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#1 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is the right place to post my problem. I need advice and everyone I can talk to is directly affected by our decision.

My DH and I desperately want to move away from where we live. I grew up in this area and after some years away for college and graduate school, we moved back for jobs in the big city nearby. We figured it was temporary because we love traveling, moving to new places, adventure (and my hometown is anything but adventurous). It has now been 7 years and we are still here. After a few years we had our first baby, then second (and now I'm pregnant with our third). We have slowly become more immersed in life here - my parents, 3 sisters and 1 brother all live within 20 minutes of us. We all have kids about the same age, spend quite a bit of time together, etc. I also have several friends from high school who live in the area and have kids, too. Sounds nice and cozy, right?

Sort of, except my family can be suffocating (I'm learning to say no, but it is a learning process!), the area in general is very conservative (think big SUVs, bigotry, "don't take my money to pay for people who are lazy" type of mentality). DH and I are very liberal and fairly crunchy and I have a hard time meeting like-minded people. My parents and siblings are all liberal, but I can't just spend all my time with them! Plus, it is super-expensive to live here. Housing prices are high for very little space or personality (think suburban sprawl).

So, we want to move. We want to move to Portland, Maine (about 12 hours away). We have no family up there, but see it as an adventure. My husband works from home, so he can do his job anywhere. We could buy a house for 1/2 the cost of our current one and we LOVE Maine (DH went to college there and we've visited a lot). The natural beauty, the culture, etc.

I've mentioned the possibility to my mom and she just gets angry, says "How can you even think of taking your kids away from their grandparents. cousins, aunts and uncles? They won't have close relationships with people who love them so much. We won't get to see them grow up, etc." My sisters just say "Please don't move!"

I know she is just working off strong emotions, and part of me wants to say "Whatever!" and just move, but I know she is partially right. My parents raised us across the country from their families and they often say they regret that decision. I never knew my grandparents.

Ugh! I am sick over this. I love my family, my sisters are my best friends (besides DH), but I feel really pulled between what we WANT and what we should do to nurture the larger family relationships. I have searched high and low for towns or cities a little closer that would satisfy our desires, but the closest I can find is 3-4 hours away.

Any advice??

Edited: I just want to add that we really can't afford to live in our house. We are planning to move to a new house in the spring, regardless. If we stay in this area we are going to have to buy a townhouse in a fairly personality-less area with not very good schools. If we move to Maine, we can afford a small single family home in a nice community with good schools.

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#2 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Maybe the places you have found 3-4 hours away would be a nice compromise. Two years prior to getting pregnant, my dh and I moved across the country from our families. We get along with our families, but being so far apart has really allowed us to bond as our own unit. It has brought amazing strength to our marriage and really carves our identity as our own family. Despite all being fairly liberal, there are areas where we don't agree with our parents (who aren't crunchy) especially on how we will raise our children, and being far apart has put those issues really far in the background. We spend so little time together that we don't have the time for things to ever be unpleasant. Growing up, I lived across the street from my grandparents, and I have as many memories of being with them (if not more) than I do with being with my parents. I wouldn't trade that childhood. However, I have witnessed what being so close in proximity to my GP did to my parents' marriage, and even though they are still married, finding their own identities seperate from extended family is still a struggle. Living far apart I think is the best decision for my family, and I think living where you love to live and where you will be happy is what is most important.
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#3 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Here's the thing.... if you don't move now... will you ever?

My family told me moving my kids would "ruin" them. I was never sure what they meant by that, but the kids are fine. They found new friends and do well in school.

The big minus is creating your new support system in the new city. Are you prepared to be lonely and homebound for a time because you haven't met folks and/or don't have a sitter? I have a friend who moved to a little town in Minnesota who was very lonely and depressed for years because she couldn't seem to meet like minded folks. It takes time to make new friends you can count on.

Keep thinking it through... you'll make the right choices for yourself.

Take care,
Philomom
who moved her family from a red state to a blue one two years ago
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#4 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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If you have the type of family that relies on one another (like you can have them watch your kids) I would definitely not move.

I say this as someone who has a fractured/addicted/abusive/dysfunctional family including my DH's.

We are utterly alone. My parents have never even been alone in the same room with my kids, never offered to take them places, spend time with them or do things with them. We are a burden. I've never once asked any of them to watch my kids or to even borrow a nickle because I know it would be done grudgingly or they'd make excuses and say no.

We moved away from them and discovered how lonely it is to be the ones with no family or support network.

Sure you can find friends, but honestly most people don't have the time nor inclination to be of service in a pinch.

I wouldn't move. I remember being a kid and once my grandparents retired (the last decent generation in my family aside from us) they moved to our town and all of my most precious memories are of my grandma and grandpa lovingly taking us places, showing us the world, discussing things with us and just there is something to be said for being a part of a family. It's special and hard to replicate.

My grandma is gone now and if I'd not been exposed to her on a near daily/weekly basis during my formative years I wouldn't have known her at all. She died two years ago and I cringe to even imagine not having had her during those years.

Christmas/Thanksgiving once or twice a year fly bys don't really cut it imo.

If you have good family stay close.
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#5 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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No advice, but for what it's worth, our closest family is 4 hours away, and we're perfectly happy.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#6 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Nothing wrong with being a bit adventerour and living in a new place, starting over.... can you do a "try out" move? Sounds like you have a nice situation/relationships with PEOPLE, but not so much with the PLACE. It may be hard to tell what is more improtant to you until you live the new life for while.
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#7 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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dh and i moved 3 years before i had lo... i'm super close with my mom (she's like a bestfriend) and my dad and i disagree about most things. i have 4 younger brothers, two of them followed me and one just moved back to be closer to my parents and he had a really hard time leaving his friends and old life behind.

it's hard to make a new social/support network any time you move. you don't have any one you know or trust to leave your child with in an emergancy (i'm lucky i have my one bro who now lives with us). it really helps bring you and your spouse closer together because you'll depend on each other a lot more.

in a way it's nice living accross the country because i can do things my way. i don't feel sufficated. we are constantly sending pictures of LO to family. and with the internet, you can set up video cam through instant message (it's free) and this will help keep everyone close.

all in all, i would make the move, 12 hrs isn't that bad. or the 3 hrs is a great distance because it's just far enough where they would have to call before "popping" over.
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#8 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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Have you thought about going to Maine for a couple of years, maybe you just need to get it out of your system?? Then you can make a more educated decision from there?

I have a similiar yet totally different situaion...

My DH and I moved from CA to GA 9 years ago. So we have family in CA (5 hr flight) and TN (7 hr drive). No one cared until we had the baby 21 months ago. Now everyone is sad we live far away and talk whistfully of us living closer. They all think if we lived closer they would see him on a daily basis, but then we would never see him. They are all in fantasy land, lol. We are going to compromise and move closer west, even though our dream is to live in D.C. It was nice to live on our own, doing what we want, but now is time to compromise. Go for it :
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#9 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
Any advice??
Oh may I say how lovely your plan sounds to me?

DH & I actually did just that... but about 5 years before we had our first child. We were running the rat race - commuting to NYC every day. Felt suffocated by our families (we both grew up & went to college in NJ, and all of both of our families live in NJ). Decided to move to Maine, bought our first house, started our own business. It was some of the most wonderful years of our lives. We moved back when DD was 6 months old - as much as we wanted to be away from family, loved our privacy, loved our home - we welcomed having family around - DH grew up not knowing his grandparents, and we didn't want that. We welcomed help with DD and knew we could grow & expand our business more easily in NJ - which we have, exponentially. And had another child in the meantime.

The thing is....

We both think back on Maine with such fondness. We miss it terribly. It's the best place in the world. Clean air. Clean water. Lots of land. Great hiking, near by! Good people. And we really do love the snow too. Most of the winter, anyway.

But in order to move back, we'd have to relocate our entire business. And uproot our kids. Move them away from their grandparents who are regular figures in their lives. Try to convince even half our workforce to relocate 10 hrs North. It's daunting.

I would say that without the business we'd probably do it.

And you already know Maine; you lived there through the winter, right (while you were in school?)... heck, yeah, do it.
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#10 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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Dh and I moved several times in the early years of our marraige and it was life changing. We rented, did no biggie investments. We've lived in a few different states and on two coasts, plus traveled for an extended period of time overseas.

Not only do we not regret a single second of our various adventures we know it made us grow as individuals and as a couple, plus it gave us wonderful experiences to share with others, esp our kids.

Now we live near some family and it's wonderful.

However, it was critical to us to experience life in a different way, beyond our relatives.

Is there a reason you can't rent in Maine for a time? If you love, you stay, if you feel, wow what a great adventure, but lets be closer to family, no loss and you go go home.

Further, we know we are not done with our traveling adventures. We're put for now, the kids are thriving; but we absloutely want to experience other communtities in the future.
I think you should have adventures.

Absolutely go.
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#11 of 32 Old 11-07-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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If you don't like it, you can always move back. It doesn't have to be forever!

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#12 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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Well, I have to say that I understand your dream to go somewhere you and your dh both like. My hubby and I did that exact thing when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. We moved 5000 miles away from my entire family. I LOVE where we live now...the weather could be a bit nicer.

However, after my father's last visit, we decided that we were going to move back. I have one way plane tickets in two weeks for my son and I. My hubby will be coming shortly afterwards.

It is a bittersweet move. However, I really feel that family is so important. It's really hard to find any help when your so far away from family. I got super sick and couldn't watch my son for over week and my hubby had a hard time with work. If you need to do anything with your husband alone, your going to have to find a sitter. If your financially stable, than I'm sure you can hire a nanny or sitter anytime but it is quite expensive.

Honestly, I think it might help to spend some time counting your blessings. I find that my hubby and I tend to get swept up in the things we don't like and tend to take the good stuff for granted, yk. So, even though your family has to downsize into a townhouse, try and look at it more positively...like affordability, chance for community, a new place to decorate, a new garden

Oh, and making such a big move is very expensive too. We spent over 5k JUST on the move when we went across country.

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#13 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 12:40 AM
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I'm sad right now because I live far from my daughter because of work but somehow I did get by with the situation since I try to go to her on weekends.
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#14 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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When you say 12 hours away, I assume you mean by car? We live 8 hours drive from dh's family and 24 hours flight away from my family. We see his family twice a year and mine about every two or three years. It is sad not to be closer and we envy people with grandparents in the same city, but you have to follow your dream and make a commitment to visit as much as you can. I've found the distance makes being with my family very precious and fun and exciting and there's almost never any feeling of conflict.

How about you move and promise that you'll spend some of the money you save with your new life to return home twice a year minimum (or once, or three times, whatever is doable for you)?
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#15 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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We live across the country form all extended family. I would say that its doable but difficult to be away from family. You do need a support network, so move with intentions to get involved in the local parenting stuff that floats your boat. For me, its vital to have other adults to interact with. I have friends I can call to chat with and know people at most events. We have neighbors and friends to share meals and holidays with.

My DH and I never have time away from our daughter. You might think "oh, thats not so bad", but really evaluate how much time your kids spend with extended family. You will lose all of that time, even if it just you dropping your two off with grandma while you have an appointment. Still, it would be nice to not have to go through tremendous efforts in the case of my doctor appointments.

Your kids have a relationship with family. As a parent, you can make the effort to create bridges for your kids until they can make their own initiatives with their family. We do weekly video conferences with my ILs and my toddler and I mail my DDs paintings to family from time to time. I make a point of putting photos online frequently to share with family. We talk about our family a lot. We also visit and host visitors regularly.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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#16 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 02:49 AM
 
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I would also consider your children. What ages/temperments are they? Would they be excited to move?
As a child I was very sensitive. My parents moved enough so that I had already gone to 4 schools by the time I was in 3rd grade. I really believe that this added to my shyness and insecurities as a child. For a child that finds new situations difficult, being thrown into a new one regularly is really tough.
We also lived away from all extended family. I never knew my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. As a child, this didn't bother me at all. It was just the norm.
Although I find some faults with my current community, and feel that there are ones out there that are more suited to me, I have no plans to leave. I want my children to experience stability, and want them to know their whole family.
Tough decision! Good luck!
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#17 of 32 Old 11-08-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ErinBird View Post
We live across the country form all extended family. I would say that its doable but difficult to be away from family. You do need a support network, so move with intentions to get involved in the local parenting stuff that floats your boat. For me, its vital to have other adults to interact with. I have friends I can call to chat with and know people at most events. We have neighbors and friends to share meals and holidays with.

My DH and I never have time away from our daughter. You might think "oh, thats not so bad", but really evaluate how much time your kids spend with extended family. You will lose all of that time, even if it just you dropping your two off with grandma while you have an appointment. Still, it would be nice to not have to go through tremendous efforts in the case of my doctor appointments.

Your kids have a relationship with family. As a parent, you can make the effort to create bridges for your kids until they can make their own initiatives with their family. We do weekly video conferences with my ILs and my toddler and I mail my DDs paintings to family from time to time. I make a point of putting photos online frequently to share with family. We talk about our family a lot. We also visit and host visitors regularly.
this.
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#18 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the replies. It is really nice to read about people who have moved away and don't feel like they or their kids are "missing out" on being close to extended family. We are still struggling with this, but the people who said "go have an adventure" remind me that we can always come back and maybe what I am craving is just getting away for awhile.

My parents do offer some help with the kids, and that will be gone if we move, but I have always felt like that "help" is so loaded it may not be worth it. My parents are loving and giving people, but they have a lot of problems (health, financial, emotional) - none of which put my kids in danger at all but drain me so much emotionally that I feel empty when I leave their house. My sisters are a great support system, but we spend so much time talking about our parents and dealing with their issues that I feel drained even being with them.

I think one of the main issues I am struggling with is guilt. My parents are not well, but they refuse to get help for themselves and really rely on their kids/grandkids to brighten their spirits and make things better. On one hand I feel indebted to them for a wonderful, healthy childhood, but I feel like they don't take care of themselves and have resigned themselves to being unhappy. And I don't want to live with that all the time anymore.

I think I might be answering my own question. It is nice to air things a bit here on MDC and get some fresh perspective.

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#19 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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I just wanted to add my .02 cents

We just moved away from family (florida to colorado) and it has completley devistated my family.

I regret it.

My kids hate me, and eachother, my parents health is failing (I think partly from not having their grandkids there 3 x a week) and I am so stressed being all by myself all the time w/ my kids.

It wasnt worth it for our family.
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#20 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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gosh you have a baby due round the corner. i am sure that is surely going to help you make up ur mind.

it sounds like you really need the break. maybe you guys could visit once a month and maybe spend the weekend where your family is. that might be a good excuse to get the whole family together for a get together and your parents might not mind it so much.

aaaaargh for guilt trips our parents put us through.

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#21 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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iam going to move over seas soon away from my family and move in with my inlaws which iam fine and happy about

my family is upset about it but we been telling them since we got married that we r not going to live here for ever one day we r leaving now that we have kids we keep reminding them that when he has to start school we r leaving soo he can go to school in lebanon

anyways they r upset and keep trying to talk us out of it but we just tell them it is best for us over there i get help with the kids i dont get help here cause u guys r sick and cant soo they understand that but still sad to see there grandkids go

it is a hard choice but iam not close with my family at all soo that made it easy honestly i cant wait to leave soo i dont have to care for them anymore it is too hard caring for them plus 2 kids and trying to take care of my house and husband soo heck yeah i wanta leave

Amanda mom to Mahmoud 7-20-06 and Kareem 8-23-08
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#22 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 01:42 PM
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We are looking to move in the next year or so, several states away. We've talked about it ever since we started dating. It's just so stifling, politically, culturally, religiously...we just want to get away from Louisiana. Schools are horrible...

anyway. We live next door to my father in law. He watches the girl on a regular basis. I have one aunt that I'm very close to. Other than that, we rarely see family, so we don't mind so much leaving. I am very scared of being alone in a new city, though. I've moved so much as a child, I think I've become very safe where I am and moving will be out of my comfort zone.

Ultimately, it will be what is best for our children, our immediate family. So I'll do it.

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#23 of 32 Old 11-11-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Here's the thing.... if you don't move now... will you ever?
My family told me moving my kids would "ruin" them. I was never sure what they meant by that, but the kids are fine. They found new friends and do well in school.

The big minus is creating your new support system in the new city. Are you prepared to be lonely and homebound for a time because you haven't met folks and/or don't have a sitter? I have a friend who moved to a little town in Minnesota who was very lonely and depressed for years because she couldn't seem to meet like minded folks. It takes time to make new friends you can count on.
What she said. We moved, granted it's only 4 hours away, but it was sort of the same situation. It turned out to be more of a blessing than we thought it would be. We knew we weren't thriving in our old place, but didn't realize how unhappy we were until we left. We've been here for 3 years now, and while my family ended up following us here (which is alright since they aren't in your face types) it has improved relations with his family.

It will take awhile to build up a new support system, but it happens

mum to a crew...
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#24 of 32 Old 11-12-2008, 04:44 AM
 
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Tough call, and I think that there will be people who have moved away who regret it, and people who have moved away who love it. It really depends on a lot of factors, and some of them won't be evident until you actually move. However, like one PP said, the move doesn't have to be forever. . . you could always move back.

I live in the same city I grew up in, although I have lived in a couple other places before we had kids. DH's family is now living here too, and with all that, we couldn't possibly move away (MIL's health is fading), although DH often dreams about moving to far away exotic places and starting cool businesses, etc. Being close to our families is great for us. I find my parents are really close to my kids, closer than they are to my brother's kids (they live 7 hrs away by car) and I am way closer to my parents than I was before I had kids, because now we are more 'in the same boat'.

Not having family around is tough for a lot of people, but some people like being free and independent.

Mama to my two sweet monkeys - DD '04 and DS '06
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#25 of 32 Old 11-12-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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We moved away from our families (across the pacific ocean) and BIL's family followed us.... And now live a mile away.

I would do it. Like the pp said, you can always move back in a few years if it doesn't work out.
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#26 of 32 Old 11-13-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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We lived 4 hrs from my family for the first year of ds1's life. Then moved to be near them. Had ds2, and having family nearby helped a TON with helping out with ds1 while I tended to baby so much of the time. Then we moved this year - to Portland ME, as it happens! We're only 2 hrs from the family now, and we see my parents/sisters every few weeks, with somebody making the drive up or down. I definitely feel the day-to-day loss of help and friendly company and lack of "dates", however brief, with my dh. But every few weeks or month isn't bad.

This is all to say.... If there's a viable option 3-4 hours away, that's what I vote for. That is a trip people can manage for a quick overnight visit. 12 hours (or a plane trip) seems prohibitive to me.
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#27 of 32 Old 11-13-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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That's a tough one.
I agree with if you don't move now, when will you? In fact my Mom told me that before we moved to Alaska. We used to live in our hometown, 3 blocks from my parents! When DS was one DH got a job offer in Alaska and we took it! We LOVE it here and don't regret it. But it broke our parents hearts, even if they were completely supportive. We're both close to our families. We'd love to stay here, but it's not "home" without family. So, I say meet in the middle so to speak. We're moving "back", but 5ish hours away from our hometown in North Dakota. We're moving to Northern Minnesota, so we're moving somewhere beautiful with skiing and hiking (that we love here in AK) but still close enough that we can drive home for a weekend and see the grandparents!

Newly single mama to DS 4/20/2005. Recently back from ALASKA.
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#28 of 32 Old 11-13-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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It depends on each person and how close they are with their family I think.

I have tried living away from my family on two different occaisons. Once I was about a 5 hour drive from them, the other a 9 hour drive. It was too heart breaking for me. I come from a large family and know my cousins well and we have family get togethers often with all the extended family. I want my children to know this and this is very important to me.

I know not everyone has the same outlook and some families enjoy being indepent and away.

But honestly I love that my Mom is right down the road and can help with the kids. And I love watching my parents with the kids and it has really grown my love and appreciation for my parents even more.


I have to say I love Maine though. lol I love most of New England really... the 5 hours away place I lived was in Massachusettes and that was more doable... but the cost of living there is insane.

I think you have to listen to your heart. Everyone will have a different take on what is most important to them.

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#29 of 32 Old 11-14-2008, 10:00 AM
 
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We did this. My husband works from home. We were in conservative SUV land with crime and a city we hated and a tough family situation. We were given a REALLY hard time by some family members, and my guilt was bad at times, but I don't regret what we did. We are better off. The closest town we could find that met our requirements was 5.5 hours, and that is really a bit too far. It's hard on the grandparents, and on our daughter, to make that drive very often. They miss each other. If we could've found something 3 hours away, I think it would have been PERFECT. Far enough, but not too far. We were in Tenneessee, though, and had to be able to drive to Kentucky for the other set of grandparents, and it was very hard to find a good town. People will act like you're crazy, to move to a place where you don't know anyone. (You're moving where? A job? Why? You're leaving your parents? Won't that be hard on them?) That includes the new town you choose, too. (Did you move here for a job? School? You chose this little ol' town? You don't have family here?) It can be hard to face that. We did the right thing, though. My advice is to start with a closer drive, and then later if you want to move farther, do it. Rent first.
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#30 of 32 Old 11-14-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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I feel you. We are in the same ship. Where we currently live we rent. We LOVE the school system and the city. My whole family lives about 10 mintues away which works since my DH travels alot.
We too are thinking of moving though to NC where it is warmer (I am not a ton of snow girl) we can buy a home for what we are paying in rent here. And the schools are about the same. However, my family too has been putting the guilt on. It is good to know that I am not the only one going through this with family. =)
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