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Help with difficult decision and telling daughter(18 Posts)
Hi everyone and apologies if this is a long post ... bit of background ... I have been married for 10 years to my French-Canadian husband (not my kids father) and we lived together in the UK. My kids are 28 and 34 and I have a grandson aged 18 months.
Both my kids are reasonably settled and have partners. My OH has never enjoyed life in the UK and after 10 years has returned to Quebec to live in a house we have there. He has gone back to teaching part-time but is looking for a permanent job. He went in November 2013 and I stayed in the UK, renting a small private flat.
My son lives very near and pops in a lot to see me and I go to my daughter's every weekend to spend time with her, her OH and my DGS. I skype my OH every evening and I miss him so much. He took our dog with him (at great expense) because I couldn't find a flat that would take pets and I also miss him very much (we have had him 7 years).
I feel very lonely and isolated and miss looking after someone - I have never lived alone before. I would love to be with my OH but feel guilty leaving my kids. My son is OK with it although he said he would miss me obviously. I could come back every six months (I would have to in any event until my visa was sorted in Canada) and I would have to stay with either my daughter, son or cousin while I was back in the UK as I would have to give up my rented flat.
My problem is I can't begin to tell my daughter I want to go. She has never liked my OH and he doesn't like her to be honest as he finds her controlling. I really dont want to upset her and leave her with no support - her MIL and FIL can't help out with the baby as they are frail and in their 80s. My daughter does have quite a close relationship with her father and step mum. I don't want to break her heart and deep down admit I am a wuss and a bit frightened of her. She has a way of twisting my words and I get into a real state when I try to talk to her and end up crying. She loves me to bits and I worry that she is very nervous and OCD person and always has been and I know her bark is worse than her bite.
How can I begin this difficult conversation with her and am I being selfish. I have posted on this subject before about whether I should go but circumstances have changed as my Mum has now passed away. I am 56 and dont want to spend another 20 years on my own. Sorry this is so long but your thoughts would be very much appreciated as I dont have anyone else talk ti. Thanks.
Your daughter is an adult. Think of it this way , if tomorrow her partner was offered a job abroad would she go or would she say "No I have to stay in the UK because of Mum"?????
You are not being selfish.
If you want to go then go. Your daughter has her own life and makes her own decisions. You need to do the same. I would hate my mum to do something to make me happy to her own detriment. I want her to be happy.
I know it's hard, but she will just have to sulk. You are important too.
Not a difficult decision at all. Go to Canada to be with your DH. Your adult children will survive and be able to visit you on holiday.
I thought as a read down your post that you were afraid of your daughter. As I think most people will say, your children are adults - I only see my parents every 6 months and they are only in Essex.
You are allowed to live the life you want to life.
Being scared of your daughter is NOT a reason to stay, it's a reason to leave! I cannot believe you allow her to control you like this. She has her own family now, her own life. You are allowed to live yours.
It's also pretty disrespectful to your DH that you would choose the feelings of your ADULT kids over your DH.
I also think you should go.
No doubt your daughter would feel she had the right to move (maybe for work reasons) 200 miles away from where you and she are now, so, equally, you have the right to move to Canada.
Can I make a left field suggestion? I am British but live in Switzerland. I am really amazed by the number of Canadians who are settled here and very very happy. Maybe it is something to do with the snow/mountains? or the fact that Switzerland is in some aspects like 1950's Britain-I dont' know. My question is, would there be a place in Europe where you would both feel happy and nearer to your children too? Why not give somewhere like Switzerland a try? You really have nothing to lose.
PM me if you'd like info on where. As he is French speaking the ski areas (where there are also fantastic international schools to teach in) would be great for you eg Villars in Vaud.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is the ability and confidence to be independent. Taking risks is part of this.
How do kids learn? By example.
Think of the flip side, what examples are you setting by staying? Self sacrifice, risk aversion, passivity?
Your daughter is and adult and needs to start behaving like one.
Go to Canada - life is for living not for sadly mulling over the "what ifs" and regrets.
Thanks for all your replies. I do know that I have always avoided confrontation with anyone and suppose its time I stood up for myself but it is very hard to start doing that with the ones you love the most. You have certainly given me some good advice and I will attempt to take it on board. Thanks.
Gosh you're so young! You could be alive for 40 more yours-don't resign yourself to being unhappy when you have a dh!
You're doing your dd no favours letting her control you, she needs to free herself of her need to control others and seeing you pursue your needs will help her in the long run.
She will be upset, but it's too much responsibility to put onto someone-she shouldn't be allowed to be responsible for where her mother lives.
You do know that you can always come back too?
if it doesn't suit you over there then you can come back and start over.
Write her a letter if it's easier than saying it and book your ticket.
It's a bit barmy for a married couple to be living 3/4 thousand miles apart for no good reason than your ADULT daughter (with her own famiy) wants you to stay with her.
yy it's hard to make that choice in the circumstances but your marriage comes first. If she has OCD tendencies then she has to take responsibiity for her own mental health - there is plenty of support available in the UK. It's not nice for her but she is an adult - and plenty of adults have no parent on hand, either because they're no longer around or because they're unsupportive.
Bunch up your courage my dear.
(ps Switzerland sounds like it could be a good idea/compromise)
It's clear you are not happy with the current set-up and I suppose neither is your dh. It all seems very unfair on him - he has spent 10 years of his life putting the needs of you and your family before his and now you are hesitating about reciprocating.
You can't live your life according to the dictates of your adult daughter. If you allow her to bully you like this now then it will only get worse as you begin to age. You have done your child-rearing and now it's time to do what you want to do.
Just book your tickets and then tell her straight ... you don't need her permisssion. Then refuse to engage in any further discussion on the matter.
You know lots of us daughters have children on our own with no support from grandparents. She shouldn't be relying on, or expecting, help from you to raise her own child. It is her and her partner's responsibility to sort out childcare and not expect free assistance 24/7 from her mother whenever she fancies. It is not your responsibility.
My aunt was in a similar situation and essentially gave up her life to look after her grandchildren because her son decided he couldn't find a job in his own country and dumped the kids on her (mum was a drug addict). My aunt has parkinsons and is retired and yet instead of telling her son to man up and sort his own children out, which he could have done easily, took them in. She has never really let go of any of her kids with only one out of 4 able to stand on her own two feet. Not one of th them appreciates her for it and she's now miserable.
Basically she couldn't say no to her kids ever.
Sorry banging on a bit but it is a) extraordinarily selfish behaviour by your daughter if she kicks up a fuss and b) as a parent you have to be sure your children can function without you at some point and you have to let go and live your own life and be your own person, the woman you are without kids, not being a mother.
She would move without a backward glance I can assure you. I would hate to see what happens to my poor aunt to anyone.
If she is upset she will get over it, don't forget that.
Planes fly. Skype works. Landlines have cheap overseas calls. There are so many ways of staying in touch these days the distances are made much less. You deserve to live your life and not be bullied by your daughter. Book that ticket!
You should definitely go! (If it's want you want - id be a bit hacked off if my DH unilaterally decided to move to Canada without caring if I came with him, but you didn't ask for advice on that bit....)
I'm not certain you should go, tbh, because your marriage doesn't sound very stable if he's basically walked out on you and f*cked off back to Canada on his own. If you think you feel lonely and isolated now, you will feel that a thousand times over when you're far away from family with marriage problems. It would be different if it was a decision you and your husband were making as a team, but you sound way more needy of him than he is of you and that's a recipe for disaster.
I also think your daughter has every right to be devastated, even if she is an adult. I would be utterly crushed if my mum decided to take herself off thousands of miles away, making herself unable to be any significant part of my or her grandchildren's lives. Selfish? Probably - but it would really hurt and I don't think I could ever quite be ok with it.
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