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Family emigrating

(78 Posts)
NannyKat Thu 03-Dec-20 13:01:55

My son, his wife and 2 children have decided to move to Australia and I am devastated. I have waited a long time for my grandchildren to come along, and they are the biggest joy in my life. Now they are going away and I am just not coping very well with this. I am usually the rock in my family, I am strong and can deal with anything thrown my way. I am the supporter and advice giver, but this situation is just making me turn to mush.
I know I have to let go, but their is more to the story than my son going for a new adventure in life. He lived in Australia before and it went very very wrong for him. He came home a broken man. We loved and nurtured him for a couple of years, back to the wonderful strong man he is today... but now he wants to go there again. Please share some thoughts with me. Even if the advise is brutal, anything will help.
Love NannyKat

Ellianne Thu 03-Dec-20 13:11:34

The place obviously has a great pull for him and young people tend to move on from troubles in their past. I guess all you can do is to act stoically, don't make him feel guilty, while at the same time telling him you will miss the family greatly. Any chance you can get over there to visit at a later date?

MrsThreadgoode Thu 03-Dec-20 13:21:18

I’m so sorry , I would be the same as you, however if they have only just decided the process can take some years to happen, I wouldn’t start to worry until they have booked their flight out.

But once they have gone, you can FaceTime them, which I know is a poor substitute, but it’s better than nothing. Once things have settled down you can book a B and B and go over for a Month at a time to visit, our neighbours did this for over 14 years, they down sized their home and used the money for frequent trips.

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Dec-20 13:25:34

My heart goes out to you NannyKatflowers. No matter how much we want our AC to be happy, being told that they are going to the other side of the world is initially devastating.

This will be doubly difficult because your son has had a previous bad experience when he lived there before, so your concerns are perfectly understandable.

I remember how I felt when our DS told us that once they were married, he and his new wife were moving to Perth as they had the opportunity to do so with her job.

That was 5.5 years ago and 2.5 years ago they broke up and he is now divorced. He's still in Perth, loving his life which as much as we miss him, and we do desperately, is all that really matters.

You don't say if you have any other children which can make this a little easier to come to terms with us. We do have another son who has 2 children but he estranged us 8 years ago, about 18 months before our DS left for Aus. At the time, DS going so far away felt like the straw that would break the camel's back, but it didn't.

We Face Time practically every week and have been over there 4 times to see him. He says he probably speaks to us more now, than he did when he lived only a 10 minute car journey away, and I think he's right!!

I'm sure that having had a previously bad experience, your son and his wife will have looked into this move very carefully as they also have their children to consider.

Give it time NannyKat for the initial shock and worries to settle down. Perhaps when you talk with them about their plans and dreams for them and the children, you'll feel a little happier about their decision.

David0205 Thu 03-Dec-20 13:27:20

Give them a year or two to settle then go and join them if everything is OK, the rules for parents joining family in Australia or NZ are attractive, several families I know have done just that.

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Dec-20 13:27:33

PS having just seen MrsThreadgoode's post has reminded me that parents can get extended visas for up to 6 months I think, which is something to think about.

NannyKat Thu 03-Dec-20 13:33:35

Thank you all for the support and advice. I am able to visit Australia and probably will do often. Its the small things that break my heart. GD is nearly 3 and she sleeps over most weekends which has made us close. To think I wont have this going forward is quite hard.
I would pack up and leave with them tomorrow but my husband has no desire to go to Australia or even to visit. I know I must get used to the idea as they have just received their visas and are about to buy their plane tickets.
The extended visa sounds very inviting and I will be looking into that. Thank you all

Hithere Thu 03-Dec-20 14:32:18

Please find other interests and hobbies to fill the void.

Grandchildren cannot be your only goal and role in life - it is not healthy

Wish them best of luck and be happy for them.
They may be emigrating under very different circumstances compared to the past.

Beauregard Thu 03-Dec-20 14:38:44

I am in your boat NannyKat and really sympathise with you. My DD and SiL told us in June that they planned to move to NZ next year with their two children 7 and 5. It hasn't been mentioned since but at some point we expect to hear more.

We've concluded that what will be will be and are awaiting news in due course. We're ok with it at the moment but expect their plans will start to progress at some point in the next few months, unless they change their minds as they can be very impulsive.

We won't visit them as DH won't fly that far, unless I go alone.

At the end of the day they will go off and do what they want to do, and we will adapt and live our lives without them around. All we can do is support them and hope to see them again in the future.

Callistemon Thu 03-Dec-20 14:43:13

Nannykat you will find plenty of support and advice on here as a number of Gransnetters have DC living overseas.

It is hard but you just have to wish the best for them as everything looks uncertain here at the moment.

I'm not sure if the relative's visa has to be purchased or not, but certainly a 3 month holiday visa is (or was) free.
We'll all be queuing up at the airport when this is over.
I hope your husband changes his mind and makes the journey.

Lucca Thu 03-Dec-20 15:46:19


Please find other interests and hobbies to fill the void.

Grandchildren cannot be your only goal and role in life - it is not healthy

Wish them best of luck and be happy for them.
They may be emigrating under very different circumstances compared to the past.

She didn’t say that. NannyKat will miss her son as well, and I know what that feels like even when you fill your life with other things. Have some empathy please.
NannyKat you have my support for feeling as you do

NannyKat Thu 03-Dec-20 16:16:42

Lucca - thank you for your support. Its much appreciated

Hithere - I really do have many more things in life to fill the void. I still have a very important and demanding job. A great social life and a loving husband. I just never thought that little people in your life could make a person feel this way.

My sons story is not a pleasant one. Something I dont want to remember. It involved rehab and a huge amount of savings to cover it all off. Thats why Australia has no appeal to me or his father.
He has a new wife and very young family - hence my massive concern over the future. Just wanted to get my feeling out there and get it off my chest.

I will come to terms with it, I always do - just needed a place to express it all

NannyKat Thu 03-Dec-20 16:20:02

Beauregard - thank you for your support - we really are in the same boat.

Maybe they go maybe not, but whatever they choose we just have to let them have that choice.

The only thing that is wonderful is technology - facetime, whattsapp etc - at least can see the little ones grow. Kindest regards

PamelaJ1 Thu 03-Dec-20 16:57:38

It is very sad but it’s their life and we just have to get on with it don’t we.
Mine moved to Sydney about 23 years ago but I did have the advantage that my parents lived abroad when I was growing up so perhaps the world didn’t seem quite so big to me.
It is so much easier now to keep in touch and it’s wonderful to be able to see each other and even , if the timing is right, to have family zoom quizzes.
We decided that we would go for a couple of months every year now that we have more time. Well COVID has scuppered that good idea but, hopefully, next year.🤞
Do you have family here too?

sodapop Thu 03-Dec-20 17:38:19

I understand your concerns NannyKat when your son had such a difficult time in Australia before. As they have their visas etc now there is little you can do except wish them well. We all learn from our experiences hopefully and your son will not go down the same road again.
As always our children have to spread their wings and be independent, give them your blessing and look forward to holidays out there.

Coconut Fri 04-Dec-20 10:04:24

I so empathise with you and my heart goes out to you NannyKat. Son No1 did speak about emigrating to NZ but his wife’s Dad is sadly very ill, so it was forgotten about. Son No2 is moving to Jersey next year, having an offer that he just can’t refuse ! However, I know I can just drive up to Gatwick once a month and fly over. I so wish you well ....

Janeea Fri 04-Dec-20 10:16:31

My son and his wife and baby daughter moved to Dubai 3 years ago, only half the distance I know, we missed them dreadfully but we face timed a lot and they came home or we visited a couple of times a year, this year has been tough though as we haven’t seen them since February, they will be home for Christmas but our meetings will have to be outside as they will be prioritising my DIL,s widowed Mum which is understandable but sad for my family. I tell myself we gave them wings to fly and can’t really complain when they do. I hope it works out for you all

NannaGrandad Fri 04-Dec-20 10:16:46

NannyKat just wanted to say I totally understand how you feel, I’d be devastated too. I’ve been to Oz for a holiday and understand the attraction. Work on your husband. Once you get him there I’m sure he’ll love it and want to go back. Is there a carrot you can dangle? Rugby, cricket etc.
Sending hugs 🤗

SaraC Fri 04-Dec-20 10:17:45

NannyKat - I did move to Australia to be closer to my children and Grandchildren. The back and forth I tried for three years just didn’t work as I couldn’t be any kind of consistent help or presence in their lives and the partings were so hard. It has been really tough moving over here on my own, but I do now have the reward of a loving relationship with my Grandchildren, having watched them grow and being an active part of their lives. I’ve also, after a couple of false starts, found professional opportunities I wouldn’t have had in the UK.

Nannina Fri 04-Dec-20 10:24:26

I understand how you feel but I think we have to let our grown up children live their lives. About 40 years ago my ex husband and I had the chance to emigrate to Canada. I have distant family over there who were eager to help us settle and we both had careers in great demand there. My MIL created so badly even threatening suicide that we have in and both of us have regretted it since. It caused great resentment and adversely affected our relationships.

jaybee66 Fri 04-Dec-20 10:25:17

While travelling in Australia our daughter met the man of her dreams they married over here and they are now living in Australia with 2 children 10 and 8 and she is happier than she has ever been. That is all we ever wanted for her. I'm sad we only see them once a year but we facetime weekly and we are pleased for her. We wouldn't want to live their ourselves but love visiting.

Magrithea Fri 04-Dec-20 10:29:57

NannyKat we moved to Hong Kong 2 months after getting married and lived there for 20 years, all 3 of our children were born there. My parents didn't visit for over 10 years (we came home every summer once the children were born). My Dad didn't want to make the long journey but I think my Mum saying she'd come on her own decided him. Once he'd visited once he loved it and came every year until he died.

You could make it an adventure and stop off in other places (I can recommend HK!) and get a long stay visa so the trip is worth it

jaylucy Fri 04-Dec-20 10:32:30

My best friend went through the same thing 3 years ago when her only son announced that he and his family were planning to emigrate to Australia.
She had been a part time carer for her youngest GC since she was 6 months old so would miss her especially but I think that after the initial shock, she managed to deal with it as seeing that it was exciting for them.
Seeing them leave must have been heartbreaking but she coped somehow and they have been there for 2 years, loving it and being able to have a lifestyle that they never would have had if they had stayed here. Her son has been promoted twice in his job, has been given full support with training etc and getting on well.
My friend's OH has M.E. but they went to visit their son last February (got back a week before lockdown) and I think a lot of her worries were laid to rest.
Your son, having been there before, will be aware of the pros and cons of the country and unlike when I lived there, it is possible to have daily contact if you wish.
What you need to do is wish them well, smile through the tears and make plans to go on a visit .

NanaPlenty Fri 04-Dec-20 10:45:58

NannyKat - I could send lots of advice and tips but at the end of the day I can’t imagine how you feel and just want to send you a huge virtual hug with my very best wishes xx

DillytheGardener Fri 04-Dec-20 10:52:34

My No1 son moved to NZ with his wife when she was pregnant early this year. I was devastated, and I still haven’t met my grandchild yet who was born since, but have kept quiet on my own disappointment and sadness as advised by gransnetters here. They do seem very happy there though.the work life balance for them as a wee family is much better than it would be for them here so I try and keep that at the front of my mind. It is hard though and you have all my sympathies.