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Old 02-12-2007, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 11,340,227 times
Reputation: 2168

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Greetings -

I am in need of some advice...particularly from those perhaps who have experience in moving from a nice, pleasant climatic region of the country to a less-forgiving one (eg: the Midwest or the NE?).

I am a married male, 30 years of age, 1 very young daughter and my wife is due shortly with a 2nd child.

3+ years ago, we were living in Metro Milwaukee, WI (I was born, raised, and lived my entire life in Milwaukee up to that point). Finally, we were excited to try living somewhere where the winters were not so long, gray, dreary, harsh, and the springs were not so short, cold, dreary, etc. (At this point, we were without children and were able to think only of "ourselves")...

We decided to try a move to somewhere - we picked Albuquerque, NM. We really, really love the weather here in Albuquerque - it is sunny, dry, and relatively warm. There are four distinct seasons - winter is definitely here - but winters, compared to WI ones, are much shorter, milder, sunnier...it is hard to even compare them. (For example, currently my lawn is greening up again, buds are forming on my trees, etc., here in ABQ in mid-Feb., while Milwaukee has been less than 10 degrees for a few weeks!).

However, since we moved to Albuquerque, we had one child, and are now near our 2nd one. For those that say, "when you have children, your life changes completely"...they are right!

In Milwaukee, most of our family and friends reside. We miss them immensely. While we highly enjoy the people of Albuquerque and are relatively social people, they are definitely acquaintances (good ones at that), but not true family/friends like we have in Milwaukee. Since our children have come along, we have found ourselves greatly missing being around friends and family - our priorities have shifted a decent amount since we moved 3+ years ago!

At any event, (and I apologize for the rambling), we are currently torn - a great part of us incredibly wants to move back to the Milwaukee, WI area to be around friends/family. However, seemingly an equally great part of us (we especially are big on spending time outdoors and enjoy warmer, sunny weather) is torn in not doing so because of the weather...we just like the outdoors so much down here!

Certainly we value our relationships/people more than anything else, however, we are fearful of the change in weather and the higher costs of living.

After all of my rambling...I would very much value any insights...have any forum members done this (moved from a warmer, nicer climate) to a less forgiving one (the Midwest, north, NE, etc.)? What have you found? Has it been better than expected? Worse? Any insights? Any thoughts on people v. climate/cost of living, etc.?

I am also thinking of my children. I believe the schools to be better in WI than they are out here, but I also love having my daughter be able to play outside year-round. While I think Milwaukee Metro in many respects is a great place to live, and highly enjoyed growing up there, am I being too emotional and not rational to consider it when I moved for the weather, and so many folks in WI would rather live somewhere warmer?

Help me with your thoughts!!

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:35 PM
 
475 posts, read 1,097,042 times
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Wink Consider Family and Schools First

Since you lived in the Midwest until 3 years ago, it shouldn't be all that big a change to move back closer to your family, especially if you think that the schools are better there. A lot of people in the colder regions complain about the winter, but not all of them move. Children are adaptable to whatever circumstances they are raised in, but I wouldn't compromise their education for better weather.
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,665,781 times
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What a tough choice. But all other factors being equal, the benefits of being near family and friends far outweighs the weather factor.
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 11,340,227 times
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These are very helpful replies...I really appreciate it - both of you!

I really would love to hear any more thoughts and insights (as yes, I am terribly insecure and fearful about doing the wrong thing either way I go, although these first two responses already are helping to back my thoughts up!)...
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:10 PM
 
Location: NOVA - retiring to OKlahoma
569 posts, read 1,136,366 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
I am a married male, 30 years of age, 1 very young daughter and my wife is due shortly with a 2nd child.

3+ years ago, we were living in Metro Milwaukee, WI (I was born, raised, and lived my entire life in Milwaukee up to that point). Finally, we were excited to try living somewhere where the winters were not so long, gray, dreary, harsh, and the springs were not so short, cold, dreary, etc. (At this point, we were without children and were able to think only of "ourselves")...

However, since we moved to Albuquerque, we had one child, and are now near our 2nd one. For those that say, "when you have children, your life changes completely"...they are right!
First, let me say congrats on the new baby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
In Milwaukee, most of our family and friends reside. We miss them immensely. While we highly enjoy the people of Albuquerque and are relatively social people, they are definitely acquaintances (good ones at that), but not true family/friends like we have in Milwaukee. Since our children have come along, we have found ourselves greatly missing being around friends and family - our priorities have shifted a decent amount since we moved 3+ years ago!
You are a young couple, do your friends have kids? If so, how much time do you really think you will spend with your friends. As you get older and the kids are growing you'll spend less and less time with your friends. It won't be anything like it was when you last lived in Milwaukee and were single. To a lesser extent the same holds true for the family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
At any event, (and I apologize for the rambling), we are currently torn - a great part of us incredibly wants to move back to the Milwaukee, WI area to be around friends/family. However, seemingly an equally great part of us (we especially are big on spending time outdoors and enjoy warmer, sunny weather) is torn in not doing so because of the weather...we just like the outdoors so much down here!
That's a no brainer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
Certainly we value our relationships/people more than anything else, however, we are fearful of the change in weather and the higher costs of living.

I am also thinking of my children. I believe the schools to be better in WI than they are out here, but I also love having my daughter be able to play outside year-round. While I think Milwaukee Metro in many respects is a great place to live, and highly enjoyed growing up there, am I being too emotional and not rational to consider it when I moved for the weather, and so many folks in WI would rather live somewhere warmer?
Unless the schools are head and shoulders better in WI, I would stay in NM. Plus with the higher cost of living in WI are you going to provide your kids with as much as you could in NM. I believe the children would enjoy the warmer climate better. How much fun is it to play outside in freezing temperatures (assuming you can) when you're bundled up to the point of not being able to move.

That said, if I were you I would stay in NM because I could always vist my friends/family in WI and vice versa.

Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
3,570 posts, read 7,935,995 times
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We live in the Twin Cities and this is the 13th state I've lived in. I have visited most of the states and lived in Florida so I do know the beauty of having the kids play outside year round. One of the main reasons I love living here is that we are so much closer to our family now. My family is in Indy and my wife's is in western Montana. So we're almost equal distance than say when we lived in Florida or Oregon.

Sure the cold weather is not always fun, but having the opportunity to be closer to the family is so much better for us. Our kids are 4 and 7 and to be able to drive to see the grandparents is fantastic. It is nice that they are not our next door neighbors, so we can still maintain what we want as a family, instead of my mom coming over and trying to implement her rules. Kinda like Everybody Loves Raymond. LOL.

Wamer weather is so very appealing...especially right now! But in the long run what I had to decide was, was it worth spending holidays and family missing important events just so we could live in a warmer climate and go to Disney World anytime we wanted (we lived 20 min from Disney)? I came to grips that what I wanted was for my kids and myself to be with our families because that was what my wife and I wanted....not because I was feeling pressure from my family. If you move make certain it's because you and your wife want to move, not because you feel guilty. You will be more miserable after you move back, then if you had stayed in NM.

Hope this all makes sense as seems my thoughts have not come out that way I'd hoped. Blessings!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 11,340,227 times
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Arrghh!

I have to say, hoosier67 and rdbeard5...you both make very compelling points! I largely agree with everything you both have to say...and you are both on the "opposite" end of my dilemma here!

I really appreciate both of your thoughts and perspectives, and I think you are both coming from a good side of common sense.

It sounds like hoosier67, your situation was very similar to mine. I am very glad to hear though that you seem to be happy and in a good place with your decision. I had an old friend from WI who moved to Houston, TX, enjoyed it there, but then for family purposes (his wife and he had kids) moved back to the Twin Cities area...I think deep-down he really misses the mild climate, but overall I really think he is happy with his decision. I think you are also dead-on with the need to not make such a move out of guilt...my family is very good at not guilting me, but surely that generally always creeps into the self-conscience, doesn't it, to anyone who lives a long way from family?

And rdbeard5, I think you are dead-on too. My wife stays home for the most part, work-wise, to raise our daughter (and soon to be two), and one major asset for her not going "stir crazy" in the house is to be able to - even in January or February - take the little whippersnapper to the park, even just out into the backyard, etc. And this is accomplishable generally with a light coat, or even no coat - not throwing on a 1/2 hour worth of layering.

And from a personal perspective, SAD-type stuff doesn't come into play for my wife or I down here - it certainly can be an issue up in WI (I never noticed it when I was in high school, college, etc., but I sure noticed it once I entered the workforce).

So I can see readily both sides of this issue, and largely feel attachments and agreement to both sides!

One thing I do consider is that I would go nuts if I couldn't at least visit WI and my relatives, friends, family, etc., somewhat regularly. To this point, we've been able to do that. However, with a growing family (and once little tykes turn two they turn into a paid-airfare ticket) it will be harder to do so. Also, sometimes we wish we could take a conventional family vacation, however, most of our vacation time we go to visit family and friends in WI, so we are not able to utilize that time for other get-away places.

I think this would be easier if we had relocated to a negative place that we both disliked...we would go back to our "home" in no time. But we both enjoy the Albuquerque area quite a bit - and especially the weather, cost of living, scenery, and food, etc. - that it makes it much tougher.

I am fortunate to have a decent job at a college here in ABQ, so I think likely I would be able to get a similar job for a college in MKE (or elsewhere), so it isn't even like I have a job better suited to a specific region of the country.

Any more encouragements, thoughts, perspectives, etc., on either "side of the fence"?? All of these thoughts are extremely helpful and valuable!
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:51 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,936,227 times
Reputation: 13245
Enjoy
I have read and reread your thread and really feel for your dilemma.
My suggestion: I tend to favor staying in New Mexico.
My husband is from Chicago, I am *mostly* from Colorado, and we raised both our boys in Denver, Colorado, which as you know has a climate similar to that of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My husband and his sibs have all left Chicago: one is in Dallas, another in Santa Fe, a third is here in Florida as we are. The weather was a huge factor in their leaving.
I remember those winter days when I was at home with a little one, even in Denver I'd go a little bit nuts--can't imagine dealing with an overcast midwest winter, but that's just me.
If I were in your position, I'd stay in New Mexico. I would make it my business to do whatever I could to ensure my kids' education is a good one. There are many things you can do on your own to supplement their learning. New Mexico is a beautiful state and a fascinating place.
Visit friends and family in Wisconsin when you can. Maybe they would like to visit you sometimes?
Only you two can decide what is best. Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:17 AM
 
121 posts, read 413,869 times
Reputation: 105
As someone looking to relocate SPECIFICALLY to escape the horrid heat of VA (and the growing cost of living and the fast pace of life), I'm going to vote for staying where you are if you're settled and happy there.

I love my family, but the need to be an area that resonates with me is stronger. Life out west is just different from the midwest and east coast.

In the day of email, cell phones, and lower airfare, living away from your family isn't nearly as tough as it used to be!
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
1,406 posts, read 4,675,080 times
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There is a very popular quote: "You can't go home again." That's mostly, IMO, because you change, your family changes, your perspectives change, and the place and people you left behind have changed. It won't be the same as when you left there 3 years ago. I do understand wanting to be close to family -- that can have its advantages. (Depending upon the family, it can also have its disadvantages!) I've found that inevitably we don't see our friends nearly as much after having our own families. We just simply have different priorities. I'm with those who would opt for visits, and lots of communication via phone and email -- sharing pictures, etc. Maybe some of the grandparents will see the advantages of retiring/relocating to a warmer climate!
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