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Taking a pay cut, moving to a city I never wanted to live in, to live near parents?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Having a hard time on this one, have to decide by tomorrow. Right now we live in a really great town in Oregon (Bend). It has so much to offer – mountains, lakes, decent culture, great friends. We are very happy here. But, it breaks my and my parents’ hearts that their grandkids are growing up so far away from them (2000 miles and a long difficult day of flights). So a job offer has come up in my home town (Springfield, IL), a town I never envisioned myself living in as an adult. It is very conservative, very conventional, not terribly interesting culturally, offers no outdoor life. It would cost a fortune for us to get there and my husband’s potential employer is much smaller and has a much less stable financial history and future. And our salary would go down to 35K a year, which seems very challenging for a family of five. But I am very close to my parents and they love my kids immensely. I think it would be a huge asset to live in the same town with them for a while.

I’m at a loss. I don’t know how to make this decision. I don’t know what my heart says. I don’t know what my head says. I feel totally burdened by the decision, like I just want to curl up in a ball and close the door and not make one. Which isn’t reasonable since in a way, we have a win-win situation. So why am I so totally overwhelmed?

Any insights? Any experience in a situation like this. Please help!
post #2 of 27
No help here. I live VERY far away from my family and have for a while. It sounds like a hard decision to make. I would maybe write out a list of PROs/CONs for both places. Hugs to you Mama!
post #3 of 27
We moved from IL to AZ way before kids came into the picture. I love it here, but do miss seeing my parents on a regular basis. We only see them about twice a year, at best. My MIL is about 4 miles away and that helps a bit, but I know what you mean. We've considered moving back to the midwest for the family aspect and for now have decided to stay in AZ. Where we're from, we could get a much larger house for much less than here, but we love it here. I love the weather here, hate the cold there.

If you do make the move and hate it, you could always make the move back to OR. Or, just convince your parents to move closer to you. I'm working on that one- but it's not happening any time soon.
post #4 of 27
I have no easy answers for you.

How old are your parents? Are they retired or close to retirement? In good health? In our family we believe that is up to the parents to move closer to the kids once their lives are rooted in an area and there are grandchildren. When my mom retires in 4 years she is going to move nearer to either me or my sister. And she usually comes to visit one of us, we don't drag our kids across the country on a regular basis to visit her.

You need to worry about your own little family's well-being - and if you love where you are, and are happy and financially secure then you should put that first.

I too am from the upper midwest and lived in Illinois for a number of years. I know what you mean about not picturing yourself there...

Good luck - it's a tough call.
post #5 of 27
Little kids can live anywhere and be fine. Once they hit jr. high, geography will impact them GREATLY via their peers. I moved at 10 to a small conservative conformty minded money-is-all important town where my parents still live. It was not an environment I'd have my kids endure. They'd not notice it when they were little, but what if I got "stuck" there (it happened to my parents - they moved there for my dad's job for just a couple of years and have lived there ever since)

I vote to not give up Oregon (but I may be biased - we hope to move to portland next spring)

Good luck - a tough choice!
post #6 of 27
Hmmm. I don't think I'd be willing to make the move. Having the grandparents around is just one thing, whereas the other factors you listed will shape what your life looks like everyday. And $35K for a family of 5 would be pretty tight - you probably wouldn't be able to afford the occasional escape from the hometown.

I know I miss having family near-by since we made a big move, and I often field questions about when we're coming back, either to stay or to visit (can't afford it right now). But we also moved to a fun, culturally diverse city with good opportunities for kids and parents alike, and in the end I think that's better than forcing a square peg into a round hole for the sake of family ties. Maybe you and your parents can brainstorm ways to increase contact - taking turns with visits, videos, emails, etc.
post #7 of 27
If it where me I wouldnt move.
post #8 of 27
I can't speak about the moving closer to family part, since I've always lived near mine (and we live near DH's, too).

However, DH & I recently moved 12 miles to a different end of the same town to be closer to my stepkids while they're in high school (we plan on moving back in four years) and we're both pretty miserable here. Our old end of town is pretty liberal & full of young people, with lots to do culturally and socially. Where we live now is VERY conservative and redneck, with pretty much nothing but fast food restaurants and discount stores.

I do think what we're doing is important for DH's relationship with his kids, plus they would be miserable being stuck 12 miles from their friends & local hangouts every other weekend. But this transition has been much harder than DH & I thought it would be, and sometimes I wish we hadn't moved...and that's with knowing it's only for four more years. I underestimated how much my surroundings would affect our mental health.
post #9 of 27
We moved 3,000 miles from where my dh and I were living and my dd was born to live near my mom and stepdad. While they (esp. my mom) was a dominant reason to move, we also really, really love the area we moved to and there were tons of other pros: we were able to buy a house, it offers similar cultural/political leanings, beautiful country etc..etc.. (even tho its' bloody cold in the winter and it hasn't stopped raining for over a week now : )

There are things that I never expected being back with my mom... having a casual relationship with her, rather than a super-intense long distance one, great, free child care (a few times a week, not full time or anything) and she's a wonderful grandmother and dd *loves* her.

For us, it has been totally worth it. But, dh is self-employed and was able to move his business here and keep his existing clients. There are times when I desperately miss where we used to live (in CA) but ultimately, I know this was right for us. I always knew it.

So, i guess what i'm trying to say (while talking al about myself... ) is that being close to parents is wonderful, but there need to be other things. It's your life too, not just your kids relationship with them. If we really didn't like this area and felt drawn to it anyway, I think i would have just found a way to visit more frequently (can they come see you more).
post #10 of 27
From your post, I can't find any benefits to moving. If you want your children to see grandparents, perhaps you could set up a savings fund. You could deposit a certain amount each pay period for the said purpose of plane tickets for your family to visit a couple of times a year. People do not have to see each other every day to be loved & appreciated.
post #11 of 27
I'd stay put.

Can't you guys fly your parents out for frequent visits?
post #12 of 27
what is stopping your parents from moving out to be closer to you?
post #13 of 27
I think it's a lot to give up, even though I understand the pull of family. I live about 300 miles from my mom, which isn't too bad, but it's too far for spontaneous visits, and she misses her granddaughters (and God knows I could use the help she'd be able to offer while my kids are little).

But, the way I see it, we have a life here that revolves around DH's work, my work (I'm a SAHM now, but my professional network is here), our love for the culture of our city, and the friendships we've established. I'm currently trying to encourage my mom to move closer to us, but she's a bit reluctant so far. But I think she understands why we'd rather ask her to make the change.

You don't want to do something that will make you resent your parents if it's not good for your immediate family. I'd let this opportunity pass for now, and spend some time researching ways to help your parents spend more time with your kids, whether that be during extended summer visits, or a possible move on their part, or some other alternative.
post #14 of 27
We faced very similiar issues moving back to North America from Asia.

In the end, we decided the extra money from dh's salary (if we moved away from our family) would mean next to nothing to our children, while seeing their grandparents on a regular basis would mean the world to them.

So we made the move. It has been very hard on us to give up our established friendships, but the great thing about moving with children is that a new community can be really easy to find through playgrounds, schools and other activities.

No regrets for our family.
post #15 of 27
I want to chime in but can't say one way or another. I feel for you. I'm still dealing with that same subject myself. My husband and I are from Oregon and have lived in Germany, South and North Carolina, Texas, and have just moved from Texas to Idaho to be closer. I think our family would like us to be even closer too, I love Bend, I actually wish we could move there.
When we left Texas, I felt bad and still do about all the kid stuff, gyms, etc. they had and the low cost of living. Some of the reasons we left are some of the same reasons you're mentioning about Illinois. We were very concerned about our boys growing up and thinking of TX as home, and missing out, or occasionally being able to spend a christmas with family, or hike, be outside, things my husband and I like to do. Also we're vegetarian which was unheard of in the burb we lived in and was very conservative. I didn't like that either or the schools. We'd never move back to my husband's home town and he's told me he'd rather we be far away or as close as we can, then disadvantaged in any way but be able to say they had a good relationship with their extended family. I hope that makes sense. If you think you're going to be stretched financially and the other things you mentioned you may want to do a pro-con list like other moms have suggested and try to think of everything with your dh.
post #16 of 27
Personally, I wouldn't move.
post #17 of 27
How greatly are you affected by your surroundings? I'm from Ohio and currently live in Southern California and I'll NEVER go back, family or no family. As long as there are airplanes, there's no reason why I have to live a place I don't love. I need lots of sunshine, mountains, beach, you get the idea. I'd be miserable raising my children in Ohio, and having grandparents around more wouldn't come close to making up the difference. Your current living situation sounds ideal (at least to me!). Personally, I'd stay put and focus on creating more ways for the grandparents to see your children - more trips from the grandparents, web cams, e-mail, etc.
post #18 of 27
A few thoughts-

First, the paycut may or may not be a big deal when you factor in the cost of living in the different areas.

Secondly- if you've only got a day to decide, and you don't feel like jumping at the chance to move, then now is probably NOT the right time for it. You may get other opportunities to move in the future if you turn this one down.
post #19 of 27
I can think of several families in similar situations where the grandparents made the move. Maybe your parents would consider that (as pp's have suggested).
post #20 of 27
Stay put..Things change soo fast.

DH and I and Dh's sis and her family made a conscious decision to stay around here close to ALL grandparents.

When the eldest grandchild was 5 , both g'mas died within months of each other. One year later, FIL had remarried and moved to Nevada and my Dad lives in Texas now. (We're in Iowa)

So after passing up opportunites in other places to be with our parents, the tables were turned and they left us.
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