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Stay in the Netherlands or commute weekly(13 Posts)
I could really do with some advice from you guys please.
So myself and DP moved to the Netherlands last year and we had our little baby boy earlier this year.
However, I am really struggling to be happy here. Whilst becoming a new mum has been an amazing (and challenging ) experience so far, I really miss the UK! I suspect I need to give things more time, but my gut tells me I just need to be back home, around everything that is familiar.
We moved here due to DPs new job, which was an opportunity he really couldn’t turn down.
The position is likely to last 3-5 years, with the possibility of it becoming permanent.
Whilst I support his decision to move here, I really am struggling to accept that our life is here now and regret that we are not raising our son in the UK, around the support of my friends and family (DP is Belgian).
What I would like to know is - has anyone lived in a separate country to their partner whilst having a LO.
NL really isn’t far to travel to/from the UK, and we could take it in turns to travel to see each other at weekends.
However, Am I being selfish to even consider this?
I have sacrificed my career, home, friends and family to make the move here, however I feel so guilty for wanting to move back home.
Any advice would be much appreciated x
DH worked out a desk in Brussels for 3 years, he spent wo weeks a month there and two weeks based at home in the UK. We didn't move with him as a family, DC were settling back into UK life after another period abroad and I was back at work.
It worked out fine for us in the short term, longer term we all ended up overseas again but it spared DC one move.
But if this is going to be a permanent job for DH you might be better to suck up the pain now rather than have to relocate in a few years when DC are settled into a nursery etc.
I think you need a third solution. I’ve done both of these (dh has commuted from UK and I’ve been a trailing spouse) and would not do either if there was a chance it might be permanent. Are there jobs in his sector based in the UK? Weekly commuting may well be as awful for him as living in NL is for you.
Do you live in a big city with lots of expats so that you can make friends with other parents? If not, why not try moving to one, if it’s commutable for your OH.
We did it for a year. DH was based in the Netherlands from Monday to Thursday, working at home on Friday. We had three small children at the time. The opportunity was there for us to all move as a family, but I didn't want to go & leave my support network. Being apart was really, really tough on both of us. A year was more than enough.
Becoming a mum is a huge upheaval and it's really hard no matter where you are, but must be so much harder in an unfamiliar place with no friends or family.
Could you maybe go back to the UK for a visit, to stay with your family for a while and recuperate a bit?
I think it's too early on to make a decision about staying or going, as your hormones will definitely be playing havoc with your emotions right now (mine went crazy after DC1 was born), so it's probably not the best time to make a decision that could affect your future.
Also, you really don't have to decide now, as realistically, you could easily move back when your LO is 2 or even 3, without this affecting their education at all. At least by then you will know that you gave it a shot and there won't be any resentment on your DP's part.
In terms of commuting, you'd have to ask your DP and obviously he may not wish to be away from his son so much, which is understandable. Also, it would possibly be quite tiring for you and your son to travel back and forth, and your son may be quite upset about not seeing his father, saying goodbye, etc.
So my advice would be to try and stick it out a bit longer.
I sympathize though - as you know I'm in a similar position.
and for you
Have done this.
Weekly commuting from Europe is expensive, tiring and time consuming and puts a huge strain on those involved. If you are flying, you usually need to allow an hour to get to the airport, an hour for security and check in, an hour for the flight and an hour plus to get home at the other end. That is at least 8 hours of a weekend even if all goes well. But the likelihood is that at least 30% of your flights will be delayed etc, especially in winter. And when travelling with an infant you need to allow more time.
That kind of life style tends to mean you do not make friends in the new country, You are just too tired and away too often - so you are not really part of the community. And you miss your partner and their support during the week and the DC miss their dad too.
You are also paying twice for accommodation and utilities in addition to the flights and that can cancel out any financial gain from the posting abroad.
I wonder whether you could give yourself a bit more time to adapt to being a mum. It is always a huge change. Maybe tell yourself you will give it 12 months. Invite family and friends to stay. Join some mother and baby groups, language classes, expat groups etc and then see how you feel this time next year.
Weekly commuting will be very hard on both of you and really importantly will make it harder for your baby to really bond with him, though of course not impossible.
Have you met many other parents yet? The early months can be lonely and unsettling wherever you are. I'm with the pp who suggested giving it some time and trying to get involved with expat / new mum type activities before jumping to a long distance commute or to your DH quitting.
May I ask where you are? I am in NL, most places have some sort of group on Facebook, in Amsterdam of course it's easier. You can link up with other new parents and trailing spouses, this is a really common problem and I think you'll find support. For sure start with Amsterdam Mamas on Facebook, not everyone there is Amsterdam based. Feel free to pm me if you like. It's not easy, I commuted myself for only 6 months and found it very hard, and that was pre- baby.
My partner is Dutch and we will be moving to NL with our 4 month baby in a couple of month's time.
I'm also a little bit nervous about how it will go for me. For him, he's moving back to friends and family, he speaks the language (I try but am less than perfect) and I'm leaving all those things behind like you have.
Maybe you need to give it a little bit longer and like previous posters said, join an expat group?
Following for advice also!
OK I am currently doing this and have done for 18 months ish…. DH leaves at 4am on a Monday and returns at around midnight on a Friday. My DDs are 9 & 7 so not as young as yours. However DH has had contracts our whole marriage that sometimes take him away.... I had a 2yr old and 6 mo old when he had a contract in London (we are in Devon) that got so intense he only came home once in 7 weeks one time! Unfortunately during the 5 week stretch he was away both kids had chicken pox (one after the other) and the youngest completely forgot who he was! I was hanging to say the least. But we got through but not ideal. ANywayy it has now been so long since he has had a job that means he is home at night (apart from contract gaps, which the kids love but financially kill us) that we have decided to uproot every one to The Hague for a year just so we can be together. I am going to see if I can kick start my career too! It will be hard to be away from friends and family but we desperately need to be together as a family unit for a bit. The commute is brutal on DH too.... we go to him for half terms and chunks of holidays too so he can skip some of the weekly commutes. Don't get me wrong we do stuff to make the commutes easier on DH.... Privium membership at Schipol airport (you get to use the crew security and passport lanes and there is a lounge), easyjet plus membership to make the flight comfortable, spend the extra 5 euros to go first class (!) on the train to and from the airport.... but it still aint great. I am scared about the move but looking forward to being a tourist and living near the beach! And the weird food in the supermarkets! A year is really short, sneeze and you miss it.... so go one year on one year off... you kid is so little they are really mobile and it doesn't disrupt their education. Seriously view it as you do a hard bit apart but you have support and then go on holiday for a year with your DH and kid in NL! Then see how you are.... together is easier than apart I promise. But holiday with him there a lot first... once you know the place it is easier to decide to leap. But leap. Life is short, don't decide know because you are worried about a lack of support. If you trust your DH to be there for you and your LO then youll be fine. But visit him there a lot first (and if he is going to rent a flat there encourage him to rent one near the beach so you have a lovely place to go and play with little one all day!) I am rambling... I hope something in this helped.
My DH works in NL Monday-Thursday. I have a 5&7yr old. The kids are ok with him being away and it's only been 3 months. But I find it hard being apart and feel lonely especially in the evenings. There is potential we could move there for a bit. So something we might consider.