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StaceyA84

Advice for difficult conversation with family

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Hi all. Myself and my husband and our 2 young kids are hoping to move to Perth. I’m a GP and husband plans to look after the kids till they are both at school. We have toyed with the idea of a move to Oz for years, and now given the state the UK is in with Brexit and just a growing disdain for the awful weather here in Scotland, we feel that now is the right time. After 2 amazing holidays in Oz in recent years we feel Perth is the place for us.

I am extremely close to my parents and sister, and my parents are very close to my kids. Needless to say that are devastated (their words) at the thought of us moving away and are not at all keen on the idea of the flight to Oz (they have never been as they are determined not to like it because they know we love it). They are not supportive or understanding of why we want to move (better money, better life, better weather, new opportunities). I have had a very difficult conversation with them recently on the fact we are seriously considering this which has been followed up by them with a series of very emotional texts which are simultaneously making me angry and also feel guilty.

However I really do feel a move to Perth is best for my young family and I at the very least want to give it a try for a couple of years. Any advice for how to deal with telling my family this? Please tell me all the heartache is worth it? 

 

Thanks in advance 

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Is all the heartache worth it? Who knows.  Tell them that it's only going to be a couple of years then you will reevaluate but in the meantime you will be home for holidays.  They'll get used to it once they get through their grief and they will either cut you off without a penny or accept that you're doing what you want to do with your life - your relationship with them is probably going to change unless they have a real change of heart.  

I'd be pragmatic about the rationale - better money, tick, new opportunities, tick, career enhancement, tick, adventure, tick.  The "better life" thing - probably not so much, it's another first world country with all the first world country things that crop up elsewhere and the downside is that you will be isolated from extended family so very much a swings and roundabouts on that one.  Better weather - ah the old bete noir - some folk (like me) find the heat more oppressive than the cold and spending your days inside in air conditioned comfort (or in our case with the doors and curtains closed) because it was too much like an oven outside can be just as restricting as togging up with a fleece and mittens and going out in the snow.  I've managed to lose 50kg in UK because I am considerably more active than I could be in Canberra!  I walk everywhere, there is barely a day that goes by when I cannot do whatever it is I have planned - in Canberra I was so unfit that I couldnt even walk the 1km to the local shops - and wouldn't have done anyway, that's what cars are for:-)

As an older person, I will say that the trip sucks but I've been doing it regularly over 40 years now and whilst it doesnt faze me, it isn't the most wonderful experience of my life, but I reckon I can put up with almost anything for 24 hours.  If you're someone who hasn't done the long haul flights then it will be expensive and time consuming and maybe it isnt fair to expect older parents to put themselves out if you are the ones who have done the leaving.

Should you go - hell yes, if you want to, it's your life, you take the best opportunities that come your way and if in the process you upset someone then so be it.  To be a successful migrant you have to be incredibly self sufficient and quite selfish otherwise you would go down in a crumpled heap.  Is it fair for your parents to play the guilt card?  NO, of course not but when people grieve, you would know better than most, all the stages they will go through and make no mistake it is grief - grief for a lost stage of their lives (even I get pissed off when my friends with local grandkids keep blathering on about what they've done with the grandkids - 2 of mine are on the other side of the world and the other is a 3 hour train trip away.)  They will have their "absent grandkids" noses rubbed it in constantly and no amount of FaceTime or Skype is going to cure that hole in their lives (Ive yet to meet someone who can get a cuddle over Skype!) and how they handle it is going to be up to them.  If they have other grandkids they will probably cope better than if yours are the only ones.  Will your kids cope without their grandparents?  Probably but some have struggled.

Good luck, there are no easy answers unfortunately!

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1 hour ago, StaceyA84 said:

Hi all. Myself and my husband and our 2 young kids are hoping to move to Perth. I’m a GP and husband plans to look after the kids till they are both at school. We have toyed with the idea of a move to Oz for years, and now given the state the UK is in with Brexit and just a growing disdain for the awful weather here in Scotland, we feel that now is the right time. After 2 amazing holidays in Oz in recent years we feel Perth is the place for us.

I am extremely close to my parents and sister, and my parents are very close to my kids. Needless to say that are devastated (their words) at the thought of us moving away and are not at all keen on the idea of the flight to Oz (they have never been as they are determined not to like it because they know we love it). They are not supportive or understanding of why we want to move (better money, better life, better weather, new opportunities). I have had a very difficult conversation with them recently on the fact we are seriously considering this which has been followed up by them with a series of very emotional texts which are simultaneously making me angry and also feel guilty.

However I really do feel a move to Perth is best for my young family and I at the very least want to give it a try for a couple of years. Any advice for how to deal with telling my family this? Please tell me all the heartache is worth it? 

 

Thanks in advance 

At the end of the day it is your life and you are making this decision for the future of your family. Although you have to consider other people's feelings you don't have to let it influence your final decision no matter how much emotional blackmail you receive. I'm sure there are lots of people who are in your position on here.  

I'm sorry your family don't seem supportive of your decision. It's never going to be easy for everyone to understand or support your decision but I would hope they would respect and love you enough to allow you to follow it regardless of how they feel about it. 

There will always be people who don't understand your decision (especially if they have never visited Oz) and people who are angry/hurt or upset, it's usually for selfish reasons, they are seeing it from their point of view and not yours. 

I think it just comes down to having a frank conversation with people, outlining your reasons for wanting to emigrate and if it is something you are definately decided on, then asking them to accept your decision as by not being supportive and opposing your decision hopefully they will realise they are creating even more distance between you all and that's before you move to the other side of the world.

Goodluck with it and I really hope they come around to understanding and supporting your decision x 

 

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That is great advice from Captain Tor, agree with every word. I would add a few comments....

If you have the opportunity and desire  to come to Australia,  ensure it is on a secure visa (or assurances of security i.e agreement to sponsor you for permanent residency ASAP).  If you really do want to move to Australia, then take the opportunity sooner rather than later. There is no guarantee if you delay your decision that your job will still be available for migration, everything is changing rapidly here, Australia has many doctors and nurses graduating every year that are struggling to gain opportunities and Australia now gives priority to either it’s permanent residents or citizens, it would suggest that migration opportunities will certainly diminish in the future.  

Secondly, on a more personal level, I totally get your moving from anger to guilt thoughts!!! It was a really emotional decision for us, thankfully ours was a whirlwind, we didn’t have time to really think, it was just such an amazing opportunity that we couldn’t say no to, but we did bring with us my parents only grandchild and the only grandchild they would ever have, obviously I know and realise this was a truly difficult thing for them.  In the end they realised and understood that for us as a family we had a fantastic opportunity and they believed their grand daughter would have a wonderful life in Australia, they were able to put their feelings aside and support us.  My dad dropped us off at the airport and I found out many months later he actually pulled into a laybe and simply sobbed afterwards, it broke my heart. But they have made the effort to visit us many times since and it has been wonderful, I will acknowledge that the distance has meant the bonds (from my daughters perspective as she grows up) are not as close as they would have been if we lived in the UK, she gets frustrated when they visit that they treat her like a baby (the baby she was when we left), they really don’t get her growing up milestones because they’re not here to see them, it is and has been a big sacrifice, but we do believe that we are giving her opportunities here that we just could not have given her back in the uk. 

We are based in Perth so if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to PM me, my pleasure to help xxx

 

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Good Choice, Perth is a great place to be!  We are heading there later in the year.

I think everyone feels some guilt about moving away, especially with young kids. My parents have had a long time to get used to the idea, but still are upset they won't see as much of us.


PR (100) granted 12 Nov 2018, validation Trip Feb 2019, planning to move to Perth Sep-Oct 2019!

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I sometimes think people expect too much of family left behind. Life is changing for you all but whereas you have control of the decisions, others have no influence on things that will have a huge impact on them, and that can create feelings of real hopelessness and despair. For those left behind the move holds none of the excitement or adventure that you feel, it simply shatters their own, probably long held, visions of a future with you and their grandchild/ grandchildren.

When my brother took his family to Aus our mother couldn’t see passed the loss of her grandchildren, the fact that she would not see them grow up or be part of the important milestones in their life. She really struggled and I think she found the decision harder to accept because it was driven by preference and choice rather than necessity. Rightly or wrongly that made her sad to the extent that she couldn’t pretend otherwise simply to make life easier for others. Having said that it’s not easy for anyone, but maybe those making the move are the ones best placed to be understanding, to fix a smile and ride out the negativity. T x

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9 hours ago, StaceyA84 said:

I am extremely close to my parents and sister, and my parents are very close to my kids.

I feel I need to mention another aspect of this. You're worried about how your parents and sister are reacting.  What about you?  

You didn't miss family when you were on holiday in Perth, because it was a short time and you were too busy having fun. But your life in Perth will be much the same as you have now - wake up, go to work, get home, cook dinner - it's only on the weekends you'll be able to fully enjoy the outdoors.  So for the next few weeks, imagine you're in Perth and think how YOU will feel, not having any of the interactions you have with them now.  Even phone calls will take planning because of the time difference. 

Your parents and sister are imagining that and they are devastated by it.  I think you need to take some time to imagine it from your side, too.   Remember, you'll have no friends either at first (probably for several months), and you'll be more restricted in your social life because you'll be on one salary and have no babysitters.

Most successful migrants are those who already live some distance from famliy and don't see them all that often. They adapt well, because it's not that much of a change. However, people who interact closely with family in the UK, suddenly find a huge hole in their lives when they get to Australia.  A browse around these forums will uncover many such people, often feeling "stuck" in Australia because of financial considerations, or because their husband loves it and won't move back.   If you doubt that, consider the fact that , in  spite of the huge amount of effort and money it takes to migrate, about half of all migrants end up coming home (and the most often-cited reason is "missing family").  So please, take some time to focus on yourself and make sure you've given your own feelings due consideration.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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You need to do what is best for your family but, it never goes away and it never gets easier; WhatsApps and Skypes are no substitute for the real thing. We are moving back to the UK after being here 11 years, we have enjoyed it here (well, up until about 2 or 3 years ago) but when I weigh up what we have had versus what we have missed out on, I'm not sure I would make the same decision with that hindsight. It's primarily missing family that is taking us back, my folks have been here a good few times but it's expensive to get here, and spend here, and it gets a bit 'samey' for them after a couple of trips.

Perth is very good for young families, you will enjoy it whilst the kids are young.

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I appreciate the responses, perhaps gives me a better rounded opinion than I have had before. Thanks, food for thought

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