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My daughter is about to move to Australia...

(64 Posts)
Martine4444 Wed 30-Aug-23 22:35:45

... to live with her Aussie boyfriend, and I am completely heartbroken. They visited us those past two days, and will fly to Melbourne one week from now. We had a wonderful time during those two days, and I just can't believe that I may not see them for the next two years. I am really wondering why we try to build families if they are doomed to fall apart when the children are grown up. Why all this effort?

Bluecat Sat 02-Sep-23 19:10:07

My heart is with you. My daughter, son-in-law and four children emigrated to the USA in 2014 and we have seen them once since then, when they visited the UK for her graduation ceremony in January 2020. (She had done a Masters degree through distance learning.) They're very focused on their careers, rarely seem to have holidays and aren't keen to visit the UK but have frequently asked us to visit them, and have offered to pay our air fare. However there have been several reasons (including my ill health, Covid, and now my husband's health problems) why we haven't managed it yet, but I am hoping we will be well enough to make the journey next year. One thing I would advise is to start budgeting for travel insurance, as it isn't cheap for older people, particularly if you have any medical issues.

I have to say that it's very hard at the beginning. There is the shock of being told that they're going, then the planning, the departure (I said goodbye on the previous day, I couldn't bear to go to the airport) and then trying to get used to them being gone. I won't lie to you - it hurts. And sometimes, particularly when you're feeling low about anything, that hurt can flare up from time to time. do get used to it. Time goes on, the changed circumstances become your new normal and the pain recedes. It gets easier, bit by bit. It helps to start new things. I am not one for joining clubs but I decided that I had to do something different, so I joined u3a, where I met new people and made a good friend. Of course, it also helps if you have other kids here in the UK. I am lucky that my other daughter and three grandkids live nearby, but I realise that not everyone is in this situation. However, I do think it's a good idea to involve yourself with family, whoever they are, and friends as much as possible. It does help you to stop focusing on those who have moved away.

As other people have said, technology helps a lot. Being able to talk to my daughter and her family face to face, to see her house and chat as she is pottering about in the kitchen or sitting out in her garden helps to make me feel much closer to her. You will find that it makes a big difference. It closes the distance so much more than just talking on the phone.

And, of course, the fact that they are having a good life is a big comfort. Even though it's perfectly natural to feel sad,(and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it), you do want the best for them because you're their mum and you love them. I know that my daughter and son-in-law wouldn't have had the same career opportunities, or standard of living, in the UK and the same will probably apply to your daughter.

To be honest, when a child moves far away, you do feel a sort of grief. But it eases with time, helped by the fact that you know they're living their best lives. Take it a day at a time. It will get better, eventually.

SunnySusie Sat 02-Sep-23 21:03:55

I understand how you feel Martine, when my son left for America 16 years ago, closely followed by his sister moving to Canada I was devastated. On one level I understood that it was a positive that they had the confidence and ability to set up their lives in new countries, but that didnt stop me feeling shocked and heartbroken. I never let on to either of them how I felt. They were young, excited, and it was all a great adventure. There was no Facetime and not many phone calls but both of them came home at least twice a year and I visited twice a year. It certainly didnt feel as if the family had fallen apart, because once we were all in the same room again together we carried on as if we had seen each other yesterday. I was happy that they both had good jobs and understood that they were proud to have made a success of their new lives. As it happens they have both returned to the UK, daughter and partner first and son just over a year ago, neither of them because of any influence from me. The family bond was never broken.

2mason16 Sat 02-Sep-23 21:35:45

Our DD and 3 children left for Oz 10 yrs ago. It is very hard at first. I found walking every day helped a lot. Over time it gets easier. We zoom called lots and shared stories and games, and songs together. We now try to visit each other every year or even meet half way for holidays together. Our time together is extra special. Good luck and take care to look after yourself. xx

pandapatch Sat 02-Sep-23 22:21:50

Your family is not falling apart, it is growing. Try and see this as a big success - you have raised a confident daughter and have given her wings to fly,

BlueBelle Sat 02-Sep-23 22:49:44

All three of my children moved abroad at one point and all seven grandkids were born overseas, one is back to our town and one although still an air flight away is much closer but it is what it is you do have to be a bit tough with yourself and get on with getting on
When I moved overseas for three years when I was 20 my poor mum and dad had to wait two weeks for a bluey from me to hear anything about my life and know I was ok very different now

Attlee Sat 02-Sep-23 23:05:04

I was 22 when we went to Australia , my poor mother couldn't say goodbye, she was busy 'dusting the bedrooms'
I cried all the way to Heathrow
It was the love and that northern way of saying nowt that broke my heart
Be strong OP
I came back home 😉

Tamayra Sun 03-Sep-23 09:57:41

Yes it sucks !
I’m in Australia my kids in UK
We do the best we can with Zoom but it’s not the same as seeing them
I do Hope they realise how costly everything is in Australia now & what a huge housing shortage there is.
It’s changed a lot in the last 18 months Not the easy country anymore that’s for sure !

sodapop Sun 03-Sep-23 12:51:37

No response from the Original Poster, maybe she has stowed away to Australia smile

grandaisy Sun 03-Sep-23 15:19:25

I know just how you are feeling. Mine announced they are going to the UAE for 10 years. Doubt I'll be here when/if they come back. I'm devistated

PamelaJ1 Sun 03-Sep-23 16:11:20


No response from the Original Poster, maybe she has stowed away to Australia smile

I will save my words of wisdom then😂

springishere Mon 04-Sep-23 16:34:34

All my children are in different countries. My daughter has been in California for 35 years, and is now an American citizen. Both of my sons have been in other countries for 12-15 years. Of course you feel the loss, but much less now as other posters have said: we have Zoom and Whatsap and continually exchange photos whereas before we depended on letters and phone calls. I have seen parts of the world where I would never have ventured, so one has to be positive and build a life for oneself. It's more difficult now that I'm on my own and feel I can't do the long journeys any more, so I'm eternally grateful to whoever invented Zoom!

0ddOne Tue 05-Sep-23 19:51:53

I totally understand how you are feeling! My son emigrated to Australia 6 years ago and it totally broke my heart. His then g/f was a doctor and was moving to Australia for work, and on a whim he just decided to go with her. I had almost no time to take it in before they left. I cried for days. It took a while to become okay with it all. Looking at it logically, it was the best thing he could have done. He wanted to be a computer programmer but though he had the knowledge, he didn't have the qualifications, and so was working pretty much a dead end job in a warehouse. Within 6 months of moving, he'd found a job as a trainee junior programmer. 6 years on, he's a senior developer, leading his own team, at a large, highly respected, international company and earning 6 figures. He wouldn't be in that position had he stayed in this country. I obviously still miss him terribly, and he hadn't visited for 3 years due to timings, and then the pandemic, but he came over last year and spent a whole month here, to make up for it, and it was wonderful! He's coming back again in November, and I'm aiming to visit him next year. I know that right at this moment your heart feels like it will never mend, but it will. My son and I keep in touch via WhatsApp with messages and video chats, and it's lovely to watch him grow, mature and see him making his dreams and ambitions come true. Australia is physically a long way away, but in reality it's only a phone or video call away. Take strength from the fact that you've raised a strong, brave and independent daughter! x

Mcbab Tue 05-Sep-23 22:01:18

A very wise woman told me when my son went to live in USA 14 years ago that one of the emotions you will feel is anger. She was right, you do feel a certain anger that they can leave you without ( or so it seems) a second thought. The anger passes and when you visit and see them making a wonderful life for themselves and that they are so happy to see you you feel different feelings.
Happy that they are happy and excitement at the new life they are creating. There will always be a sadness that they are far away, some days it hits you really hard but continue to live your life and enjoy it