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Children moving away. Should I stay or should I go?

(108 Posts)
spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:03:23

It's complicated, but I'm really interested to know what people think about this situation.

I moved to London from Colchester (about 70 miles away) in the summer with my two children - ds is 11 and dd is 13. The plan was to home ed dd and for ds to go to a lovely school in London. Both kids were apprehensive at first, but excited too.

I should add here that their dad (separated 6 years ago) still lives in Colchester.

When we actually moved things went horribly pear shaped. Dd totally freaked - refused to go out and got horribly low, and even started self harming. Ds was a little star and tried to settle, but after three months his unhappiness was so evident I asked him if he would rather go back to his old school and live with his dad. Immediately he jumped at the opportunity, and started back at his old school last week. He genuinely seems really happy. I spent the whole week feeling gutted that I have lost my baby. His sister went with him to help him settle, but then on Friday she called me and asked if I would mind her returning to her old school too (this will involve xh lodging an appeal with the LEA because her school has said they have no space for her).

They're both back with me for the weekend. They want me to move back to Colchester, but I really don't want to go. I feel that if I stay in London and become a weekend mum I may be failing them. But if I go back to Colchester I will be miserable there. I have told them I will think about it.

If I had foreseen all of this, I doubt I would have moved at all tbh. But I have moved and I love it here and don't want to go back.


tillykins Sat 20-Nov-04 18:24:26

Move back Spacemonkey, I can't imagine how hard it will be for you to move back with them but I can imagine how hard it will be for you to be without them during the week, missing all the day to day things. And in two or three years time, they will want to be spending time with their friends at the weekend too
You'll be putting your life on hold, I know, but its only for five years, five years before your children are not children anymore. You can't KNOW you will be miserable if you move back, do what you can to make it a positive experience

I'm everso sorry, I am sure this is not what you wanted to hear, but you asked for opinions - I hope I haven't offended you

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:27:04

You haven't offended me at all tk, thank you for giving your opinion, that's what I'm after!

Crystaltips Sat 20-Nov-04 18:27:43

Why would moving back make you miserable? What is it about Colchester that is so bad?
Thinking rationally ( haven't had any wine yet ) - surely it's your problems that made you leave that are the issue rather than the place itself.
Forgive me if I have missed the point as I have been away for a while and there might be a glaring issue that I am not aware of.

Hulababy Sat 20-Nov-04 18:28:27

I think I would have to move back in that position, however hard. I have no idea of your circumstances or how hard it'd be to move back, but the thought of not seeing my child every day would be too overwhelming for me.

I think only you know what is best for you though. You have to weigh all the pros and cons up. You do have to be happy yourself too I know.

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:29:56

Well, I didn't leave there because there were problems with it. I left because I had no job there any more, because my family are here, because I wanted a fresh start and last but not least because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity for my children as they grow older. Colchester isn't so bad - it's a bog standard provincial town. I probably could bear to go back for a few years, although I don't want to from a selfish point of view.

vict17 Sat 20-Nov-04 18:32:17

Hi Spacemonkey. What an awful predicament for you to be in. Have they always lived with you or have they ever lived with their dad before (after you separated?). My gut instinct would be to move to be with them - would this mean you actually living with them or would they live with their father though?

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:32:40

And I wouldn't have posted about this if I wasn't prepared for other people to be honest about what they would do, so please don't think I am offended, I promise I won't be.

tillykins Sat 20-Nov-04 18:33:50

if your family are in London, you have someone to go stay with for lots of visits too - you won't be severing your ties in London, just postponing living there

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:33:54

They have been with me since my xh and I separated 6 years ago. When we lived in Colchester, xh would have the children overnight twice a week and picked them up from school on one other night. I assume if I were to move back it would revert to much the same arrangement.

hunkermunker Sat 20-Nov-04 18:34:36

I think I'd move back. However happy I was where I was living, I'd not be happy unless I had my DS with me. It's not an easy decision though. Hopefully you'll find a job you like in Colchester and it will seem a bit better. But they are only young for such a short time. xxx

beetroot Sat 20-Nov-04 18:34:51

Message withdrawn

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:36:56

True beety. I think the whole situation has been complicated terribly by the fact that there is an option. If xh and I were still together and we had relocated as a family, there would be no choice and the children would be settling here. Of course xh was not happy about the move, and unfortunately he filled the children's heads with scare stories about how dangerous, violent and unfriendly London is, which hasn't exactly helped.

WideWebWitch Sat 20-Nov-04 18:37:27

This must be so, so difficult spacemonkey. Oh I don't know, I think I'd try a bit longer to make a go of it, but with your children. Sorry, I haven't been following your threads so apologies if you already have. How long is it since you moved? Oh, just realised you've said you moved last summer. Would your dd really not settle if you got to the bottom of what was troubling her? It must be awful not having both of them with you, I'm so sorry, it must have been difficult letting her go back. Does ds want to go because he now sees it's an option because his sister has gone? If you moved back would they both live with you again? In which case it would be no contest for me, I'd want my children both living with me so if moving back again was what it took I suppose that's what I'd do. But only once I'd tried everything in my power to make them happy wherever I was happy. Because I do think parents have a right to happiness too, absolutely. FWIW I suspect I'll get this a few years down the line too as ds prefers London to where we live and I fully expect a request to live with his father (who is in London, they see each other every other weekend) once he hits his teens. I will find it very hard and will want to fight it. Gosh, doubt there's anything useful there but I do feel for you.

Hulababy Sat 20-Nov-04 18:37:31

Spacemonkey - how do you feel about being a weekend mum? About the children going to their day after school each night, not you? What about parent's evenings, etc? And what happens at the weekend if (as they get older) they want to go out with their friends to some party or other at the weekend? Is there anyway you can spend the week in one place and the weekends in another the other - some form of compromise maybe?

I know this must be so so hard for you. These are the things I guess you need to consider when deciding.

beetroot Sat 20-Nov-04 18:37:57

Message withdrawn

Roisin Sat 20-Nov-04 18:38:23

Oh crikey, what a 'mare! I struggle to imagine myself in that situation, but I am really not sure I would move back. Simply because I know I would become bitter and resentful about it, if I moved solely for the benefit of others iyswim - I'm not capable of being that selfless. Is it not possible that in a little while they may decide they actually want to be in London after all? (3 months into a move is a tricky time; I was miserable here 3 months after the move - but love it now.)

WideWebWitch Sat 20-Nov-04 18:38:51

So I sort of agree with Beety too. They're children and it's not really up to them.

Hulababy Sat 20-Nov-04 18:39:46

Or as the others say - can you not just ask/request the children to stick it out longer in London? Can you get your xh to support you on this? Have you told your children how you feel too?

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:41:32

Thank you all, you're really helping by raising all these issues I need to consider.

Believe me, if my kids were still little (and by that I mean under 10) there is no way I would be considering them not living with me. But they are older and starting to make their own decisions about things, and I am wondering if part of this is that they want to spend some time with dad for a while, after 6 years of only seeing him here and there. I am wondering if that is a good thing for them and for him (their dad I mean). For all his faults he does love them and is really enthusiastic about them living with him.

coppertop Sat 20-Nov-04 18:42:11

It's a tough one but could you really bear to go back to Colchester for another 5yrs? No one expected your ex to move to London to be near the children when they left. It's not as though you'll be at the other end of the country from them is it? 70 miles isn't far for visits etc.

WideWebWitch Sat 20-Nov-04 18:42:57

Am very aware that I haven't dealt with older children spacemonkey and so haven't had to deal with any of these issues. Anything I say is therefore based on no experience whatsoever

spacemonkey Sat 20-Nov-04 18:44:38

I could bear it yes ct. But I would be tolerating it for their sakes.

Beety, ds was at william tyndale school in islington, but he has already started back at his old school and is ecstatically happy to be there.

I think as they get older they may well decide they want to be in London with all it has to offer them. I realise four months is not long to settle in a new place, and I wonder if I have been too weak and hasty to allow this to happen.

coppertop Sat 20-Nov-04 18:49:09

I think in your position I would probably stay in London tbh.

Twiglett Sat 20-Nov-04 18:50:39

I can't imagine what you're going through over this one, and I can't begin to advise you what you should do / consider

it sounds like such a nightmare


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