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To consider moving now we no longer need parents for childcare?

(122 Posts)
LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 12:16:32

We moved to this house when DC were 1 & 3. It's a few doors away from my DPs, which has been lovely.

Parents had DC 2 days pw when they were small, collected them from school when I was working, as they got older DC could pop round the corner on their own and even now, as older teens/adults they often go round for their tea .

We didn't buy the house because of childcare, there were other reasons this was the right place for us at the time, but it certainly worked out well in that respect. DPs have always respected our privacy but been there at the drop of a hat when needed. We've been very lucky.

DH and I are now starting to think about where we might spend our retirement. I feel very guilty at the prospect of moving away from DPs just as they're approaching a time (they're now late 70s) when they might need us more than we need them.

We wouldn't be going far but a drive rather than a very short walk.

My sister moved 200 miles away years ago, so even if we do move, I'll still be by far the closest, so any help they need will still fall to me, which is another consideration, as it might still make my life easier to be just round the corner.

I'm feeling very torn.

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AllTheWhoresOfMalta Mon 08-Jun-20 12:22:36

Not my personal experience as an adult, but we lived near my grandparents growing up and they looked after me and my sibling after school etc. Was nice. My parents did talk about moving but then my grandmother died and my grandad needed them more than ever, so it was good they hadn’t gotten round to it yet. My grandad being nearby makes it very easy for my parents, especially as my dad is their only child. Something to consider maybe.

AlexaShutUp Mon 08-Jun-20 12:24:21

It's a tough one, but if you are still near enough to help them when needed, and willing to do that drive, I guess it would be ok. I'm in a similar position fwiw - my parents moved to be near me when dd was small, and I now feel that I can't easily move away because they need me. They would not want me to feel that way, to be fair, but I do feel obliged.

cardibach Mon 08-Jun-20 12:26:01

It will make it incredibly difficult for you if they need care and you are more than about 5 mins away. I speak from experience, my parents were a 5 min drive away and it was still difficult. I worked away in the week (about an hour and a half) during school terms and that was nearly impossible. Unless you have a good reason for moving away, I’d consider it carefully. My parents have both died now and I moved to where I want to retire at that point.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 08-Jun-20 12:44:18

However noble or unrelated your motives, I think they're going to see it that you were happy to have them close by when it suited your needs but now that the tables might be turning and they might need you, you don't care. I'd see it that way.

Incidentally, were they very young when you were born or are you just retiring at a very young age - or planning to move long in advance?

Don't underestimate the relationship that they have with your children, and vice versa, just because they're no longer little ones who need looking after. You said that they're respectful and not always wanting to live in your pockets.

There's a big difference between being a couple of minutes' walk away and a short drive. It wouldn't matter at all in the context of a job, where you have the regular commitment to get yourself there each morning, be it a shorty walk or a short drive; but in family life, where you usually spend time together out of love and because you want to rather than to fulfil a contract, it takes away all spontaneity.

Are the children driving yet? Your parents will probably have to give up driving at some point, so will it all be down to you and your DH to ferry people back and forth?

It's entirely up to you, but unless you specifically need to move, I'd consider making plans for your own retirement to be put in motion once they're no longer with you.

LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 12:52:44

They were young and we're thinking early/hoping to retire early. DH is quite a bit older than me, plus the new homeworking means our location isn't as important as it was in the interim.

1 DC drives the other is learning. Yes, I love the close relationship they still have with DCs. DS2 particularly is far more likely to talk to his DGD than he is to us.

The main reason would be to release equity so we can afford to do it. Once we no longer need to be near a station or schools we can buy a similar sized but cheaper property if we move out just a few miles, although while DCs still move with us, that does restrict their career choices a little, but atm both working at locations where it would make little difference.

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FreeKitties Mon 08-Jun-20 12:54:51

You were happy to be near your DPs when you needed them (childcare) and I think part of the trade off in these situations is you should help them when they will need it.

Rainycloudyday Mon 08-Jun-20 12:57:32


You were happy to be near your DPs when you needed them (childcare) and I think part of the trade off in these situations is you should help them when they will need it.

This. However you explain it to yourself in your head, it doesn’t look good. I imagine your parents would be incredibly hurt even if they hide it well. I think it would be a really unpleasant thing to do and would probably make your own life more awkward if you do in fact plan on supporting your parents like they have supported you.

stuckindoors77 Mon 08-Jun-20 13:02:34

Hmm it does read slightly that you enjoyed being close to your parents when you needed them, but when they're entering a phase of their lives when they are likely to need you.... you'd like to move further away. Will this cause bad feelings between you do you think? At the end of the day it's nobody's business except yours and your family's but I'd have a serious chat with them and see how they feel.

LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 13:09:53

The only reason to move is to release some equity, they would understand, even support that, especially if it means DH can give up his stressful job earlier, but atm they dont "need" us. That may/will change.

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BakedCam Mon 08-Jun-20 13:11:57

I'll come from a grandmother angle who has been doing childcare for my grandchildren for the last five years.

Now that my grandchildren are at school and active in sports (or they were) and the Coronavirus has rendered me redundant. My daughter and son in law jobs are safe and they have spoken about moving closer to his work and she could transfer as she is a district nurse. For me, and my DH, we feel that it is their decision as a family.

I'd have no problem if they decided to move and the last thing I would want is for them to feel they cant move forward with their lives because of a possibility they may need to care for us. My son lives overseas which we encouraged as his skills were sought in another country.

OP, I'd talk to your parents, make the best decision for you and your family, allow their input by all means but this is your family's future. As a unit, you need to make the decision for you all.

Dyrne Mon 08-Jun-20 13:12:34

I think if you explain it from a financial security POV then it’s fine.

I agree with PP that really If your parents have helped so much with childcare (and 2 days a week was a huge commitment from them); then you really are morally obliged to help them out as they get older.

However, it sounds like you’re not actually moving a million miles away - if you can reassure them that you’ll still pop round and be there for them, I think that will help immensely.

LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 13:14:11

Thank you BakedCam, I think that's exactly how my parents would see it and how I hope I'd be for my DC. It doesn't stop me feeling guilty though. Also, selfishly, if I do need to support them a lot, it may make my life harder in the long run.

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Sn0tnose Mon 08-Jun-20 13:14:22

When you ask the question, it does make it sound like you were happy to reap the benefits of childcare for years but now that you no longer need it, and your parents approaching an age where they might need help from family, you have no interest in sticking around and you’d rather have a cheaper house than be around to care for them.

Are you planning on helping them if they need it? There’s a big difference between being able to drop off a loaf of bread as you walk home, or noticing that the grass could do with a cut, or being there within two minutes if one of them has a fall, and having to jump in a car to get to them. Would you still see them as regularly? Would they ask you to pick up something from the shops for them if it wasn’t on your way home or would they worry that they were putting you to trouble?

Do they own? Would they move with you?

LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 13:19:00

Sn0tnose, I worded it like that because I'm aware that's how it might look, I'm not really thinking we don't need them now so we can move.

I personally only see them about once a week (before lockdown) although DC also go roughly once each so they get three visits and atm, they are very active and busy with their own lives so don't want or need us more frequently. Yes I'd keep that up, but it's those adhoc visits becoming more frequent/necessary that concern me.

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AnotherBoredOne Mon 08-Jun-20 13:20:35

For these reasons yes. Release equity sort DH out and look towards your own future. You won't lose contact with your parents you are still close.

Homemadeandfromscratch Mon 08-Jun-20 13:20:44

what's a drive exactly? If you mean leaving the city centre for the outskirts of town further from school and train station, it makes sense.

Otherwise, it sounds awful. You are abandoning them the minute you no longer need them. If you stay close enough to pop to see them on your way to the supermarket, or you can visit daily without thinking about it, there's no issue. So again, how far would you be?

What about them relocating too? I don't mean that in an entitled way (move or else), but SOME people getting older consider a slightly smaller property, more manageable. Others can't think of anything worst and it's their right. Have your parents even thought about another property? Did they only stop their plans to help YOU out?

Pugsrus Mon 08-Jun-20 13:21:56

I think that’s very very selfish
You have used them for childcare,and now they may need you ,you move away .

user1487194234 Mon 08-Jun-20 13:24:04

Oh dear
Obviously you can do what you want,and I am normally the first to say that, but I think that would be an awful thing to do

Iseeareddoor Mon 08-Jun-20 13:25:36

You were happy to be near your DPs when you needed them (childcare) and I think part of the trade off in these situations is you should help them when they will need it

That’s unfair.

Have a read at the elderly parents board. It’s just not the same at all.

LaceCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 13:27:55

I didn't "use" them for childcare they practically begged to do it but yes I was very grateful. I had childcare all arranged until Mum retired and offered to take it on and they never did it full time.

They would never have moved while DC were small, they wouldn't have wanted to sacrifice the time with DGC. Yes, that helped me a lot but they genuinely did it becuase they wanted to. We were always very clear that if they wanted to go away etc they should but they very rarely did on "their" days with DC.

I don't think they'd want to move to where we're thinking, not while they're still so busy with their lives here anyway.

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Zenithbear Mon 08-Jun-20 13:33:43

Don't feel guilty about it just move if it makes sense. They loved looking after their dgc so it worked both ways imo. Life moves on, they have an active life you are not abandoning them by choosing to do what you want.

MatildaTheCat Mon 08-Jun-20 13:34:10

In your position I’d start having conversations about your plans soon and then look towards moving a bit later so they have time to get used to the idea.

It will be you who is put to more inconvenience when they do start needing more from you- of course that could be another decade away but no way of telling that.

YANBU but they may not like the idea much even if they don’t say so. My friend did exactly this and her DM did not take it well at all. She now has dementia and frequently brings it up and cannot understand that they HAD to move for financial reasons. She simply feels abandoned.

I hope your parents are great about it and it all works out well for you.

gumball37 Mon 08-Jun-20 13:37:22

I'm a bit jaded as my mom has passed... So I tend to think people should do what I can't. So factor that in when you read my response.

I personally would stay close. Whether that was your reason or not... They did help tremendously as your children were growing up, so to be there for them when they need it seems like the decent thing to do.

I also tend to think a drive is way more of a pain. It won't seem like much on paper, but in practice it could be irritating

For me, I was in the middle of moving my mom in with me when she passed away suddenly. So I had already planned to help care for her.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Mon 08-Jun-20 13:40:05

I suppose that, if you get to retire early, there's the trade-off that you could see them and spend a lot more time with them/doing jobs and errands for them than you could have done when you were at work all day, so that could actually be a benefit.

Obviously, it's different for everybody, but many folk are still reasonably active in their late 70s, but then find that, once they reach their 80s and approach 85, things rapidly catch up with them and they really do start finding they have to (or even prefer to) wind down, yield some of their responsibilities and abilities and live as 'proper fully' elderly people i.e. no longer fully independent and running their own lives.

I agree with the PP about encouraging them to carefully consider if moving over there to a house very near to you might be something they would like to do. Even if they didn't move to a cheaper house, they could find, for instance, that the less central location means they could swap a two-storey house for a bungalow, which might suit them better, especially as they age, if that's something they might prefer.

On balance, if you make it very clear that it's the area and house (with associated locked-in equity) that you're wanting to move from and not them, and that you'd love it if they moved to be very near to you (IF that's their choice), I think things probably do start to fall into place more, with no feelings of abandonment or being taken for granted on their behalf.

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