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Should we live near family or friends?

(8 Posts)
Maria101 Mon 25-Jul-11 15:23:57

I'm not sure if this fits into the 'relationship' category of this site, but anyway! I live in London with my husband and 1-year-old. We live in a lovely flat but it's up a flight of stairs and the garden isn't attached so we're thinking of moving out to the suburbs to get a house (where we live in London is too expensive to buy a house).

Where we live now is closer to my friends (and mum - more of which later), so we could move further out of London to be closer to them. I have a great circle of friends, NCT friends, old uni friends (as does my husband) in this area. But my mum is very unsupportive and I don't have many other family members.

On the other side of London is my husband's family. His parents and siblings are absolutely amazing. They're supportive, can't do enough to help us, are always having bbqs and family get togethers etc. I'd love to live closer to them (I enjoy their company, it will be lovely for my daughter to be part of such a loving extended family), but it would mean moving away from my network of friends.

If I live nearer my friends, however, I won't get the family support. My mum is a nightmare and we regularly fall out. She's on her own, very bitter, doesn't help with my daughter etc. Recently I hurt my back and my daughter had a vomiting bug. I asked her to come and sit with her while I went to the osteo (she wasn't working that day) and she said no because a friend was coming round for coffee. This is very typical of her. My friends and NCT friends are great, but have children/jobs/lives of their own and can't help as much as my in-laws would be willing to.

So what I'm asking it better to be near your support group of friends, or your family? I suppose I could make new friends in a new area (I'm very sociable and make friends easily...especially baby friends at NCT/groups etc). What do you all think? Would I be lonely without my friends (but living near my great in-laws). When I (hopefully) have a second baby I definitely need more family support.

fluffyanimal Mon 25-Jul-11 15:29:43

Family, definitely (your DH's). As you say, you can make new friends, and anyway you're not moving to Aberdeen, who says you can't still see your old friends?

loiner45 Mon 25-Jul-11 15:33:45

DHs family! the practical and physical support of grandparents is priceless IMO. I did it and have no regrets - we moved a couple of hours away from London and my friends, but you can always get together or use online communication!

pebbles1234 Mon 25-Jul-11 15:45:12

based on personal experience - definetly the supportive side of your family! you will make friends through the various baby groups etc too. It surprised me how many people I met in the same position as me.

We had to make the choice between friends and family, and between which family to be nearest to - we went for DH leaving me 200 miles away from mine, but my mum sounds like yours so it was never a real option...tho I get alot of abuse about it from her! the support I get from (DH's family) is invaluable. They look after DS for 2 days per week, collect him from nursery on the other day I work...and they are good company too!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 25-Jul-11 15:45:20

Your DH's family sounds wonderful, the way you describe them. Do you know them well and enjoy the family get-togethers they throw? (ie. will they continue to be a good bet long term; are you aware of any inter-personal issues that could rear their ugly heads and make the move a mistake in retrospect?)

If not, go for it!

buzzsore Mon 25-Jul-11 15:49:18

I think you'd be best going for the lovely extended family too.

Ephiny Mon 25-Jul-11 16:06:12

I would choose friends actually. It's definitely possible to be too close to family, and end up with them interfering in your life in a way friends generally don't!

And are you sure the ILs would be willing and able to offer as much day-to-day support as you assume? Because there's a big difference between that, and them being 'lovely' and making a fuss of your child at familiy parties. Do they know you're considering moving closer to them so they can help you more - and that you're planning a second baby on the assumption that they'll help you - and are they happy with that?

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 25-Jul-11 16:07:40

I'd take family over friends any time. And as your family aren't up to much I'd go with your in laws.

Not all family are interfering you know...

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