I am from the south of the USA (hold back laughter, please), and my husband of 4.5 years is from Surrey, UK. We are happily married and very adventurous people at heart. When we got married I was 20 and in college or we would've moved straight to the UK. We have been talking about moving there since we got married, and just haven't got the chance for one reason or another. Its never been the "right" time. Well, we have also always said that we would try living in BOTH places before we settled anywhere, since we are from different countries that can only be fair, right?
But, there's more to it.
My parents live here. I had a great childhood, and my family was really close. My parents always made me feel extremely loved and valued and I have fantastic memories even though we were always super broke. But to make an extremely long story short I have a brother with mental illness who is also violent and aggressive, he wasn't diagnosed with anything specific and my parents didnt know what to do as he reached adolescence and were basically shunned by all their friends and told they were bad parents and my brother was in and out of mental hospitals, actual hospitals and jails from about age 14 onward. It almost killed my parents, literally. Our family was broken and barely hanging on from about the time I was 9. So, great early childhood, awful awful late childhood and teenage years. If I could delete that part of my life and not remember, I would (eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, anyone?!) My parents had nervous breakdowns and lost the light in their eyes. It never came back. They are different people from the ones I knew growing up. Since then all their priorities also changed. They both work like a billion hours (48+) a week even though I have an 8 year old little brother and have almost no time for anyone, obviously including me. And my husband and I have a 15 month old son.
Now, what makes it all complicated is there's a lot of pain and a lot of unhealed wounds between me and my family here. My parents don't watch my son, ever, and don't make time for me. But, we live 9 houses down on the same street and go to their house to watch my little brother (8 years old) a lot. So, we are there when they get home (6, 7, 8 pm ish) and therefore end up eating dinner at their house a lot. I don't feel like they go out of their way to see us, but my son inadvertently spends a lot of time with them and has since he was born. So, I worry that even though I feel jaded by the whole grandparent experience my son will be DEVASTATED when we move across the friggin ocean??? And then my parents become pictures and faces on skype with maybe seeing them a few weeks a year? I mean he is 15 months old, if we move and its 8 months before he sees them again, that might as well be forever. Oh by the way my super busy parents dont take vacations or fly, so us seeing them will only happen when me and DH fly home (to USA) I am pretty much sure they will not visit us in the UK.
We have really solid reasons for wanting to move to the UK. My husband's (seemingly more normal) family is there. My brother in law has kids and DH's parents are SUUUPER involved with them--- watch them all the time, at least one day a week, have them overnight, for dinner loads, etc. It seems like if we moved there we would have a similar situation. Also, my BIL seems to feel like living in the UK is easier on families even if we still wouldnt have much materially (very long maternity leave, more flexibility on sick days at jobs, paid healthcare, tax free nutritious foods, etc etc). Plus, my DH feels pretty stifled here in the conservative south and I can't blame him, we really dont fit here.
Main thing is...I want to go to England. I think I at least owe it to my husband to try living there after he tried my home. I know there will be pluses and minuses to both places, and we have a set of grandparents in both places. I guess I am just afraid that DS will be so devastated to leave my parents,and that he will wake up crying every night for months or something like that. We have a dog we will also be leaving with my parents (wayyyy too complicated to bring to UK with their laws and the fact that pugs can ride in cargo cause they will die). I am just afraid what this move with do to my son even though it seems to be the right decision for all other reasons.
And we dont want to wait to move, because if we wait anymore itll probably never happen. The longer we are here, the more settled, if there's more kids, more debt, etc. It will never be the perfect time.
I dont even know specifically what I am asking for, just thoughts please. Thoughts on leaving dysfunctional families that you still love? Thoughts on moving with toddlers long distance? Thoughts on moving to be with DH family instead of yours? Anything. Thanks.