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my dh wants to take us to New Zealand, I don't want to go

94 replies

tripletsandtwins · 19/08/2007 22:36

Hiya, I've had an argument with my husband about this, and I wanted to know what other people think...

I've been happily married to my husband for 5 years, I moved to America for him from England because he didn't want to move over. So I left my family and friends to start a new life in the states, flying to see them as often as I can.

We went on to have 3 year old triplets, and I?m 19 weeks pregnant with twins.

We have been living in Palm Beach, in Florida, but we know that we don't want to stay there and we've been saving up to move for ages. I suggested that we move to a different area in Florida, staying near his family, or back to England, where my family is. However, my husband says that he wants to take us to New Zealand, as he has been offered a job and a house over there.

My husband thinks that we're wasting a very good opportunity that will never come again if we don't take this: it would be a new start for the family, the house is gorgeous, the job is fabulous, ideal and well paid, the community is nice, it would be perfect for the kids...the list goes on and on.

I don't think I could cope with upping and leaving all the foundations that I've built in Florida, especially since I'm pregnant with twins. By the time we got there, I would be at least 30 weeks. Also, I would see my family even less frequently than I do now, since it is such a long flight. I told dh that if he wants to go to New Zealand he can go, but he will be alone...was that wrong of me? Do you think I should go to New Zealand with him? Am I being unreasonable?

OP posts:
BandofMothers · 20/08/2007 11:38

DH wants us to move to France as he has a job and house there if he wants it. He can earn a lot more money there, and we may even be able to buy a house there, which is just not possible here in the UK with the market the way it is.
I have really struggled with this decision as I am so close to my family and have some good friends. What made it harder for me was the language barrier. I would love to move to NZ, but given the opportunity I would hesitate too for the reasons you give. So far away and expensive to come back.

In the end I decided to go. As others have pointed out, I can always come back and the pro's are good ones. Now I'm bobbing between excited and scared. I know this is a huge decision, why don't you see if you can do what someone else did and put a time limit onit. Say a year or 2 and see how you get along.
I'm sure you would make friends when you get there, and with MIL to help you have a grace period to do so. By the time she leaves hopefully you will not be so lonely.
Why don't you look online for other forums like MN, and try to contact some NZ mums. Then you may even make some friends before you go, who will welcome you as soon as you arrive.

tripletsandtwins · 20/08/2007 23:07

Huge thanks to everyone for posting! all the advice and everything was infinitely helpful...

I did create a huge list, with all the pros and cons, and I've spoken to dh about it all, and asked him all the questions you all gave me (thanks for that!) and now that I've stewed about the entire idea, I'm not quite as averse to it...

I was just wondering, is there a lot to do in NZ for kids? My first priority is for them to grow up happy... also, why do you say that you would choose nz over all the other countries?

I'm going to be making my decision in the next couple of weeks as to what I'm going to do, so I'm frantically looking around for information! MrsJohnCusack, we're moving to the 'absolute arse end of nowhere.' About 2 hours from Christchurch I think , near-ish Geraldine.

Ghostly, that was such a long and helpful post...thanks a lot! I feel exactly the same way now, as I moved for him and threw myself completely into creating a life in the us.

OP posts:
SueW · 20/08/2007 23:17

Ghosty... and for you and all you have been through with the move. So pleased to hear you are enjoying Melbourne.

slim22 · 21/08/2007 01:52

happy to hear you were able to sit down and talk about it. That a first step.
I just realised the urgency and have to add you are very very brave to even consider it.
Keep it up!

fortyplus · 21/08/2007 02:01

ds2 has a friend whose mum was from NZ and moved back 3 years ago. Friend came to stay last year - full of stories about outdoor lifestyle but missing all the 'organised' leisure activities that we take for granted.
So... if the outdoor lifestyle is your thing then hopefully you'll love it, but if you're a city girl I suspect you'll hate it!

MrsJohnCusack · 21/08/2007 03:03

hello again

Well, Geraldine is a very nice place to live, and very friendly as well. It's a beautiful town, and the surrounding scenery is fantastic - you won't believe quite how gorgeous it is there. Not too far to Queenstown from there either, and Queenstown is fabulous. And Christchurch is nice too.

There is absolutely LOADS for children to do in NZ, and more or less everywhere is family/child friendly. I do heaps of things with my DD, there's so much to choose from and so many events/classes etc.. Things like libraries/museums/art galleries and leisure centres/pools here have stacks of kids' activities and the great advantage is they're not expensive AND usually not too crowded/booked out.

It is very outdoorsy & sporty - surfing, skiing, riding, sailing etc, but also has lots of other stuff to do (there are a lot of artists kicking about, plenty of music etc.). And people are very, very welcoming and friendly to incomers. Pre & primary schools are generally excellent too. I do think it's a lovely place to bring up children; there's so much for them to do in relative freedom and it really is geared towards families. It's so EASY to do things, I love it

sibble · 21/08/2007 05:18

hi, good luck deciding. I don't know Canterbury as I'm up in Auckland but ditto MrsJC there is heaps to do with children. TBH I stay here primarily for the boys. (I go a little stir crazy at times but I come from London originally so used to more hussle and bussle), Anyway, all our local pools are free, I went to playcentre with DS1 and loved it hardly anything per family per term and full use of all indoor and outdoor toys books sessions etc(it has a website and is either your cup of tea or not - a bit burn your bra, no make up brigade in some areas but I kept my bra and slap , I go to playgroup with ds2 $2 per session per family. Preschooler gym sessions local council run - $35 per term. There is a website for kids whats on but the name escapes me temporarily I'll post it when I dig it out. Children here have access to everything either free or very reasonably priced. Plus I'm not sure about the weather where you are at the moment but with minimum 4 months of virtually guaranteed sunshine we spend all summer at the beach, swimming in our pool, going for long walks (it really is very green here) and generally being outside with friends. Larger families I find are also quite the norm here (i'm used to London 2 children) quite a few of my friends have 4 or 5 children. My sis has 7!
Anyway will post more later.

sibble · 21/08/2007 05:22

btw they have just started subsidising preschoolers day care from age 3. 20 free hours ds2 who has jsut turned 3 attends private day care 3 days/week 8.30-3.30 and it costs me $140/month as it's private so we top up to maintain the higher teacher/shild ratio. Public day care is also available for next to nothing from about 3 years - there;s no waiting list as such, you put your name down and if you are the oldest when the next place comes up it's yours regardless if you put your name on the list last. About 2 hours each session afernoon then morning, great sanity breaks!

BandofMothers · 22/08/2007 08:39

I would choose NZ, because the population is low, prices are pretty good, there is less pollution etc.
Wide open spaces and clean air does it for me

Now how can I persuade my whole family to move out there with me???

FoghornLeghorn · 22/08/2007 08:46

Great post Ghosty - from the heart
Now advice really but 5 under 4, you are one very very good woman - surely youmustbe entitled to a medal when the twins are born

belgo · 22/08/2007 08:54

from a purely practical point of view, will you be able to fly at 30 weeks pregnant with twins?

I know someone who flew to NZ from Europe at 30 weeks pregnancy, with two very small children, also 'moving home'. It was very hard work, and she was pregnant with just one baby.

belgo · 22/08/2007 08:55

and what if in five years time your dh wants to move somewhere else?

miljee · 22/08/2007 15:14

Mmm. Rural New Zealand. It's not a place, it's a state of mind! I guess a vital issue is how much cash DH will earn. Will it be enough to allow a family of 7 to fly to see your family? Remember you'll almost certainly have to get to Auckland to get a flight to London or the US. Christchurch is a lovely town BUT rather odd in that much of it is like Oxford plonked down in the southern hemisphere trying to pretend it's not thousands of miles from anywhere! Now, I like NZ. I've spent a lot of time there and have a lot of good friends, but I'm really not sure I, personally could live far out of the major towns. The South Island is picturesque but the existence of ski fields give you an idea about the climate! Dunedin and Invercargill ARE definitely desolate on a winter's afternoon with the wind coming from the south! A very close friend from college emigrated to central North Island 15 years ago (from Penzance). She has managed to fit in well with the way of life but she found the 'everyone knowing every else's business' thing you find in rural communities a bit wearing and the well, struggling not to be offensive here- the 'Hicksville' nature of the place, difficult. She also found (thin ice, here!) a lot of NZ women to be rather -um- strident and opinionated. Maybe this might not be a problem if you come from the US but a kiwi woman will call a spade a spade. I always find it kind of odd seeing as both Oz and NZ ARE still a bit patriarchal that their women are so 'loud' (I'm half Aussie, I should add!) and a bit- well, uncouth? I know I came away from 15 years in Oz swearing like a navvy!
Finally, the NZ economy is not in great shape. Many of their young people do flee abroad (something like 8% of the NZ population is abroad at any one moment!) And racism is a growing problem, perhaps in the cities rather than in the sticks. Houses are a steal by UK prices, but you try and sell it again!

ZacharyQuack · 23/08/2007 06:52

Hmmmm miljee

SO NZ women are strident and opinionated, call a spade a spade, loud, a bit uncouth and swear like navvies.

Sounds like MN Islands.

BandofMothers · 23/08/2007 06:55

I think miljee is hiding somewhere after posting that

ZacharyQuack · 23/08/2007 07:18

I think she could get a job with the NZ Tourism board!

Piffle · 23/08/2007 07:33

I'm strident and opinionated but I was born in Yorkshire to a mother of the same nature. NZ if anything calmed us down

I desp want to go back with our 2 kids and my DS aged 13, which would mean him leaving his natural father and his step mum and their new baby due in Dcember but DP is resisting fair enoug has just started new job. No family in NZ to speak of either

It depends what you want from your life.
I love NZ and would love to move to Christchurch (am from wellington)

But with triplets and twins on the way...
Mmm tough call....
lots of positives and lots of drawbacks

MrsJohnCusack · 23/08/2007 07:36

I think it's really funny that the most strident and opinionated post on this thread comes from the person who thinks Kiwi women are strident and opinionated

FWIW I haven't found that to be true in ChCh anyway. All very English here

AnnainNZ · 23/08/2007 08:10

Miljee, if you think Kiwi women are strident and opinionated you should see the girls I used to see in Lancashire towns on nights out

I suppose some of them can be, the blokes too, a little rough round the egdes maybe - but most people are very friendly and well-meaning.

And I'm in Auckland, the so-called "unfriendly" bit of NZ! Beats most of the UK, I can tell you. Whenever I go back I always think how pissed off people look...

Still, I agree that triplets and twins under 4 would be hard (anywhere!) but prob more so in a new country.

ghosty · 23/08/2007 08:37


I prefer to say that kiwi women "shoot from the hip" ... my MIL is like that and over time it has become the bit of her I like best. You know where you are with kiwi women, no secret agendas, no crap ... either they like you and you know it (by how much coffee, home baking or wine they try to push down your neck) or they keep themselves to themselves.

Surely ALL rural communities are 'everyone knows everyone's business'? My DH's godmother lived in a tiny village in Dorset and everyone knew if you farted.

Miljee, your last comment about the housing market is wrong. IMO the housing market has been extremely buoyant in the last 5 years all over the country. Trends suggest that things are beginning to slow down a bit now.
Don't let anyone tell you that houses are a 'steal' with English pounds. Definitely not in the big cities ... Auckland is an incredibly expensive city to live in (more so than Melbourne we are finding). Ok, so further south and in the south island you can get a lot more for your money but it is wrong to suggest that NZ is a cheap place to live. It all depends on your income of course but really IMO (but I am coming from the Auckland point of view) anything less than $80k a year combined income is a struggle with a a big mortgage.

Isababel · 23/08/2007 08:45

Keep near to the family, you need a good support network if you have 5 children, more so if some of them are babies. And you know well that support network take a good time to build.

We have a good number of friends who have emigrated to Australia or NZ because of the outdoors, the quality of life, the job that came along with a house and the car of your choosing, etc. BUT... after a couple of years they are al complaining that there is not much variety on what to do, that everything is too far and that they can not afford to see their families as much (how much would a flight would be for a family of 5 children? £5000 or so?)

Personally, I would stay put. But I might be biased as I have gone through that myself and can't see myself with the energy to start again in yet another different country (unless I had family and very close friends in the place)

KTeePee · 23/08/2007 08:54

From a practical pov, I would check just how well off you would be if you move. Will your dh's salary definitely allow you to fly back to visit family once a year, for example? A salary that will give you a good standard of living in NZ may not still stretch to that.... Sadly, once you leave NZ the NZ dollar doesn't go very far. My brother moved to NZ 6 years ago and hasn't been back since, mainly because of the cost of flights

AnnainNZ · 23/08/2007 08:57

Can be expensive it was bright sunshine, about 18 degrees, still meant to be winter and we had a picnic at Piha (big beach) and it didn't cost us a bean!

Is lots of outdoor stuff to do that doesn't cost. I live right by a national park with loads of nice walks and beaches yet we still live less than half an hours drive from the centre of the city.

Yes, houses in Auckland are quite expensive compared to average wage. But our house was about 130 grand UK equivalent and what would that get us in the biggest city in the UK? Not even a flat, whereas here we have a three bedroomed detached house with garden and views of the sea, near parks and beaches.

Agree with Kiwis what you see is what you get, which I like

BandofMothers · 23/08/2007 09:06

Sounds lovely, definately a big pro

captainahab · 23/08/2007 09:25

I don't think you are being at all unreasonable.

Some people might be very happy moving to NZ when the rest of their family was in the UK and US, but I know I wouldn't. Like you, I live close to my dh's family but an ocean apart from my family and I find that difficult enough. And I only have 1 under 5yrs!

Don't let everyone else make you feel like a party-pooper for not wanting to go. If you do want to go, great, but if not it's totally understandable.

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