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Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Starting a family when abroad - advice?

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Old Feb 7th 2018, 8:08 am
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Default Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Hello,

I wasn't sure what to title this post but this basically sums up why I am hesitant to move back to Australia!

To cut a long story short, my Australian husband and I moved back to the UK 1 year ago after a 2 year stint in Melbourne, where he is from. I am from London and I always thought this is where I wanted to be forever, where I wanted to raise my kids etc. But the last year has been so tough adjusting to the lifestyle in London again. We both miss the laidback life, weather, finances and group of friends we had in Melbourne.

We are thinking of moving back, but being in our late twenties we would like to start a family in the next 2/3 years. We would like to avoid ping-ponging backwards and forwards a lot so would look to stay a minimum of 5 years to start with. This would mean having a child away from my parents and family (who I am close to), and I'd basically like to ask your advice on how this feels and how hard it is! Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by polrowrow View Post
Hello,

I wasn't sure what to title this post but this basically sums up why I am hesitant to move back to Australia!

To cut a long story short, my Australian husband and I moved back to the UK 1 year ago after a 2 year stint in Melbourne, where he is from. I am from London and I always thought this is where I wanted to be forever, where I wanted to raise my kids etc. But the last year has been so tough adjusting to the lifestyle in London again. We both miss the laidback life, weather, finances and group of friends we had in Melbourne.

We are thinking of moving back, but being in our late twenties we would like to start a family in the next 2/3 years. We would like to avoid ping-ponging backwards and forwards a lot so would look to stay a minimum of 5 years to start with. This would mean having a child away from my parents and family (who I am close to), and I'd basically like to ask your advice on how this feels and how hard it is! Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks.
Yep. No parents to around here.

Whats your fear?

1. Feeling guilty that your parents won't have grand children nearby?

2. Or not having your parents around to help.

If it point 1, all I can say its your life not theirs. If they really want to see their grand children they will travel. Ignore the guilt trips - they will happen and they are selfish actions.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by Beoz View Post
Yep. No parents to around here.

Whats your fear?

1. Feeling guilty that your parents won't have grand children nearby?

2. Or not having your parents around to help.

If it point 1, all I can say its your life not theirs. If they really want to see their grand children they will travel. Ignore the guilt trips - they will happen and they are selfish actions.
Thank you for your quick reply! Yes it's a bit of both of those to be honest. It would also bring me a lot of joy to give grandchildren to my parents close-by, but I'm weighing up whether it's worth it. I worry I would be lonely in Melbourne as a mum of young kids without family, but to be honest I feel like that would happen here too, because I find London quite hard work in comparison already.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

What about your husband's parents?
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 9:51 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by polrowrow View Post
Thank you for your quick reply! Yes it's a bit of both of those to be honest. It would also bring me a lot of joy to give grandchildren to my parents close-by, but I'm weighing up whether it's worth it. I worry I would be lonely in Melbourne as a mum of young kids without family, but to be honest I feel like that would happen here too, because I find London quite hard work in comparison already.
Plenty of mums groups around. In the right areas you will probably find they are full of English, Irish and other new mothers without parents on hand.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by polrowrow View Post
Hello,

I wasn't sure what to title this post but this basically sums up why I am hesitant to move back to Australia!

To cut a long story short, my Australian husband and I moved back to the UK 1 year ago after a 2 year stint in Melbourne, where he is from. I am from London and I always thought this is where I wanted to be forever, where I wanted to raise my kids etc. But the last year has been so tough adjusting to the lifestyle in London again. We both miss the laidback life, weather, finances and group of friends we had in Melbourne.

We are thinking of moving back, but being in our late twenties we would like to start a family in the next 2/3 years. We would like to avoid ping-ponging backwards and forwards a lot so would look to stay a minimum of 5 years to start with. This would mean having a child away from my parents and family (who I am close to), and I'd basically like to ask your advice on how this feels and how hard it is! Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks.
Well maybe a move to another part of the UK would make sense, where it's more laid back. Somewhere close to the beach etc. Also it seems that you are far closer to family than your husband, so will want to see them every year. If you look at the finances and costs for you, or let's say your parents to travel to Australia every year, you could use that money and buy a holiday pad in the sun with the whole family. That way you also have your weather point sorted and have an investment (finances). Some people can just move away and aren't bothered if they don't see their family but if you are already questioning it, it's only going to get worse.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

When someone asks your kids what nationality they are, what do you want them to say?

They will identify with one or the other, depending on where they grow up, and not an equal mix of both.

When kids are teens or uni age, it can be a jarring thing for expats to start talking about "going home" only for the kids to say "OK, go. We're staying, we're already home."

If you don't care or are happy for them to say Australian - well, if you like Melbourne better, come. When your parents retire (if not already retired), no reason why they can't come and stay for several months.

If it's going to bother you that the kids say they are Australian but you are British, evaluate this with a different context.

You should also probably have the same conversation with your husband - how will he feel that the kids say they are British and not Australian if you stay.

Also don't know your family dynamics. How did they react when you went to Melbourne the first time? Was it OK or has there been lingering bitterness?

Good luck.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

If you are self sufficient and selfish you should be ok. I took my parents’ only grandchild away at 6 months then had another in Australia 3 years later. Doing it alone is a tough gig and I happen to believe that, as the leaver, you are the one responsible for returning to keep family contacts and that gets expensive. If your folk are able and prepared to travel then that’s a bonus.

As a grandparent, I will say that grandparenting via Skype sucks but it’s going to happen to me wherever I am. I’m not enmeshed with my grandkids, though, like many are, nor am I likely to ever be that way - so I guess it rather depends on how your parents will be as grandparents as to how they deal with it but, bottom line, it’s your life to motor on with and do what is right for you.

A word of warning about bringing kids into a relationship if there is any likelihood of conflict about where you go/settle. Australia will not let kids leave if the other parent says they may not, as many have found to their cost. So be certain that you want to live in Australia and that you trust your OH to move again if you want to return (although minds can change!) otherwise you could find yourself stuck there when you don’t want to be.

I wouldn’t be worrying about where your kids might go when they’re old enough to make up their minds - they could end up anywhere and unless you have a slightly masochistic bent you probably won’t be trotting around the world after them.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
If you are self sufficient and selfish you should be ok. I took my parents’ only grandchild away at 6 months then had another in Australia 3 years later.
Its selfish for the grandparents to expect their children to live close by and not explore their lives.

As someone who has inlaws who refuse to travel through spite, even refused to travel to other parts of the UK when we lived there, I am disgusted at how some grandparents believe their children should live their lives to suit their own.

That's not parenting.
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Old Feb 7th 2018, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

It's probably more about the kids staying on in OZ if you decide to return to UK at some stage, when they are older. I suspect the grand parent thing is over done in a lot of cases. Probably not the majority, but still numerous don't necessary care much about the grand kids location, but do their own children's for obvious reasons. A bit cynical perhaps but there you are.


Never under estimate the possible 'heart break' of split families though if one's own siblings decide different locations. I've witnessed it many times. Even if its moving between Australian states, let alone countries.


Shame about the change in London.(to which I agree) I can recall when it was more 'laid back' (that term some love to use) than Perth. Perhaps we have different interpretations on the meaning?
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Old Feb 8th 2018, 5:35 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by Beoz View Post
Its selfish for the grandparents to expect their children to live close by and not explore their lives.

As someone who has inlaws who refuse to travel through spite, even refused to travel to other parts of the UK when we lived there, I am disgusted at how some grandparents believe their children should live their lives to suit their own.

That's not parenting.
I agree with you. I didn’t mean selfish in the pejorative sense, just that in order to survive without being hurt by whatever guilting might come from anyone in your family/friend sphere you need to have that “selfish” protective layer. The only guilting I have ever had came from my daughter in law who couldn’t understand that we needed to be in UK caring for my parents (our choice, mum hated it but in her demented state she needed it!) rather than being with the granddaughters (she liked the on tap child care!). We’ve missed them of course but we’ve done the best we can to stay connected.

I think it’s unconscionable that parents would try and manipulate their kids’ lives just because of the grandkids but people do - as you obviously know first hand! But, now as a grandparent I know that it’s not easy to grandparent from a distance and you have to work out your own ways of doing it but I still think that if you are the leaver, you are the one responsible for keeping the connections going - as long as those you have left want to remain connected of course. If you’re the enmeshed kind of grandparent it must be hugely difficult and grief makes people behave in ways that even they may despise. There’s no predicting how people will react when push comes to shove.
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Old Feb 8th 2018, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
I agree with you. I didn’t mean selfish in the pejorative sense, just that in order to survive without being hurt by whatever guilting might come from anyone in your family/friend sphere you need to have that “selfish” protective layer. The only guilting I have ever had came from my daughter in law who couldn’t understand that we needed to be in UK caring for my parents (our choice, mum hated it but in her demented state she needed it!) rather than being with the granddaughters (she liked the on tap child care!). We’ve missed them of course but we’ve done the best we can to stay connected.

I think it’s unconscionable that parents would try and manipulate their kids’ lives just because of the grandkids but people do - as you obviously know first hand! But, now as a grandparent I know that it’s not easy to grandparent from a distance and you have to work out your own ways of doing it but I still think that if you are the leaver, you are the one responsible for keeping the connections going - as long as those you have left want to remain connected of course. If you’re the enmeshed kind of grandparent it must be hugely difficult and grief makes people behave in ways that even they may despise. There’s no predicting how people will react when push comes to shove.
But aren't the parents (not the grandparents) really the ones who are selfish. You often hear parents wanting to move and the kids are currently happy where they are. It's different if the child isn't even born yet, but how many times do parents just move for themselves and not the kids?
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Old Feb 8th 2018, 8:54 am
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by polrowrow View Post
Hello,

I wasn't sure what to title this post but this basically sums up why I am hesitant to move back to Australia!

To cut a long story short, my Australian husband and I moved back to the UK 1 year ago after a 2 year stint in Melbourne, where he is from. I am from London and I always thought this is where I wanted to be forever, where I wanted to raise my kids etc. But the last year has been so tough adjusting to the lifestyle in London again. We both miss the laidback life, weather, finances and group of friends we had in Melbourne.

We are thinking of moving back, but being in our late twenties we would like to start a family in the next 2/3 years. We would like to avoid ping-ponging backwards and forwards a lot so would look to stay a minimum of 5 years to start with. This would mean having a child away from my parents and family (who I am close to), and I'd basically like to ask your advice on how this feels and how hard it is! Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks.
When it comes to the birth and initial few weeks all girls want their mums with them.

Going forward you do have to be self reliant and enjoy the opportunity grandparents offer - post kids it no longer you its all about them.

I prefer small doses rather than permanent if that makes sense.

The opportunity of dual citizenship etc should be considered. Life is not for just one country, and both countries have different offerings for different stages in life.

Don't just compare UK/London, UK does offer a lot of different options it self.

For all the outdoor talk the heat and sun made us hide indoors a lot more than we would of compared to the UK.
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Old Feb 8th 2018, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

I looked into this at the time, I recall, and found that the mechanism is as in the UK..the facts of life do not vary...cheers
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Old Feb 8th 2018, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Starting a family when abroad - advice?

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
I agree with you. I didn’t mean selfish in the pejorative sense, just that in order to survive without being hurt by whatever guilting might come from anyone in your family/friend sphere you need to have that “selfish” protective layer. The only guilting I have ever had came from my daughter in law who couldn’t understand that we needed to be in UK caring for my parents (our choice, mum hated it but in her demented state she needed it!) rather than being with the granddaughters (she liked the on tap child care!). We’ve missed them of course but we’ve done the best we can to stay connected.

I think it’s unconscionable that parents would try and manipulate their kids’ lives just because of the grandkids but people do - as you obviously know first hand! But, now as a grandparent I know that it’s not easy to grandparent from a distance and you have to work out your own ways of doing it but I still think that if you are the leaver, you are the one responsible for keeping the connections going - as long as those you have left want to remain connected of course. If you’re the enmeshed kind of grandparent it must be hugely difficult and grief makes people behave in ways that even they may despise. There’s no predicting how people will react when push comes to shove.
It is still not selfish to be self-reliant, quite the opposite, so I suspect you struggled or were made to feel guilty Quoll. In this globalised world, I think it is increasingly the norm to live and work away from where we were brought up.
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