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Should we move our children to a family farm now?

(26 Posts)
celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:01:21

Really tricky one this, and we need to decide within a few weeks really. DH has parents who live on a farm 1 hour away, not a working farm anymore but 200 acres of land and buildings including a barn which we could convert into a great sustainable home, loads of space, business potential for DH (whose job is looking uncertain) and wonderful grandparents literally on the doorstep in the farmhouse. We have loads of business ideas...and we could have another child, have chickens, grow loads of veg, do a farm shop, have friends to come and camp over....

The huge dilemma is that ds1 (10) and ds 2 (7) are really happy here, great schools, really good friends and everything is on our doorstep in our local town. Neither of them want to move now, though they do change their minds.

There is a brilliant secondary school here which DS1 would start September 2014, which has 'outstanding' Ofsted reports and is just 10 minutes walk away from us. The new school near the farm would be a 10 minute drive and is DH's old school, a good one still, but smaller and perhaps not so many opportunities for them.

They are well-liked boys now but both fairly shy and take a while to make new friends. They are both in local football clubs which they love and are a big part of their lives, which would all have to change if we go.

And of course I have my friends, though I reckon I could make the move with some effort.

We could wait until both DS's have left school and then go up but by then then all their friendships will be established here, which would be even tougher, and DH and I won't have quite so much energy to start new businesses up!

The architect is coming in week's time and we will need to set things in motion if we want it converted by next summer. help - what would you do??

PicardyThird Wed 07-Aug-13 16:52:35

Caught me out too, countrymummy! blush

OP - how did it turn out? [curious]

PicardyThird Wed 07-Aug-13 16:51:23

What about the financial side of things? How far will the conversion stretch you financially? How easy will it be to sell your current home (assuming you own), and are you likely to get enough for it to cover the conversion? How risky is the potential business opportunity and how much capital outlay will it involve? And if you stayed, how great is the risk to dh's job - i.e. is moving or staying the riskier option in terms of his career and earning potential? What sorts of sacrifices might you have to make in other areas of life in the short or medium term if you move? I'm not asking to get answers, but rather to get you thinking.

Those aspects aside, I would be more likely to do the kind of move you describe if your dc were 5y younger than they are, tbh.

I see you would consider having another baby if you moved - why is having one out of the question if you stay?

countrymummy13 Wed 07-Aug-13 16:47:21

OMG I've just realised how old this thread is!!!!

You've probably got the plans drawn up by now!

Sorry blush

countrymummy13 Wed 07-Aug-13 16:40:39

OP, is it a 'now or never' decision?

It sounds like not. You can go when he boys have finished school?

I live in a very rural location. And I do love it. However, not having anything within walking distance (no park, no village shop, no pub, no nothing!) can get depressing, especially in winter. It's the price we pay for the peace and the space. But for some people that's a price too high.

TBH it sounds to me like you don't really want to go. You've got lots of reasons not to go, all of them boiling down to the fact that you are all happy where you are. What are the reasons for moving? A big house and some fields? Is that it?

My family moved to Australia when we were 12, 7 and 5. I was the 7 yo. None of us wanted to go. Except my Dad. But my parents said "you'll make friends. you'll get used to it". It was horrible, we were all miserable and we came back after 6 months. I used to hide in the school toilets and cry because everything was so different. For my whole childhood and adolescent my life was 'before' and 'after' Australia. I know this is a very different kettle of fish. But maybe not so much?

I think adults to tend to over look just how valuable stability is to a child's overall and long term well being.

I know I'm being the party pooper here, but if you really want to do what's best for your boys then surely there's no argument for moving?

If you stay they will continue to be happy and settled and they'll never miss what they could have had at the farm. If you move, they might be happy, they might not. Only you and DH can decide if that risk is worth taking.

celandine Sat 20-Jul-13 21:37:03

Secondrow, the farm will be jointly inherited but his brother and cousins already live in a family bungalow down the road so the farmhouse will be ours to live in in the future at some point anyway.

celandine Sat 20-Jul-13 21:33:56

Trills, i know it's really silly to think about where grandchildren will live. Perhaps it shows how carazy this whole question is driving me!! I'll drop that concern right now, thanks for the reminder.

Secondrow, dh gets on well with his brother and they are planning on setting up some business with the farm buildings, which would be easier if we're there of course.

I think you are all making me think how lucky we are for having an opportunity like this, and that perhaps i am being fussy. It will just be very tough to uproot the ds's when they are so happy here. But, i am now thinking perhaps we should do it. We're off to farm tomorrow so will talk to grandparents more about it.

Has anyone else moved their children successfully at this age even when they were well-established already and didnt want to go?

Trills Sat 20-Jul-13 10:12:50

Worrying about where your grandchildren will live when your children are currently 10 and under is a bit silly. Your kids might not have children, or might move to a different city entirely to live and work.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 19-Jul-13 23:18:47

I would do it and did it like a shot.
not the farm, but the rest.
If you don't do it now, I think you know you never will grin
Good luck

quoteunquote Fri 19-Jul-13 23:14:56

What an amazing opportunity for the whole family, I would grab it.

SecondRow Fri 19-Jul-13 23:11:01

How does your DH get on with his sibling(s) who currently live near PILs? Are they likely to jointly inherit the farm, or to have strong opinions in the medium term about what you do in terms of using the land/setting up new businesses based on the farm?

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 22:18:40

thanks everyone, it really helps to have some outside perspective. Although we hope we will choose what is right for everyone, we keep changing our minds about what is right, so are currently only united in our indecision!

My gut instinct is to stay because there is really nothing wrong with where we are (apart from annoying neighbours, but that's another story) - only good stuff here - but in the long term (10 years?) I really would love to have children/grandchildren in the local area near me, and that's much more likely if we all move now, rather than Dh and I move alone when we're older.

Silly things I really can't plan for are going around my head, like I really want to be to be an involved grandparent and the chances of that happening are much less if they want to stay in their home town with friends/girlfriends and we move away.

I know I can't control what's going to happen in the future but it's just good to get some ideas of what others might do....

BreadNameBread Fri 19-Jul-13 17:49:32

We live in lively self contained town but I still end up driving the DCs about even though they are older teens.
It may seem like years away but it won't be long before your DCs leave home to go to Uni (or whatever) whereas you have the rest of your lives to live in the farm.

It really is a dilemma confused

Bowlersarm Fri 19-Jul-13 17:40:22

OP - it comes down to you and your DH making the decision that is right for your family. What we say can give you a few pointers, and hopefully make you think about things you haven't thought of but you need to go with your basic instincts.

If it is a rural ideal that ultimately none of you would make the most of, then don't do it. If you and your DH are united in the prospect of doing it, then I would say go for it. Your DSes will make new friends, it is just the fear of the unknown for them. Most children don't like the idea of change, but soon adapt.

I don't know if it is the correct way to look at but try and give yourselves a split second to think forward to say 5 years time-where would you rather be? If your heart sinks at being elsewhere then don't do it.

Footle Fri 19-Jul-13 17:27:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Fri 19-Jul-13 10:54:13

It will be worse for them, IMO, compared to living in a town where they can be independent.

(bear in mind that not everyone passes their driving test first time and insurance for 17 year olds is very expensive, so they may be dependent on you until they leave for university, and then dependent on you again when they come back in the holidays)

But I am not convinced that it will be enough worse for them to stop you from doing it.

Morgause Fri 19-Jul-13 10:49:11

They'll love it in the end. You cannot throw this chance away - it will be wonderful for all of you.

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:47:09

Hmmm, most of you clearly thinking we should go for it. We were all for it up to a few weeks ago, when reality started to set in a DS1 was in tears saying he didn't want to leave all his friends, just when he's starting to get more independent, walking to school by himself for the first time etc.

Bowlersarm, you make a good point about girlfriends having been made. I forgot about that.....and we have told them it's not their decision, it's ours, but that whatever we decide will be the best for everyone.

I want to do what's best for them in the long-term yet probaly won't be able to avoid causing enormous stress for them in the short term by having to start all over again.

Bowlersarm Fri 19-Jul-13 10:38:51

I think you should do the move now. If your children were teens with established friendships/girlfriends it would be much harder. As it is they are both due to move schools anyway within next few years so would be having to make new friends anyway.

They can join football clubs etc at new location thereby making new friends.

We moved when my eldest DS was 8, and it was a brilliant move for him though he wouldn't have wanted to, if asked.

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:37:47

Opps, I mean small town 5 minutes drive away, then Malvern 10 minutes drive away, so not completely isolated at all, but obviously not like we have here.

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:36:18

Trills - they would probably be dependent on us driving them most places til they were 17, or very confident cyclists. Nearest town is Malvern about 10 minutes away.

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Jul-13 10:33:18

I have to drive everywhere. It's a total non issue for me. I am used to it though I suppose. There will be after school clubs at the new school presumably.

The town is 5 minutes drive away? Could they cycle that once they are old enough?

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:32:40

They could cycle to school eventually, and to friends houses (depending on where friends live I guess) around country lanes when they are young teenagers. I am accepting I would drive them 2 times a day in the first few years. But again, here they can walk everywhere, it's a 'complete small town' with everything and it's thriving. aaaagh, it's so hard to know what's best!!

celandine Fri 19-Jul-13 10:28:52

Thanks willyoulistentome, I know it's a fabulous opportunity but it's the fact that it's also so great here for them that makes us wonder whether we would be doing the best for them. There is a football club 15 minutes drive from the farm, but again here it is 2 minutes drive and brilliantly supportive and social. It would help if things here were not so good for them.

We will have to go up eventually anyway to take over as DH's parents get much older but I am worried about feeling enormous regret if I am making things more difficult in terms of having to drive everywhere (though there is a local town just 5 minutes drive away), make new friends, and more importantly if the boys are miserable and isolated. At the farm they do have their cousins just down 3 fields for them to call for and play with.
Has anyone else made a similar move at this age and it's worked out ok?

Trills Fri 19-Jul-13 10:20:39

How many days/times a day would you be happy to drive from the farm to an activity/friend's house/swimming pool/cinema/school/sports ground/town in order for them to be able to spend time with friends?

Will there be a point at which they can move around independently, or will they be reliant on you until the point at which they can buy a car (and afford to run it!)?

(I am assuming that it is significantly more rural than your current house)

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Jul-13 10:15:59

Oooooh God - that IS a dilemna.

The farm sounds bloody wonderful. ( jealous much?)
The boys could have their own football PITCH!!! Start their own club..
They would be able to have ponies.

The boys WILL make friends. We drive 15 minutes to school every day - it's not an issue, although my kids do moan that they can;t walk to their friends houses. ( we are rural not town)

There must be football clubs near the farm?

Kids are adaptable, and even if they are shy, they WILL make friends.

It sounds like a fabulous oportunity to me.

I'd do it!

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