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starting to get desperate, can't decide what to do at all

(26 Posts)
INeedToGetThisAllOut Wed 03-Dec-14 02:20:36

Help me please, I haven't slept for weeks, I think this is the most stressed I have ever been.

We've been in Oz for a couple of years now, it took a while to settle but I finally feel like we're happy. Kids in good schools, friends, daycare, big house near the beach and also an opportunity for me to study next year.
But my DM is unwell and has been for a while, no diagnosis for the last year but she's getting worse rather than better. So DH told work that he would like a transfer back to the UK and we waited. I recently went back for a visit, my first in a long time, and I couldn't shake the feeling that our quality of life would nosedive and that Oz is a better place for the DCs to grow up. When I got back DH had been offered a job in the UK. Now it's going through and I'm panicking. There's all the practical stuff, like finding the DCs a place in school (we'll be lucky if they get into the same one), a smaller house, DH will have a long commute to work that he doesn't have now, the weather, finding daycare. I will have to give up on study for a few years... but these all seem like very shallow things in comparison to me and the DCs having some precious time with DM.
We don't have passports, and to be honest I don't think I could 3 moves overseas because it's tough on a trailing spouse, and I would have to build up a life all over again. So this is the final move really.
Anyone else been in a similar situation. I am dreading the distress I could cause to DM. sad

APocketfulOfSpondulix Wed 03-Dec-14 02:48:08

I feel for you. I'm an expat too and this is a scenario I dread, but will likely face at some point.

Has your DH actually accepted the job? What does your DM think about you living in Australia, is she distressed OR is she pragmatic that your life is better there? Do you have siblings back home who could help out?

What's happening with the diagnosis?

Just going through a few options - you've probably thought of them but ...

- can you afford to go back with the kids during holidays? Big summer break coming up.
- would your mum be well enough to fly out, or is she receiving treatment in the UK?

Want2bSupermum Wed 03-Dec-14 02:53:12

This is what I am dreading. My SIL is rather sick and her OH was just diagnosed with cancer. DH doesn't want to pack it all in and move back. Luckily my dad has Medicare so could live with us in the US if he were ill.

I think you are doing the right thing by moving back as your mother is getting older. Look at this for the positives which will be your children getting to know their granny better.

For your career is there a way you could start networking now? I think there are jobs posted on here that are family friendly.

INeedToGetThisAllOut Wed 03-Dec-14 03:03:30

Thanks apocket he hasn't formally accepted it yet but needs to decide within the next few days. He wants to stay, but has said he can be happy in the UK too.

DM can't fly at the moment, she's too poorly. She's receiving treatment in the UK, she's been through a time and is really looking forward to us coming home. I have a Dsis who also really wants us home. They have both said they would respect our decision if we decide to stay (not recently, we haven't discussed it in a while) but I can tell they are just saying it. There's been pressure to come home from the start.

I wonder if they would initially be upset but feel better when things settle and if we work on visiting more.

INeedToGetThisAllOut Wed 03-Dec-14 03:06:18

Thanks want2b it's something we all have to think about I guess. It came as a bit of a shock though, my parents are still quite young.

Good luck with your decision, so sorry to hear about SIL and her OH.

castlesintheair Wed 03-Dec-14 08:01:40

Do you know what the prognosis is for your mum? It is a very difficult and emotional decision but I think you have to put your own family and your life before your mum and sister. I known it sound's a bit brutal but if her condition is long term then maybe that changes things but if not, could you just have an extended stay in the uk with her? Whatever you do I don't think you should do anything out of guilt or a sense of obligation as it may lead to bitterness and regret in the future. Sadly in cases like this you can't please everyone and now that you have made a family of you own, their needs come first imo. Hard I know and I wish you strength with your decision.

Forestdew Wed 03-Dec-14 08:05:57

Would it be possible for you to have an extended holiday in the UK rather than move back? I think ultimately you have to do what is right for your yourself, husband and children.

EsmeGruntFuttock Wed 03-Dec-14 09:18:31

Sorry to read about your DM OP. I agree with castles. Coming back (speaking from experience) is tough. Long commute is slowly sucking DH's will to live. If I were in your shoes I would try to come up with other strategies to spend some time in the UK. As a PP suggested, visiting for an extended holiday. Trying to make it less black and white.

I think there are compelling reasons to move back, but they aren't your reasons. It does sound tough, but this is your life and living it for others could make you all miserable, especially as you are happy where you are. It's one thing to think about being in the UK near family etc. but the reality will soon kick in.

Once you come back to the UK you can feel that it's really hard to leave again, and that can lead to a feeling of being trapped.

You don't say how old your DCs are btw?

INeedToGetThisAllOut Wed 03-Dec-14 10:41:21

Thanks all, prognosis for DM is a bit of an unknown. Trying not to identity myself because it's a rare condition but if it is that then it could either long term, or she could go down hill within 5 years.

DCs are 9, 6 and 2. All very settled in school and daycare.

I think the main thing that's worrying me is I've just got to the point where I can focus on my career, but moving again will put me back into the mode of stay at home mum building a life and settling kids, and waiting 3 years to be considered a domestic student again!

INeedToGetThisAllOut Wed 03-Dec-14 10:42:59

Not the main thing I mean, one of the main things!!

My personal opinion is you should stay in Oz but try to visit more - a long summer visit each year maybe. Surely no mother would ask her daughter and grandchildren to have a significantly poorer quality of life andlong term poorer prospects and oopportunities if she knew the reality of your position?

EsmeGruntFuttock Wed 03-Dec-14 10:55:49

With children those ages, especially the older two, I would think very very carefully about uprooting them, especially because they are very well settled. Imagine if you returned here and they had issues with schooling?

If you do decide to stay could you speak to someone in a professional capacity about dealing with the possible guilt etc. you may feel? I wonder if something like CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) would help? It's a relatively short-term process and could give you the tools to keep perspective and not feel bad about doing what is right for your immediate family.

Personally I would be looking at ways to make it work as well as possible without actually returning home.

chloeb2002 Wed 03-Dec-14 19:19:01

Stay in Aus and visit more. As a nurse I have seen too many people up root their families in mercy moves "home" to be supportive. Ultimately they lose their identity and happiness. Find that the family resentment to then having been away is magnified when they return.

Go for long holidays. Take the kids. Return to Aus and enjoy your life. I'm sure as a parent your mother will want you to be happy beyond anything else!

I know

alteredimages Thu 04-Dec-14 08:34:30

It is a tough decision because it means upsetting people you love but for me it is a no brainer. You have to choose the best for your children because they are entirely reliant on you. Your DM and DSister, although things are tough, could find alternative sources of support. Definitely visit more if possible but do not move back to the UK.

FWIW I have just done an international move with two v young kids and 6 months on I feel like we are just beginning to settle and my plate is full just with our day to day stuff, so also try to be realistic about the level of support you could offer your DM with so many other demands on you. Also, be careful of creeping resentment of your DM if you are going to give up a happy life for her.

frenchfancy Thu 04-Dec-14 14:55:40

In your shoes I would stay put. I think your DH is being great getting the transfer and agreeing to the long commute but I think you sound settled where you are. Health of family members is always a concern when you live abroad but you have to do what is right for you and your DCs.

Twinchaos1 Thu 04-Dec-14 18:15:54

We are moving back to UK after a couple of years in Mexico, it is something we all are happy to do but it is still hard. I think you really need to do what us best for your family. On the information you have given us I would be inclined to stay and take longer breaks in UK.

INeedToGetThisAllOut Fri 05-Dec-14 01:20:04

Thanks everyone, all your posts have been really helpful.

It's been a tough few days. I spoke to Dsis first about our doubts and she got very very upset, it was really distressing for her and me. The worst part is her DD (7) was really looking forward to our DCs coming home (she's an only child and they were quite close before). I don't know how she will break it to her. sad When the decision was looking more final I bit the bullet and spoke to DM and she took it really well, she just kept saying that she wants us to be happy and we should do what's right for us, although I know she would love it if we came home.

On the one hand it feels like we've definitely made the right decision for us and the DCs, mixed in with feeling so guilty/anxious I could vomit. I think CBT is a really good idea. Now we have a long term plan I can focus on my career a bit more, I actually walked into daycare this morning asking if I could have more days next year and as luck would have it, I got 4 days a week! It's a brilliant, government run centre and DS loves it there. These are small things but just add to the feeling of being settled.

I just really hoping that family will be ok eventually. Thanks again everyone for the support. Hopefully I can start getting more sleep soon!

EsmeGruntFuttock Fri 05-Dec-14 08:14:21

Glad you have made that decision. Do look into some CBT - that would give you some great tools to catch yourself before the guilt starts to take hold.

chloeb2002 Fri 05-Dec-14 20:35:30

Family guilt is huge! confused
Cbt is great.
I'm sure however close your kids all are they can visit and I'm sure at 7 dsis daughter will have many friends at home grin

BringMeTea Sat 06-Dec-14 14:04:23

I think you have made the right decision. You are clearly a very caring person. Make peace with your decision and then do whatever you reasonably can. Suggestions of longer visits make sense. Good luck.

INeedToGetThisAllOut Sun 07-Dec-14 09:45:51

Thanks all. I am struggling.

Since I told my family the decision I've had lots and lots of awful messages from dsis. She asks me to make allowances for her being hurt and then goes on to bombard me with really awful stuff. She's basically calling me a heartless liar, has attacked DH, his family, my friends here etc. I have ruined her life and I don't care. Everything I've done over the last few years has been picked apart and made out of be a selfish deception, and then signs off with "I love you". But the messages imply she hates me. I don't know what to do now. I need to keep this from DM, but she also says that DM has accused me of lots of awful stuff in their chats about my decision not to go home. WWYD? I can't cut contact, that would be heartless. sad

ClaudiaNaughton Sun 07-Dec-14 10:01:55

Is she worried about being DM's sole carer?

INeedToGetThisAllOut Sun 07-Dec-14 10:21:59

I don't know, DM is married and still very active at this stage.

ClaudiaNaughton Sun 07-Dec-14 11:30:19

Definitely stay. Maybe Dsis and her daughter could plan a holiday to visit you.

EsmeGruntFuttock Sun 07-Dec-14 11:43:18

Oh gosh. Talk about emotional blackmail. How horrid for you to be on the receiving end of that, especially when you've struggled so much with the decision.

If you went back because of this completely unreasonable pressure I can't see how you wouldn't end up feeling so very resentful towards your family.

Stay strong. Think of your immediate family. I would write her a letter and then say you've made your decision and you are not changing your mind. Then don't reply to abusive messages.

Don't be bullied. This is YOUR life and you are happy with it. I also urge you to talk to someone/have some CBT. This is a perfect scenario for it and it will help you enormously.

Big hugs.

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