Don't think we can move abroad :-((18 Posts)
I'm Divorced and have remarried to my new DH. I've got DD1 (5yrs) from first marriage and DD2 (7mths) with my DH. I've been offered an amazing job in Europe with my
Company as I'm on their fast track scheme. My DH can easily work in the same country. We'd love to move (it wouldn't be permanent - we'd plan to return to Uk after 18mths-2yrd) but its dawned on us that we probably can't do this to our young family. My DD1 needs to maintain contact with her dad (irrelevant of how I feel about him) and we just don't know how we can do it?
I don't want to spend every other w/end flying to the UK to hang around for 2 nights without my DH and DD2. DD1 had just started school and I think she'd find a travel plan like this just exhausting after a school week.
Saying no to this job will mean I have to come out of the fast track scheme and I LOVE my job.
I just want to make sure my family are ok and I can't help but think that I'm going to have to let my career dreams go. I know my DD1 needs to see her dad (and I'm not going to prevent that) but I secretly wish she didn't have too!
Any thoughts and ideas would be welcome?
My dad moved to Europe when I was a bit younger than your DD1. It meant we saw him less frequently but for longer periods of time. And this was before Skype!
How likely is your ex to be reasonable about a negotiation on this? When we were very little, grandparents used to help out by escorting us back and forth to visit, and then as we got older we used the unaccompanied minors scheme on the planes (or on a few memorable occasions, basically got dumped on a plane for 8 hours - by this time my dad was in the US - without any money on a sort of EasyJet of the 1980s, good times).
Can you talk to your ex about it? Tell him you think it's a great opportunity for her and that you definitely will be coming back. Put in place actual dates that you will fly home with her and see him and dates that you will pay for him to fly to see her. Talk about where he will stay. then you will have to stick to it all. She will have to miss birthday parties and school fairs at the weekends.
Hhm not sure how flexible he'll be. He did a runner when we separated as he'd got the OW pregnant. He's since married her and had another child and so I'm not sure he'll want to travel to Europe to see DD1. (we'd be able to pay and won't renege on dates). I just can't do it fortnightly to my family. (this is how often DD1 sees her dad now). DD1 already misses parties etc due to visits with her dad. Not worried about that.
But, what could it be like for her if she sees her dad for longer spells just less frequently for a couple of years?
Tricky one. On the other hand it's likely that this is the first of many other scenarious that are going to prove tricky to negotiate. Granted it's a major one, but isn't the whole future going to be all about fitting your ex in to whatever your DD is doing?
Are you on talking terms? Can you pose the same question direct to him? Have you answers ready, not to make him feel hemmed in to a corner but just to show that you have thought it through. How about coming back every month, instead of every fortnight? Even that will be exhausting, but better than nothing.
If the location you are considering is attractive to holidaymakers, he might even be up for spending holidays there with his new family (not for a minute suggesting he spends any time with you at all, you can stay on the other side of town, but it might help things if he can be persuaded that where you are going is a nice place.
Probably coming to this with a big pair of rose-tinted specs on, but just some thoughts. It would be such a shame to jeopardise your future because this situation can't be made to work.
Legally you wouldn't be able to without his permission/court ruling anyway I think? That would have to be your first step before you start worrying about w/es in the UK so she could see him.
Apologies if you have already looked into this side of things!
Look step one is to talk to him - you can't assume anything on his behalf. My dad was in the US for most of my childhood and we're really close (also fond memories of being unaccompanied on a plane - still get grumpy having to wait in a queue at immigration haven't spent years sailing through!)
Visits are less often but longer and actually that can work to foster better relationships. You don't lose half the time traveling and you are involved in 'normal' life. You have to accept that you'll miss her for a few weeks at a time over holidays and that will impact in your plans for vacations and travel but maybe that's a price you can pay for this opportunity?
You're already considering turning it down so what do you have to loose by talking to him and discussing options?
Agree you should talk to your ex if at all possible. Personally, I'd talk to him after thinking hard about what your response/questions would be if you were in his position.
For example, if I was your ex, I would be seriously worried about you coming back. Not saying you won't of course, but from his pov if he 'lets' DD1 go, does that mean total reliance on you sticking to your word? Or can he give his legal permission for her to live there for (eg) 24 months?
Does your DD love her daddy and new sibling(s)? Does he stick to the contact arrangements? If so, I think it would be cruel to take her away from her other family to fulfil your career aspirations.
My Manager moved to Perth Australia leaving his two kids with his ex wife and not seeing them for 12 months at a time.
Would a man sabotage his career without a fight that would be my question personally. Probably not. Something's are very very important to children, seeing her father every other weekend might be it maybe once a month would be fine too.
I don't know your personal circumstances so I don't know why your DD only sees her dad once every 14 days as you said (assuming there is also quite some distance geographically?), but if you add up the days she sees her dad now over a year now, then look at how many days she could see her dad if you moved abroad with her, with not too long between each time they see each other, is it possible that your DD could actually increase the number of days with her dad by being abroad? A typical school calendar has 14 weeks holiday per year, if she spent most of these 14 weeks with her dad, then surely that would actually be MORE time spent with him?
Just because your Manager was a lousy father doesn't mean OP's exH is one too, Mosman. Why should a career come before a child's relationship with her non-resident parent?
Why shouldn't it ? My point was simply that women song have to be all sacrificing just because they are women, plenty of men wouldn't think twice.
Thanks everyone for your replies. It is tricky and Ottilie, there's no way I'd go abroad and not facilitate contact with her dad and siblings. I know what the right thing is for her and I just need to work out if it's possible. It might not be.
I think talking to my ExH is the start. He knows it's on the cards (its worth noting that he moved abroad 3mths after we separated - a lot further than EU but he maintained a reasonable contact) but I am determined to do what's right for my family. (not just me).
Similarly, it's that age old debate about career/family balance. I wish I had the answer!
You have to try to discuss it dispassionately with you making practical suggestions about how you'd make it work, eg lots of Skype, what frequency of visits you would organise, how you'd manage the school holidays. If it's still in Europe, it's not that far away.
I think you can make the point that, just as his move was temporary and he maintained good contact whilst he was away, yours is the same.
It's understandable that you want to do what's right for your family, but you are allowed to do what's right for you too, of course. It sounds like you have a fantastic opportunity that it would be a real shame to turn down.
Do you foresee him disagreeing? Could you sell the fact that DD might become bilingual?
You seem to be trying very hard to do the right thing, I do hope it works out for you.
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