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Forces sweethearts

Might be going to America for 18 months

18 replies

thegingerwhinger · 22/07/2009 22:26

That's it really. Dh is excited and very 'up for it'. I'm a bit more concerned. What do we do with our house (mortgaged) for 18 months? I have a good job with great flexible hours. I'll be lucky to find one with such flexibility on our return. How will the children settle into an American school? What will I do for work? What kind of house will we get?

And I'll miss my parents so so much. They dote on our children and I will feel so guilty 'taking them away'. And I worry about something happening to one of them and me not being here.

Has anyone done it? I know it's not a permanant move but I'm still worried about it. I wish I could be excited at the prospect; I love America and I've always wanted to go. I think if we didn't have children I would be more excited.

Sorry, reading back on that is so depressing! It would just be nice to hear of others' experiences.

Oh, and this is my first post in this section. Dh is in the Air Force. waves to all the other sweethearts

OP posts:
McDreamy · 22/07/2009 22:30

Oh how exciting! Where are you off to? I have a friend in Virginia (with the RAF).

We've not long got back from Cyprus. The hardest part was leaving but once we'd gone it wasn't so bad. We made sure our parents had fast computers that could make decent video calls and set them both up with Skype accounts. Worked a treat! When are you off?

thegingerwhinger · 23/07/2009 07:41

Thanks for your reply.

We're not going until 2011 (I think) so there's a while to get used to it and make plans. I think we'll be heading for Nebraska which is somewhere in the middle I think. That's if dh gets it of course; if not we may end up in another exotic location such as the West Midlands!! I figure if we've got to move away we might as well do it properly, but I'm still nervous about it.

I know it's not like the old days - at least we have computers to keep in touch.

Dh loves Cyprus. He applied to go there for 3 years a couple of years ago but they didn't need him in the end.

I am kind of excited, but I'm a natural born worrier so I'm worrying about every aspect of it too!

America seems so far away, but I suppose it's not really that far.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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scaryteacher · 23/07/2009 10:51

We have RN friends who moved to Washington and then came to Brussels. They loved the US and had a ball, but don't like Brussels so much.

House - let it out; we did ours when dh (RN) got posted to Brussels and so far so good. Get a great letting agent; tell your Building Socitiy that you're HM Forces and are going to let and as long as they are not Halifax, and you don't have dss tenants, there should be no problem.

We let unfurnished and without white goods as there is less to go wrong. I can give you all the gen on the tax, non-resident landlord stuff etc as I sort ours out, and give you recommends for specific HM Forces tailored insurance as well; they saved me £400 on the property insurance last year. They do my contents here as well.

How old are the kids? Would you consider boarding them if secondary age? I am lucky as there is a British school in Brussels and so it wasn't a problem pulling ds from prep and bringing him here as he can do GCSEs here. I have heard that the US system isn't as good as the UK one in that the kids are further behind and once the syllabus is covered, that's it. I have heard this before I get flamed from several parents and teachers very recently in Brussels, who choose the Brit school over the American one here.

If it's 2011 you have time to work it all through and consider your options. Initially when dh got an appointment in Brussels, I didn't move as it was for 2.5 years, and I had a fulltime job; own house; ds settled at school, but when he got another appointment here I moved. Two years six weeking Brussels/Cornwall was enough.

madwomanintheattic · 23/07/2009 12:38

let out the house.

a friend of mine had 2 years in washington and loved every second. over the road moved to (i think) virginia two months ago. we've not been to the us, but had one tour in canada, and embark on our second one v soon!

how old are your small people? mine are 9,7 and 5 and are v excited to be going, but about their friends. old enough to encourage pen friends, e-mail and skype though.

pre-secondary i wouldn't have any qualms at all about moving kids. yours will be the most popular kids in school with their cool british accents. if they are old enough for the horrors delights of High School Musical or any other USery, they will be beside themselves at the prospect of yellow school buses and having a locker in the corridor every tween's dream, really... add that to 'school spirit' and homecoming, what more could a child want? (oh, over-commercialised hallowe'en, thanksgiving, salads with marshmallows in etc etc etc) - what's not to like?

you will have a blast.

VanillaPumpkin · 23/07/2009 12:41

Oh go go go! I am very .
DH is RAF and we are in the West Midlands and I say go go go .

I have friends off to Arizona and I am soo jealous.

We did Cyprus for three years.

18 mths will FLY by.

madwomanintheattic · 23/07/2009 12:43

oh, and the 'real' disneyworld and all that florida has to offer, yellowstone, the grand canyon, monument valley, route 66, girl scout cookies...

and 'the best snow on earth' for your winter vacations, natch. summer at the lake...

better hope the LOA is worth a packet

thegingerwhinger · 23/07/2009 21:04

Wow, thanks for all your replies.

Scaryteacher it sounds like you're a good person to talk to re tax and all the things I hadn't even thought about! I may well be hunting you down in the future!

My little people are very little - ds is 3 and dd is 1 - so I guess there really will be a minimal disruption to them. No HSM in this house just yet!!

madwoman and vanilla : you both put forward very convincing arguments! My dh was very pleased to see your posts!

Thanks all

OP posts:
shoshe · 23/07/2009 21:20

As a child, I spent all my formative years on overseas postings, (HK,Singapore, Middle East Australia) with RAF Dad, it was brilliant and the best years of my life, your kids will love it.

Yorky · 23/07/2009 21:24

RN friends are off to Washington next year, he is really looking forward to it - she sounds exactly like you!
It will be fine, people will be using you as an excuse for cool foreign holiday!

I also think that as the time gets closer, if it is all confirmed, that you will get more excited - it just seems so big atm

madwomanintheattic · 24/07/2009 09:36

oo, v little small people - just the right time to have another one with dual nationality (my 5 yo watches HSM lol, you haven't got that long...) small point of note though - you will need to check re school admissions what age they take children into kindergarten. in canada it is a effectively a year later than here, so you may be looking at paying for daycare longer/ delaying their 'formal' education, whatever... they are little enough for it all to even out, but worth looking into.

dd1 was born in germany, ds1 in canada (with dual nationality lol) and dd2 is my only nhs baby...

so, you have your ice-breakers all ready to go and meet people (they might not be so good at getting you a job....)

you do need to ask dh what your entry visa allows you to do - i'm not sure what the status of forces agreement is for the US - for canada, spouses are entitled to an open work permit but you do have to apply for it... it may be different for the US, or there may be a time delay for the application etc.

have fun investigating!

madwomanintheattic · 24/07/2009 09:41

once you've done this one, you'll be saying 'where can we go next?'

dd1 moved for the first time at 4 months in utero and then just before her first birthday. she's now going into grade five in her fifth school

you RAF types, eh? (disclaimer - was RAF. dh army)

thegingerwhinger · 25/07/2009 11:03

Lol Madwoman No, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this sort of thing! We live in Lincolnshire - I've been here all my life and dh has been here for many years. I'm a homebird by nature and I've been dreading him being posted away. Like you say, I'll probably love it once we go and live forever with itchy feet afterwards. Good idea about the dual nationality thing...might have to get working on that one

It's reassuring to hear it's not just me who feels this way, Yorky. I'm hoping that once things are confirmed and plans can be made I'll start to feel differently.

Thanks for the info re visas, kindergartens etc. It's really handy talking to people who have been there, done that.

Imagine what I'd be like if we had school-age children?!

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Yorky · 25/07/2009 15:09

Vanillapumpkin, we are RAF in west mids too.

DS is 2.5 and this is his 4th address! Now DH has rebranched and has to start collecting promotion bottle tops again so he wants to do lot of short tours At least we should be able to do a couple before DS is in proper school, and even at primary its not too bad (trying to convince self!)

I think I'd fancy another country tbh, I worked in America, France and Luxemburg before we got married, and haven't left the country since DC!

Are you feeling any better about things yet, or just realising how much more there is to stress about if you want to?

scaryteacher · 25/07/2009 20:03

Gingerwhinger - I'd been in the westcountry for 20 years before I moved to Brussels. I thought I'd hate it, but I am having a great time and want to stay longer. Enjoy it whilst you're there; I dream of a Vancouver/Victoria posting!

thegingerwhinger · 26/07/2009 12:07

I do have moments where I catch myself daydreaming and feeling very excited, so hopefully that's a good sign. It's a dream from when I was younger - I always wanted to go to America. I still do, I think the main thing that worries me is the thought of depriving my parents of seeing their grandchildren. They only live round the corner at the moment and we see them every week. They completely dote on ds and dd. I know 18 months isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but I have a dread of something happening to a loved one, and us not being here, them not being able to see their grandchildren one last time.

That's dreadfully morbid I know, but I can't get it out of my mind.

My parents both seem very spritely btw, there's no reason that anything should happen (she says, touching wood!).

I suppose I should wait until we know for sure. Hey, for all I know he won't even get that posting and we'll end up somewhere else in the UK. He could even stay in Linconshire (and when I think about that I do feel a tad disappointed so I suppose I must be excited about the prospect of America).

I'm such a mixing pot of emotions at the moment!

Thanks everyone for your opinions and advice.

OP posts:
madwomanintheattic · 28/07/2009 13:58

oh golly, you don't need to worry about the grandparents - if they are anything like ours they will develop a healthy affinity for transatlantic travel. my kids think it's great - and they get to go skiing with grandma and grandad. grandma wants to learn to snowboard next (she's well past 60...) and she won't use long skis now, she's got her own snow blades...

we fly on monday and i think the diary is open for christmas bookings already

why i am mumsnetting when the packers arrive tomorrow for storage is beyond me...

HomeintheSun · 30/07/2009 15:23

My DH is RAF and we found out he was posted to Cyprus 2 weeks before I left for maternity leave, we flew out here when DS was 9 weeks old, that was 2.5 years ago and I wonder where the time has gone, we have 4.5 months left until we leave and the 26 week old bump will then be a 6 week old baby girl. I love it out here and don't wanna go back, it's the best thing we've ever done (apart from the babies). DH is now looking at posting along the m4 corridor so we can be closer to family, part of my wants that but the other half loves what we have at the moment, although if we were closer to the in laws they wouldn't need to come and visit for 2 weeks at a time. 18 months it not that long, I'd jump at the chance.

VanillaPumpkin · 31/07/2009 21:05

to Yorky

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