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Son and Dil potentially moving to NZ

(44 Posts)
DillytheGardener Sun 02-Jun-19 17:40:30

My son and dil round today and they mention they are planning to move to NZ.
Both are annoyed about Brexit, like the PM there, and the real incentive is her immediate family have an empty house they can live in. Dil has contributed to the house, paid for a new roof on it etc and it is in a family trust so cannot be sold off. They want children and she doesn’t want to pay rent when they could save money. Things haven’t been great anyone and I feel like I’m going to lose my son and potential grandchildren. We could offer to help but that would mean our comfortable vacation lifestyle would end and that’s not the retirement I had in mind. Feeling like I’ve taken a punch to the stomach. I’m not surprised that dil has had enough of us and would rather return to her home country to bring up her children, but gosh it hurts.
Younger son will never leave thank goodness he will be like us and the generations before, live and die streets from where he was raised.

Starlady Mon 03-Jun-19 11:49:31

Hugs, Dilly! I know this is hard for you! It would be for me, too, or most any parent, surely.

But as PPs have said, there are so many ways of staying in touch today. And you can have some wonderful visits.

I think the posters who spoke of crying in the shower, etc. have the right idea. IMO, it's normal for a parent to grieve over the "lost" (changed) relationship, but they should do it privately, and put on a happy face for their AC and CIL. In fact, IMO, it's a good idea to try to actually see the benefits of the move, as you seem to be doing.

Also, I agree, DIL may think this is a good way to get DS away from the influence of his drinking friends, and, yes, his dad. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure this will work for long. If DS is really an alcoholic, he'll find drinking friends there after a time. He may really need to get into AA, and she, into, AlAnon.

Anyhow, it will take some adjusting to get used to this move, both for them and for you. But I'm confident you will adjust. Keep us posted!

Daisymae Mon 03-Jun-19 12:13:33

Some friends recently left to move to NZ. Their friends who lived there were surprised as they felt that they were leaving so much behind - culture, easy travel to the continent etc. All the things that we take for granted. Nowhere is perfect but there's not a lot you can do but stand back and wish them well.

3dognight Mon 03-Jun-19 12:21:00

It's only been mentioned though. You could be worrying about nothing. If it was me I would try not to dwell on it too much -people change their minds, ideas cool off, sometimes fizzle out.

You mention they are renting, could you forgo a few holidays and offer to give them the deposit for their own place in the uk. Now that would throw a spanner in the works! Just an idea.

As star lady says, if your son is a drinker, he will still be a drinker whether it's in the uk or nz.

If it was me I would say you can go with my blessing if it's what you really want, but if you want to stay we will help with the deposit for your first home. This is what I would do, but I appreciate its not for everyone. You also have another son by all accounts so I realise that has to be taken into consideration.

Minerva Mon 03-Jun-19 12:29:59

It has happened to so many of us. I live in London and see all the time young women with their children and no family support and I both admire them and grieve for the struggle my daughter had in a less than supportive small town on the other side of the world.

My mother, famous for her tantrums as a way of controlling the family, caused my sister to refuse a job in Africa which she very much wanted to accept. I can’t deny that I cried when my daughter announced out of the blue that she was flying two weeks before Christmas but no tantrums; young people should be allowed to go their own way without being made to feel guilty.

jura2 Mon 03-Jun-19 12:35:55

Indeed- lots of good advice. Must say I would be devastated because it is so very far, and visiting more than once a year or two, would be impossible. Plus the fact that I'd be aware that as I get older, the long journey would no longer be possible. Anywhere in Europe would be so much easier ... and of course, you would never be able to join them in NZ due to immigration rules, unless very rich and in excellent health. Mind you, the situation may soon be the same for any older parent wanting to join their family in EU.

You just have to let them go, and never make them feel guilty (hard, I am sure).

Twig14 Mon 03-Jun-19 13:26:00

Dear Dilly
I read your post and totally understand and feel for you. Our son relocated to Tokyo after marrying a Japanese woman. It broke my heart. We now have two grandchildren age 8 n 3. I keep in touch via FaceTime plus WhatsApp which is really good to use. It’s far from easy especially as my DH has been diagnosed with a serious illness. Which means I haven’t been able to fly out to see my son and his family for over a year. I lived in hope that they might come back to live in the UK but realise that won’t happen. My elderly mother in law told me many many years ago you have to love your children more to let them go. I note your title makes me think you are a keen gardener. I too love gardening it’s a marvellous way to forget about things while you are busy. Our situation is somewhat more difficult as our D in law barely communicates with us. I think it’s a culture thing with her but that’s the way she is. Chin up I hope you will be ok

Chinesecrested Mon 03-Jun-19 13:40:23

All is not lost. The world's a smaller place these days. My friend's son, ddil and dgs have gone to live in Oz. My friend and her DH spend 6 months a year here, then 6 in Oz. And of course there's Skype

Hm999 Mon 03-Jun-19 14:07:30

I don't know you, but you will cope, because you know that it's probably the best thing for them. And that's what mums put first.

Shirls52000 Mon 03-Jun-19 14:16:34

My daughter and SIL lived in NZ for a year and came home to have a family, they have every intention of returning to NZ in the next few years ( or sooner depending on Brexit) my eldest son is currently looking to emigrate to Canada. I don t blame them and I m looking at it as an opportunity to travel out and visit as often as I can. I brought them all up to be independent and adventurous and if that’s what will make them happy then I m fully behind them even tho I know it will be hard for me. The world is a much smaller place nowadays with effective communication and air travel so they ll never be too far away.

jura2 Mon 03-Jun-19 14:18:56

Agreed, and yet Canada and the USA, especially East Coast- much shorter flight than to NZ!

Nansnet Mon 03-Jun-19 14:51:45

Over 23 years ago, my husband and I moved overseas with our children, who were very young at the time. I'm an only child, and my kids were my parents only grandchildren. Needless to say, my parents were both pretty devastated when we told them of our plans. However, they both said that, whilst they'd rather us not go, and they would miss us tremendously, they understood that we were doing it for a chance of a better life, for us and our children. It was a massive wrench for me too, as I'd always been very close to my parents.

Things did work out. We've had a good life, our kids (now both grown up) have experienced so many things that they would never have experienced had we stayed in the UK. And mum & dad have had some wonderful holidays visiting us, and keeping in touch regularly on Skype.

I now find myself in the same position, as now that my kids have flown the nest, they are both on different continents to me! ... including our first grandchild! I guess what goes around, comes around!

My parents, and my husband & I, have all survived the trauma of long distance family relationships, and you will too! Let your son and his wife know that you give them your blessing to make a good life for themselves. And you can look forward to the prospect of visiting them in NZ ... a truly wonderful place!

anna7 Mon 03-Jun-19 15:02:18

It is very hard. I have been in the same position myself and I know how difficult it is to let them go and keep smiling but you do somehow. It helped when we visited and saw for ourselves how happy our son was and what a wonderful country NZ is. I have to say though, and obviously I don't know your circumstances, but we could not have afforded to visit very often at all and I found that very hard when people kept saying 'think of all the wonderful holidays you will have' etc. Also when people would say 'how can you bear to let him go' And thought I wasn't bothered because I wasn't in bits all the time, when really I was just putting a brave face on and keeping going because what else can you do.( Perhaps I just have insensitive friends. ) Anyway my very best wishes to you whatever happens and you will find a way through.

Kiwigramz Mon 03-Jun-19 15:07:56

I know just how you feel. My son and family moved to New Zealand 10 years ago. I missed them as my husband had died but we had had our lives and I was also happy for them. I went over to see them a few times as I was working and also used Skype to speak to and see them.

Four years ago I applied to come to live over here. I was accepted and moved about an hour and a half away from them so as not to be reliant on them. Yes you will miss them, but be happy for them. Hopefully you will be able to visit. Good luck

Juicylucy Mon 03-Jun-19 15:49:58

Hi Dilly I don’t know your back story but reading your post and what others have said I’m wondering how long your son will actually last out there especially if it’s dil who’s the push behind the move. My DD and family emigrated to Oz in 2002 it took them 2 years to feel any where near settled he has bad bouts of homesickness, but they got on with it for the sake of the children, they have a lovely home and life. My GDs love the life but the homesickness is always nagging away. I feel for you as I was so sad when I heard they were going.

lincolnimp Mon 03-Jun-19 23:13:29

I agree with all the posts that say what a wonderful country NZ is.
Look forward to long visits once your DS and Dil are settled. Who knows, you might even decide to stay, would get you away from the situation here and have a much more relaxed life

Davida1968 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:26:41

I have posted previously that our DS (only child) and his wife, moved to the USA 23 years ago, and are still there, now with two DGC. DH & I have been fortunate enough to visit regularly (DS knows that were spending his inheritance!) and to know our DGC, but it's still hard! Like others posting here, I've had to live with this situation and to be happy that DS and family are having a good life. While telling them that I love and miss them, I've never, ever, let them see how uttetly gutted I feel, at times, because they are all so far away! As I've quoted previously on Gransnet: "If you love someone, set them free."

Dinahmo Thu 06-Jun-19 17:03:40

Dilly - think about the benefits - winters in the sunshine for a start. I have a friend who is 82 and she goes to NZ most winters to spend time with her DD and SIL. They run a restaurant and their summer is a busy period for them and my friend helps out by doing the ironing! She usually goes for 2 months and she saves on heating bills in the UK. DD and SIL have thought about coming back to Europe (his parents are Swiss) but there seems to be a problem with getting their pensions paid to them in Europe.

Anyway my friend loves going and always has a great time whilst she's there.

TwoSlicesOfCake Sun 09-Jun-19 15:18:58

Dilly, I’m so sorry things haven’t worked out like you hoped with you older son.
But, as you and other posters have said he gets to live his life, and it sounds like a wonderful opportunity and turning point for him.
Good for you for keeping your retirement intact and continuing a lifestyle you want. You earned it! Enjoy!
A word of caution- don’t replace husband with your younger son. Read up on “emotional spouse”. Be very careful of putting to much of your happiness on his shoulders, it will only drive him away too.
Focus on your relationship (fix it or leave it) and travel somewhere lovely and exotic to clear your head.