Move London to NYC and give up work?

(18 Posts)
Laurascriv Mon 26-Oct-15 15:41:28

I'm a UK qualified GP working 3d/wk and mum to DS2 nearly 3 and DD nearly 1.5 My husband works in business and has been offered a role in NYC for 2 years. I can't work as a doctor in the US without crazy amount of re-training (will probably take 2 years at any rate!). Husband's package will probably cover my loss of income (my salary basically pays for our childcare anyway!) and would hopefully cover nursery places for our little ones.

It sounds like a great opportunity and the kind of adventure we love, but I love my job and would be strange not to work (got a bit bored towards end of 2nd mat leave). Not our style for DH to be breadwinner and me to be homemaker - we're better when we share the roles. Husbands job likely to be v demanding so thought I would be around for the kids more, he might well see them less. Plus lots to give up here such as family nearby, lots of local friends, a nanny we all adore, kids potentially getting into great schools and overall good work-life balance (well as much as any working parents of toddlers!).

I'd love to hear from mums that have put their careers on hold to re-locate - how did you find it? What did you do?

Also any advice on living in/near NYC - DH would want <1h commute to Grand Central - I would like 4 bedrooms, a garden (ideally) and some other mums to socialise with.

Thanks in advance x

OP’s posts: |
Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 27-Oct-15 00:54:19

Could you take this opportunity to study further? Come back home and on the market with an additional set of skills?
Also a good opportunity to socialise outside mummy/toddler oriented activities?

Doraydiego Tue 27-Oct-15 01:16:02

I did it. My career never recovered. Which I am very sad about.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 27-Oct-15 01:20:45

Just be careful OP. Being the trailing spouse is very, very, very difficult, tricky for your relationship and dangerous for your professional future.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 27-Oct-15 01:28:20

There are lots of blogs and articles about it.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 27-Oct-15 01:29:39

Now is the time to do it though, before the DC are in school!

It can be a totally fun adventure, just make sure you are going into it with your eyes open!

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 27-Oct-15 05:52:10

Very true, especially if 2 years become more and you are stuck without a work permit. Recipe for disaster.
Studying from the word go for a US qualification helps neutralise that possibility.
I know many who a couple of years down the line regretted no to have taken the plunge.
This is a great time to think sideways and go for a niche at your leisure.


Duckdeamon Tue 27-Oct-15 06:00:51

I am not a doctor but DH has had opportunities like this and hasn't pursued them: I wouldn't go, partly because of not being able to work and that having given up my job it'd be hard to get back in even after a couple of years out, especially part time. I also really dislike US companies terms and conditions (very long hours and few holidays) and what this - and my being at home, ie relying on one job - could mean for our family life and relationship.

JeanSeberg Tue 27-Oct-15 06:12:49

I wouldn't do it and I'm surprised your husband has put you in the position of having to consider it

Not our style for DH to be breadwinner and me to be homemaker

mummytime Tue 27-Oct-15 06:31:23

Is there any research you could do out there? Would that be your kind of thing at all?
Unless you can advance your career someway, or at least keep it ticking over, whilst out there I would be reluctant. Is there any CPD you would need to do to keep your skills up to date?
I definitely wouldn't go in your shoes without a plan for how you are going to fill your time.

I am confused that you say you would need a lot of retraining to work in the US, as a brief internet search doesn't indicate that - but as I know for teachers the internet doesn't always make it obvious where qualifications are not accepted (a friend had qualified via GTP and discovered she couldn't work without totally retraining).

guihailin Tue 27-Oct-15 08:12:20

Is this a burning opportunity for DH with a risk he would dearly regret not taking it in the future? That is a couple's relationship decision.

Otherwise, don't go! You say you and he function better when things are shared, i.e. both working. The children will need your input as much at 8, 9, 10 etc with school, holidays, activities... as they do now. Sounds like you have a good set-up with 3/d per week and that can be fluid and adapt to your parenting needs as your children grow.

Unfortunately, it's quite typical with 2 children at this age that the mother takes the foot off the pedal professionally and the father is full steam ahead, and then it becomes the norm.

You can still plan amazing, long, adventurous holidays to the USA etc without living there.

p.s. don't say "my salary only covers childcare anyway", it's false logic - this is a household expense to be shared like all others, and will decrease quickly as the children get older, whereas your salary will only generally really grow steadily by remaining in the workplace

LadylikeCough Tue 27-Oct-15 09:34:12

Is he being offered a company transfer, or an entirely new job? If it's the former, you'll probably be on an L visa derivitive, which will allow you to apply for a work permit when you arrive (only valid for the length of DH's visa), which at least keeps your options open. If it's the latter, you may get stuck on the H4, which means you can't work at all.

Even if you plan, in advance, not to work, it's still miserable to be stuck on the H4, aka visa from hell: you have no options, you're entirely dependent, and you even have to be careful about voluntary work (you can't do for free any tasks that people would normally be paid for).

If you found maternity leave boring, I would really question whether it's a good idea to be a trailing spouse. US corporate life is even more intense (IMO) than in the UK, so you'll be landed with all home admin and childcare, and it sets a relationship pattern that's actually quite hard to snap out of after a few years.

There's also the possibility that your DH will love his job and be offered further advancement there, and want to stay longer, in which case you may have issues -- I think a lot of trailing spouses start off thinking 'it's only a few years', since most relocations involve limited-period visas, but often things go well, green card sponsorship is offered, and there are difficult decisions later down the line.

I really like New York, but you sound so absolutely positive and happy about your current situation (love your job, neighbourhood, family, work/life balance) that it makes me want to say noooo, don't do it!

(Perhaps I've relocated too often, but I just don't buy the 'you'll regret not trying it' line any more. I've met plenty of expats who've regretted their decisions -- and being a trailing spouse, in particular, can really limit your option; perhaps not immediately, but increasingly so as the years pass. If you've got a good thing going here, that's worth a lot.)

ifink Tue 27-Oct-15 09:46:33

Hmmm, hard one. I write as a trailing spouse, left the UK with kids similar aged to yours now. I left a part-time job, parents nearby, London, friends etc to come to Oz. I have been here over 4 years. The first two years were HARD with a capital H...having two little children, no family/friend support, creating a 'life', making all the effort to meet people, lonely trips to the park, meeting new people then realising that they aren't 'your sort'...get my drift. It takes ages to build up that happy playdate/playground/activity life which you would seek if you moved overseas - even when the language is the same! My worst was having toothache soon after arriving and trying to go to the dentist for a 2 hour root canal when you have no childcare....not fun.

The last two years have been great though, I've made a life here now but I haven't managed to find a job, enjoyed being a SAHM, met some amazing people but really any career has vanished for me. DH's career has taken off. It all sounds sadly familiar to many threads on overseas! But honestly, if going to the US is something you (not just DH) really want to do then grab it, just don't expect it to be easy wink

Shakshuka Sat 31-Oct-15 19:22:00

Can't really talk about giving up career but there could be opportunities for a dr in research or projects etc rather than clinical if you can work.

Grand central is served by metro north so you could look at westchester county

There's also queens if you prefer city life. The 7 train goes to grand central and the E/F lines allow easy access to midtown east well with express trains.

Want2bSupermum Tue 03-Nov-15 20:04:04

Do not give up your career. I think, although I am not 100% sure of this, that there are different rules for primary care work if you work in an underserved area. Another mother I know does this in Brooklyn. PM if you want me to connect you with her. She also teaches at a medical school in NYC so would probably know people who can direct you.

I found this website which looks to be an official government page.

SheGotAllDaMoves Tue 03-Nov-15 20:22:00

When my DC were small, I gave up my position as a lawyer to go with DH to Chicago.

TBH we all loved it. Had a ball.

My plan was to spend my time studying part time ( we had a great package which included some child care - though I actually needed very little due to the nature of the studies).
I intended to return to my old job upon our return ( would have been doable as I was pretty niche, well qualified and pretty well known ).

However, in the meantime another opportunity arose and I followed that career path on our return.

mumhum Thu 05-Nov-15 09:37:53

In a similar situation. DC 4 and 6 months and on second maternity leave. DH has been offered great job in Switzerland so plan is I do not go back to work as a City lawyer and be a SAHM. Not what I had envisaged but trying to see it all as a great opportunity for the whole family.

yakiudon Sat 07-Nov-15 12:11:49

I can't comment on NYC, but I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago when my husband was offered a job in California (he works in IT sector).

I am also a GP (salaried, part time), and have 2 small children. The main issue for me is what would happen on our return. (assuming we moved out to US for 2-3 years). You will need to be supervised for 1 year under the GP returners scheme, and I gather that the funding for this is patchy. I was advised to make sure that I had been revalidated prior to leaving UK, as this would make it easier to return to work in UK. I was worried that if my husband was made redundant in the USA, then potentially neither of us would have any employment to return to.

The other option I considered was whether I could return a few times a year to locum as a GP in the UK to enable to remain on the GP performers list locally. That would also mean I would be appraised every year. I'm not sure exactly, but I don't think that you actually need to work that many hours each year to remain on a UK performers list. You would of course need to pay indemnity and GMC cover, and your earnings may not cover the cost of this, but it may be worth it just to remain able to work on your return to the UK.

I guess if you're planning to be away for under 2 years, then none of that really applies....As it turned out, we decided not to relocate for various reasons. But the inability to work was definitely a factor for me.

Hope that helps? and good luck with your decision!

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