|This town in NZ?source|
|...or this town in Lancashire, UK? source|
Jenny is devastated, but can't write about her feelings on her own blog (which by the way is honest and hilarious) for fear of offending family and friends. She wrote to ask me (and you!) for advice.
Jenny writes: I don't know what to do. Most of my friends - and people who can't stand me - think I'm an opinionated arse. I am. But I'm also a "sitting on the fence" kind of person.
Yes, NZ is great for the children, we get more space, hang out at the beach every day, my husband is happier there. It offers more opportunity but I'm not convinced that's the best reason to live there. I do love it there, it's just that I'm such a much better, happier person when I'm near my parents and I can feel the effect of my mental well being on family life with my husband and children.
I want to spend every remaining waking hour with my Mum and Dad. I am happiest when I am with them. So I am seething with resentment that I can't spend the rest of my life with them. I have seen the incredible effect on my children of having their loving grandparents on tap to go to the park with, play board games with and generally humour them with love and attention.
But the style of upbringing in NZ is way better than the UK. Everyone's so fucking uptight here - the only children we've had for sleepovers this year are the offspring of a Kiwi/English couple I met by chance.
Dear Jenny: If Mama ain't happy, no one's happy. Who said that - or did I just make it up? You can be in the most beautiful place on earth but not feel quite right. I appreciated living in the idyllic towns of Champery, Switzerland and Cheltenham, Gloucestershire but I longed for old faces.
Sounds like you have great friends in NZ and a lovely beach lifestyle. But being around your parents trumps that - because being with them makes you feel your best self. Also isn't it so nice being the child when you have children yourself?
But (and isn't there always a "but"?) your husband commuting three hours from London to Lytham in Lancashire every Friday night could not have been fun for him, you or the kids.
Solution?Could you alternate every two or three years between the two countries? Especially if both you and your husband work freelance? You would think your careers will suffer but in fact I know two families who have done this and have no problem with work. Both places have public health systems and good public schools so you're lucky there.
Or base yourself in NZ and make a firm date to go back every year for six weeks? Or two lots of six weeks? (This means your kids will miss some school, hope no Kiwi teachers are reading this.)
Friends in both NZ and UK need to feel an ongoing commitment from you. Many people won't make the effort with families who are living in their town only temporarily and this will colour your experience.
What do you think? Would you move for your partner's job and home if you're happy where you are?
If I loved my husband very much, which I assume Jenny does, I would move to the end of the Earth with him. Mum & Dad can come visit.ReplyDelete
(It appears I am an opinionated arse too). :D
Tough one! I'd move to NZ in a heartbeat, but then I don't have amazing parents I'd like to be around. Grandparents are huge important, I was practically raised by mine.ReplyDelete
Can Granny and Gramps visit beautiful NZ for several weeks a year? Or maybe a few months? How about finding a house with a guest bedroom and bathroom to make them feel at home, combined with visits back, that could be a good solution.
Best of luck Jenny! xox
My parents do come once or twice a year for 2 or sometimes 3 months so I feel very lucky they are great travellersDelete
I agree with Dani. Are your parents able and willing to travel? Growing up in NZ could be wonderful and then spend a long Summer in the U.K. That could be good. Always worth a try and you can always move back.ReplyDelete
Wishing you all the best,
Interesting one as I know Lytham very well (grew up in Preston just down the road) and most of my school friends came from Lytham, Ansdell and St Anne's (Jenny will know where I mean!) Such a tricky one - it's not like moving to France or anywhere else in accessible Europe - NZ is the end of the feckin' world (geographically speaking) for goodness sake! I think the only way is compromise - go to NZ but spend every summer in the UK and have your parents over for months at a time. Good luck - not a choice I would like to have to make.ReplyDelete
CQ - yes I used to do that plane ride with the kids when we lived in London - it's 28 hours even with one stop off in LA in the dead of the night.Delete
Yes I have done the trip lots with my children - often without the husband and its pretty tiring. I would endure anything though to get home!Delete
Yes bit different if you know there is a pair of outstretched arms at the airport ready to plonk your child in, like a rainbow at the end of the rain.Delete
I can't imagine leaving my family now that we have the kiddos. If it was an opportunity that my hubs couldn't pass up on, I'd go, but I'd move back to be near my family the second it was feasible. Haha!ReplyDelete
Yes I realise when my visits from New Zealand how lovely it is to have her thereDelete
Just my opinion but, as parents get older, long haul flights become very daunting for them. My mother has been traveling from the north of England to the States for over 20 years to see me, and it's getting much harder for her now. She's not even that old but she worries about not being able to lift her suitcase off the carousel, getting from one terminal to another in Heathrow etc. It's very stressful and now she only comes once a year where she used to come twice.ReplyDelete
I understand the attractions of NZ versus the UK, but I also know that if I had to do it again I might have hatched a plan to live in the UK, at least for a while. My kids have no cousins here and only see my in-laws about twice a year. I feel they have really missed out not having a regular extended family life.
Perhaps a plan to go there for a few years and then move back to the UK might be feasible?
We've been lucky that Mum and Dad ready to travel but last time coming back from France they said: Staying put for a while. And having to stay at someone's house - Mum stays in Tallulah's room as we don't have a spare room - is for sure much more tiring for them than just popping in every day or week. Unless maybe they have their own bach out the back.Delete
I agree with the others about living in NZ during the school year and doing the summers in the UK - I think the parents (unless money is an issue and/or have health issues that restrict them from travelling) should try to visit NZ whenever they can and look forward to the summer visits.ReplyDelete
This is such a difficult decision. We're in the same boat albeit the job opportunities are far better for the hubs here. Lil L misses her grandparents and cousins like crazy. Despite the fact that she has lived in NZ for 2 out of her 7 young years, she yearns to be closer to our family. On the other hand, I can't bear living in such a small city after having London and the rest of Europe practically on my doorstep.ReplyDelete
CCC - London just became too rainy and too hard for us, but we were will still looking to live near somewhere urban. After two years of research - we even flew to Toronto in 40below winter to check it out because a friend had raved about it - we decided on Oakland which is just across the bridge from San fran but is 10 to 15 degrees warmer and you can get a bigger back yard here. However as my childhood friend Sue said at Christmas time: "We spent half our lives trying to leave our small town and now I'm spending the next half trying to get back here."ReplyDelete
LOL! Jody, I hear you. After seeing the weather forecast for the rest of spring, the gist is there will be barely any sunshine until May. How depressing is that?! I used to complain about the harsh sunshine in NZ. Now, I seal my lips shut on that topic. The truth is we're all global citizens now where opportunities can be found anywhere provided you have a legitimate visa or better still, several passports.Delete
I'd go if it meant a better job and quality of life. But just do what others said, have them come there a few months out of the year and spend summers in the UK. Plus with today's technology like skype and such one can keep in touch, not exactly the same but still. Heck, just take your parents with you..lolReplyDelete
Pat - you have to do this in rhyme!Delete
Take the job where it is warm and sunnyDelete
So there is no winter to make your nose runny
Throw your parents in a suitcase too
And bring them along with you
Save on airfare that way
May not be a fun ride for them but less you'd have to pay
If that doesn't work
Simply use some tech perk
Then spend months of the year here and there
In the end all is fair
Ha I love that! My parents visit lots but they don't want to move to NZ - my brother lives in the uk with his children and also they have a great life where they live in Lancashire with all their friends.Delete
I left my home, job etc to be with my (future) husband because he'd just landed a great job opp when we met. I hate where I now live, but I have loads of holidays to make up for it. Give and take, I suppose. We don't have children, so that makes it easier. I would ask the parents if they fancy NZ!ReplyDelete
But I thought you lived in Paris?? Or is that just in my mind?Delete
Can we assume that her husband is an only child orphan? (My husband is.) Or are his parents absolute crap? I can't believe anyone would chose to go back to her parents and make her children do without their father all week long. Am I missing something?ReplyDelete
No one 'makes' anyone do anything in my little family. We just make joint decisionsDelete
Trying to comment with my phone makes me try for brevity, but obviously my point was totally missed. (Which my cousins and I agree is probably the result of having French mothers.) I thought saying that "I can't believe" something would have been read as "I can't believe" something. I think the support system offered by an extended family is terrible important. (If pressed, I would say that if the choice is between the father or mother's family, I would chose the mother's.) I raised my children in the horrible grey weather of Seattle, and am proud their grown-up selves. I wouldn't have moved them just for better weather. (Although on their own. they all chose to live in a sunnier climate.) I would vote for staying in Lancaster, but as I wrote, I may be missing something. And I realize that the decision to move was already made, so this is just a moot comment.Delete
To me, the immediate fam is most important and if moving to NZ will make everyone happy and improve everyone's quality of life and be enhancing for the children, then I say do it. And long holidays back home would be fun and so special.ReplyDelete
Lisa - that's basically the conclusion I came to, that I thought it makes my husband happy and although the children are happy in either uk or NZ, the outdoors life in NZ is much healthier and we can try and carry on doing trips back home.ReplyDelete
Jenny - do you find you are indoors a lot in Lytham? In London when the kids were small we took them out three times a day and often we were sitting in the sand pit in rain drizzle and the cold (and that was just the summer)Delete
Yikes. A predicament indeed.ReplyDelete
I say move and spend long holidays back in Lancashire.
I'd go to NZ. A marriage is about give and take. The husband has been doing all the giving with his split life, time to let him do the taking, at least for a while.ReplyDelete
I'm with Lisa- the immediate family is the most important. Long trips back with parents in the UK will keep the strong bond and make everyone happy in the end. I know it's easier said than done, but I would go to NZ and make the best of it.ReplyDelete
Sometimes people HAVE to move (for the job) .. for financial reasons. If her husband has no income and she is a stay at home mom.. who pays the bills? It's important for parents to be near their kids, especially later it life. Would the parents consider a move?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure that going back and forth would have worked for my family. We probably would have been (financially) more well off had my husband been willing to move but we decided once the kids were in grade school we wanted them to stay put.
If Momma is happy.. everyone is happy. This is so true. I would consider the decision to move a group decision. It's not just about one person.
I'd move us all in a heartbeat for a better quality of life and some sunshine, but then I don't have a close family who involve themselves in our lives. But I know that my Grandparents were very important to me so maybe they are willing to make the move too, or at least take long holidays as suggested by many others.ReplyDelete
Is this cricket Jay? Tell your family there is loads of cricket in NZ!Delete
We have a friend who runs summer schools for cricket in NZ but I'm not sure more cricket would mean a better quality of life for all the family, only 3 of them!Delete
YOU need to MOVE!That commute will age your husband sooner then later.Why can't your parents go to NZ six months out of the year if you will have more space?He is the one working and he deserves to be happy too!You had your parents for twenty plus years now its your time for the husband!Plus, maybe the kids can enjoy a sleep over!!!REALLY no sleepovers in England????????ReplyDelete
LC, what I should have included is that Jenny and family lived in NZ for six years before the one year in her home town of Lytham.Delete
I think she could also be very happy in NZ I think it is about give and take. I do find that if she sits down with her husband and writes the pro and cons of both places it is amazing how the answer seems much clearer.ReplyDelete
Inge think that's right, putting it all down on paper concentrates the mind.Delete
I am a Californian who moved to New Zealand 7 years ago with my Kiwi husband. We have 3 little girls ages 6, 3 and 2. The lifestyle we have in NZ is like no other! Our girls are healthy and vibrant and have grown up in the most natural environment surrounded by farms and beaches. I also am very close to my mother and we have been lucky enough to visit California every year so far for about a month at a time. She comes to visit us every summer so we see each other roughly every 6 months. We talk on the phone all the time and now have started using face time which is a video calling app on our ipad. Go with your husband; he needs your support more than your parents do. Your children and husband should be your priority. It sounds to me as if you are merely thinking of yourself. We all have to make compromises in life. I have so many British friends here and we all are all in the same boat but sunny beach side Tauranga sounds a hell of a lot better to me for a young family than cold grey England. Think of your husband and his career! Visit UK often, start skyping and enjoy this beautiful country and opportunity you have at your feet. My Californian friends think I live the dream....and I do!ReplyDelete
Megan - wow high praise for NZ - and you come from California which is a pretty ace lifestyle too...we're in the Bay Area, Ca.Delete
Move to NZ.....you will be glad you did.ReplyDelete
In an ideal world, we would all get to live together with the ones we love, on a big compound (like the Kennedy's)...everyone would get along great AND, really importantly, the weather would be fab. But life's not like that is it? And that's why I don't live with my lovely family in England :(ReplyDelete
Not much help, am I?
In our scenario is Taylor Swift paying visits to our Kennedy compound? Could I substitute in Ryan Gosling?Delete
I sympathise. We have family in three countries and we'll never be able to live near all of them. There is no ideal solution, and of course jobs are an important factor. Best wishes, Jenny.ReplyDelete
I'd listen to my heart, not to my brain. But it's always easier to give advice than to take it, right?ReplyDelete
Hope you're doing fine.
Well Jenny, I fully sympathise although under different circumstances I am a brit living in kiwiland, with my kiwi husband and our 3 boys 7,5 & 3. The first 6 years ( i have been here 8) I missed my family and friend desperately and would go back to the uk on every occasion which as you can imagine has cost alot over the years, finally, although I am in a very remote area I really can call NZ home, it takes time and you both have to be happy otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster. I think having young children really does intergrate you into a new society like nothing else and you then can start making a life for yourself as well as supporting your husband. Finally, and this may seem a little harsh, you have to make a decision and be happy with it otherwise you will never be fully content and believe you me I am the master of that game. I wish you well in whatever decision you make.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your honesty Liz - Great advice about making a decision and being happy with it. I am the master of that game too. I always have that perfect vision - in the rear vision. (woulda coulda shoulda)Delete
Yes always listen to your heart (in my humble opinion)...it guides you to what you truly should do.ReplyDelete
I know I'm old fashioned but I think if you really love your husband you should put him first - even before parents.ReplyDelete
Having said that I refused to give up my business and settle in Australia with my first husband because it seemed that whenever I settled and made friends he would want to move and OZ was a step too far.
Any way Jenny could persuade Ma and Pa to emigrate to NZ? That would sound like the ideal solution....ReplyDelete
I never really had that dilemma about moving to America, as my mum died a long time ago and although I am close to my Dad, he worked abroad for much of his life and understands why we wanted to travel.
It's a difficult question. I guess this depends on every couple/family, but I think one should at least try and make the step. It's better to be sorry for having done something than for not having gone through with it. But of course you can't think only at your partner, you have to be happy with the change too, because the happiness of the family depends on you both being happy in one place. I think the right solution can only be found by the two.ReplyDelete
Think you're right Ada, both of you have to be happy with the changeDelete
I would be the last person to offer advice but I can tell you of the experience of your Grandmother who left Manchester, England in 1946 with her husband and four children. They sailed to Bahrain Island and, after four years, onto New Zealand which in 1950 was a very, very rural country.
Both your Grandparents were city people and it took them many years to come to terms with NZ. Your Grandfather was a charming almost charismatic man but a dreamer. Neither of them ever went back to England.
Your Grandmother once said to me ".....your father was all the man I ever wanted. Sometimes more than."
I can only say that their children are today grateful, thankful, proud and lucky that she stuck with her man. Dad
i'm trying not to be judgmental here, but we have someone who acknowledges that her husband is happier in NZ, her children would likely be happier and have more room, her husband can find work in NZ but not where they currently live, etc. - but she can't be away from her parents, and wants to spend every day with them?ReplyDelete
You love and respect your parents, but you make your life with your spouse, and for your children. The OP needs to grow up some. Otherwise she holds everyone hostage to her dependence on her parents.....
Your first paragraph has search engine for hubpages in the first instance, as it has the highestReplyDelete
rank. Some major factors tell search engines what
a page is about. The number of online videos is transforming social media from centers
for casual networking to platforms for video sharing. The pages crawled are then indexed in Googles index which is the main reason why your best
search engine Company and filter the results of their search engine ranking.
Moreover, if consumed in large quantities.
Look at my weblog :: seo rates
used cars in memphis that are currently on the roads and when you think about it, you should capture some shots from various angles.ReplyDelete
Many teenagers will also be able to browse the
advertisements and come across something that
Check out my blog; houston used cars