Should I move closer to family(27 Posts)
I'm in a bit of a quandary about the best thing to do.
I'm a single mum to my DC who is 4. My family live about 50 miles away, so I only see them if I drive to them. My DC starts school this year and I moved to this area after splitting from his dad. It's a lovely town with great schools. But I'm lonely and have no friends nearby. Most of my friends live about 10 miles away, so I do get to catch up with them sometimes at weekends. My DC sees his dad EOW and once midweek overnight. His DF lives 20 miles from me so we meet halfway.
This would all change if I move near family. However I'd be close to my DSis, brother, aunt and cousins, who all want us to be closer, so they can help more. I lost my darling mum in November so I'm just coming to terms with that.
My job is such that I could make the move without it impacting too much.
I'm torn and don't know what to do😟
My gut instinct is that you should move. Do you like the area where your family live? Would DC be at school with the cousins? I think you will really enjoy the company and the support. I'm in a similar situation and stayed put and now regret it, though we do live in a good area with fab school. There's nothing like being with your family.
So sorry about your Mum.
Thank you Maisy. I feel torn because the school here is great and I'd hate to deprive my DC of that opportunity. But that's a big price to pay for having no family support. I sometimes dread weekends because unless I plan ahead it can mean me and DC are alone the whole time. And as he gets older I worry that staying here will mean his life is very quiet and a bit lonely.
I think you're right tbh.
What's the area your family is in like? Could your dc still have regular contact with his dad? To be honest I'd probably go as being on your own you need the family support.
I'd move. Support from extended family has made our lives as a single parent family so much easier. The DC really benefit from the family bond and my sanity is saved by the support they offer on a regular basis.
You should move. Your DS will benefit from the extended family support as well as you. And it doesn't sound like you will be too far from your ex so hopefully no detrimental impact for that relationship.
The area where family are is fine although schools aren't as good. DC would see his dad EOW but not midweek and it's possible the weekend would be shorter due to logistics and drinking etc (and I'd have to meet him halfway, so would end up doing a lot of driving EOW..,
Driving not drinking- blooming auto spell !!
Wait! You can make a lots of friends through your child once he starts school.
I live 5000 miles away from my nearest family member so I really can understand what you mean about needing a support network around you. Interestingly most of my network of support are mums who are away from their families, have husbands that travel a lot or are raising children on their own. Sharing this "being away" has made us as close as a family. I have support that I couldn't dream to get from my family, I suppose we just help each other either with the kids or with the proverbial cup of tea when you are having a bad day.
This "scheme" has also being great for DS as although there were many years of not being able to have some time to go out at night, we often meet for other people which means we have time to catch up with each other while the kids are having a lot of fun playing with other kids of the same age.
So I would say that, if you are trully convinced your family are going to be very involved, in a positive way, move nearer to them but if they usually make a big fuss of you when you see them but ignore you the rest of the time, you may be better off by staying where you are.
Thank you for all your replies.
Karma Yes a number of people have said that. That's something that makes me hesitant to move tbh. Although I don't think my area has a lot of people with family living far away so not sure how it would pan out.
I'm afraid of making the move and regretting it🤔
Can you go and stay there for a week or two, see how it really feels there. See the school, hang out with your family, maybe meet their friends. See whether you feel you and DC could be happy there.
And ask yourself, what's the worst that could happen? You give it a year in the new place, it doesn't work out, you move back.
You're right *Maisy that's what I should do. Visiting somewhere is not the same as living there. Guess I'd be swapping having my friends fairly nearby for being near family. And I could certainly have a much bigger/nicer house there than where I currently live. I just feel un-anchored tbh, with no roots anywhere. I just spent the last two years caring for my dear mum before she passed away and that's left a massive hole in my life. This is when being a single parent is lonely and tough.
As a LP with no family support. If you have a chance to move to family support then do so.
But do consider if they are the kids of family who really will be able to provide support ..Would they help out with childcare if child off sick, babysitting... Then if so would do it in a heartbeat.
Feeling unanchored could be a lot to do with losing your mum, just as much as not being sure where you want to live. It's kind of unfortunate you have to make such a big decision right now, so soon after your Mum, but I'm guessing DC is starting school in September so now is the time.
If you can afford it I'd rent an Airbnb flat for a week or two, go to a couple of toddler groups, see the school etc. Did you grow up there? Are there any old school friends you could get in touch with? You just need to give yourself the best chance to find out whether you could feel at home there.
I was in your situation but my oldest is now in reception. I stayed put. She loves her school so I'd feel terribly guilty if I moved now. Her school is much better than if I had moved. I've got lots of new friends through school (I had none before) though weekends can be a bit lonely.
It's good to be realistic about how much you'd see extended family. I thought that if they can't make the effort to see me here, they'd probably be too busy to see me often if I moved. I do still visit them approx one weekend a month though.
I live close to exP by being here too, which I think is nice for my two dc as they'd see less of dad if I moved.
I wouldn't. Unless there is a reason, the fact you only see them when you drive there to me suggests that you'd be better living closer to friends.
I did that move and regret it, I got far more help from friends than family and with a 4 year old and school runs etc you might need help.
I'd spend more time there firstly and check into how much family would be able/want to meet up?
Arrange a visit to a couple of the potential schools they might not be as good on paper but actually going to the school and seeing some of the other parents can tell you a different story.
Compare the lifestyle for you and ds- are there local clubs for him to attend etc, do you need breakfast/after school club?
Is this your hometown? Could you reconnect with old friends?
You will meet friends through ds once he starts school so it's whether you do that where you are or near family?
I would move closer to family; you will have so much more support around you both. There's nothing like family, for you as well as your ds, it will create more stability especially during teenage years. You'll both make lots of friends as well so life will be full. It's a no brainer for me... EOW for a trip doesn't sound too bad, it's amazing how you get used to it.
It depends on the family. My parents are not at all supportive but they are fantastic at being judgemental. My sisters are good fun but very concerned with their own problems/interests not to be able to offer any practical support (I can get the nice chats by phone, even this far away, so not worth a move).
My cousins are lovely and really good friends. They throw a massive party everytime I visit but when I was living there we hardly saw each other as they were always busy working full time jobs and taking kids to classes in the evenings and weekends. It is likely you can tag along if your kids are the same age, otherwise you fall off the loop.
how would your son feel about only seeing his father every other week? how would you feel if it was the other way around?
personally I'd stay put for my child's sake -your family are not that far away. as PP have said you will probably make friends with parents at your son's new school.
Op, i was in a similar situation as a single mum with ds1. I stayed where i was living, about an hour away from family & ds went to lovely school, but he was collected by a childminder (which he hated) and i was so stretched with working full time and keeping us fed & clean on my own. I wish i'd moved closer to family; a visit at bathtime or ds having tea at my parents' sometimes would have been so welcome. The benefits of a lovely school really didn't outweigh the extra pressure on home life.
What distance would that move take DC from his father?
Because if en route, then 30 miles (reasonable)
But if the other direction, then 70 miles and not so.
Your DC has a right to a relationship with both parents. Putting a long distance is not a good thing.
And although you are assuming there will be more family support from proximity, this is only supposition.
Also, if you move away, it will be up to you to take his DC to him. Can you afford this (both time and cash) and are you really up for the demands of being tied to that for the next 12 or so years?
Definitely move. My dc are a bit older now but I need support and childcare more now in a way than I did when they were toddlers. Also I think my dc would have benefited from being around aunties and cousins more.
When people told me parenting got harder as the children got older I didn't believe them but it's true!
I did it and completely regret it. Would actually consider it to be the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Life was constantly juggling work and DD, but I just had to consider the two of us. Now I have family trying to take over all the time - I'm trying to keep even more people happy. Now I'm stuck. DD is happy in her new school so I can't justify moving her yet again, so wish I hadn't moved. Just my experience
Gosh thank you all for your replies! I really do appreciate it. It's great to get different view points on this. I now realise my heart says go but my head says stay put. There are practical reasons to stay: a new house, good schools and DS' father nearby, and I have friends not too far away.
But - and someone said this upthread - it can be so quiet and lonely. I feel I constantly have to make future weekend plans or we are alone the whole time, and frankly that gets so tiring. It also irks me however that my family very rarely visit me here , yet I'm there a lot. Why should I go through a lot of upheaval to go there if the efforts all mine!
So the head is winning right now but it doesn't fill me with happiness 🙁 I also have a disabled brother who lives in care now and I'd be closer to him if I moved. Guess I just have to commit to a decision and stand by it...
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