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

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Old 05-25-2005, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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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!
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Old 05-25-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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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.

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Old 05-25-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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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!
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:32 PM
 
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If it where me I wouldnt move.
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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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.

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Old 05-25-2005, 10:08 PM
 
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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).

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:28 PM
 
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I'd stay put.

Can't you guys fly your parents out for frequent visits?
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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what is stopping your parents from moving out to be closer to you?
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:39 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:59 AM
 
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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.
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:09 AM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't move.
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:21 AM
 
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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.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:34 AM
 
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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.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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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).
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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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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Old 05-26-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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We've had multiple opportunities to move away from our town, but DH and I both grew up without local grandparents (his in England, mine in Malaysia) or extended family (most of my cousins are in Australia), so we made the decision that we wanted our kids to grow up with extended family, and have never left town.

Have you tried posting in the Illinois Tribe to see if there are MDC moms in Springfield? Perhaps it will also help to know that there are AP moms and resources where you're going.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all your insights. It is all so complicated and you all brought up some great points. My parents are hesitant to move because of their parents. They are in great shape, but my dad has an ongoing fight with cancer that helps keep things in perspective for me. Although my husband is not as close to his family, this move would put us in driving distance to both his sisters.

I love reading your advice, and though most people felt we should stay put, it helped me to process why I'm making this decision.

So...my husband has accepted the job, and we are planning on moving. I'm scared, unsure, hopeful, excited, sad. Just a ball of emotions, mostly.

Wish me luck!

--Catherine
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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Good luck!!! You are very sweet to want this so much for your family. It is hard, but things have a way of working out.
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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I'm sure you won't regret it.

You'e giving your children a gift that no amount of money could ever buy: an extended family.

Good luck!
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:41 PM
 
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I hope it works for you. Family can be so important.
I think of my G-parents & Parents when they all lived fairly close to one another.
My parents moved me 2K mi. AWAY from the bulk of the family when I was in 3rd grade. I always missed being with G-parents, cousins, etc..
Now I moved away (3yrs ago) from my grown DD & my MOm & I can't believe HOW much I miss them.

I think we will move closer to them in a few yrs.

You can always move back if it does not work & try to bring your parents with you!
Good luck

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Old 05-29-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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and we decided to make the move.
I had a newborn at the time. And the move was difficult.
When we got here, I was miserable. We are close to family, but all those good old childhood issues (remember those?) came into play as soon as we arrived.
But--time has passed (it's now been a year) and now I am glad we did it.
The house is MUCH smaller, but I've worked hard to make a new community of friends and now holidays are easier--just a few minutes away and we're at eath other's home for a holiday meal.
And now we can entertain family without having to worry about having them stay overnight (which is hard to do).
And it's funny how fast the people I left behind forgot us. And even didn't send Christmas cards for our first year away.

I guess my advice (although you probably don't need it) would be not to expect too much from your famliy as soon as you arrive. They already have lives and friends and you might feel frustrated once you arrive that they aren't more grateful that you are there.
Now--this is just my experience, things may be totally different for you.

And about money--I'm a stay at home mom on a tight budget, so the money is never an issue--otherwise, I'd work. Because it's the same argument (Can we afford it?) just in another avenue (extended family instead of immediate family). What I am saying is that money should never be an issue when it comes to the ones you love. They need your heart and time and memories, not your wallet. You'll be able to figure out how to survive on less. We did, and I have learned that there are places that have great things for tots to do that are free and that I can exercise without a fancy gym, etc.
But my kids LOVE being near grandma and grandpa. They really do.

Good luck in your move. Label all of your boxes.
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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Wow! I have a similar situation. I moved to Central Coast of California from the North Coast (which I love). Ican't stand this town and it has nothing to do, I never meet anyone but my parents live a block a way. My ds wakes up each morning and asks where grandma and grandpa are. My mom watches my son while I work so he's not in daycare. He is so well taken care of, I can't imagine not having that. I couldn't give that up just so I could have my cultural experiences. The two values compete in my head: family close by in our lives everyday, or living in a cool community of likeminded folks. Maybe later when the kids are older and can travel to see the gparents. Right now, I know my son thinks of my mom as his other mom. He calls us both mama, but signs grandma at the same time when he is talking about her.

He sees dh's mom about 2-3 times a month and at this age, it just isn't the same as an around the corner grandma.
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