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To move, or not to move?

(33 Posts)
fairygodmother Fri 07-Mar-14 18:41:27

Both in our early 70's, we live an hour and a half away from our son and his family. We see them whenever they are able, as they are both working very hard, with our granddaughter in full-time nursery. She will be starting school later this year, and they have to find a qualified child-minder who can both take her to school and collect her, until they return from work. They are often so tired, they take it in turns to rest at the weekends while looking after their daughter.

We long to be of more help to them, without being intrusive, and wonder if moving closer might be the answer. We certainly would love to see her a little more than at present.

She is very loving towards me, and is reluctant to leave whenever they visit, and asks us when she will see us again.

Her other grandparents live the same distance away, and, no doubt, are probably feeling the same way.

We have discussed the idea of moving closer with our son. He said that he thought that we would be crazy to even think of moving from an area that we are so used to, and that they enjoyed coming to see us here. Also, he argued, the roads in his area are chaotic, and it would take us some time to settle.

However, when we have mentioned that if only we were living closer to them then we could help them whenever they needed us, then they have both agreed with the idea.

Whether to move or not to move? That is the question.

absent Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:20

Obviously this is a decision that only you can make although it is important that your son and daughter-in-law are fully in favour of your moving nearer to them and undertaking childcare. Remember, too, that looking after a young child frequently and regularly, including the many school holidays, is rather more exhausting than enjoying her occasional visits. Having said that, I moved from the UK to New Zealand to be near my daughter and her family – three sons and two daughters aged from nearly two to 12 – and I love every minute of my new life.

Nonu Fri 07-Mar-14 18:52:14

Difficult one Fairy truthfully only you know the answer , after weighing up all the pro"s and cons !
Much good Karma to you all !

Yogagirl Fri 07-Mar-14 18:52:49

Hello Fairygodmother
I would definitely move, you could then take your GD to school and back and take her out at the w/e, so both parents could have a break together, it would be lovely, nothing more important than your family! Just as long as they are living there for good as you couldn't keep moving each time they did. Good luck flowers

MiniMouse Fri 07-Mar-14 19:01:44

Yogagirl has just mentioned what I was going to say! You need to bear in mind that they may move again in the future (jobs may enforce it) and you could be facing the problem all over again.

So hard, isn't it? My family are about the same time distance away - unless I use the train, when it can take hours and hours!! I wish we all lived nearer, but on the positive side, it makes our visits to one another really special.

Would you really be able to cope with the needs of your GD in terms of taking, collecting from nursery, especially if it involves driving in heavy traffic?

Good luck with whatever you decide smile

Lynker Fri 07-Mar-14 22:47:04

Hi, I am in exactly the same situation. My daughter and son in law both work shifts over 24 hours/7 days a week. They have a 2 year old and would love another baby, but childcare is proving impossible. We live one and a half hours away and I help out when I can. I would love to live closer to them, but my husband has children/grandchildren close to here and he will not move closer to my daughter.....what to do? It is causing real unrest.

Anne58 Fri 07-Mar-14 23:02:05

Hello fairygodmother are you new to GN?

Does your son and his family live in an area that you like? Would you be able to find the right sort of house/flat to suit your needs at an affordable price? Do you have many friends where you live now, are you active members of any organisations locally?

There are other things to consider than just being close to family.

janeainsworth Fri 07-Mar-14 23:14:58

fairygodmother How will you feel in 10 years' time, when your DGD is 14 and won't need you to take her to school and babysit? If you have left a lot of friends of your own behind?
To be honest, although it would be nice to see more of my DGCs, I'm not sure I'd really want to be responsible for their care every day of the week.

durhamjen Fri 07-Mar-14 23:34:25

If we hadn't moved to be closer to our family, I would have been on my own in York for the last two years. Very handy for friends and family to come and visit me, but not so good on the every day front.

Soutra Fri 07-Mar-14 23:42:24

I know having tinies is tiring but what on earth do they do for a living to be so shattered at the weekend that they take it in turns to look after one 4 year old girl?

Tegan Sat 08-Mar-14 00:27:46

I assume the childminder will also have to look after the child in the school holidays which means that you would have to do that if you moved closer. It would tie you down an awful lot.

JessM Sat 08-Mar-14 07:33:49

Write a list of what and who you would miss if you moved. Do you have a strong social network that you have built up over the years? If so bear in mind that you would probably find it hard to start again.

mollie65 Sat 08-Mar-14 08:14:33

read this with interest as I am currently contemplating moving further away from my family - to an area I have always wanted to live in and wonder if I am being unreasonable grin
currently I live about 35 mins from my son and his family (one grandson and will not have any more) so I am a fairly frequent visitor and help out when I can but do find the 5 year old very tiring.
I live in an old cottage down a bit of a track and winters are becoming unbearable now I am 67 - so my idea was to downsize, free up capital and live within about 5-10 miles of the sea (which is my one great love that I miss in my landlocked area) -probably dorset or devon.
so I could visit them by train (reasonable service) and they could visit me for longer.
BUT - they are against the idea as they will not see me so often
grandson is at school, both parents work, I have no particular friends here as I am of the reclusive self-sufficient nature, do I put my life on hold (who knows how many years I have left) or do I resurrect the 'selfish' idea of doing something for me.
sorry OP - to hijack your thread but having done what you are proposing - do think how you will feel 10 years down the line when you are not needed and maybe living in an area you do not feel comfortable in. smile

FlicketyB Sat 08-Mar-14 08:41:13

It is a question of your skills in building your own life in a new place, a life that is independent of your son and family. The reason that your son is not encouraging your move may be his fear that if you move near him, where you know no-one you may become entirely dependent on him and your grand daughter for your social life and would find it hard to make friends and join social activities in a new area.

If you are the kind of person who dropped into the desert would soon be chatting happily to a group of friends you had never seen before who had appeared from nowhere, then do it. If your the kind who 10 years after the move would still only know the postman, milk man and lady in the corner shop, don't.

nanawhitecottage Sat 08-Mar-14 08:52:16

its your call, only you can decide and then make it work. You are in your 70's so looking after children is hard work, but brings great happiness. Trust your gut reaction it is probably right, and whichever you choose enjoy your family, and do not have any regrets.

Gally Sat 08-Mar-14 09:13:22

Soutra I too have a DD and SiL who take turns at the weekend to care for their children because they are so tired. The youngest wakes every night at least 4x and they both work and hold down demanding jobs in order to scrape by. They both leave home very early, he to travel to London, bike/train/bike and she to get the gc's to nursery then on to work, a mile walk. They manage, but only because they share the weekends!
I would love to be able to help if I lived nearer (450 miles away) but making the decision to move is a huge one fraught with all kinds of what-ifs, whys and hows. I wouldn't want to be too involved in child care but it would be lovely to be more part of the family joining in sunday lunches and outings like the other gp's. If I lived only an hour and a half away, I think I would stay put. Trouble is, you don't know how it would be until the die is cast and then what if it's the wrong decision? Having said that, it has worked for Absent and moving half way round the world is a huge decision not to be taken lightly (an option I am struggling with right now, among others confused)

JessM Sat 08-Mar-14 09:18:42

I think that projecting your imagination 10 years into the future is a good suggestion. Would it be a good idea to be nearer to family? Would you be able to access everything you need without driving, should that day come? Having moved to a small town recently I am amazed just how convenient it is having everything within walking distance. The only thing I would need a taxi or bus for would be the hospital which is only a couple of miles away. It would be easy to have a life here without a car.
Also - i have lived somewhere where the population is quite young and there is nobody around in the day which can be quite lonely if you work from home or are retired.

Riverwalk Sat 08-Mar-14 09:19:38

From the details you give Fairy I wouldn't move.

One and a half hours away is close enough for you to have your GD say every other weekend. You could do the pick-up and return - this would give the parents a regular break and you'd see GD often.

Anne58 Sat 08-Mar-14 10:36:32

Why hasn't she come back to respond to the posts?

annodomini Sat 08-Mar-14 10:38:39

fairy, I'm in your position, only I'm single and a bit further away. As I don't drive long distances now, I go by train which takes four hours door to door. Both grand-families live 'down south' while I live in Cheshire. I would love to be closer to them, but know that the need for child-minding is passing as the children get older and here I have my 'base' with friends and activities. In my 70s, would I like to start all over again? I think not. The old adage, 'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know' holds good for the meantime. How will I feel about all this in my dotage? Who can tell!

Mishap Sat 08-Mar-14 10:40:14

Will you be leaving behind any contacts or activities that you value?

Bear in mind that GC will grow up and your usefulness in regard to child care will dwindle; and also that family may decide to move on.

Gally Sat 08-Mar-14 10:41:26

Give her a break Phoenix - she only posted last night wink

Soutra Sat 08-Mar-14 10:55:09

Sorry gally I wasn't belittling how tiring children can be. When we moved here DH was leaving at 6.30 to drive to London an getting back way after the girls' bedtime. He was ill shortly after and slept most of the weekend to have enough strength for the commute on Monday! I was teaching full time and also had to do the supermarket run/ taking to ballet/ school sporting activities on Saturday morning plus the usual washing and ironing of shirts and school uniform. I was on my knees and ofcorse had marking and lesson prep so I understand but I was a lot younger! One 4 year old who was in nursery or infant school would have seemed like a walk in the park at the time.Sorry I sound grumpy but GPs can't always be called on our parents were both a very long way away and I had no expectations of help you just got on with it.

Nonnie Sat 08-Mar-14 11:05:21

Do you have any other children? If you do perhaps you need to think whether you would be moving nearer or further from them.

How long have you lived where you are? If a long time then perhaps you would find it hard to adjust but if you haven't lived there all you life you might find it easy enough to move. We retired a long way from where we were living and found it very easy to make a new life and new friends so don't be put off by thinking you might be lonely.

We would move if we were needed to look after our GCs but that is not the case, maybe in the future.

If your health is good and you are adaptable why not let out your house for a year and rent something near to them to see how it goes?

Maybe in 10 years time you will need some help and you son and family will be there for you if you live near them?

Whatever you decide I wish you well with it.

Gally Sat 08-Mar-14 11:07:58

Soutra wink