This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Tips on dh staying overseas and me and dc in the UK(24 Posts)
This will be happening soon. Has anyone done it, and how did it work out? I am most concerned for the dc. They will be at a new school, new house, and although they don't see much of dh now, they will only have Skype and summer hols with him.
I'd like to keep him involved, what can we both do?
We did it for 6 months with new house/school/area. DH was commuting between here and SE Asia. He was coming back for 1 to 2 weeks out of 4 though. It was very doable (appreciate your visits will be far far less and hope you don't mind me asking but are you still together as it's not clear from your post whether you are moving back here cos of a separation?).
It worked well for us as it got us out of a very difficult situation where we were. At the time it was the only solution. But we had an end date from the get go (that was last week - DH is now living with us full time and is working in the UK for the same company).
We all would have struggled with longer gaps between visits tbh. Our DCs are 10 and 8 (how old are yours?) but it was amazing how quickly they got used to him not being around. Towards the end there were no tears when he left - they became quite blaze about it. And they are very close to him.
Thanks- its getting us out of an increasingly difficult financial situation plus dh and I have had problems so it would have happened anyway.
He won't see the dc unless we arrange something for Easter ( unlikely as he won't have holiday) but he will see them over the summer as he travels to Europe. I suppose we have to make sure he talks to them on Skype, i can keep a scrapbook for each child to do to show him, and see how it goes.
Six months apart led to divorce for us which was/is fine. Tbh if he chooses to live anywhere but around the corner from his kids then I personally wouldn't bother beyond turning on Skype for him, you're nicer than me :-)
I doing this too. I think the new school, house, not having their things and not having their dad is going to be really hard. My dh can't get a visa.
Mosman, if I stay we will divorce! The time difference is awful, but we will deal with that when the time comes.
This way, we can sort finances and discover if we want to stay married. At least I will be in the UK, not a trailing spouse, and at the mercy of his company and him.
But my other thread is about that!
- how do you keep the dc and dh relationship going? All the day to day things?
One of the things I do to keep my relationship going with my sister is using iMessage. Then we can say things to each other at whatever time it is and the other one can read it later. And we can take photos too.
We did it for 15 months. It was a strain. I don't think we could have done it for longer. Our abroad was Germany and our longest gap was 4 months apart but for DS it was longer - about 7 or 8 I think. He was 4 for most of the duration.
They do miss out on the day to day - there's no way around it. But it didn't take long at all to get it back when we came to live for good. Skype is invaluable, andthinthings like whatsapp for you (and dc if old enough) to share silly/funny/normal things that happen. It is properly make or break for your relationship though. You have to be able to trust absolutely because, obviously, it would be much easier for either of you to cheat. Also talking online can lead tomisinderstandings, and it is VERY hard to hear about things like social events or work trips knowing that it is hard or impossible for you to do the same (probably worse if the dc are little).
I think if you are unsure it is the right thing to do. You will have an absolute rollercoaster of a year, or howeverlong, but by the end you will know one way or the other. I went through all extremes and am now convinced I made the right decision (to come) - things are better now than ever.
We did 6 months when we first left the UK. DH went first and kids and I stayed at home as I finished off my job, sorted housing etc. DH worked like a dog for the first few months in role, which would have been harder if the DC and I had been there. DC were OK - they settled easily in to new routines as they were very young.
But it was hard on us. As well as the odd misunderstandings over skype and phone it can be frustrating that you're stuck at home with no support or a partner to look after the kids while you go out - contrasting with them being out a lot more. But overall the time apart it was fine. Bizarrely it was the flying visits and even when we all moved back together which were very difficult to adjust to. I became much more independent and use to my own way. So he would voice an opinion esp on the kids and I would shoot it down - either because I knew some insider knowledge I hadn't thought to share or because I just wanted to do things my way. I'd say it took us a good year to get back on track.
Frankly if your marriage is shaky then this could well be the final nail in the coffin. Now that may be OK with you - and its a more drawn out but gentle way of the inevitable happening. But it is doable - you have to keep talking, not just the big stuff but also silly banter and banal day to day stuff and if it takes you out of a big financial hole then maybe long term that's the best option all round.
When we have been away for the summer dh always emailed me, but as he is quite hands off with day to day stuff with the dc, and only does fun stuff like day out, games.
The dc rely on me for all their emotional needs. They don't bother telling him about their day and he never asks. I do worry he will forget all about them. He finds it very hard they want me all the time, but that's because despite years of me saying " you should do this ( bath, bedtime) he hasn't, so you reap what you sow he occasionally blames me for the fact they don't want him when they are sick or anything.
Yes, its a shaky marriage and getting shakier as departure date looms.
Lavender I have lurked on your other thread so I suspect this will be a make or break .
But I would say my Parents divorced when I was little and Dad lived in a different country, I am so very close to him despite only seeing him once or maybe twice a year. And that was before Skype!
It is possible but it is a case of you reap what you sow. If he makes the effort with the kids - Skype, postcards, maybe even games (I know one Dad who works away and has a long standing Monopoly game running with his kids - all their friends even ask what the current state of play is!!) He needs to understand this and be prepared to make some effort - and this applies whether or not your marriage lasts, possibly even more important if it does!
I have been in this situation for three years now. The DC and I live, work and play in one country whilst DH travels the world with his job. We meet up whenever school holidays and his job allow. It works in the fact that the DC are settled and happy, see daddy when ever they can and are so used to it it is their normal. When they see him he is "fun daddy" who buys them whatever they want!! DH gets to focus on the job he loves, gets wined and dined by big shots, corporate events whenever he wants, evenings in the gym! All without ever worrying about child care or responsibilities! I get whinging about homework, moaning about what to wear, eat, brushing teeth. Personal taxi service to the many clubs and events. Ill, tired, upset DC's who are just grumpy! BUT I wouldn't swap places for anything because I get the cuddles, love, smiles and laughter. I am there for all the school events, dancing shows and watching them play. I am watching them grow. My DH is missing out on so much that he just doesn't realise. He will regret it one day when he blinks and they are two young ladies ready to leave home. Life isn't all about earning money it is about being with the ones you love. I am the lucky one! Although I have to say it is not always easy. Good luck with your decisions.
Goodness tigerfrog, that's a long time! I haven't thought that far ahead at all.
Us too Tigerfrog, we have just passed the three year mark. I have three teenagers to contend with and mixed sexes which is where not having dad around is tough. No foreseeable end in sight for us, we are stuck where we are due to being in the exam years. Oh dear, I sound sorry for myself but then I am some of the time! Like you I realise DH has missed out on so much.
What made you decide to live in the UK and your DH work abroad? Were you there and came back or did they go and it just evolved from there.
Its made me realise if I do get away I won't go back!
We all went with DH to start a new job. It was meant to be based in one country but he spent the whole time travelling. In the first year he spent 6 weeks in the same country as us. I was therefore left in a new country where I didn't speak the language with two little DD's. I lasted 18 months until i put my foot down and left although not back to the UK. In a way it has saved our marriage! I know we would have separated years ago if we lived together permanently! This way I get to live an independent life but the girls are provided for. I work full time and enjoy my girls. The down side is the loneliness and having to deal with everything on your own.
- My DD's are now approaching the end of primary so I will be finally returning to the UK for those secondary and exam years. I will be so happy to be returning back home where I will finally have family support.
I will never go back- other that holidays when I know I have three return tickets!
Tigerfrog, thanks that really helpful. Dh is keen to keep us all together, but our quality of life is no good really -it will be better in the UK. At the moment I do it all and he sees the dc sometimes during the week, gets home after I have gone to bed. Gets up after they have gone to school. He is fun dad at weekends and already they see him as that, not as df they can talk to or just hang with.
He can't have it all, I don't think. I don't want to live in the ME, with a lesser quality of life than in the UK, just so he can take ds to the park at weekends. We don't even have a garden or bikes for the dc. There childhood seems so empty, apart from school and home.
If you are an independent type of person that can deal with life's ups and downs on your own then it can work. I want my DD's to have more family involvement thus why I am returning home next year. The UK does have a lot to offer for children, often things that we never apprieciate until we do not have access to it. I am looking forward to the culture, theatre, countryside and sporting opportunities that the girls will have on our return. They both see daddy as wonderful daddy, they love him and look forward to seeing him. They spend much better quality time with him( if I can prise his mobile off him) when they see him and will have wonderful memories of their time with him. DH and I get on very well over the phone! It's not what I signed up for, not what I dreamed about when I was a little girl but it works for us and more importantly gives DD's the stability they deserve
Tigerfrog, thanks - I am independent and quite confident in my ability to manage practically. Emotionally will be harder, but I will have to work on that, plus supporting the dc emotionally, that will be hardest.
We did it for a year when I was pregnant with my youngest. We'd moved several years earlier for DHs job and I had lost a baby in late pregnancy so when I became pregnant again I wanted to return to UK.
I returned for a year and it worked fine. I'm pretty independent and the DC were 3&4 the only really hard but was towards the end of my pregnancy when I was pretty much incapacitated due to SPD and it would have been so nice just to have a bit of support.
I think if you have an end in sight it's fine
I went with DH in 2007 to the USA, but the nature of his job meant he was often working away from home. Many times I thought "Why am I here?"
I actually conclude that throwing in your lot and moving to another country puts you in a very vulnerable position. No job, no saving towards pension, and, actually very few rights at all.
I don't regret going but with the blessing of hindsight I would have got everything in writing beforehand!
we've done this for 6 years now .... wasn't planned! dh got made redundant, couldn't find a job here, then got offered a 'six month project' ... it was either go or sell the house ... six months got extended to a year, then two and by that time he'd established himself as a regional expert so all new job offers are out there rather than here. Once he started getting offered permanent positions the dc were happy and settled at school and our age gap (3 years and 3 years) means it's very hard to work round exam years
It is remarkable how quickly the dc have got used to him not being around - he's back most months for 3-4 days but sometimes the gap's longer
It does worry me that the dc don't have much to do with their father and ds1 has gone through almost his entire secondary school career without having a permanent male role model at home, however holidays etc seem to be ok
It's been hard for me and very restricting work-wise and socially too but it doesn't necessarily mean the end of your marriage
Not the end of your marriage but a very different one.
For both of you.
I feel it's a path that is so personal, it's difficult sharing beyond the dry logistics. We don't all have the same resilience. Not only us. Them too.
Hope you don't mind my saying. And of course, the children in between.
There is an end in sight, I just don't know which one it will be! But at least things will change and a solution found.
We will Skype, keep diaries, send emails, film clips and look forward to holidays, and try to make it work. Its up to him to do the same.