Young Children & Grandparents

Old Jan 31st 2006, 4:56 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

Originally Posted by Jessie James
Hi HiddenPaw,

I just wondered what your reasons for wanting to return to Australia are? I seem to remember that one of your reasons for going back to the UK was lack of family contact in Oz?

The reason I ask is that one of my main reasons for wanting to return to the UK is that I find the prospect of starting a family here very daunting and I'm not sure I can do it. Since I want to have children I want to get back and settled before too long......I will get citizenship before doing so to leave the door open here but think realistically I would be less likely to return here once we start a family.

But.....what is your experience of being parents in the UK? Are there things you feel Australia offers over the UK (I'm presuming so if you're thinking of heading back)?
Hi JJ, so many probing Qs....all too difficult to answer - LOL!

Return to Oz.....hmm, I suppose husband is the one driving this as I feel pretty indifferent. He hates the UK weather and misses what we had over there. I try and remind him of the things he used to hate but he has done pretty well to balance the good with the bad! I've got a nice life here - daughter has a good little social life, and I have a good support network ad mum & baby friends which I am hesitant to give up.

We came back to UK as it wasn't so much missing family contact but being terrified of having a baby alone!! We knew nothing about babies, not even how to change a nappy....we needed a safety net I think. Saying that, although I have no regrets about coming back, we would have coped on our own...you just do, don't you! However, having family to help out has been a godesnd. I was very poorly after the birth and needed a lot of help to do basic things. Even now, my MIL has my daughter one day a week and I get some 'me' time (supposedly to get to the gym, but like today, a full-on day of housework and Tescos!!) I do realise what I would lose by isolating myself in Oz - and with another one due in April, it will be double-trouble!

Getting citizenship....very sensible! If we had ours, we wouldn't be contemplating going back this year. We had planned to stay in Oz for 2 years and then start a family but bub came along sooner than planned so we left after 18 months. Of course I wouldn't change anything in the past but things would have been simpler if we had the cit'ship! If we did have cit'ship, who knows if we would go back at all. Part of my husband's concerns are giving up the visas, plus the fact we feel we left Aus prematurely.

As for being a parent in the UK....difficult one. I don't have a lot to worry about at the moment - daughter has no independence, doesn't go to school, doesn't go anywhere without me. I'm sure in a few years time, we will have concerns. I don't really believe Australia offers a 'better' life, rather a 'different' life. There is good and bad everywhere, and there are opportunities to be had in both countries. I suppose the chav culture is a worry - you worry they will get in with the wrong crowd, or be bullied at school, but that can happen anywhere. While living in Melbourne I remember things like the spate of bricks thru tram windows, the hoons that used to wake us every night, the binge drinking tales, and thinking at the time that the Uk really can't be that different a place to raise your children (depending where you live perhaps).

Phew, hope that answers your Qs. I too was daunted at the prospect of having children in Oz...especially with husband out at work all day. I feared isolation and not being able to cope. But my biggest triumph was joining the mum and baby groups here - I've made so many friends. If you were to stay in Oz, even without family, there will always be people in the same boat as yourself . But I also feel that you can't rely as heavily on new friends initially like you can family, so there is still a valuable role for family to play in helping you with a new baby, and I guess I was lucky to have the option of having them around.
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Old Jan 31st 2006, 7:17 am
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

HI H/P

The time that I have missed having family around the most is when the kids get up on stage and dance their hearts out! Ohh I so wish that we had some family around to show their support.

As you know we have Granny, neices and nephews over at the moment and although it is a little stressful having 7 kids in the house it is completely fantastic for the kids and me. I am so loving all the extra hugs from my sisters kids. I am even bonding with the older ones taking them cross country running. I am dreading the goodbyes in a few weeks.

I really feel sorry for A as he seems a bit like me and in love with Australia. Good luck with your decision.
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Old Jan 31st 2006, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

Thanks so much for your post and sorry for the probing questions...! The way that your husband is feeling in the UK and about returning to Oz is exactly how I predict my partner would be before too long. At the moment I can't even persuade him to give it a try in the UK and I know in my heart of hearts if I did manage it, it wouldn't be too long before he would be driving a move back.

So my dilemma is do I accept that and accept here despite being petrified for exactly the reasons you list below of starting a family here? Or do I keep pushing knowing that he might not agree to come with me (in which case do I go anyway knowing it's what's best for me?) and if he does concede that I'll be under immense pressure if things don't go well.

None of my closest friends or family can answer that one for me so I don't really expect to find the answer on a forum but still....do you think you would have coped and just got on with it with a new bub if your husband had been against moving back. Or, more generally, do you think there has to be agreement in both camps for things to work out wherever you live?




Originally Posted by HiddenPaw
Hi JJ, so many probing Qs....all too difficult to answer - LOL!

Return to Oz.....hmm, I suppose husband is the one driving this as I feel pretty indifferent. He hates the UK weather and misses what we had over there. I try and remind him of the things he used to hate but he has done pretty well to balance the good with the bad! I've got a nice life here - daughter has a good little social life, and I have a good support network ad mum & baby friends which I am hesitant to give up.

We came back to UK as it wasn't so much missing family contact but being terrified of having a baby alone!! We knew nothing about babies, not even how to change a nappy....we needed a safety net I think. Saying that, although I have no regrets about coming back, we would have coped on our own...you just do, don't you! However, having family to help out has been a godesnd. I was very poorly after the birth and needed a lot of help to do basic things. Even now, my MIL has my daughter one day a week and I get some 'me' time (supposedly to get to the gym, but like today, a full-on day of housework and Tescos!!) I do realise what I would lose by isolating myself in Oz - and with another one due in April, it will be double-trouble!

Getting citizenship....very sensible! If we had ours, we wouldn't be contemplating going back this year. We had planned to stay in Oz for 2 years and then start a family but bub came along sooner than planned so we left after 18 months. Of course I wouldn't change anything in the past but things would have been simpler if we had the cit'ship! If we did have cit'ship, who knows if we would go back at all. Part of my husband's concerns are giving up the visas, plus the fact we feel we left Aus prematurely.

As for being a parent in the UK....difficult one. I don't have a lot to worry about at the moment - daughter has no independence, doesn't go to school, doesn't go anywhere without me. I'm sure in a few years time, we will have concerns. I don't really believe Australia offers a 'better' life, rather a 'different' life. There is good and bad everywhere, and there are opportunities to be had in both countries. I suppose the chav culture is a worry - you worry they will get in with the wrong crowd, or be bullied at school, but that can happen anywhere. While living in Melbourne I remember things like the spate of bricks thru tram windows, the hoons that used to wake us every night, the binge drinking tales, and thinking at the time that the Uk really can't be that different a place to raise your children (depending where you live perhaps).

Phew, hope that answers your Qs. I too was daunted at the prospect of having children in Oz...especially with husband out at work all day. I feared isolation and not being able to cope. But my biggest triumph was joining the mum and baby groups here - I've made so many friends. If you were to stay in Oz, even without family, there will always be people in the same boat as yourself . But I also feel that you can't rely as heavily on new friends initially like you can family, so there is still a valuable role for family to play in helping you with a new baby, and I guess I was lucky to have the option of having them around.
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Old Jan 31st 2006, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

Originally Posted by HiddenPaw
I was wondering if living without GPs was something they get over, or get accustomed to - but even at 10 the pull sounds very strong. I guess when they get into late teens it all becomes a chore to visit granny and grandad when they want to be out with friends, but those early years are definately the ones when the children idolise their GPs.
My son has gotten over it to an extent. He was 7 when we came here so it's been hard. On the other side my son was 2 and living in England when my dad moved to the states. He has maintained a relationship with him and is quite used to him being far away. Mainly because he has never known any different. Just when dad leaves it reminds him of everyone he has left.

I don't think a two year old would be adversley affected by leaving her friends. They make new ones so easily. When my son was 4 we moved to a different area in the UK and he left pre-school and went into regular school without a backward glance.

I think your decision to go must be yours. Once you have made that decision you will accept the negatives. I don't know your story, but I'm wondering if you have made the decision to leave?
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Old Feb 1st 2006, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

Originally Posted by Jessie James
Thanks so much for your post and sorry for the probing questions...! The way that your husband is feeling in the UK and about returning to Oz is exactly how I predict my partner would be before too long. At the moment I can't even persuade him to give it a try in the UK and I know in my heart of hearts if I did manage it, it wouldn't be too long before he would be driving a move back.

So my dilemma is do I accept that and accept here despite being petrified for exactly the reasons you list below of starting a family here? Or do I keep pushing knowing that he might not agree to come with me (in which case do I go anyway knowing it's what's best for me?) and if he does concede that I'll be under immense pressure if things don't go well.

None of my closest friends or family can answer that one for me so I don't really expect to find the answer on a forum but still....do you think you would have coped and just got on with it with a new bub if your husband had been against moving back. Or, more generally, do you think there has to be agreement in both camps for things to work out wherever you live?
My husband was really the one who instigated coming back to UK.....now he's the one who wants to go back! I don't resent him in any way for his indecision because marriage is really a compromise. I didn't force him to stay in Oz and he didn't force me to come back. I do think there has to be agreement in both camps, but that may mean one has to compromise. You say your OH won't entertain the idea of moving back but ultimately will he really put staying in Melbourne ahead of your happiness and your marriage?

I don't think there is a wrong and a right decision about where to have a baby, but both parties have to understand the other's concerns and perhaps be prepared to make changes when necessary. You could always give it a go raising a baby without family and if it's not working out, replan. In hindsight, yes, we would have coped. I feared solitude yet meeting new mums was really, for me, all it took to make me not feel alone, and in many ways, with regard to baby, I can relate to them more than parents/in-laws.

What I have realised in the last 2 years (and perhaps moreso my husband) is that now we have our own baby, our priorities have changed. We are our own family unit, and us 3 being together is far more important (and time-consuming) than seeing our own parents/siblings. (Don't mean that to sound harsh but that's our reality!!!)

Is raising a baby alone the only concern you have with staying in Oz or are there other factors? I believe I would have been able to overcome my fears without too much difficulty, and really, meeting the other mums has been my saviour. It was far easier to make friends with expectant mums, and I made more friends (who are now good friends 2 years on) in the first 6 weeks of being back in the UK than I did in 18 months in Melbourne, where, as you may have experienced, you socialize with people you don't always have much in common with.
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Old Feb 1st 2006, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Young Children & Grandparents

Thanks for another level-headed post HP - just what I need to hear at the moment! Things have become very dramatic and out of proportion lately so it's good to hear sensible advice!

I think we both realised yesterday that neither of us is prepared to sacrafice our relationship for the sake of where we live, which is a huge step forward in the decision process and has opened up the door for more sensible discussion on the realistic pros and cons of each country.

He (finally) is prepared to discuss the reality of living in the UK and ways that the negative things could be worked around or improved. I'm willing to do the same for living here (I always was but not when he wouldn't do the same for there).

So, time to think about some of the things you mention below - is raising a baby alone my only concern? What is it that I miss about the UK - the place or the people or both? I'm beginning to see this as very important because of what you say below about the three of you becoming your own familt unit. This is exactly what my partner has be saying and it's true that I would kick myself if I went back with a false idea of how important certain people would be to me (of course my family will always be important to me, but you know what I mean....) only to find that my priorities totally change and lifestyle might be back at the top of the list, which I have to admit is better here.

I can see this is going to be a very long process of discussion, negotiation and compromise but it needs to be done and done properly because it's all just too important.......ahhhh, the pressure!!


Originally Posted by HiddenPaw
My husband was really the one who instigated coming back to UK.....now he's the one who wants to go back! I don't resent him in any way for his indecision because marriage is really a compromise. I didn't force him to stay in Oz and he didn't force me to come back. I do think there has to be agreement in both camps, but that may mean one has to compromise. You say your OH won't entertain the idea of moving back but ultimately will he really put staying in Melbourne ahead of your happiness and your marriage?

I don't think there is a wrong and a right decision about where to have a baby, but both parties have to understand the other's concerns and perhaps be prepared to make changes when necessary. You could always give it a go raising a baby without family and if it's not working out, replan. In hindsight, yes, we would have coped. I feared solitude yet meeting new mums was really, for me, all it took to make me not feel alone, and in many ways, with regard to baby, I can relate to them more than parents/in-laws.

What I have realised in the last 2 years (and perhaps moreso my husband) is that now we have our own baby, our priorities have changed. We are our own family unit, and us 3 being together is far more important (and time-consuming) than seeing our own parents/siblings. (Don't mean that to sound harsh but that's our reality!!!)

Is raising a baby alone the only concern you have with staying in Oz or are there other factors? I believe I would have been able to overcome my fears without too much difficulty, and really, meeting the other mums has been my saviour. It was far easier to make friends with expectant mums, and I made more friends (who are now good friends 2 years on) in the first 6 weeks of being back in the UK than I did in 18 months in Melbourne, where, as you may have experienced, you socialize with people you don't always have much in common with.
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