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Advice about separation

(19 Posts)
floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 09:57:46


I have posted before about the fact that I am separating from my h. At the moment I'm still in the planning stages although he is aware that this will be happening in the near future.

Basically I'm unsure whether to move from the area I am currently living in back to London where my parents live. I like the area where I live as it's very family friendly, lots of things for young families to do and it's not too far away from the big city. My son has just started school and I do like the school though we have had teething issues but nothing that couldn't be fixed with time. My h will be staying in the town so it's easier for kids to maintain a relationship with him.

Okay now for the reasons to move back to london. The major reason is my dps live there as well as my in laws. My parents are a huge potential source of help for me. They are retired and have offered to do school drop offs and pick ups for me. This would make it much easier for me to go back to work. I know the area where my parents live well as I grew up there and my close friends are there though I do have friends in the town I live in currently too just not as close. My siblings are there as well so we would be unlikely to feel alone as we would have extended family literally on the doorstep. I also would prefer working in london then where I live as there are more options for work.

The cons of staying in the town where I live is that I would have less help available to me. H works longer hours then I would so couldn't help at all with dropping kids and even if he could I'm not that confident he would. He is not really the hands on dad now so why would I assume he would be if we split. Also don't want to be reminded of him so seeing him around would be painful. I have friends here but they will likely be busy with their families so won't be available all the time for help or company.

Cons of moving back to london near my parents. Number 1 it is very expensive. I would be more pressed financially living in London. Though I like the area where I grew up due to familiarity in terms of options of good schools it's not great. Especially as we would be applying for a place mid year or for a September start to year 1. I'm worried my son may not get in to a school that I am happy with and we will have to accept whatever is available. Although my parents and siblings verbally have offered to help a lot they have moved on with their lives since I lived there and I suspect actual physical help will be less forthcoming. Also have a very difficult relationship with one particular sibling who lives with my parents.

So what is more important for a single mum raising her kids. Living in an area that you like or having support more readily available.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 10:00:52

I am currently a sahm btw and my kids are 4 and 2.

Ellisandra Sat 11-Feb-17 10:08:35

You'll be a single mum but kids still have two parents.
Option 3: you stay close to their father and he steps up so that you don't need to worry about support.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 10:13:34

If he was supportive I wouldn't be separating from him. He isn't that's my experience. He is an adult I can't make him do anything.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 11-Feb-17 10:19:03

Have you considered tgat this would make it harder for the children to spend time with their father? Is he likely to not want that? because it will be traumatic enough with the split but moving away from tgeir home area will only add to it.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 10:50:44

Yes I have thought about that. But they will most probably only see him on weekends anyway. He works 9-6 but gets home by about 6.30-7pm. Currently they spend very little time during the week together other than hello and bye. His choice as he prioritises his rest and comfort over spending time with them.

Now that we are separating I will have to go back to work. So dc will have to go in to childcare. When I'm not around. Living close to parents would mean I would spend less on childcare. I wouldn't feel that pressure to have to rush home to collect them as they would be at their gps home likely warm, fed and able to relax after school. Morning would also be less pressured as I could drop them at my dps who could feed them, get them dressed and drop them to school.

The ds would have to move school but he is reception age so could adapt.

I guess I want to know whether them not seeing their dad as much would be offset by them seeing their gps, aunts and uncles more. My dcs are both boys.

pocketsaviour Sat 11-Feb-17 11:37:42

It's a very difficult one. Have you done the sums on exactly how much childcare would cost you staying in the current town, versus the price hike in rentals if moving to London?

How far away would you be? If you suspect your H would only bother with EOW then a longer journey for them to see him would be more bearable.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 12:00:55

Well he has said he wants to see them every weekend however whether that will happen is doubtful.

I'm thinking for my children rather than staying in childcare till 5-6pm if they lived closer to my dps they could chill out in an environment which is more familiar and see relatives.

I'm a teacher so could work in either area but I know from when I worked when dc were younger the workload is not easy to handle when you don't have support with childcare. I had to pick ds up at 6pm most days as I had so much on and that was when I was part time. If I'm working full time the only way I could do it is if I had someone who could help with daily childcare and my dm is much more likely to dothat.

Mermaidinthesea Sat 11-Feb-17 12:08:42

Well you know my first thoughts are tough shit for the dad. If he isn't going to step up and be supportive you are better off just thinking what is best for you and the kids. You can't trail along trying to please someone who behaves like a giant toddler.
I'd go back to London, you've got support, there are jobs there and loads of things to do.
Yes it's more expensive but that's probably a sacrifice that needs to be made.
Kids need a wide range of relatives, being amongst all that family would more than compensate for a dad who isn't that involved.
But there is no need to rush. No need to decide now. Why not plan for it in a years time which gives you more options for schools.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 12:38:05

Yes that has been my thoughts mermaid to postpone it. My family would like me to move now. They dislike my h and have even said I can move in with them if I want. However I know I would find that really depressing as their house is not really child friendly so I would have to watch my kids like a hawk and it would be overcrowded with my siblings living there too. Also I don't have a job yet or a school place for ds.

I'm thinking to move for September so finish off reception here then move over the summer and hopefully will have a job lined up for after the hols.

The only problem is friends have told me no one will rent to you if you don't have a job so I might have to find a job that starts sooner like in April or before the end of the summer term. However if I do that I need to move with dcs as no way I can work in another city and have them going to school where we live. Also I can't afford london rental prices without some help like housing allowance/benefit but have no experience with this so don't know whether it would be much with a full time job.

It's difficult for me to work out the logistics of moving back to london when, how if I have no job. H has offered to pay for the deposit but don't know whether that offer still stands.

It's easier and more comfortable to stay in my current town as it requires less change but in the long term a move closer to dps may be more beneficial for all of us.

Yoshimihere Sat 11-Feb-17 12:40:20

OP it's still fairly early days for me, 6 months separated. I thought about moving as there is nothing to tie me to where I live other than ex. We had already moved away from friends. I couldn't do it to my children though (nor to him actually).

He started out saying every other weekend but he has then 2 nights one week, 3 another. They see far more of each other than before and he is very capable. (The first week he had them he texted to ask what they eat!)

It has taken a lot of effort to manage this. And it is difficult to see so much of ex. But I think my DC would be very sad to go for long stretches in between every other weekend.

Maybe give it time before moving, see how things work out.

Also, this may be obvious but check out whether you need to go full time straight away. Tax credits etc have kept me going whilst sorting work.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 11-Feb-17 13:04:19

So to be fair, they wont see any more of their dad even if you were to live around the corner then. I think that in that case, I would rather be nearer family. I think in the short term, its a bit pants that they will be moved away from schools and friends but long term its better as they will have extended family that they will be able to spend time with.

Do you think the help will be forthcoming every day? that is quite a commitment in terms of school drop offs. They may well be happy to do it though, and as the kids get older and are self transporting to school they can go to "nans" after school.

I think moving back to London, based on your reply to my question (which when I read back sounds a bit snarky - sorry, was on my phone, not intended) seems like far better solution long term.


EweAreHere Sat 11-Feb-17 13:06:57

I would move where I'd have the best chance of good employment and support. In your case, that is near your parents and siblings.

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 13:09:27

Thanks for your reply Yoshi. I have checked online what I would be entitled to if I work full time, part time and even if I don't go back to work. If I stay in the current area I could probably manage it a lot easier then if I moved away to the city. What is the process you need to go through to access the support btw?

However like you my main ties to this area are my h. I don't like it for any reason other than it is a nice place to bring up kids and it's cheaper to rent here. My concern about leaving is about the quality of life for my dcs in terms of the school they would go to, where we would live etc. I'm trying to work out long term what they need more. They are quite young so could adapt I guess.

Just a quick question how did your children react to the separation. I'm hoping that it wontbe that traumatic for them as they are so young and don't spend masses of quality time with him anyway. When I go and visit family or friends and stay for periods of time they never ask about their dad. Is that likely to continue? My main concern is my 4 year old as he is quite sensitive. However he is not as close to his dad as my 2 year old. He is much closer to me. Long term how will they feel about seeing their dad less often? I just don't know and want to weigh up all these things before I make up my mind where to move.

Yoshimihere Sat 11-Feb-17 14:01:49

I also have a 2 yo also and one at school. I get income support which I think I applied for online and they called back to do the full application. It was processed very quickly. I also get child tax credits. Pretty sure I requested the application form online and it was posted.

I have a mortgage so don't get housing help. If you are trying to work out renting, would there be a family member willing to act as guarantor?

The children appeared to adjust really well, very quickly. After agonising for so long about staying together for the children, I was and still am amazed.

The 6 year old has continued to do well. He has completely taken change in his stride. The 2 yo has, if I'm very honest, struggled a little. I stupidly focused my efforts on the older child. He understands more than we realised. We do get tears and missing Daddy. In hindsight I should have given him much more reassurance. Overall though, they are both doing well.

Someone I know has teenage children, he separated when they were young. He saw little of them back then due to shift work but as they got older they were a lot closer and have their own key to come and go. I do think long term contact is different from small children with early bedtimes.

I am definitely guilty of having an over-"romanticised" view of how separation can work, you of course know your H and what is likely.

Of course, your well-being matters too. And maybe that means London.
If it was me I'd think...... if housing, childcare etc weren't a worry, which place do you like best? And factor that in. Because you will adjust to bring a single mum, even without family support.

I had planned to move out during the school hols last year. In the end I moved in the last few weeks of term. School were very supportive, it kept some routine for DC1, and in hindsight the holidays gave us a lovely long stretch to settle.

Sorry for such a long reply, DC are at their Dads, I have lots of thinking time!

floatingawayfinally Sat 11-Feb-17 15:00:08

No don't apologise. That is exactly the kind of response I was looking for about personal experience. I think I will have to watch out for the 2 year old too as he is closer to his dad.

Overall is life better separate from your ex? Did you have any hope of reconciliation? I'm kind of hoping for that with my dp but it is probably wishful thinking.

If I was with my h then I would have been happy to stay in this area. We both grew up in London and purposefully wanted to move away. But I am very worried if I can cope on my own. My h is incredibly unreliable I can't predict how he will behave and what he will do. He could up and leave this town tomorrow. His priorities are his own career progression and aspirations. So even if we stayed for him I don't know whether he would stay for us.

Yoshimihere Sat 11-Feb-17 20:17:52

Life is definitely better as things had gotten quite unhappy in the end. It's taking me a while to shake the anxiety left from the relationship but i think that's about staying too long.

We tried to keep things ok for them but in hindsight we were kidding ourselves.

I'm a happier mum which is much better for them. I struggled to be fun before.

As unhappy as I was with my ex I never doubted that he'd be around for the children. That must be a difficult issue to throw into the mix in deciding where to live. Although it sounds like wherever you are you already have a fair idea of how to manage by yourself.

It has taken me a long time to stop having doubts and think about reconciliation. I still have moments. But I can see for me it's about change being scary than wanting to get back together. It gets easier all the time.

addlebrained Sun 12-Feb-17 12:20:38

I am in a really similar position although not bilaterally decided to actually separate. I can tell now there is no way our relationship can be mended and we are about to move - same problem: either near H or back to London with family! Same queries re finances and also where we are planning to move (imminently , and decided before I came to this conclusion for good) is somewhere I really love but don't really know many people. Excellent school and I wondered about being close to H so he can have a better relationship with our two boys. It is a hard decision and my family really pressuring me to move to London..
Is nice to know I'm not the only one wrestling with these dilemmas. flowers

floatingawayfinally Fri 17-Feb-17 09:21:46

Hello addlebrained

Very similar position to me unfortunately. I'm still not decided. I have never really loved the place where I moved too after marrying h. It's very family friendly and great for kids but I struggled to make friends there and it has a vibe that makes me uncomfortable going to new places on my own. I love the school my ds is at and do have a network of people but I really don't want to be reminded of h and right now every time I pass familiar landmarks I get flashbacks to when I first got together with h and how happy I was. Very depressing.

However I have a dysfunctional relationship with my own family and am not in love with the area of london they live in. I have been spending half term here and it's triggering a lot of bad memories. I know my dm would love to help but at the same time her life has moved on quite a bit. I don't want to feel indebted or be guilt tripped all the time if I move back and have to rely on them for help.

Anyway just feeling really down. My h has made some noises about changing and admitting that he has not treated me well in the past. I'm so tempted just to go back and try again to avoid making all these life altering decisions. However I know that a little pain now will save me a whole lot of pain later. Honestly don't know whether to just try one more time for the kids or call it a day. I'm giving myself a mental deadline of July to make up my mind but it makes it difficult cause I'm looking for jobs but don't where I will be living come September.

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