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Cold Feet...

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Guest km75

So here's my situation. I am British, my husband is Australian, we have two children, who are five and seven. All four of us have dual citizenship.

 

My husband and I got married in 2001, and have lived between both countries, UK until 2003, then Australia for five years, then UK again.

 

We are due to return to Australia on 1 Jan 2014 to live. However, I am getting a serious bout of cold feet.

 

My father died 18 months ago, leaving my mum depressed and lonely. We had planned to return to Australia in 2012/13 but when dad died we moved down to be closer to my mum and we've helped her out a lot over the last 18 months. My sister and her family live locally to my mum.

 

My husband got offered a great job in Sydney and after some debate we decided we should make the move (it was always our intention to return to Australia to settle), & as there would never be a right time to make the move, it might as well be now. So we booked our flights and shipping agent and started planning our return.

 

The thing is as the time is drawing closer (shipping agent booked 9 & 10 Dec) I am freaking out about leaving mum when she needs us. She is 78, and is pretty low, she does have my sister, but I feel terrible leaving her. My husband wants to return to Australia, but would stay if I asked him, but I don't want to put him in that situation, he also knows if he said he was going, I would go, but he doesn't want to put me in that situation either, so we caught between a rock and a hard place.

 

The way I see it we have two options, cancel all our plans and stay, or go as planned and look at coming back if / when needed a year or two down the track - just don't like messing the boys around and the cost of to-ing and fro-ing is a worry too.

 

I know I have posted about this before, when we were making the decision about six weeks ago, but the reality is, making the decision on paper was a lot easier than actually following it through. I am getting really stressy about the whole thing. If we cancel the shipping agent with 10 days notice we won't get charged anything so figure Monday is D Day so to speak...I've also asked my husband to ask his boss if they have found a replacement for him yet, we're renting and don't think the landlady has a new tenant yet, so think life could go on as is if we make that decision. My husband's family will be gutted, and his new employer has ordered him a company car - so not sure if he's signed a contract there he's obligated to anything?!

 

Should I stay or should I go?! :arghh:

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Guest guest30085

I'm sorry about the loss of your Dad :hug:

 

As heartbreaking it is seeing your Mum feeling the way she is and how difficult a situation you must be in, all I can say is you must decide where is best for your family, meaning your husband and children. Neither country is a third world one, and both have benefits to living there, but where will benefit your little family unit more. It seems harsh putting it that way, but your decision has to be based on you first.

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Poor you. You really are between a rock and a hard place aren't you? I'm sorry to hear about your Dad too.

Can you take it back to just thinking about you? No husband/mother etc. where would you rather be?

Will your husband be more disappointed by not moving than your mother will be by you going? I agree with what others say about just thinking about your immediate family, but that's harder to do than say and you will have to live with those feelings if you go, just as you'll have to live with your husband's disappointment if you stay.

Does your husband's job here allow you to visit Australia regularly? Would his job in Sydney allow you to come back to the UK when you wanted? Is the job a promotion or something he really wants? Or is it something he found that 'will do'? How does he feel about his job in the UK?

Does he know how you're feeling? If not, that's a conversation to have very soon - he might surprise you. If you're feeling so unsure now, the likelihood is that it will get worse when you actually go.

Is there any chance you could postpone your decision a while longer? Maybe a year or two? Your children are still very young, so you have time on your side with regard to them. I know the job probably wouldn't be there, but there could well be another by then. You might be in a better frame of mind to make the decision too.

I don't envy you. I had a similar decision to make a couple of years ago and it's SO hard to know if you're doing the right thing.

One thing not to put into the mix is the car the company has ordered for your husband - you have enough to think about without taking that on too! Unless your husband has signed a contract, you're still able to back out. Yes, they'll be p****d off with you, but that's better than making a very expensive decision which may not be right for you.

 

Good luck! :smile:

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@km75 - I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation and the loss of your dad. I hope it's not inappropriate to say, but at least you were in the UK when he passed so that you could support your mum and her you through the worst of it.

 

@caramac has offered some very sound advice. Have you talked to your mum about how you're feeling? It might not be something she wants to discuss, but as others have suggested, she might like to come to Australia for a visit or something. Speculating, but I also think that she wouldn't want you to put your own life on hold for her.

 

Tough decision. Good luck. And whatever you decide - nothing is permanent. Planes fly in both directions.

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Guest km75

Thanks for the replies.

Adam - No, mum would never move, 1) my sister & her family are close by; 2) her dog; and 3) financial reasons. If she'd come it would be a lot easier!

Adonna - It's hard to know what is better for my family - I think I'd prefer our kids to grow up closer to the beach and enjoy a more outdoor lifestyle, we're thinking Sydney's Northern Beaches (lived in Freshwater previously); but we also live in a nice area here, close to the Lakes, spacious, country and town etc. As you say, neither is third world, and the children wouldn't suffer in either country, they have cousins and family in both and would enjoy a pretty good life in either I think. Australia is probably our preference, but there is nothing wrong with where we're at either. Thanks for your kind thoughts about Dad, still miss him every day.

Caramac - again thanks about dad.

Just me and my family, if dad was still here, we'd have moved back a year ago after we sold our house. So, we are just staying for my mum. Mum will be more heartbroken about us leaving than my husband would be staying, but that's just coz he's younger and easier to deal with!

Yes, we're ok financially, not great, but we have enough set aside we can visit both countries, I will come back every year if we go, and if we stay I've said we'd go back every couple of years as a family. My husband is a Project Manager in the refurbishment industry - the job in Sydney is more varied, and he will work for an old colleague who he has a great rapport with - it is a good job. He is "over" his job here, but if push came to shove, he would stick it out. We've had the conversation, about staying or going - he's away now til Sunday so we're going to have a proper chat on Sunday / Monday and make a FINAL decision! We can postpone for a few years, but if mum is still around, which I hope she will be, she'll only be older, more needier and harder to leave. My husband believes if we don't go now we probably won't ever, but I don't think that is true, but then I guess I'll feel guilty leaving my sister and her family!!!

My husband has signed a contract, but as it is with someone he knows I don't think they'd hold him to anything, he doesn't start work til 14 Jan.

Can I ask what you did, you said you had a similar decision a couple of years ago?

I just wonder if what I am feeling is natural cold feet, with a dose of guilt - or if it is more than that? I feel maybe we should go, and in a year or two come back for a year or two if we feel we need to. Mum is still ok at the present, but in a year or two maybe that is when she'll need us - but then I also feel, by going we're beginning to complicate things, and if we stay, everything stays the same and it's easy - though I might be unhappy and my husband might be too, and the last thing I want to do is resent my mother for keeping us here, when it is my guilt, not really her - she has said we should do what we want - but I feel she looked after me when I needed her and now it's my turn to look after her isn't it??

Thanks again for your replies x

Edited by km75
spelling!

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I agree with the posters above and want to say I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

I know it so, so hard. When we told my 77 and 78 year old parents our plans, my mum dissolved in tears but my dad immediately said go for it. His thinking was that it was a fab opportunity but that at his age, realistically, he wouldn't be around for many years more and he didn't want us to stay just for him. Horrible to say, but your family are your main priority. It may just be cold feet but I do agree though that it may be an idea to delay for a time yet if you really are having doubts. Moving and feeling miserable and trapped would be very, very hard. If you are able to visit your mum a bit, that I would have thought would help a lot; that along with daily Skype/telephone chats It could be that cancelling the move may take the pressure off you and focus your feelings and you decide then that it is actually what you wanted after all. Above all, discuss all of your feelings with your OH. I'm sure he would rather no go than have you unhappy and uncertain. Don't envy you at all and wish you luck.

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Guest km75

Thanks Foo. Yes, I am so grateful I was here when dad passed away, my brother lives in Perth, WA, and he was on the plane back when dad died, and that is another reason I am reluctant to go, as although it is only 24 hours, it can be too long. And when do you know when to come back?? I don't think she'll visit Australia either, but I know she doesn't want to feel we can't go off and do what we want because of her - won't stop her feeling I've left her in her hour of need though.

This is the first time I have begun to wish I hadn't married an Australian, I wouldn't change my hubby for the world, but now, 12 years after being married, I am beginning to feel the pull in both directions for the first time!!

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Guest km75

Thanks Supa. So did you go? The only thing I don't want to do is delay and then kick ourselves for letting this opportunity pass us by - it is a promotion for my husband, better work and a great boss, plus he's been out the Sydney market for nearly six years so he wouldn't be high up on some employers lists. Mum has said that her life is nearer the end and ours is meant to be more in the prime (we're 38 & 39) so we should go for it. But I know she feels I am leaving her, like dad did, only dad didn't chose to, I am. Gosh, I am being a drama queen today! Thanks again for all the suppport x

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Guest guest30085

I wish you all the best km with your decision, and I'm not in the same position as both parents are still here (with respective partners), but the decision to move isn't an easy one, and every day I have some doubts, not about leaving the UK, but about leaving my parents. They are only late 60s/70 but I do worry about the future. But right at this moment I have to put me first and luckily I have my parents backing.

 

I'm one of three children, one has been in Oz for 4 years, the other got his visa two years ago and is planning on moving soon and I got my visa a month ago. My parents are having to cope with all of their children migrating, and it's very very difficult to think about that sometimes. But as they say, they made their choices in life, now we have to make ours. If things become difficult for them in later life, then my siblings and myself will discuss with them what they want and if they need help from one of us.

 

Try sitting down with Mum and then with your sister to discuss when and what would happen if the need ever arises, you may be surprised at their responses to you moving. But if they are not happy, of course you will take their feelings into consideration, but your life still has to centre on your children and husband first and foremost. All the best Hun xxx

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Guest Ptp113

Your mums had her life, you are entitled to yours.

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I really feel for you - exactly the same thoughts and feelings I had/have (we may well go back again in a couple of years!).

Our situation was a little different because our children were older. We moved to Sydney in 2009 with the idea we'd stay for good (we'd previously lived in Perth for 4 years from 99-03). It's a long story, but basically the older two girls were very unhappy at school and because the eldest would have been due to take GCSEs in the UK we had to make a quick decision. We could try another school, but then we'd be stuck as it would have been too late to get back into the UK system, so we decided to come back to put them back into their old school. At that time we were told there were 3 jobs for my oh and he could take his pick! By the time the interviews came around they'd cut it to one post which would have been his idea of hell, so I came back with the girls as planned and he moved down to Melbourne to a job he'd been asked to take on several times - they knew it would only be a temporary thing, but wanted him anyway.

The idea was he'd find a job close to where we were living so the girls didn't have to move school again. However, he's very specialised and the NHS cuts meant that 20 months later we were still living apart and we were just thinking that I and the girls may have to go and join him in Melbourne. I wouldn't have minded that - I like Mel, but the idea of moving the girls again really didn't seem like a good one.

Then a job came up here in the NE and were in a real dilemma. The job isn't exactly right, although he is making it his own, but there is a school here which is a sister school to the one they were at, so I contacted them and they were so positive about the move (our middle one moved in the middle of her GCSE courses and all the exam boards were different so she basically had to do her courses in a year!) and said they would give all the support she needed.

The schools I contacted in Melbourne were helpful too, but the eldest would have had to go into year 12 and, although they can use GCSEs as 'satisfactory completion of year 11' it didn't seem so certain.

We had to take into account that my oh's salary is lower here (and 20% lower than it was before we left for Sydney) and we had to pay to get our stuff and our dog back, knowing that it's very likely that we'll be doing again in the future!

 

It has been the right decision for the girls - they have, and are thriving here. One has finished school, the next is doing A levels this year and the youngest gcses and the school has supported them just as they promised. They all have dual citizenship and are thinking of returning to Aus in the future, either for undergrad degrees, or post grad study/work. My oh is fine at work and even though his salary is lower, he will get a decent pension at 55 which will help fund our return to Aus, if that's what we decide to do. He's involved in a lot of collaborative research with his colleagues in Aus, so he will be able to pick up work there again if he wants to.

I think about my parents who, although they're fit and fairly well atm, are getting older and will need support in the future and I know I will want to be around to give them a hand. They've done so much for me in my life I don't want to abandon them when they need me, even though my sister lives very close to them and they would never put any pressure on me either way.

 

Sorry, that's a bit of an essay, but you did ask! :wink:

 

 

Foo is right, planes fly both ways and no decision has to be forever. My mantra is 'there's always a way forward'. Sometimes you just have to take a detour!

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Hi KM, no we didn't go in the end. We were granted our 175 permanent residency visa (almost) 5 years ago which runs out at the beginning of January 2014 (happy new year to us!!!) and we are now timed out. Unfortunately, the £ just died and we decided that our lives, financially, were better here and would have entailed us giving up far more than we were prepared to. Unlike you though we are cracking on a bit and hubby has now passed the magic 50, so we are now officially too old to go. The kids are now settled into good schools and well, life has just sort of moved on from Oz. Education may well seem a very long way off at the moment with your kids being that bit younger, but it does become a bigger issue as they get older and it definately complicates things as you will probably know and as highlighted in Caramac's post above. We intend having a very long holiday there someday, seeing the places we didn't get to (we had 2 x reccies, so we've seen a bit but not nearly enough). We've also got a dream of retiring there but that is a fair way off, so not worth processing the thought at the moment. Listening to people who are so torn after marrying Ozzies, I'm glad I married a Brummie (never thought I'd say that!). We are sort of sighing whistfully and saying wonder what it would have been like to have gone but we aren't "kicking ourselves" luckily, as we could have just said "hang it all" and gone; we did after all have a choice. We have just booked a holiday and are making the most of the whole "close to Europe" thing which, funnily enough, was a factor in our decision not to go. Really wishing you the best of luck with your decision x

Edited by supa

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Hi KM, no we didn't go in the end. We were granted our 175 permanent residency visa (almost) 5 years ago which runs out at the beginning of January 2014 (happy new year to us!!!) and we are now timed out. Unfortunately, the £ just died and we decided that our lives, financially, were better here and would have entailed us giving up far more than we were prepared to. Unlike you though we are cracking on a bit and hubby has now passed the magic 50, so we are now officially too old to go. The kids are now settled into good schools and well, life has just sort of moved on from Oz. Education may well seem a very long way off at the moment with your kids being that bit younger, but it does become a bigger issue as they get older and it definately complicates things as you will probably know and as highlighted in Caramac's post above. We intend having a very long holiday there someday, seeing the places we didn't get to (we had 2 x reccies, so we've seen a bit but not nearly enough). We've also got a dream of retiring there but that is a fair way off, so not worth processing the thought at the moment. Listening to people who are so torn after marrying Ozzies, I'm glad I married a Brummie (never thought I'd say that!). We are sort of sighing whistfully and saying wonder what it would have been like to have gone but we aren't "kicking ourselves" luckily, as we could have just said "hang it all" and gone; we did after all have a choice. We have just booked a holiday and are making the most of the whole "close to Europe" thing which, funnily enough, was a factor in our decision not to go. Really wishing you the best of luck with your decision x

 

Europe's a really good option, isn't it? Warm, cheaper and close by! My mil lives in Spain and has a fab life - and we're close enough to go two or three times a year..... if we want to..... :wink:

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Guest km75

Thanks again guys!

 

Yes, I'd love to live in Portugal, but with hubby in construction it's just not a happening thing right now - though will seriously think about retiring there when we get to that stage.

 

My husband casually enquired today if they have replaced him at work and it looks like they have, he is to hand over to the guy starting next week, so maybe that will force our hand - if there is no job we certainly can't stay. He text me to ask if he should tell his boss we might stay - I said I honestly didn't know.

 

I think (having thought about nothing else all day), we should go, we've already booked returns - coming back in September during the school holidays - so by eight or nine months we'll know how things are going, and then we can decided what to do then, holiday or stay. Of course my husband securing work back in the Uk could be an issue, as we'll be in NW England or Scotland so not a huge abundance, but he has some good contacts here now.

 

Caramac, not sure how you managed 20 months apart from your husband, that is something I've considered, him going ahead and me and the kids catching him up, but I know it will never be easy to leave and we need to stay together as a family with our children being so young.

 

Supa, I am glad you're settled and not regretting not going - it is never easy is it. Re: schools, I'd like to be in one country or the other by the time our oldest is starting high school, so I think that four or five years before real panic sets in.

 

The thing is if dad was here (or mum wasn't) we'd go, so maybe we need to go - I don't want to turn round in five years and regret not going, and if I regret going, then that is something we can rectify I guess.

 

Maybe I should just flip a coin as I could talk myself into either - hubby away for a couple of nights so you can imagine I'll be talking to the walls about this tonight!!

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That sounds like a plan. Nothing has to be forever and, as long as you can afford it, you can ping pong until your children are older - it certainly makes them adaptable!

I definitely couldn't have done the child care on my own if the children had been younger, but then, I wouldn't have needed to either. I was lucky to have very supportive friends too.

Can you write your thoughts down as you go along, then sit down and go through them and try to prioritise or discount them when you have time to think properly? I found that thoughts and worries would come to me in the middle of the night, so I wrote them down then to look at again more rationally in the morning.

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@km75, from everything you've been saying, you seem to keep leading yourself back to the fact that you should go. E.g. your husband's job here has been filled, he has a good job there, working for someone he knows, the lifestyle you want is more achievable there, you're coming back in September for a visit, etc. And when you made the decision 6 weeks ago, although you agonised about it, you were under no or less pressure (time wise).

 

What I'm trying to say is, it sounds like you want to go and you made the decision 6 weeks ago for a reason. Why not give yourself a break, trust your gut and stick with the initial decision.

 

Instead of fretting about what you can't do, put the time you have left in the UK to good use. Spend the time with your mum. To not sound blunt, try and get her to move on from the death of your dad (the best she can). I'm sure she misses him terribly, but I doubt he'd want her to spend the rest of her life being low about his passing. Can you get your mum involved with local clubs, or doing things with her friends? Organise family events or a meal, etc. Show her that you do care and will continue to care whether that be from the UK or from Aus.

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Guest km75

Thank you, yes, I guess you're right re: our decision - we made the decision we wanted to make six weeks ago, and it was done by pros and cons. However, I guess the reality of our decision is beginning to kick in. I broached it with my sister earlier this evening, and surprisingly she was really supportive (when I originally told her she didn't speak to me for a week) - she said we'd made our decision and we should stick to it, and that we can always come back & that there was no point in making myself ill over it.

We'll do what we can to help her before we move, we're staying with her for three weeks before we leave, so hubby will tile her kitchen and we might get a skip for the garage and other junk. So I'll be seeing her lots - I am sure after three weeks of us she'll be relieved when we walk out the door on 29 Dec!!

Thanks again...just need to get the kids in bed and have a glass of wine and relax!

Edited by km75

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Thank you, yes, I guess you're right re: our decision - we made the decision we wanted to make six weeks ago, and it was done by pros and cons. However, I guess the reality of our decision is beginning to kick in. I broached it with my sister earlier this evening, and surprisingly she was really supportive (when I originally told her she didn't speak to me for a week) - she said we'd made our decision and we should stick to it, and that we can always come back & that there was no point in making myself ill over it.

We'll do what we can to help her before we move, we're staying with her for three weeks before we leave, so hubby will tile her kitchen and we might get a skip for the garage and other junk. So I'll be seeing her lots - I am sure after three weeks of us she'll be relieved when we walk out the door on 29 Dec!!

Thanks again...just need to get the kids in bed and have a glass of wine and relax!

 

That's great! It always makes you feel better when you know everyone else is on side too. Enjoy Christmas, then look forward to summer! Good luck!

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You're lucky to have a sister to hand really. As others have said, nothing is forever and in a couple of years you might choose to move back. Being in a mixed marriage is tricky as one of you will always have everything and the other, nothing. We're living in UK caring for my elderly parents (no sibs so it was a no brainer!) and fortunately my husband has 3 brothers who can keep an eye on his nearly 100 mum in Aus. It isn't easy and the guilt will always be there so good luck whichever way you jump (it would have been sensible to keep all options open though and take a career break, don't sell the house etc!) but whichever way is going to give you a good life in a first world country so the kids won't suffer.

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Bereavement takes time and really has nothing to do with who is around. Its all about getting through it.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Can I ask how you have handled the financial requirement of returning to the uk? I too have a Aussie husband and have thought about returning only to find I know need a job of $18,500 pounds in the uk before he can enter or 62500 pounds in the bank untouched for 6 months. This is a major hurdle to returning and if I had only known etc....

Definitely makes returning harder.

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Guest km75

My husband got his UK citizenship a year or two ago. We returned in 2008, he had a spouse visa for one year, then applied for PR and then citizenship - I find it crazy the rules have changed since and you can't bring back your husband now like I was able to bring mine. He had UK PR 2000-03 & we thought we'd be able to do resident returning when we came back in 08, but they refused that so the visa process was expensive and drawn out, but a lot easier than it sounds for you. Have they effectively got rid of Spouse visas now then, unless you have a job? Good luck, hope there is some way around it x

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Can I ask how you have handled the financial requirement of returning to the uk? I too have a Aussie husband and have thought about returning only to find I know need a job of $18,500 pounds in the uk before he can enter or 62500 pounds in the bank untouched for 6 months. This is a major hurdle to returning and if I had only known etc....

Definitely makes returning harder.

The only other way is if your husband has a uk born parent or grandparent he would then most likely qualify for an ancestry visa. The other option is if you both go and work in an eu country for 3mths then you can get him in that. Crazy as it is because you have an eu passport you can take ur hubby to any eu country and work and live together no problem but you can't go back to the uk with him unless you do the whole visa thing. Although someone has recently launched some sort of legal challenge in regards the partner/spouse visa system in the uk. So perhaps some changes are a foot. Lets hope so we are in this situation to. My partner being English me Australian. He wants to return but not without me.

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Thanks for that Chicken, my parents live in France so we have considered applying from there, didn't know you had to work though. My parents told me that a Aussie couple in the village let them stay until she tried to get work then they deported them as they had no rights to work. Although my mum does get her wires crossed every now and again so I prob should look further into that.

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