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Moving away from DSC(63 Posts)
In the past we wouldn't have even considered it but now I'm not so sure. DSC are 16 and 12. They would be 17/13 by the time we moved. They used to come EOW and really seemed to enjoy their time with their younger half siblings. Now contact is far more sporadic as they have social lives that revolve around friends. DH has been offered a job in another country. It would mean seeing them in big chunks at Easter/Christmas/Summer/half terms. Has anyone done this? How did it work out for the kids?
Surely the only way to know how they are likrly to feel about it is to talk to them? They might actually love the idea that you are in the States and able to come during the holidays. As long as dad can afford them to fly over. This especially if they are already not missing him enough to stick to their normal contact time.
They will be old enough to get over it, I say take it.
Not many good opportunities about these days.
Reading your latest post OP
I think you should have a chat with the kids and make a plan for future contact then go for it.
As long as the kids know you love them and care, I think you'll make it work. I have big respect for you and your dh to your commitment to those children so far.
DH tried for 50:50 when he divorced. Court awarded EOW and 1 weekday night. Their mum wasn't happy with the weekday night. It never happened. DH has been back to court 3 times and has spent £75k on solicitors fees in total. And in the end it was stressing the kids too much. Their mum made it plain to them what she thought should and should not be. The kids felt stuck in the middle. The court order has no teeth whatsoever and you'd know that if you've ever tried to get one enforced. She was told she was obstructing the relationship between DH and the kids. Didn't make a jot of difference. Things are now much more amicable and it makes it much easier on the kids. But the only way to achieve this was to simply do it her way and make the most of the time we could see them. When the eldest started GCSEs he decided he wanted to study at his mums and went down to once a month roughly. Mum won't allow the younger one to come alone as it's not 'fair' for her to have days out while her brother is studying. Mum also moved them 1.5 hours away from us which means daily involvement is nearly impossible. We have driven to take them to dinner or out to lunch etc when we can and it's agreed. The one thing she's always allowed is a big chunk of the holidays. So no, we don't have our priorities mixed up - thanks. We've done what we felt was in their best interest all along and now we are faced with a new reality of contact pattern and an opportunity to move abroad.
Step mothers are not second class citizens
And neither are the children of 'first' families who, in the situation described, would likely get a difficult deal to have to manage.
And your name change (again) doesn't hide you.
@AnneLovesGilbert, that’s such bullshit, MN loves to bash a stepparent. Of course there are one or two who genuinely understand the challenges and want to offer an opinion and do so with neutrality and dignity.
What’s really unhelpful is the assumptions made about any part of the dynamic of the OPs family. The passive aggressive undertones. Step mothers are not second class citizens.
That’s unfair and unhelpful devilishlygood
Several of us are speaking as involved loving step parents who wouldn’t choose to see less of our step children and can’t imagine our partners/spouses choosing to move across oceans away from their children. There are places I’d love to go, things I’d love to do which I can’t because I chose to marry a man who has children and responsibilities here. There are opportunities my daughter will miss out on because her relationships with her brother and sister are more important. Yes it’s complicated, yes it’s restricting, no it’s not how I’d have envisioned my life sometimes. But it’s how things are and life with my DSC in it, the close relationships we have, the support they need and get, being there for them for homework and school plays, their friendship groups, activities, day trips, the day to day, are key and positive features of our lives and more precious than any work opportunity that would take us away from them. I wouldn’t expect my husband to move thousands of miles away from our child and he wouldn’t do it to his own.
No stepmum bashing here, just an opinion about priorities which are different to the OP’s.
You have to do what's right for your family. It sounds like the DSC are not seen that often therefore they shouldn't miss out that much. Yes it will be difficult for them initially but you can emotionally support them.
There's so many great technologies now so you could arrange specific days for FaceTime and try and arrange at least a week per quarter for the kids to come out.
They have their own social life's so it sounds like a week at a time might work better for them.
Best of luck with the move abroad. Sounds like an amazing opportunity.
Ultimately, OP, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place for sound advice. Unless you’re promising to make first wives and mothers Queens of All Everything, and to irresponsibly allow children to run the Universe at their whim, you’ll never get a reasoned response from the majority of the posters here, idiot, mindless, selfish and poisonous witches!! They are obviously paid too much maintenance which enables sitting at home and foul-mouthing the actions of any sane normal human trying to make the best of some untenable situation...
To be honest, seeing his children once a month means that your husband is barely parenting anyway - certainly not in any meaningful sense. Hard to see how they could have a close and involved relationship like that, in which he's truly in touch with what's going on in their lives.
Both kids are old enough now that, if they wanted to see their dad more, they could - irrespective of mum's views.
If I were him, and in this position, my priority would be to do whatever recovers my relationship with those kids. So I'd be sitting down and really talking to them about what they want, and what could help inprove things.
In his case, since he's not really involved with them anyway, that might be achieved by moving away and totally re-framing the relationship to offer them intensive time with him a few times a year in the States. But it might be something completely different. He needs to go into it with an open mind, and the kids as a priority - otherwise, he's seriously risking having a very superficial relationship with them throughout their lives, as a consequence of being a semi-detached dad during their formative years. Not something I could live with.
I wasn’t suggesting you were evil or feckless, OP. But in taking the decision to move away, you will very much be splitting the family and the ‘new’ half will be leaving the ‘old’ half behind. Doesn’t matter which way you look at it, that’s how it is.
You've got a brilliant opportunity so take it
Yeah, fuck the relationship with the kids. Take your opportunity.
For what its worth, dh's dad Did this. Dbil also is doing this with his kids. I did this with my own dad. the relationship with the children is never the same, no matter what stand in parenting like FaceTime or Skype you may try.
How are you so sure this would guarantee more contact time?
Became distant with father. Relationship never recovered.
@CanILeavenowplease I'm positive my DSC don't view us as their dad's 'new' family. We are one family. Younger DSC doesn't remember life without me. The kids clearly feel like one sibling set and do not delineate between half and whole siblings and in fact get offended when other people do. DSC gave me the name 'smum' a long time ago and I love them both fiercely. I get the narrative of the evil stepmother and the feckless father but that's not who we are. We are faced with a decision that would leave us with more contact time but also more distance and are carefully contemplating the effect that would have on our whole family but primarily the DSC.
there's not actually much of a difference Canleave - the main difference is just in the label.
i know military families where despite the father being 'resident', he's actually away on posting the majority of the year.
The kids see him during holidays and the odd weekend.
The rest of the time they have skype/phones/emails to keep in contact.
The mother is actually in effect a lone parent.
there is a huge difference between a resident parent working away (and who comes home) and a NRP moving with their ‘new’ family to another country.
Plenty of resident parents work away and only see their kids during holidays and ad hoc weekends.
Nobody accuses them of abandonment.
The mothers in those situations are not accused of damaging their kids.
You've got a brilliant opportunity so take it.
When your own DC turn 13, can you imagine any circumstances where you would move to America and leave them here? Why not? Because those are the reasons why your DH should not do this.
I’m a step child and a step mum, so no axe to grind here.
When I was a teenager, I probably spent much less time with both my parents, but I still needed to know they were there if I needed them. My parents made a promise when they divorced that no matter what, they would never move away while I was a child, and they stuck to it. As a result, I grew up resilient and the divorce did not damage me, as I knew I was loved and a priority to them both.
It’s sad that you miss out on opportunities, I’m certain that both my parents did, but that’s the deal, they made a commitment when they had kids and they had to see it through.
I have missed out as an adult on job opportunities because my step kids and my DH have a set up which predates me. That’s the deal.
I call several places home - the key things are my parents brought the exact same bed and mattress for my mums house for me and I had an input into the colour scheme. But it’s overall sameness of styles and ability to relax and do things you enjoy in it that makes things feel like home. Helping to select and have an input really does help. I prefer my mums to my family home (where I grew up) when visiting the area despite her moving their when I was a teenager.
(Not separated but they live separately)
Like you say if it's actually more time together overall that would be great, and as the DSC get older I bet America would be an exciting draw it could all work out really well!
@Mac47 @MapleDragon The child already has ‘a home’! I lived with my mother fulltime and saw my dad regularly, so I had somewhere to call home but never really considered my Dads ‘home’. I didn’t ever require the need for more than one!!
@Mac47 Fo you think there is anything her DF could have done to make it feel more like her "home"?
My 13 yo dd is in a similar position, in that she cannot see her father frequently for logistical reasons.
Their relationship is ok, about as good as it can be considering the fact they only see each other 4 times a year, although she loves him very much and looks forward to seeing him.
She doesn't have all holidays with him, as I also want to spend holidays with her, but she would not want to be in his house for that long, as she doesn't feel it is her home. I don't think she would he bothered if he moved further, particularly if she knew when contact dates wpuld be.
@Clayplease That's my biggest worry as well. Overall contact time would go up but is little and more often better? When contact was EOW we never would have even considered it but now that it's become more and more sporadic I wonder what the impact would be. The longer we wait the harder it will be to move the 8 year old as well.
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