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Moving to other side of country with teens / leaving parents

  • 03-01-2022 6:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 23

    Seeking advice and guidance here in case others have experienced this...

    Myself and husband are in our late 40's - 2 young children, one first year secondary and one pre-teen.

    My husband has always wanted to move to the other side of the country - bigger house, more space etc, and, I wouldnt be against it, but I do question when the right time is - or is there ever a right time.

    My concerns:

    Moving children, especially teen, away from their comfort blanket of friends and the social scene. Never mind the potential impact on school work etc. I would worry about the impact on my eldest especially....

    I would be moving away from my parents, to whom I am very close. Both in their 80's, one in ok health, the other, thankfully very well and active. All my siblings are closer to them than I am now, and are very attentive ie no 'issues' with any one of us carrying the load, although, I have parents who are very low maintenance and undemanding. I know I am v lucky in that regard - but if we were to move - I would miss them terribly. My other half maintains that no where in Ireland is far away anymore - and you could do Dublin to eg Galway in 2 hours and Dublin to Cork in 3 etc - so nothing insurmountable.

    My other halves parents currently reside on the other side of the country to us. Slightly younger than mine ( mid 70's), reasonable health thankfully, but they would have a bigger dependency on us, to a certain extent. At the moment, they seldom leave their house (other than for groceries), unless we go down and force a walk. This has always been the case even pre - Covid - Covid has just compounded it. 'IF' we were to move, it would probably be closer to them - and, if I am being honest, while they are very good to us, it can be difficult to get them to go outside their comfort zone and do anything /venture too far. My fear would be, they would become more dependent on us, and our hypothetical new home would become a safe haven for them to visit as they please. This may sound like a selfish thing to think about - but I am not sure I would have the patience to be at their disposal all the time. My other half has 1 sibling, who mirrors their parents in terms of outlook on life / doing new things/ going places.

    Anyone any thoughts on this 'hypothetical' move? Both of us are in roles that are quite transferrable, but I worry about settling elsewhere at this stage in our lives, and the impact it could have on our children / parents.

    Rereading the above - I know it sounds extremely selfish - but I am trying to be honest with myself re my concerns.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,273 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Honestly, OP, I think your concerns are very valid and you don't sound selfish in the least, just sensible. It does sound like you run the risk of becoming de facto carers to his parents (and even possibly his sibling) if you move.

    What are his reasons for wanting to relocate? You say this has kind of always been a thing for him, does he just want to go back home and if so, why? I think you both need to sit down and have a very frank and honest discussion about the pros and cons of moving versus staying, and then examine the emotional factors too. Fwiw, I'd have the same reservations you do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,807 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    Your children should not be an issue here, they are at a good age to move, if you want to move it will be harder in a few years time when they are doing exams. The situation with the parents is another matter, but just on the subject of the children, don't worry about moving them at this stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,696 ✭✭✭appledrop

    Are you happy where you are?

    Is your house sufficient for you all, and could you be satisfied here in years to come?

    Are your kids happy in school, do they have plenty of friends etc

    Because if you answer yes to all these then as they say 'If it's not broken don't fix it!

    I get that you are the one nearer to your family and husband might want to be nearer to his, but moving children at that age to another part of the country can be a huge upheaval that I wouldnt underestimate.

    You would want to be doing it for the right reasons for everyone not just because your husband wants to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,904 ✭✭✭✭Esel

    If you move to the west, expect a lot more rain! Best of luck anyway.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 46 lasalle

    We could write this exact post but timeline for us is 5-6 years behind you, kids 8&10, settled and happy, attraction of moving west from east for a better property, more space, likelyhood of our kids living close (at least the option of such) when theyre older would be be higher than in if we stayed in dublin.

    tbh i think if we are still here in 5-6 years we’ll likely stay rather than uproot the kids, but maybe you just need to take a chance (as do we!)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,951 ✭✭✭Heighway61

    My family did the same many years ago when I was 11 years old. I don't mean to be dramatic but it had a terrible affect on me. Settling in to the new school was difficult. Being the new boy with the strange accent from far away led to me feeling shy and led to bullying.

    But the biggest loss for me was friends and cousins. I still remember the friends still like it was yesterday but never saw them again. A bigger miss was the cousins. Never really got over it. Saw them occasionally but we had been very close and that was lost though we did see them occasionally over the years.

    Your approach here seems great. You are giving it plenty of thought. Talk to the children and involve them in every decision and allow them to make decisions that directly affect them. Not being involved made it much more difficult for me I think.

    Can you get back home regularly? They could have the best of both worlds, love the new place and love going back home at weekends or for a week during the summer holidays.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,023 ✭✭✭standardg60

    You're not being selfish at at all OP, you're simply putting your family's happiness before your own.

    Whereas you might have had aspirations to move when you were a couple there are more considerations now. Time to have an open discussion with your husband, does he want what he thinks is best for him or as you all as a unit?

    Sounds like he never left his own family's way of thinking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭Still stihl waters 3

    If he maintains nowhere in Ireland is far away then it works both ways, to be uprooting kids from school and friends just seems cruel to me

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,317 ✭✭✭NSAman

    We moved when I was 8 and older siblings up to 15. Best decision my parents ever made.

    better quality fo life. Better friends (still friends even though I am in my 50s), more freedom and much better relationship with family (extended)

    I have nOw moved abroad and still think of the place as home. My partner loves it, she (we are home at the moment) is more at ease in the home place than where she grew up in the States. My kids all want to move back…despite the fact they are yanks. It is their home. A few years ago we bought a little place and are currently doing it up.

    I went back to see my friends in the old home about 6 months after we moved and just couldn’t settle back in there. Coming west again, despite being young, felt right and from then on…. It’s home. Nowhere in ireland is far. It’s all relative… I travel daily to work some days 3 hours each way…that’s basically across ireland and back…it’s not that bad!

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Similar to the poster above, my parents moved us when I was 14 and it had a devastating affect on me - and that was only from the North side of Dublin to the South side (predating the M50), and we didn't have a car. So I lost literally all my friends in one go. It was very hard.

    Honestly, I think the time to make such a big move was before your eldest started secondary. That was a huge transition for them by itself, now moving them across the country to settle into another school?

    If is not something you have to do for financial reasons or work necessity, I'd think long and hard about it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 278 ✭✭Bricriu

    Your husband states: 'You could do Dublin to eg Galway in 2 hours'.

    A well-known myth, unless he means to go from Athenry to Leixlip.

    I live west of Galway City, and getting through the City to join the Motorway to Dublin is a nightmare, especially on Fridays from Mid-day on.

    Galway traffic is horrendous, and the new Ring-road won't be built for 20 years, if ever.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭Tork

    OP there is no right answer to this. No matter where you live, one of you will be sacrificing the chance to live near your parents. I don't think you're being selfish at all and it is a huge leap into the unknown. It might work out wonderfully for you but then again it might be a disaster. Personally, I think you may have missed the boat when it comes to moving with your children. I was surprised to see you describe your children as young, when you went on to say one was a pre-teen and the other is in secondary school. They're unlikely to thank you for uprooting them from their friends and their secondary school, and moving them to the other side of the country. Sometimes people have these pipe dreams about "going home" but the truth is, you can never really go home once you leave. All you can do is be very open and honest with your husband.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,252 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    All of our life decisions at the moment are rooted in minimising disruption to the kids as they are both settled in their school with their friends. Mine are much younger than yours OP but we recently moved house to be closer to their schools so they can be within walking distance to friends houses etc.

    I am not saying that if we had a compelling reason to uproot them that we wouldn't but it would have to be very compelling and I cannot think of any reason that this would happen

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,570 ✭✭✭Princess Calla

    Have you asked your children what they would like?

    The eldest is definitely at an age where they will feel their voice should be heard.

    Also what about college? It's only a few years away for the eldest. I appreciate there are colleges in Galway etc but being honest Dublin has a much higher level of colleges and courses to choose from.

    So while you might get a much bigger house now, you'll be paying mega rent for the eldest in a few years.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,252 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    All good points.

    OP why do you actually want a bigger house? We bought a house with a large garden for somewhere the kids could play safely however yours are past the playing phase. Additionally there are only 4 of you so a 3 bed would seem to suit your needs adequately on the assumption that the kids didn't mind sharing. Is there a specific reason you need the extra space?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,807 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    I think comments on moving your children depend on the poster's own experience. I moved at age 10 and it was not an issue. My own kids were moved in the same age-group and again it was not a problem, in fact I think it worked out better. If I had had a bad experience, or had not moved at all I would have probably replied differently, so its really down to how important/essential the move is, and the children's personalities.

    One thing you should be wary of is that you are probably not exchanging like for like. If you are living in an urban situation and you move to a rural or even semi-rural situation the larger house and garden will very likely not compensate your children for the available amenities of a town. Having to beg a lift any time they want to hang out with friends is unlikely to go down well. You may feel that having some control over who they can hang out with is an advantage, and you could be right, but they are not likely to see it that way.

    At the same time accommodation in Galway is scarce and expensive so you may find that you have to move out of the main centres.

    Many parents don't have a choice in when and whether they move house, and generally it does not really impact on family life to the extent that concerns you, you all adapt. Moving just because you want to puts a different light on it, you may find it harder to deal with any sense of guilt at forcing a move on the family. We did some moves that were forced on us and some from preference, generally they worked out fine.

    We are all stressed at the moment and maybe it is not the best time to stir things up further. In a couple of years your elder child will be between inter and leaving cert and the younger one not(?) yet in secondary, or in about 8 years time they will both be moving anyway and you will have freedom to make choices that do not impact them so strongly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭Tork

    Sooner than you think, your kids will be moved on to college and to work. If they end up in Dublin for college/work, you'll be physically further away from them than you likely would otherwise. Maybe that's an issue, maybe it isn't? (All families are different).

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    We also just moved with 3 kids, 7, 5 and 3 years old, 5 mins up the road to nearer their school, bigger house, bigger garden but no "road" friends.

    The 7 year old was very unimpressed.I don't think I could do it to an older child.As Pawwed said, all our decisions were made with the kids in mind and minimising disruption to them.

    You need a long chat with your husband.The idea that nowhere is far in Ireland, that road runs both ways.You also need to talk to your kids on it and involve them in the decision, as they are old enough to have a voice on it -it will impact their lives considerably too.

    Post edited by shesty on

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,252 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Nowhere is far unless you want to hang around with your buddies on a Thursday evening for an hour or 2.

    In our case we had 1 road friend (but they were in a different school). It helped that her house went on the market soon after ours so the kids had no one left in the old place. Since we moved though it has been a pita as we are reluctant to let them call to anyone due to the explosion in cases. We had a 7 year old down in the house 1 of the days and the next day missus had symptoms. They turned out negative but it would have been awkward if the first time anyone visited they ended up as a close contact with 5 day isolation.

    What is a bugger house??? 🤣🤣😉

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    @Pawwed Rig edited🤣

    Sorry OP, off topic

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,770 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    People keep mentioning Galway and it's traffic, colleges, and house prices.

    But the OP never said they were going to Galway, nor did they say where they were going from.

    As regards the kids OP.

    How active are they, how big a social group does the older one have at school, how many sports or activities are they involved in.

    Obviously the bigger the social group and clubs etc they are involved in the more friends they would be leaving.

    And are those sports and activities available in the new area.

    Also with regards the grandparents, are the relationships different between the kids and the grandparents, would they be moving further away or closer to their "favorite" grandparents (you get what I am trying to say).

    It's a tough choice.

    In this family we used to live an hour from my parents and about 4 hours from my wife's parents.

    But then we moved, and the reverse is now the case, my parents are now 3 hours away and my wife's parents an hour away.

    We got a bigger house, easier commute etc, and our eldest child was on the way, so much easier in that regard.

    And that was fine with me because my wife was closer emotionally to her parents than I was to mine, she was more of a home bird where as I had lived all over the place once I left home.

    Are you closer to your family than he is to his ?