much time to settle kids and get to grips with new school systems etc. We were overseas for 5 years and it was wonderful, I still prefer our rainy crowded isle but so glad we did it when they were tiny
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