Jump to content
Daffyduck

Advice on making decision

Recommended Posts

Hi folks, I had posted back last year that my wife and I were considering the move and got some really helpful advice. Now almost two years down the line and pregnancy and the arrival of our daughter put plans for a move on hold. 

We're now in a position where my wife has a pretty solid offer of employment in Adelaide with sponsorship. The reality seems to have kicked in and now I'm seriously second guessing everything and the thought of taking my children away from their grandparents is causing a lot of anxiety.

Is this normal? I had been so sure that this is what would be the right thing for our family to give our kids a chance at a better life.

Did anyone else have this? How did you overcome it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to overcome it.  It may well be that you're absolutely right.  

It's very common for migrants to head off to Australia, 100% positive it's the right thing to do -- only to return a few years later, having realised that family is more important than lifestyle or finances.    It's not just the children losing their grandparents, it's the grandparents losing their dream of a happy old age surrounded by family, and also the grandparents becoming frail  without you to support them.  And of course, eventually they will die, and if it's sudden, you won't be there. And I'm sure you know you can't bring your parents to live with you in Australia - the waiting list for parent visas is currently at least 15 years long, and getting worse every year.

Just take a look at some of the threads here from people who have chosen to return to the UK.  One of the most common reasons is to be close to family.    Very few of them regret their decision and most of them manage to make a good life in the UK, in spite of having blown thousands of pounds on their migrant adventure. 

A final note - if you're moving just for "a better life for the kids", don't.  If you're going to move, move because life in Australia appeals to YOU.   You can't predict the future.  Brexit looks a mess now, but Australia's past success was built on a mining boom which no longer exists, and the long-term future is much less certain.   As for your kids having a better, more outdoor lifestyle - 89% of Australian children are now playing indoors.  That's partly the obsession with computers but also parents now worry about the danger of Australia's sun.  In the UK, the UV never gets above 8.  In most of Australia, the UV is above 11 all summer long and much of the winter, too.  Exposure to that sun as children is why we have such a high rate of melanoma and why most older Australians see having skin cancers removed as a routine thing.

I know I'm laying that on a bit thick, but it's important that you face the downsides squarely.  If you can read that and still feel that migration is the right thing for you, then you'll be fine. If it makes you quail, then you're probably right to be having second thoughts. 

  • Like 3

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

You don't have to overcome it.  It may well be that you're absolutely right.  

It's very common for migrants to head off to Australia, 100% positive it's the right thing to do -- only to return a few years later, having realised that family is more important than lifestyle or finances.    It's not just the children losing their grandparents, it's the grandparents losing their dream of a happy old age surrounded by family, and also the grandparents becoming frail  without you to support them.  And of course, eventually they will die, and if it's sudden, you won't be there. And I'm sure you know you can't bring your parents to live with you in Australia - the waiting list for parent visas is currently at least 15 years long, and getting worse every year.

Just take a look at some of the threads here from people who have chosen to return to the UK.  One of the most common reasons is to be close to family.    Very few of them regret their decision and most of them manage to make a good life in the UK, in spite of having blown thousands of pounds on their migrant adventure. 

A final note - if you're moving just for "a better life for the kids", don't.  If you're going to move, move because life in Australia appeals to YOU.   You can't predict the future.  Brexit looks a mess now, but Australia's past success was built on a mining boom which no longer exists, and the long-term future is much less certain.   As for your kids having a better, more outdoor lifestyle - 89% of Australian children are now playing indoors.  That's partly the obsession with computers but also parents now worry about the danger of Australia's sun.  In the UK, the UV never gets above 8.  In most of Australia, the UV is above 11 all summer long and much of the winter, too.  Exposure to that sun as children is why we have such a high rate of melanoma and why most older Australians see having skin cancers removed as a routine thing.

I know I'm laying that on a bit thick, but it's important that you face the downsides squarely.  If you can read that and still feel that migration is the right thing for you, then you'll be fine. If it makes you quail, then you're probably right to be having second thoughts. 

That’s a good and honest assessment. And as mentioned, if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, there’s no shame or failure. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So do you have a permanent visa or will this be a temporary visa? If it's temporary, come with the mind set that you'll have to return at the end of the visa period. Don't sell your home etc and just take this as an adventure. Taking a temporary visa with a family is always more risky.

I quite agree with Mariawright, don't do this with the "better life for the kids" thing, do it because you want to scratch the itch of adventure by all means or even "it's a bloody good career move". Your kids are going to be OK in either place for the most part but there are disadvantages to growing up isolated. I absolutely agree with the comments above about kids and the outdoors. I vaguely recall seeing a while ago that Adelaide had one of the highest levels of rickets in kids because they didn't get the Vitamin D because they were so protected from the sunshine. Australia also has high levels of youth mental health issues and suicide which won't bother you for a few years but......

Edited by Quoll
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second all of above. Where I live it is a very indoor lifestyle for kids. Besides seeing a few walk home from school (most are dropped off by car) just barely note they are in the neighbourhood. A number of young woman pushing strollers with babies but that's pretty much where it ends. There's apparently considerable concern about stranger danger in the minds of many parents as well . 

I agree kids will do just as well elsewhere as here, even better among close contacts in family and established friendships, but kids are generally robust and adapt in time to most situations. Complications may arise if parents, or a parent decide it is not for them. 

True about rickets. I've read it is a growing problem in Australia. Shocking considering it is a country of sunshine but fear has  negated this fact among so many. There are certainly negatives with the sun but ample positive health benefits as well. 

Then the cost involved of setting up in Australia. Immigration is a considerable business for many who profit handsomely from it. Doesn't mean not worth undertaking. Just to be wary of the pot of money required at every turn. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see kids outdoors a lot here in parks, on bikes and scooters on the beach after school. Also surf clubs and other sporting activities. 


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, rammygirl said:

I see kids outdoors a lot here in parks, on bikes and scooters on the beach after school. Also surf clubs and other sporting activities. 

Same here! There are kids everywhere after school and on weekends and holidays. The number of children at the beaches on Sunday mornings doing nippers is unbelievable, the sports fields are always busy with after-school sport, parks are teeming with kids on bikes, skateboards and scooters. The number and amount of outdoor activities available to children is extensive.

This is in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I've lived here for over 40 years and it's never been any different. 🙄

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, rammygirl said:

I see kids outdoors a lot here in parks, on bikes and scooters on the beach after school. Also surf clubs and other sporting activities. 

I do not refer to organized events. Kids are indeed plentiful at surf life saving club events like. In parks, obviously some with mothers, but hardly in evidence besides and nothing remotely like when I was a kid. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, NickyNook said:

Same here! There are kids everywhere after school and on weekends and holidays. The number of children at the beaches on Sunday mornings doing nippers is unbelievable, the sports fields are always busy with after-school sport, parks are teeming with kids on bikes, skateboards and scooters. The number and amount of outdoor activities available to children is extensive.

This is in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I've lived here for over 40 years and it's never been any different. 🙄

Not around inner city Perth they are not. By kids I'm not referring to teenagers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are not inner city and the children are out and about here all the time.  A crowd of them were playing cricket on the beach yesterday evening at low tide.  Bicycles, scooters, soccer on the local greens and at park run on Saturday morning there are lots of children running with their parents.  There is an athletic club near us which is busy and hockey seems to be very popular here too.  The children's playground at the beach with all sorts of things to keep them amused is always very busy and so is the skateboard area.

Of course there will always be the fairly inactive kids who prefer to sit indoors with their screens etc.  Those are probably the offspring of parents who are not too keen on an active lifestyle themselves.

It's not as hot here as on the mainland so it's more pleasant outdoors when you're not sweating all the time in heat and humidity.  

Edited by Toots
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Toots said:

We are not inner city and the children are out and about here all the time.  A crowd of them were playing cricket on the beach yesterday evening at low tide.  Bicycles, scooters, soccer on the local greens and at park run on Saturday morning there are lots of children running with their parents.  There is an athletic club near us which is busy and hockey seems to be very popular here too.  The children's playground at the beach with all sorts of things to keep them amused is always very busy and so is the skateboard area.

Of course there will always be the fairly inactive kids who prefer to sit indoors with their screens etc.  Those are probably the offspring of parents who are not too keen on an active lifestyle themselves.

It's not as hot here as on the mainland so it's more pleasant outdoors when you're not sweating all the time in heat and humidity.  

Same here at supervised venues with parents present. But kids outside of own yards in suburbs without parental supervision barely ever in suburbs. This was not the case when I was young. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Blue Flu said:

Same here at supervised venues with parents present. But kids outside of own yards in suburbs without parental supervision barely ever in suburbs. This was not the case when I was young. 

Not many back yard swimming pools here so lots of lawn and room to play.  Kids are home from school just now and I can hear the two boy round the corner from us playing outside.  I mentioned in another thread the racket further up our street from children playing (some of them squealing and screaming) in the gardens.  Glad I don't live near the really noisy ones.  A few of them still play skip rope games out on the pavement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt that whether or not kids go out to play is the main thing the OP is concerned about...


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Daffyduck said:

Hi folks, I had posted back last year that my wife and I were considering the move and got some really helpful advice. Now almost two years down the line and pregnancy and the arrival of our daughter put plans for a move on hold. 

We're now in a position where my wife has a pretty solid offer of employment in Adelaide with sponsorship. The reality seems to have kicked in and now I'm seriously second guessing everything and the thought of taking my children away from their grandparents is causing a lot of anxiety.

Is this normal? I had been so sure that this is what would be the right thing for our family to give our kids a chance at a better life.

Did anyone else have this? How did you overcome it?

Yes its very common and normal for migrants to feel this way, especially as the move gets closer and for the first year after arrival. It is one big roller coaster ! Do not beat yourself up about it and do not think it means you wont settle here. For as many migrants returning there are just as many stay and live happy lives.

 I personally found time lessons the 'guilt' (for want of a better word) of leaving family behind as over time you start to make your own life here and their lives move on too. Facetime and phone calls cost peanuts so you can still keep contact and once countries find their feet after Covid visits back to the UK should be back on the cards.  We have been here 15 years now and certainly have no regrets or  thoughts of returning.

 Cal x

  • Like 1

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I doubt that whether or not kids go out to play is the main thing the OP is concerned about...

It's one of the reasons actually. I live in what is probably the wettest, most overcast and one of the coldest parts of the UK. We can go weeks at a time without any sunshine whatsoever. Come the weekend we're often trapped indoors as driving wind and rain isn't great for the kids.

I want them to be able to do after school out door activities all year round.

Edited by Daffyduck
Typo
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Daffyduck said:

It's one of the reasons actually. I live in what is probably the wettest, most overcast and one of the coldest parts of the UK. We can go weeks at a time without any sunshine whatsoever. Come the weekend we're often trapped indoors as driving wind and rain isn't great for the kids.

I want them to be able to do after school out door activities all year round.

Ah, move to Cambridgeshire then, it really does have a nice climate and, quite frankly, I was less put off by the rain in the 9 years we were recently there than I have been in Canberra in these past 18 months! The heat, the torrential rain,  the flies, the mozzies all go to make outside time less than optimal for me.  I noticed the flies are starting to buzz about now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Daffyduck said:

It's one of the reasons actually. I live in what is probably the wettest, most overcast and one of the coldest parts of the UK. We can go weeks at a time without any sunshine whatsoever. Come the weekend we're often trapped indoors as driving wind and rain isn't great for the kids.

I want them to be able to do after school out door activities all year round.

Could you fix that by moving elsewhere in the uk, within easy reach of grandparents?


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Marisawright said:

Could you fix that by moving elsewhere in the uk, within easy reach of grandparents?

Possibly, I've lived in the South previously and the climate was certainly better than it is where I currently am. Though climate is only one of the reasons we've been thinking of the move, some of them are also related to the employment my wife and I are in. The profession my wife is in is notorious for poor working conditions and poor pay (relative to skill set), seems to be the case for the profession across the whole of the UK. We both work in stressful jobs with a lot of unpaid overtime. The post that looks to be on offer for my wife seems to comes with a far better work life balance as well as remuneration. The work life balance difference between the UK and Australia is a big selling point but it may be one of those things that the reality is far different from the sales pitch  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Daffyduck said:

Possibly, I've lived in the South previously and the climate was certainly better than it is where I currently am. Though climate is only one of the reasons we've been thinking of the move, some of them are also related to the employment my wife and I are in. The profession my wife is in is notorious for poor working conditions and poor pay (relative to skill set), seems to be the case for the profession across the whole of the UK. We both work in stressful jobs with a lot of unpaid overtime. The post that looks to be on offer for my wife seems to comes with a far better work life balance as well as remuneration. The work life balance difference between the UK and Australia is a big selling point but it may be one of those things that the reality is far different from the sales pitch  

This is why it's so difficult to make the decision. It's likely there's no one reason for your move.

If you were moving to Sydney or Melbourne, I'd say you'd be no better off.  Unpaid overtime is rife in those cities, too.   However I have noticed that in other states, the attitude seems to be more reasonable.  And in Adelaide, you'll have a reasonable commute, too.  

However you mentioned after-school activities.   It's not true to say they'll be able to get outdoors after school all year round.  For one thing, in mid-winter, the sun sets at 5.30.  If you want to go for a swim or play sport, it'll be in the dark.    Even in summer, the sun sets by 8.30 - we don't have long summer evenings like the UK.  So you may find that by the time you get home from work, there's not much time left for outdoor pursuits in the evening.  Of course, you can still enjoy lingering with a chardonnay on the verandah, but that's you not the kids!

Then there's the heat.  It can get too bloody hot to do anything energetic, and it often doesn't even start cooling down till the sun goes down. One of the big complaints we hear from migrants is that they expect to spend all their time outdoors, but when they get here, they find they're spending most of their time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast.  

  • Like 3

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Marisawright said:

This is why it's so difficult to make the decision. It's likely there's no one reason for your move.

If you were moving to Sydney or Melbourne, I'd say you'd be no better off.  Unpaid overtime is rife in those cities, too.   However I have noticed that in other states, the attitude seems to be more reasonable.  And in Adelaide, you'll have a reasonable commute, too.  

However you mentioned after-school activities.   It's not true to say they'll be able to get outdoors after school all year round.  For one thing, in mid-winter, the sun sets at 5.30.  If you want to go for a swim or play sport, it'll be in the dark.    Even in summer, the sun sets by 8.30 - we don't have long summer evenings like the UK.  So you may find that by the time you get home from work, there's not much time left for outdoor pursuits in the evening.  Of course, you can still enjoy lingering with a chardonnay on the verandah, but that's you not the kids!

Then there's the heat.  It can get too bloody hot to do anything energetic, and it often doesn't even start cooling down till the sun goes down. One of the big complaints we hear from migrants is that they expect to spend all their time outdoors, but when they get here, they find they're spending most of their time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast.  

The sun sets before 4pm here in midwinter. Glass of wine on the verandah after work sounds lovely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, calNgary said:

I personally found time lessons the 'guilt' (for want of a better word) of leaving family behind as over time you start to make your own life here and their lives move on too.

I experienced the opposite. Lived in Australia for nearly thirty years, never got over the "guilt" really.

 

  • Like 2

 Perth WA & QLD / UK

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Daffyduck said:

The sun sets before 4pm here in midwinter. Glass of wine on the verandah after work sounds lovely!

Yes I know it gets dark earlier in the UK, but bottom line is that it's still dark by the time you leave work.   And then in the UK you get those lovely long summer evenings too.

Edited by Marisawright
  • Like 1

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, AliQ said:

I experienced the opposite. Lived in Australia for nearly thirty years, never got over the "guilt" really.

 

Yup, me too although I was never ever "made" to feel guilty, it was all my own doing. Which is why, when they were knocking on 90 and struggling, we essentially moved back to care for them. I still feel an inkling of guilt that I wasn't there for dad when he died even though he had chosen to go into care and we had made the move back to Australia because of Covid. Nothing spurs the guilt along quite like farewelling your dad over a Facetime call while your son delivers his  eulogy. My head knows I did the right thing but my heart can't quite get with the plan. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have two little kids here in Adelaide and I'm 100% certain the opportunities for them to be outdoors and active all year round are far more extensive than they would be back in the UK. Yes, the UV levels are high in summer and precautions need to be taken to limit exposure - suncream, hats, rashies for swimming and in general avoidance of the peak UV periods but it certainly doesn't restrict kids to indoor activities only. I can't comment for the rest of the country but here in Adelaide the UV levels are generally below 3 (the limit for requiring sun protection) for all of winter, whilst for much of spring and autumn they only really get significant for a few hours in the middle of the day. Even in winter it's still quite pleasant to be outdoors most days and it's far less miserable than trudging about trying to entertain kids in the endless drizzle back in the UK. Even on the rare really rainy days it's normally quite mild temperature-wise so it's still possible to grab some outdoor time in between showers. The kids see heavy rain so rarely that it's actually a bit of a treat to put on the wellies and raincoats for a splash in the puddles.

Plus, sport is huuuge here - even from a really young age. From the experience I had growing up it's far more common for kids to be involved in (usually multiple) sports-related activities than it is back in the UK. Our eldest is only four and she's already doing stuff on the weekends. On weekends it seems like every second or third kid is wearing a sports uniform of some sort.

The parks are generally fantastic here in Adelaide - we must have a list of 10-15 that we visit on a regular basis. The play equipment is always well looked after and most have shade and BBQ facilities too. There's no comparison to most of the parks I've come across back in the motherland. Even when they are refurbished they tend to get shabby pretty quickly.

So, from a kids perspective I can almost guarantee you'll find yourself much better off here than in the UK. I wouldn't worry about that part of it at all.

The family side of things is the difficult bit and will depend on a number of factors. I was lucky that I didn't have kids when I moved here so I didn't have to worry about taking them away from their grandparents - although I still have the guilts about them not being a big part of each other's lives. I'm also lucky that I'm not an only child so my parents do have other grand kids in the UK as well as good support from my sister. It's still really hard being so far away from them but it does get easier as the years go by and means the time we do spend together either here or in the UK is very special.

Anxiety about such a big move is only natural but as per the tourism adverts you'll never never know if you never never go - or something to that effect. When we moved out here we had a goal of giving it two years at which point we'd review the situation. Even though we knew the move might be a long-term one that did makes things easier to handle as it kept our options open and at the time we left it wasn't guaranteed to be permanently. I think it's important to give it at least that long as the homesickness does kick in - but then subsides again. Making a decision to move home again during peak homesickness might not be the right one in the long term. After two years we had settled in nicely and built a life for ourselves here so it allowed us to compare our options more objectively.

If you skip on the option to move and try for something new will you always regret it? On the other hand, if you're happy with your lot back home then that's also a pretty good situation to be in...

Edited by llessur
  • Like 5

309 visa granted and moved to Adelaide from Brighton UK in 2012. 100 visa and PR granted 2013. Became a citizen on Australia Day 2017. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, llessur said:

We have two little kids here in Adelaide.....Yes, the UV levels are high in summer and precautions need to be taken to limit exposure - suncream, hats, rashies for swimming and in general avoidance of the peak UV periods but.... here in Adelaide the UV levels are generally below 3 ...

You are right and I stand corrected. I always think of Adelaide as being a bit further north than it really is.  If you look at the UV graphs for winter, you'll see that Adelaide is in the "below 3" area of the country.    Even in Spring and Autumn, it doesn't get above 8, which is the same as the UK.

In summer, though, it does become "Extreme" for the whole season.

 

uv-sum.png

uv-win.png


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×