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Damned if we do ...

(26 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Sun 17-Jan-16 11:47:32

We had a lovely family dinner last night where the subject of DH and I moving came up . We are considering a move about an hour away to downsize to a cheaper property and free up some capital. We ended up in this part of the world by default after military service and both our DDs and family live close.

Our youngest DD is struggling with our decision. She doesn't drive ( having failed 7 tests so that's not happening any time in the near future) and she visits us 2/3 times a week for an afternoon. I have a special relationship with her eldest son ( he's 4) and he considers our house his house. He often asks his Mummy to call us after pre school so he can come and visit.

She's worried that it will all change - which it will obviously.We've talked about how we can keep in touch , with us coming down or them coming to us and how we will have the boys for longer periods in the holidays instead of just an overnight but she is really inconsolable.

Our eldest DD is far more pragmatic, her children are at school and with after school activities etc we only see them once or twice a month.She drives, has a large circle of friends and is far less reliant on us.

Is this a recipe for disaster? Are we crazy to have a close relationship with our DDs and DGc and be risking it all by moving away? Has anyone experienced a move away from their families and how did it go?

Id appreciate hearing both your thoughts and your experiences.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 17-Jan-16 11:58:25

I would never considering moving away from that! No among of capital could make you happier than your GS and daughter do now.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 17-Jan-16 11:59:33

Amount not among

Alima Sun 17-Jan-16 12:07:05

Could releasing some of the equity from your home be an answer? Then you could have the best of both worlds?

Alea Sun 17-Jan-16 12:09:57

Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, I too would be reluctant to move further away from both DDs and their families, but I recognise there are other factors. Can you compromise? Being close to them all benefits you in so many ways and will do so increasingly as you get older and probably more infirm . To have such a close relationship with the DGC is something many if not most of us envy.
Moving is usually frustrating not to say expensive even to downsize, too!

Indinana Sun 17-Jan-16 12:12:58

I have a DS and a DD, both of whom live very close, within 2 miles. My DS is financially very secure, runs his own business, has a partner and two children (from his marriage - they stay over 3 times a week). All in all he is very independent, although I'm sure he would miss us greatly if we moved away.
My DD, on the other hand, is in a very different situation. Single, on a low income (may be no income if her employer doesn't come through with her request for part time hours on her return from mat leave). She has a 7 month old and a dog and lives in rented accommodation. She doesn't drive (tried for a long time and simply couldn't get on with it). She is reliant on us, although I know she wishes she wasn't. But it is what it is. She has no one else to help out in emergencies, she can't get to places easily on her own with a baby, although of course she does travel locally by bus.
I know she would be absolutely devastated if we decided to move far away. We simply couldn't do that to her. Not in a million years. And by God, we'd miss her and the baby sad

Wendysue Sun 17-Jan-16 12:17:35

Groan! I see both sides of this issue. I totally understand why you and DH are thinking about moving. But I also get why your YDD is so upset about it.
If she were just concerned for herself, I would say she needs to adjust, find more friends in reasonable distance, join activities/organizations that would keep her busy and so forth. But her child is involved and from what you're telling us, your moving may be as dramatic for him as if a parent moved away.

You don't say how you think you'll feel. Are you sure both you and DH will be ok with the distance? Usually, posters come in here complaining that their AC (adult child) and family have moved away and that they miss them and so on. Are you being honest with yourself about how you'll feel? You seem to be worried that you'll be "risking it all" by relocating, so maybe you're not so cool with this idea, yourself?

I can't imagine moving far from my DDs and GC. There's a chance that one or both of their families may move farther away someday. And if they do, DH and I will adjust. But I can't imagine our being the ones to do it, ourselves!

Anyhow, because of your GS, a part of me thinks you shouldn't relocate. But another part of me thinks this shows you and YDD and her family are "too close." And it would do you all good to get some space from each other. In fact, I'm concerned that if you stay, you'll soon be as deeply involved with her other child/children (you didn't say how many she has). Is it possible that one of the reasons you want to move is that the demands on your time are getting to be too much?

There's a lot more for you to think about, IMO, than money here, as important as it may be to "free up some capital" and so forth.

Wendysue Sun 17-Jan-16 12:18:55

Oh, I hope that last sentence didn't sound preachy, OP. I didn't mean it to be. Just trying to say there's a lot to consider.

Just had a thought... Maybe it would be a good idea to give YDD a chance to adjust things first before you begin to move? Perhaps she could enroll GS in some activities after preschool, so he asks to visit you less often? Or could you wait until he's in fulltime school and maybe in some extracurricular activities, as well? That may mean holding off for a couple of years, but wouldn't it be worth it to make things easier for GS?

If you must start looking into it now, please remind YDD that it will take time to find a new home, sell your present one (if you own it0 and so forth. So she still has some time to make adjustments if she begins to act now. It may be hard for her, but please let her know you have the confidence that she can handle it.

And where is her DH? I'm sure he could help her and GS make this transition, too.

Wendysue Sun 17-Jan-16 12:29:43

"I'm concerned that if you stay, you'll soon be as deeply involved with her other child/children (you didn't say how many she has)."

Quoting myself here, LOL! But I hope the above doesn't sound as if I think it's a bad thing to be close with GC. I agree with other posters that it can be wonderful. In fact, I'm close with mine and as I said, can't imagine changing it in any way.

But, IMO, YDD really needs to help GS find other ways to occupy his time/socialize/enjoy life besides going to your house. And to make sure her other kids don't get so dependent on that either. Then again, all this may change, naturally, as the kids get older, if you and DH are willing to wait to move.

Sorry for so many posts! But this really means something to me cuz of my closeness with my own grands.

Luckygirl Sun 17-Jan-16 12:52:41

Well - to be honest - I simply would not do it. Two of my children live within 10 miles of us and we see them and the GC all the time. It is the most precious thing in our lives, and we have a very special relationship with the little ones which we treasure. The little GD whom we care for a day a week is so at home here and it is a delight. We will also be having baby brother for a day a week soon and are looking forward to that very much.

Neither of us have very good health and as time goes by would struggle to travel if we moved an hour away. You do not know what your future holds - you are fit now, but within a few years you might find that this is a problem for you - sorry to sound gloomy, but I am trying to be realistic.

For me the joy of our family outweighs any amount of money.

Read some of the threads on here where grans are cut out of their GCs' lives - personally I would not throw away that wonderful relationship that you have with your GC - it is a prize beyond any capital.

Can you downsize in the area in which you and your DDs now live?

Smileless2012 Sun 17-Jan-16 12:54:59

I think Wendysue's advice is well worth considering Nanaandgrampy it would be a good idea if you really want to move away to ease your DD and GC in to it gradually, getting them to expand their social lives with activities that don't include you. You could get them involved with your future plans, asking your DD what she thinks of properties you're interested in for example and find local amenities that would make any move you make exciting for your GC.

If finances are the main issue, as Alima's suggested, could you look into an equity release scheme and raise some additional funds that way? This is a big decision for you to make so take your time. I hope everything works out well for you all.

Riverwalk Sun 17-Jan-16 13:36:24

I'm alarmed at the suggestions of Equity Release - for those advocating this path have any of you actually done it?

The general consensus is, it's the last resort of the financially-naive or desperate.

As to the OP, from what you say your daughter does seem very reliant on you and it's not normal to be inconsolable that parents are moving an hour away - of course that depends on how old she is and whether she has a partner or is struggling in some way.

Luckygirl Sun 17-Jan-16 14:27:34

I don't see it as "not normal" - she loves her parents and she and the GC love them too. She does not drive and she knows that things will change substantially.

Luckygirl Sun 17-Jan-16 14:33:42

Just as an aside, we were considering a move to France 10 years or so ago. The children were not happy about it, but wanted us to have the chance of this new experience whilst we were still able. In fact we decided against it in the end, and very much at the last moment.

How glad we are that we did! - OH was diagnosed with PD soon after; I had a fall and lost some of my mobility. Believe me we are very glad to be close to our family now! Their love and low-key support has been a boon. We do not live in each others pockets, and we are in no way dependent on them. but boy is it great to see them and their lovely children regularly!

Every time little DGD is here in our care and spinning round our house with a smile, we say to each other "Thank goodness we did not move!

After we made the decision to stay, the DDs let us know how very much they had wanted us to stay!

Smileless2012 Sun 17-Jan-16 14:33:51

We haven't personally taken out Equity Release but know of people who have done so and I don't agree 'it's the last resort of the financially-naive or desperate'; that certainly doesn't describe the people I know who also had the good sense to seek independent financial advice.

Of course it needs looking into very carefully so a reputable lender can be found which is something an independent financial adviser can help with.

f77ms Sun 17-Jan-16 14:34:15

Riverwalk- I agree , equity release is a last resort for the desperate .

Nannyandgrampy - you are only moving an hour away not to the end of the world !! Would your Daughter consider moving to be near you ?

NanaandGrampy Sun 17-Jan-16 15:15:48

Lots of good advice ladies as I knew there would be.

Jings its not about the money at all.I almost wish it was. We could comfortably stay here. When I talk of freeing up capital its just that we would buy smaller and in a less expensive place. The move is about location really. We actually dont like the way where we live has changed in the last 30 years and the thought of living here for the next 30 does not fill either of us with joy.

Indinana I totally agree , if we move I would miss them terribly BUT I'm not happy living here. Not unhappy , but not happy. I have put my DDs above everything since the day they were born. Im just wondering if now is MY time. But of course I don't want to take my happiness at the expense of theirs and there lies the rub smile

Wendysue a really measured response. Thank you so much ! I think you have hit the nail on the head in how will I feel. I don't know but suspect I'll miss them terribly. I console myself with the fact that in Sept he will go to school and is likely to fall into the same pattern as DD1's family. We see them less because they need us less and have far busier lives. I am pinning my hopes on DD2's life going the same way.

Its as you say , if they move its not good but we'll deal with it but if we move they wont. I ask myself will they really not cope with it or are they thinking their go to child minders/ babysitters/ rainy day entertainment moving away?

And yes, I do wonder if DD2 relies on us too much. She has friends but not within walking distance whereas DD1 has a large cirlce of friends on her doorstep. I think they also want to foster the special relationship we have with DGS1 with their second baby DGS2 . Hes not 2 yet and not as dependent on us at all.

I cant see us moving quickly so maybe as you say the simple solution is to wait until DGS1 is at school and see how that goes. We have tried to distance ourselves a little but its hard when you hear his little voice on the phone saying 'are you in Nana , Im coming to see you ' !

Luckygirl Thanks for the reply. Again you hit the nail on the head, downsizing here would be the ideal even though we don't like the area much these days but our house is finished ,no more major work and apart from location is perfect. We could move locally but we would have to pay what we get from this house and then have to start again getting it how we want it. An hour away is the nearest place where we can get better value for money. Also my mobility is getting worse and this is a bog house, we do really need a bungalow and thats like finding hens teeth as my Nan used to say {smile}

f77ms no they couldnt move because of my DSILs job. And I dont think they could afford to.

Thank you so much ladies, given me lots to think about. Don't worry we're not looking into equity release schemes ! grin Sorry for the lengthy reply.

Luckygirl Sun 17-Jan-16 15:58:13

I'm sorry to hear that you are living in a "bog" house - no wonder you want to move! grin

NfkDumpling Sun 17-Jan-16 16:20:45

Aha! Big! It took me rather too long to figure that one out!

We did move to a small town and a smaller, easier to run house, but that was before we had DGC. The nearest would have been five minutes away and is now twenty minutes. That's do-able. Our son is an hour away and that's not so good. DD1 is three hours away and that's impossible - we only see them three or four weekends each year, but do try to have a holiday together sometimes.

Personally, in your position, I would stay put for a few more years and enjoy what you have. It won't last forever. Once they're all at school, out of school activities and friends soon take up their time. Enjoy what you have for a while longer.

NanaandGrampy Sun 17-Jan-16 17:31:56

grin bog house ....sometimes lol.... But mostly big !! Made me chuckle.

I've had a chat with DH and have decided to postpone a move for a year. We're going to take that time to declutter and freshen up the house. DH doesn't know yet but we're going to get DD2 through her test if it kills him grin so she'll be more mobile . And DGC1 will be at school so we should naturally see him a little less. Then we'll reevaluate our options.

Thanks for the sterling advice !!

Wendysue Mon 18-Jan-16 01:35:54

Sounds like a plan, N&G!

Glad you liked our advice! And wishing you and yours the best!

Stansgran Mon 18-Jan-16 17:04:39

Invest in driving lessons for your dd. Say it's her birthday and Christmas presents from now until she gets her test. Probably / possibly it's having lessons with her father that is the problem. Driving styles change and unless he is a driving instructor he may be teaching her the wrong things.

Yogagirl Mon 18-Jan-16 17:22:22

I definitely wouldn't move Ganny&Gramps I think it's wonderful that your D&GC love you so much and want you near. Surely you can downsize locally [?]
Haven't read all posts [yet]

Yogagirl Mon 18-Jan-16 17:35:12

I was going to say that 77 about D&GC moving with you.
I moved to this house, after divorce, as it is very central for the C to get about without a car. They are all grown and gone now, I should have moved years ago, to where I would have done if I'd have been on my own, which would be by the sea, now I need a giant kick up the bum to move, being on my own, I fine the thought of moving, daunting, but really should.

NanaandGrampy Mon 18-Jan-16 17:37:18

Good idea Stansgran , it wasn't the lessons , it was the test grin . She just made silly mistakes, nerves I guess. But great idea and I think we'll do that anyway .

Yogagirl sadly we can't downsize locally unless we sell our house (everything done in it) and buy a doer upper for the same money and invest more. The pric for living in the London commuter belt .