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Should I move my kids closer to their extended family? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
We live about 2 hours from where I grew up. Most of my extended family (my mom's and dad's sides) are around there. We see my parents' often. They mostly come to our house, just because it is easier for them to make the 2 hour drive (4 hours total) than for us with a 17 month old.

My paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents are all still alive, and we see them maybe 5 times a year when we visit my hometown and they come here maybe once a year.

As for aunts/uncles/cousins we see them at Christmas and myabe one other time throughout the year. The aunts/uncles/cousins who live farther away we see less than once a year.

I am very close to my parents and brother. I enjoy seeing them as often as we do, which is a couple times a month. I'm fine with only seeing my extended family a couple times a year. I'm glad we see my grandparents more than that, though.

It works very well for us to be some distance away from extended family. We parent very differently than anyone in my family ever has, and so far everyone has been tolerant - for the most part - about what we do. I don't ever worry about ds not getting to know his larger family because I know he will.

Dh's family is a different story. His mom and sister are *very* toxic people and, unfortunately, we aren't speaking with them. They live about 500 miles away. The entire rest of his family lives about 1000 miles away. We are actually going to visit them in about a month.

Being close to family is good at times, but I really think for a lot of people (definitely for us) it works a lot better to have space and freedom. I know if we lived in the same town as my whole family we'd be having picnics and lunches and who knows what else all the time. Family members would drop by unannounced. We'd be expected to do certain things. It just wouldn't work well for us.

I wonder if the idea of being very close to family is romanticized for you because of your good memories? I know I've had moments thinking it be great to be very close to everyone, and then I spend a weekend with my mom and I'm like, "No way I could live so close!"

It sounds like you are happy where you are. Maybe if you are worried about your dc's getting to know your extended family you could think of ways to do that without making a big move. More frequent visits? Blogging? Scrapbooks? Letterwriting? A webcam (we do that with my parents!)?

It really is a tough decision. Good luck!
post #22 of 31
We just moved coast to coast to be near my family and the decision was entirely made on how it would benefits our girls. I have a big family and I knew it would be better for our girls. The thought of them not growing up around family is weird to me, and if anything ever happened I would want my family to step in to help. There's some things even our best friends didn't sign up for in our relationship.

My mom would come out almost twice a year and we'd go back once a year. That's expensive (not always relaxing) and I didn't see those family bonds growing stronger than the ones we previously had with friends. I believe that for a deep bond to grow there needs to be a lot of routine at a young age for our girls.

I wouldn't label my family AP by any means but there are a lot of AP things they do without knowing it. I've found a balance I can live with and have no problem scheduling time with my girls and dh to do things without any of our extended family. I'll also limit how long a visit lasts when I think it's too much.

I do not talk about all my choices, like non-vaxing, that's a big one for most and if one hasn't researched it I can understand why it would shock someone. I do manage to slip in many AP thoughts and opinions without them feeling defensive. My dad, for instance, has been talking to people about how bad motrin and tylenol are for children when they're sick. He says it's all over the news (I don't get to watch the news much, and thought that was pretty cool to hear). Eventually, you become the person to talk to about certain things.

Bottom line is that my dh and I like my family and agreed it was the right choice for our family. When our first was barely a year old we talked about this and agreed we'd move in about 4 years (done).
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Boobear, you hit the nail on the head! As much as I love our home and lifestyle, pretty much everything you wrote will be the reason we move back! I can't imagine raising my children this far from their family.

We will be moving back, but it's hard to say goodbye to so many things, mostly the climate. I know it will be the best decision for my boys and also my extended family. My mother wants so badly to be a part of my sons lives.

I will need to stay strong with my beliefs about extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, organic food, and such. I do feel confident enough and hope everything goes well. I loved reading everyone's responses. They've really helped me through this time of indecision. I need to get my kids back to their extended family.
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
I wanted to add a little more to my last post. We are not moving back immediately. One day I feel like I know what to do and the next day I feel completely different. Part of that has to do with my husband's STRONG feelings on staying where we are.

So many things to factor in. At this point, I feel a huge loss for my boys not getting to see family more. The people we associate with are not substitutes. I'm sure part of this realization comes from their age. They are looking to make relationships with others. I am trying to provide that, but I really just want them to be closer to family, so they can get to know grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I'm going on and on. Just wanted to say the decision wasn't quite as easy as I last posted. I still have to talk my husband into moving!!!!
post #25 of 31
My dh and I just left a dream job and location to move back to be closer to family. The town we moved to is still really nice and semi crunchy so we didn't have to sacrifice that, but we did sacrifice a lot. We moved back for the kids. We felt it was important for them to form a close connection with their grandparents and cousins. I feel part of the problem in this culture is the breakdown of the extended family. After living in cultures with close kinship ties, I really began to appreciate the important roles our families can play in the lives of our children.
Of course living close has its costs and you need to be independent enough in your relationship with your spouse to set boundaries but I am hoping that it is worth it in the end. I feel that giving my children their grandparents may be one of the best gifts I could give them and vice versa.
post #26 of 31
I could have written your post word for word. We struggled with this after our son was born. We had family nearby but never, ever saw them or got any kind of support from them.

We decided to move closer to other family in order to have that experience for our son growing up, despite the fact that we have a pretty different lifestyle from my family here.

It is still up in the air. We've had bad luck since we've been here financially speaking, and we've been living with family for the past 6 months. It hasnt' been pretty. The quarters are still too close to know whether it was for the greater good or not. Hopefully I can get an answer to this question myself soon.

We basically made a huge list of pros and cons, and decided that the pros slightly outweighed the cons. There are pros and cons to every decision and location, and it's easy to romanticise wherever you're not.
post #27 of 31
Just a thought that may keep you in OR, what culture and values do you want for your children?

As much as you love your family, are they what you want your children to pick up, or has the culture you have found in OR more resonnant with your own core values at this time? Or did you need to *overcome* your family environment to get to where you are now as people?

If what your family represents and the midwest *is* who you are, move back, but if you love OR because the culture and "vibe" there what is in your spirit now, perhaps you should stay and enjoy occasional visits from family.
post #28 of 31
I can't imagine giving up living in OR! (Ok, I've never been there, but from all I hear, it's at the top of my list of places to move if I could move.) I still like the idea of talking your mother into moving out there, but I know that may not be practical.

We live fairly close (about an hour's drive) to my ILS, and even though they aren't overly involved in my kids' lives, and don't say much about the way we parent, I sometimes feel smothered because all of dh's siblings live in other states. I know there's a positive side, though--the kids get to see their grandparents several times a year. Still, if we had the chance to move to the west coast, we'd be out of here like bats out of hell, regardless of the fact that the kids would see less of their grandparents.
post #29 of 31
We did move from a place we considered nearly idyllic to be closer to extended family. I like living here well enough, I just liked the previous place much better. I don't regret the move. I didn't want my kids growing up not knowing their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
We felt like we finally made our decision and my husband TRIED to give a 2 month notice. Well, Dh's boss is trying very hard to get us to stay! Huge incentives!!! It doesn't help, considering we are having such a tough time making our choice anyway!! So, we are debating again about what to do.

Oh, I dread moving back, because I know how much I will miss it here! I keep thinking in 16 years when my boys turn 18, they will be moving back here and asking us why we moved.
post #31 of 31
Well, 3 years ago we moved 1000 miles to get away from my inlaws, so perhaps I am not the one to ask! : But we now live about an hour from my mom, and we see her about once a month or so. It's nice to have someone to visit where I can just let my hair down and not worry. But we still dont have any deep bonds with my family, I'm finding that I'm getting much more support and reliability from my new best friend. She recently told me that I'm like a little sister to her. : So I don't think that just living near family garantees a huge bond and an easier life, you can find people who can become like-family just about anywhere.
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