Aug 9 2005, 09:49 PM
This post is totally non-music related, but I have been a member on here for a while now and would really appreciate some non biased advice.
My Husband and I recently made the decision to move our two young children and dog from a comfortable life and small mortgage in Birmingham to a yet unknown life, and obviously higher mortgage in South Wales, to be near to my mother in law who would benefit from some closer company from her family, with the long term intent for her to move in with us permanently at some point in the not too distant future.
Over all we feel the move will benefit our family as we are moving to a small village deep in the country with a national park as our back garden and the beach 45 minutes drive away, the list goes on.
However my parents have not seen it the same way, and we have spent the last few months in ever increasing rows and fights over the move and the fact it may well "Destroy my children's lives", was one comment.
The advice I am after please is not our decision to move, that has now been made, but how to resolve the issues with my parents. I move two weeks today and don't want my children's relationship with their grandparents to suffer. We are in a stale mate as I will not grovel for their approval (although I desperately want it), and they refuse to support us.
Confused & tired.
Aug 9 2005, 09:53 PM
Just a hunch, but do you currently live near your parents?
If so this is possibly nothing to do with the logic surrounding your decision to move but their own fears of reduced contact with you and their grandchildren.
If this is the case, loads of reassurance is probably in order even though its probably the last thing you can summon the energy for right now.
Aug 9 2005, 10:02 PM
Thanks for your reply, and you may have just hit the nail on the head. I currently live just 1 mile from them and moved here after leaving home. My Brother is also less than a mile a way and my Sister is a 15 minitue drive away. I hadn't thought of it like that, but you are right, I don't have the energy right now to the reassurance bit.
Thanks for the advise though, I will keep it in mind.
Aug 9 2005, 10:19 PM
I agree with Digby here. As you currently live so close to your parents they are probably scared of not seeing you and their grandchildren as much. Will it be a long journey to visit them? Your new home really does sound to be in a great location and as you say a move into the 'unknown'.
It really is a no win situation, which has occurred in homes up and down the country. No matter what happens, one set of grandparents aren't going to be happy. I know from experience that a certain jealousy and animosity can exist between in-laws and your parents may feel your mother-in-law is 'winning'. Hopefully this isn't whats happening in your case. The other scenario may just be simply that as people get older they just don't like change and want things to stay the same.
Good luck, and best wishes in your new home.
Aug 9 2005, 10:42 PM
QUOTE(noodle @ Aug 9 2005, 11:19 PM)
I agree with Digby here.Â As you currently live so close to your parents they are probably scared of not seeing you and their grandchildren as much.Â Will it be a long journey to visit them?Â Your new home really does sound to be in a great location and as you say a move into the 'unknown'.
Agreed on both counts. If your parents are worried about not seeing their grandchildren, the best way forward could be to reassure them that, although you're moving away, it doesn't mean that the family will lose contact. Could you arrange for your children to spend the occasional weekend with your parents? Perhaps they could also spend some time in Birmingham during the school holidays. If that's not possible your parents could always come to visit you and take the kids out for days. That way it would become a treat for grandparents and grandchildren alike.
Your new home sounds great and I'm sure it'll prove a fantastic environment for children to grow up in. Hope it all works out for you.
Aug 9 2005, 11:25 PM
QUOTE(noodle @ Aug 9 2005, 10:19 PM)
parents may feel your mother-in-law is 'winning'.
It may even be an unconscious feeling of this... not an outright accusation of "you're deserting us for her!"... you have lived so close to them and all of a sudden you will be close to her instead (and a relatively long way from them). They are probably afraid of losing regular contact and closeness with you more than anything.
As regards your new home, it sounds fantastic, I'm sure it will be great for the kids, and I'd chose it over dear ole Brum any day (sorry, any Brummies round here!
)... I do think that "you'll ruin their lives" smacks more of desperation to have you stay than any real issue
. I do hope you manage to have your parents reconciled to it before you leave. Maybe they will be happier when they come down for a holiday and see how lovely it is...?
*good vibes* & I wish I had helpful advice but it seems you have been given pretty good advice so far... good luck!
Aug 10 2005, 07:02 AM
Agree totally - and I used to live in South West Wales.
Aug 10 2005, 08:21 AM
I get the insane jealousy bit from my Mum all the time, and trying to explain that a fifteen minute car journey to the in-laws is easier than a two hour flight doesn't help much! It's worse for my sister at the moment, as her soon-to-be in-laws are just a couple of minutes' walk away (so have been helping with the wedding plans as much as possible).
The new home sounds idyllic, and I hope you're all happy there. Are the children really going to be OK though? I speak from experience, having had a forced move age 14 (following my parents' divorce) to a new town and new school, neither of which were anywhere near as good as the ones I'd left behind.
Perhaps a few solid facts might help - the children's new school has a far better <insert subject> department; there'll be plenty of room for you when you're old and need full-time care; you're welcome to come and visit whenever you want; the fresh air and fields will be far better for the children... you get the picture!
Aug 10 2005, 09:26 AM
Thank you all so much for all your thoughts. There certainly seems to be a general consensus that jealousy is playing a part even subconsciously. I am very weak now though having been worn down by all the fighting. I canâ€™t simply walk in as if nothing has happened, some of the things said have really hurt, I suppose it just needs some time.
Deborah â€“ thanks for you post. I agree with your concerns re the kids. They are 6 and 3, so I am hoping they are still young enough to settle and make friends easily. The youngest has always been excited about going, but the eldest was very upset to begin with, however we took them both down last week end and showed them the rental house we will be in to begin with and the new school they will be going to. Owen is now really excited and talks about it a lot now.
As for the solid facts bit. I have tried all of those, but each one has been met with an alternative negative response. Hence my reaction to stop trying and just not speak to them, but then that does not resolve anything either.
Aug 10 2005, 09:30 AM
My parents moved from town to a village when my brother was 3 or so... he did remember the town where he had started off and sometimes compared the two when he was older but I don't think it did him any longlasting harm. I lived in the same house all my life till I was 19, so can't give more help than that. I know some of my friends moved many times, but it never seemed to have ruined their lives or any such.
Look after yourself!! (try to)
Aug 10 2005, 10:55 AM
I know exactly what you are going through - almost 10 years ago we were in an identical position. We lived 30 minutes from my mum, & worked on the outskirts of Birmingham, had 2 small children, was expecting another, & after 3 years of debating whether we should move to Northern Ireland, back to the farming community that my husband grew up in, we decided that it was the right thing for us to do. My Mum's reaction was just as your parents is -I think she saw it as some sort of competition between her & my in-laws, & that my in laws had "won". She said the children would grow up not knowing her, & threatened (quite seriously) not to talk to me again.
All you can do is keep stating calmly that they will see a great deal of their grandchildren still, that it will be a different sort of time ie not popping in & out for 5 minutes but hopefully quality time where they will come & stay for weekends & where you will stay with them. Emphasising factors like education probably won't make any difference at the moment - it didn't to my mum (and as a retired teacher she really cares about things like that usually). You also need to state the fact (even though it is blindingly obvious to you) that this is not about preferring 1 grandparent over the others but about you trying to do what is right for your family.
Stay as calm as you can (so difficult I know), try not to put the phone down on your parents when a conversation disintegrates into a row, and concentrate on the move (stressful enough). Take a day at a time, & make sure that you fix a definite date now that they are going to come & stay. A lot of older people need to feel that they have been "invited", an open ended invitation is not enough.
It will get better. 10 years down the line my mum is talking to me still!
We get to go over to her once or twice a year & she comes over here 4-5x a year. For us it is more complicated because there is the Irish Sea in the way - making travel more expensive & lengthy. But we manage. The kids tell Grandma their news on the phone regularly. It will be OK but it could take a while - be patient & try not to let it depress you.
All the best for your new life
Aug 10 2005, 11:07 AM
Sarah - I was sorry to read that you're going through all this. A move is stressful enough without having extra problems to cope with.
I'm sure the comments others have made are pretty spot-on. Your parents' response is probably an emotional one, so rational arguments about better schooling will not get through, as Andy said.
No doubt you have spent plenty of time thinking it through before taking this decision, so you are not likely to have made the wrong one in terms of your family's well-being. We were sent abroad when ours were 2 and nearly 5; we returned when they were 6 and 9. The first move was hard in terms of leaving family behind, but they did come and visit and it was a long-haul flight! Coming back was harder in some ways for the children, because they both had friends and schools they were sorry to leave, and I agonised over coming home (- it hadn't apparently bothered them much at 2 and nearly 5). However they soon settled down and made friends and I'd like to bet yours will do the same.
I do hope it works out for you and I wish you strength in getting through the next couple of weeks!
Aug 10 2005, 10:49 PM
I cannot offer any advice here. All I can do is wish you good luck.
Aug 10 2005, 11:39 PM
I was wondering .. do your parents have a computer? If not would it be feasible for you to purchase a basic one for them before you left and leave them all set up with an email address. My elderly father is in the UK and I find my boys are far more inclinded to scan a photo, picture , school report or write a few lines of their news that way than were I to insist they sat and wrote a proper letter. I find it far less onerous to email a short paragraph every few days - I sometimes just write a few lines or send him a joke he'd enjoy.
At almost 80 he took to it like a duck to water and now emails his friends and relatives all over the place!
It might be something that you would like to consider to help your parents feel in touch.
Mother of Music Man
Aug 11 2005, 04:25 PM
I was sorry to read about your predicament. I would get on with the move and leave things to cool off while you're doing that - my experience of family disagreements has been that everything works out alright in the end if you leave things alone for a while - once your parents have come to terms with the move (and after all, they can't really do anything about it) I'm sure they'll soon be looking forward to their first visit to your new home - most people find change really difficult, and as you've lived with or near them all your life, it's bound to be a wrench. Once they see that your children are happy & settled I'm sure they'll only be able to share in your enjoyment of your new situation. My sons & grandchildren live about 100 miles away, in opposite directions from each other, so we look on it as a bit of a pleasure trip when we go and visit, with an overnight stay & a bit of a celebration - great fun!!
So, chin up - it'll be ok.
Aug 12 2005, 11:50 AM
Really sorry to hear of your troubles when such an exciting opportunity is waiting for you with your move to South Wales.
I can't offer any advice other than that which has already been posted but I am worried (but not surprised) that you feel so tired, weak, worn down with everything you are contending with. Please take some time out for yourself to do what you like best, even just a few hours (or even just a couple) can make you feel so much better. I know you are probably up to your eyeballs with things to do but you'll cope with everything much better if you feel better.
Wishing you loads of luck,
Aug 12 2005, 05:03 PM
I am sorry to hear of your family troubles as you are trying to move. I agree with most of the sentiments posted here. Some families are so close that it is a shock when you try to make a serious move such as this. The first time I insisted on having Christmas in our own house instead of at my mother in law was quite a shock to her and some 15 years later we are still the only ones who do not turn up there on Christmas day, but I stuck to my guns and fitted in a visit over the holiday period. Stop arguing. Dont repeat what you have said, she knows you are going and doesnt want you to go. She will come to terms with it. After all you are not going trans continent!
I do think that the Computer is an excellent idea, my mother in her late 70s took to it instataneously and used it to contact loads of old school mates and to keep in touch with her grandchildren. She gossips like mad on it. We added a pc camera and that makes it even more personal. Sadly my Dad refuses to do anything but squint at it as he walks by, but it has empowered my mum as she can relay all the family info to him.
Oh yes do fix a precise date for them to come and visit and make sure that when they come they are thoroughly spoilt!
A couple of suggestions: Get a professional family photograph done and have it properly framed as a present. Get the children to make a special keepsake for them i.e something like a memory book/album and try to spend more time with them before you go . Dont leave on a sour note. You may not get you parents' blessing prior to departure, but it will come later when they visit.
Aug 12 2005, 05:50 PM
Has anyone actually sussed out travel times?
Birmingham and South Wales seem like different worlds, but doing a national rail enquiry the indirect train from Birmingham to Cardiff takes 2 hrs 8 minutes - that's with a 17 minute wait at Bristol. Of course it's not the same as being round the corner, but it's hardly the Outer Hebrides either. I'm sure if you all make the best of what you've got after you've moved your parents won't cut off their nose to spite their face!
Aug 13 2005, 08:52 AM
Thanks once again for all your posts, I really do appreciate the time taken by you guys. Just to reiterate some of your points.
Zoda â€“ I admit I havenâ€™t studied the train times, as we are all drivers, and my parents invested in a very plush Motorhome a couple of weeks ago and are actually away this weekend in it, so I was kind of hoping they may come and stay at the camp site about 5 miles from our rented house. The drive time door to door (Bâ€™ham to house in Wales) is 3 hours, so a long day trip, but not far for few days holiday.
Mother of Musicman â€“ My dad is very computer literate, and mum as adequate. They have email, msn and webcam. So there is no problem there. They also have mobile phones, with cameras and free minute packages, so again communication not a problem.
They are back some time tomorrow and my hubby is taking our two boys round for tea on Monday to try and play mediator, so I will have more of an update for you then.
Aug 13 2005, 08:53 AM
Good luck with tomorrow Sarah
Aug 21 2005, 06:01 PM
Hello all. I am sorry I havenâ€™t written sooner, but I have been so busy with our move to Wales. My other half did try and have a chat with my parents on Monday 15th, but it really did not go well. So I wrote them a letter and got a call from my Mum on Wednesday, almost begging me to meet with them to resolve this before we went.
My Husband and I went round yesterday afternoon and it went amazingly well. They were chatty, full of beans and totally accepting of our move, they asked loads of questions and my dad got quite giddy over all the campsites that they can take their new motorhome to.
So basically it went exactly how it should have gone 2 Â½ months ago, but I suppose, better late than never.
Thanks for all your support and my next post will be from a tiny village in a gorgeous valley in South Wales.
Aug 21 2005, 11:00 PM
That's brilliant! So glad to hear your good news...
All the best for your move!
Aug 22 2005, 11:41 AM
Hope it all goes well, Sarah. So glad to hear everyone's getting on well again.
Aug 22 2005, 01:01 PM
Glad your folks settled down to the idea in the end there! Although my problem is not the same, Im worried already about my first Christmas with my future husband! Whose parents do we go to first?!! Do we go to one for xmas and then one for New Year? Will they get annoyed at 'their' allotted time?!
Well Ive got another year or so to wait for this situation to kick off........ Cant wait!
Sep 25 2005, 09:59 PM
welcome to wales! great isn't it?
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