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How to get your head around decision to move continents? (or not, even)

(35 Posts)
lljkk Fri 29-Mar-13 10:36:02

...with a family. Deciding what would be best.

Fine for me + DH. But with DC to consider, omg, I need to go lie down in a dark room. I feel so overwhelmed. Is there a trick, a strategy, for figuring out what's best? Should I go back to reading the Tips thread?

scottswede Fri 29-Mar-13 11:01:51

There is no magic answer I'm afraid. Everyone has different,reasons, experiences in the whole moving saga. The only thing is children are very adaptable, they feed off your emotional state. You can research till the cows come home, but ask 20 people making exactly the same move and you'll get 20 different answers. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Alligatorpie Fri 29-Mar-13 11:20:02

I have moved continents as a single person, part of a couple and as a family. Moving with a family is much more challenging, but as scotts said children are adaptable. Dd1 hated it when we arrived, liked it within weeks and loved it by the end of the second month.
She was so happy when we signed contracts for a third year.

lljkk Fri 29-Mar-13 11:43:16

it's just the organising everything, figuring out a foreign system. Even though it's my home country & I do understand lots, but lots I don't.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 29-Mar-13 11:55:40

I'm obsessing about this at the moment. I think I want someone to tell me it will be okay, the kids will be fine, it's a great idea. Obviously nobody can.

lljkk Fri 29-Mar-13 14:59:30

Where are you moving (or thinking) to move from and to, Arabella, and why?

MercedesKing Sat 30-Mar-13 03:48:20

Can you provide more information on the move, guess that would be more helpful to have the plan achieved perfectly.

Mutley77 Sat 30-Mar-13 04:30:18

There is no crystal ball - if you and your partner both think it will be a good move for you all you should probably move. If you have any serious doubt I would say don't!

Me, DH and our 2 kids (DC 3 due in June) have been in Australia for a month so far. I can see pros and cons of the move. The main downside for us is education - there isn't a place in kindergarten (preschool) for DS which means he is bored - and at the moment we don't know how long he will be waiting! DD is 8 and they are working 1-2 years behind what she was doing in the UK - not sure whether/how we can resolve that.

In terms of my children having coped with the emotional settling they are both fairly confident and they have coped well with the change - as I say if you and your partner are committed you can probably support them in this.

We moved because DH was offered a contract here with his company, he is Australian and has always wanted to move back. If those compelling reasons hadn't existed I certainly wouldn't have come smile

Acinonyx Sat 30-Mar-13 16:33:41

We are going around and around over this at the moment. We have both lived overseas before - but not since having dd, who is now 7. We have a pretty settled UK village life at present and our main concern is uprooting dd. We would be going to India or Singapore and neither dh nor dd are best suited to a tropical climate.

I sometimes wonder, where is the girl who left for the ME and then Africa with just a one-way ticket and a suitcase? OTOH neither of us has settled comfortably into life back in the UK but OTOH one of the reasons we came back to the UK was dh's health - which is much better now but still of concern. Health and safety or my big concerns (things that just never bothered me before) and also - what next? How long do we stay - hoe do we get back... (also things that never worried me in the past).

But we are both pretty fed up with the - dullness. I don't know if we can live like this for another 10-12 years. I feel like THIS is an alien planet - where no-one cares about travel or adventure and everything is known and predictable.

Bu what if I made a mistake, and something happened to dd because of the move. What if she's never as settled as she is here. What is she grows up feeling she has no roots anywhere. (What if we stay on and get stung for overseas uni fees shock). Where do we retire (we're not so young).

juneau Sat 30-Mar-13 16:39:33

You weigh it up, pros and cons. You talk it over and over and over until you reach a consensus. You decide what you can and can't compromise on. You put your DC's well-being near the very top of your priority list. You do your best for your family - whatever that turns out to be.

Salbertina Sat 30-Mar-13 18:07:07

Acoonyx - who knows what might happen anyway? We were in a not dissimilar position but with 2 dc to uproot. We are now in Africa. Should we have? Who knows. I have some regrets but it is an adventure.. To be honest its obviously v different w kids than carefree and kid-free 20s on oneway ticket, been there too. Its v v different w kids and when older.

lljkk Sat 30-Mar-13 20:06:10

So far we have

Stay: NHS, his family, less car-dependency, BBC, generous Uni funding, seasonal flowers, few Bible Thumpers, less upheaval, better work-life balance, less crime, less materialism

Go: Vastly better weather, my family, cycling, better secondary system, more and better jobs, more diversity & opportunities (in most ways), better food, adventure

Acinonyx Sat 30-Mar-13 20:15:39

Yes it's very different and we'd have to accept that we won't be running around all hours like you do before kids. Do you mind saying where you are in Africa Salbertina?

Iljkk - that's very like our lists. NHS is high on the list of 'stay'. Weather (but could go against as well), international school, food and adventure are high on the 'go' list. No family here - no family there.

pollypandemonium Sat 30-Mar-13 20:22:11

Interesting that your family comes second after weather in the 'Go' list. Do you see yourself getting involved with your family much as I would say that's a very important one.

pupsiecola Sun 31-Mar-13 00:27:16

We moved to Singapore last June. We'd been several times and have good friends here. We're 95% sure we're going back to the UK this Summer. Dh might stay out here for a bit. The international school my sons are at has turned out to be a total disappointment and we don't believe we have another workable alternative here. I'm glad we came. If we hadn't we'd have regretted it and we're going back in a stronger financial position, and it has been an adventure, and we've already had some fantastic holidays.

But I'm now facing trying to find out about schools in a new area (we don't want to go back to our old village) from 7000 miles away.

It's impossible to know how it's gonna work out. And I do think it's all part of life's rich tapestry. But always keen an open mind. That's what I would say.

scottswede Sun 31-Mar-13 08:00:42

We are in the same situation with schools. Not wanting to move back to the same area, and trying to find out about schools via the net. Also my kids are 2 years behind the UK education system, so we are doing a lot of homework, which is not going down well, might I add. The main reason we moved was for a better education for the kids. I am not impressed with the system here at all.
If dh's company could post him somewhere warmer we would definitely consider it. 5 straight months of winter here, I could scream.
We are only returning to the UK because we don't like it here.

Acinonyx Sun 31-Mar-13 08:39:44

I absolutely could not live anywhere colder than the UK. In fact, I find the UK climate very tough.

I've always liked the idea of an International School - but I know it's hard to get into the best ones and we might be able to apply that far in advance.

We won't be able to cover the humongous mortgage on our UK house with rent so we will need to be careful working out the package.

We're favouring India at present.

Salbertina Sun 31-Mar-13 08:52:00

In my experience international schools vary hugely.. Some offer little more than local schools but at much higher fees and are not the mini rainbow nation one might expect ..

TheAccidentalEgghibitionist Sun 31-Mar-13 09:00:19

I agree about the international schools. The one my DS goes to is wonderful but is about a year behind UK schools. It exists in its own little bubble but without the interaction from other schools it doesnt compare or monitor how its doing aginst other schools.
The pastoral care is very good, small class sizes, imaginative teaching.
I don't know where you are thinking of moving to but it's worth considering there are lots of countries with a better health service than the UK.

juneau Sun 31-Mar-13 09:23:17

there are lots of countries with a better health service than the UK

Yes, this is true, but most of them cost a lot of money, so you need to be sure that medical insurance would be part of your package or that you'd earn enough to be able to afford good coverage.

When we moved from the US to the UK the main reasons were: DH's job opportunities were better, our preference for the British education system, wanting to have Europe on our doorstep again for travel, my large family (DH's family consists of just three people), and just that living in the UK was our long-term plan and we didn't want to get any more settled in the USA as the next stage for us was to have a 2nd child and buy a house.

Acinonyx Sun 31-Mar-13 09:37:39

The single biggest downside for me personally is re-homing our cat who will be 14 and would not cope with the move and definitely not with quarantine on the way back. It breaks my heart to think about it but dh (who was the one who insisted on getting cats) doesn't seem quite so distressed about it hmm.

Interesting to hear about the schools.

We're generally attracted to places that tend not to have better health care. This is a major dilemma - we were in fact evacuated from our last posting for this reason. Dh was so ill I don't think he really remembers it the way I do - I'm more anxious about it than he is. I think it broke my nerve and then having dd turned my risk-aversiveness up even further.

But then I look ahead and think - another 10-20 years like this? <<shudder>>

Salbertina Sun 31-Mar-13 09:51:24

You know quarantine has gone seeing as its a major factor for you? If pet complies with anti rabies regime- negative blood tests for x amount of time on top of annual jabs etc.

Acinonyx Sun 31-Mar-13 09:56:45

Really smile smile! I must look into that again. I just don't know how our aging cat would take to southern India. At present we have a lovely cat sitter for when we travel - I wonder if I could find someone like that. Hmmmm. I drive dh crazy with this stuff!

scottswede Sun 31-Mar-13 10:18:44

We brought 4 cats from the US, the whole process was so stressful for the cats(I was a basket case) all the blood samples, waiting on results. We could do the 6 months quarantine at home in the states. We actually delayed our move because one of the older cats had too much fat in his blood and we had to start the whole 6 months thing over. The flight was long and they all still had to stay in UK quarantine for 2 weeks after we arrived. When we moved again within Europe this time, I decided to re home them before we left. Really hard decisions when you have pets. Needless to say we have acquired more cats here, but it's a lot easier to move within European countries. I have had a lot of incredulous looks from (non-animal) people when I have said we have to 'consider' the pets in our move.....

Acinonyx Sun 31-Mar-13 10:27:44

Yes - most people think I'm just a crazy cat lady! Will look into it - but I think it depends on particular agreements between countries. Last time I looked (2 years ago - when we had 2 cats so even harder), Singapore had a pet agreement that meant you didn't need quarantine but India didn't. I'm not sure how easy C would be to re-home - he has, er, quirks....

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