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Old 01-31-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Northern California
93 posts, read 148,490 times
Reputation: 77
Default Is it wrong to move cross-country with grandkids?

Hi. Maybe some grandparents can weigh in or share their thoughts on our dilemma. This situation has been troubling me for some time. Here's the story: I am from Georgia and my DH is from California. We met while I was traveling in Cal. and eventually married, six years ago. We have been living in Cal. ever since. I am an only child and my mom still lives back in Georgia, mainly due to the fact that she could never afford a decent place here in the SF Bay area. My husband's parents, sister and brother-in-law, and neice and nephew live nearby here in Cal. So while he does not have a huge family, it is certainly bigger than mine. We have two lovely children, 4 and 2, and they get to see their paternal grandparents weekly. (they are super nice in-laws, guess I really lucked out!) Their relationship with our children is very close and they love them so much.

My mom, back in Georgia, is missing seeing her grandchildren and feels really left out. I should mention that the grandparents here in Cali are well off financially with the grandfather retired and the grandmother still working, not really out of necessity. So.... we have started to kick around the idea of a move to sw florida, perhaps the Sarasota area. Have not mentioned it to anyone yet ... no need to worry anyone if it doesn't pan out. The hope would be that we could find a house with a guest house or just a nice in-law suite and perhaps the Cali grandpaents could spend the better part of the winter down there with us. Not that Cali winters are all that brutal (: Between that and 2-3 shorter visits from us each year, maybe that would be enough to stay close and connected? I know nothing compares to living close by, it just doesn't. But we have a lot of reasons why we feel this move would be better for our family in the long run ( the culture of Silicon valley is just a rat race, etc.) My mom would be thrilled to move from Georgia to florida to be near us, and that would be very doable. Also, there is always the possibility that DH's parents may decide to move to florida too (isn't that what seniors do? haha) The bottom line is that their financial situation affords them many more options.

Well, that's our dilemma. Please share what you think, what would you do, are we monsters for even contemplating such a thing?? Guilt is a bummer. Thanks...
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: here
16,581 posts, read 12,893,180 times
Reputation: 13199
Guilt is a bummer. Yes it is. Below is my answer cut and pasted from another thread.

young family wanting to move away from toledo ohio, but having doubts!

I can't tell you what you should do but I can tell you what we did and how I feel about it now. I felt very similar to the way you feel. We had a 1 and a 3 year old, and lived in my home town near all of our family.

The weather was awful. The air quality was awful. My son was sick all the time. We were in the "2 income trap" where I had to keep working, at least part time to afford the house we were in. Although we were doing fine, it is an economically depressed area. I just knew it wasn't the best place to raise the kids, and I felt it was "now or never", as I probably wouldn't have wanted to move after they started school.

We did it. We picked up and moved 1000 miles away to a place where we didn't know anyone. To say my mom had a hard time with it would be a major understatement. It has been 5 years, and I'm so glad we did it. We're all healthier. We downsized the house a little, so I have been able to stay home with the kids for the last 5 years. The sky is blue, the sun is out, even in the winter. Meanwhile, the area we're from is near the top of every "worst place" list that comes out.

Of course there are times when I really miss having the grandparents nearby. But we've had some great vacations with both of our families, that we never would have taken if we still lived close. Even though it is not ideal being far away from all of our family, I feel like we've given our kids a better childhood, and hopefully live in a place that they'll like enough to want to live as adults. I'm glad we did it. Good luck with your decision.

ETA - why would you be monsters for moving closer to one set of grandparents and away from the other? Are you monsters for living near one set now and not the other? We must REALLY be awful! we moved away from all of them!
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Northern California
93 posts, read 148,490 times
Reputation: 77
Thanks Kibbiekat, it really helps to get someone else's perspective. Sounds like you make a wise choice and have no real regrets. Good for you!!
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
4,947 posts, read 2,769,099 times
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My husband and I am not grandparents yet but we love our adult children dearly. If they made their family and career choices based on what they felt we or their inlaws wanted them to do rather than what they wanted/needed to do for their own family we would feel that we had failed them as parents.

Of course, it would be wonderful to have grandchildren nearby but just like my husband and I made our choices of where to live to best meet the needs of our situation and our immediate family it is now our children's turn to make their own adult decisions. Recently, our son applied for a fabulous job in Australia (we live in Wisconsin). If he and his wife decide that is the best place for their family at this point in time then we would be happy for them as it is their life & their decision.

You and your husband need to make the decision that is best for your immediate family. With Skype, airplanes, mail and telephones I'm sure that your children can still have quality contact with their grandparents & other relatives no matter where you live.

Good luck & I wish you well.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
4,011 posts, read 4,361,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My husband and I am not grandparents yet but we love our adult children dearly. If they made their family and career choices based on what they felt we or their inlaws wanted them to do rather than what they wanted/needed to do for their own family we would feel that we had failed them as parents.

Of course, it would be wonderful to have grandchildren nearby but just like my husband and I made our choices of where to live to best meet the needs of our situation and our immediate family it is now our children's turn to make their own adult decisions. Recently, our son applied for a fabulous job in Australia (we live in Wisconsin). If he and his wife decide that is the best place for their family at this point in time then we would be happy for them as it is their life & their decision.

You and your husband need to make the decision that is best for your immediate family. With Skype, airplanes, mail and telephones I'm sure that your children can still have quality contact with their grandparents & other relatives no matter where you live.

Good luck & I wish you well.
^^^
+1

We've never had the luxury of living near our families due to my husbands career. There are not many opportunities in his field where they live. We've moved around quite because of either job transfers or my husband was offered a better position somewhere else. While it was a little hard when our kids were young, it worked out well for us. It afforded us ability to give ourselves and our children a good life.

Growing up, I watched my dad turn down tons of very good job offers (as in VP positions with major corporations) because my mother didn't want to move away from "home". They were more concerned with being near family. Because of this decision, my dad never had the career he could have had. The big money positions in his profession were not where we lived (Texas) but either on the east or west coast. Now, they are in their retirement years and they have no pension other than SS and what little money they had saved they lost in the market crash. I really wish they had not worried so much about us being close to the grandparents, and worried more about themselves and their future.

Not being near family can be hard. You have to depend on yourselves, only. While growing up, my sisters kids spent virtually every weekend with one or the other set of their grandparents. My sister and her husband had their weekends free to go out and party, go out of town, whatever. We didn't have that luxury. We had to pay a babysitter. Once when talking to my sister, she asked something about why my husband and I didn't go out more often. When I told her I just couldn't afford to pay a babysitter every weekend, she just looked at me with this lost look and said "you have to pay someone to keep the kids?" Um yeah. They were 4 & 5, couldn't exactly leave them home alone! When I told her yes, and how much they charged an hour, I thought she was gonna faint. My parents were always there if she needed anything. Kids got sick at school, she just had my parents go get them, so she didn't have to leave work. Until they were both in high school, my parents drove her kids to school in the morning and picked them up every afternoon. The list goes on....

I admit, there were times I resented it, but now, and even most of the time back then, I realized how much closer this has made our family. We only have each other to depend on. It has made all of us more independent and self reliant. Both our kids are in their early 20's and in college, in other states. That's okay. We miss them like crazy, but we raised them to be independent. They have the courage to take chances, and I'm proud of them for doing so. I realize that we may never live near our grandchildren, but it will be okay. We will do all we can to see them as often as we can.

My nephew, who is the same age as my oldest son, is still living at home, and floundering in a string of low wage, dead end jobs. My husband has offered to help him secure a well paying job in his industry, but it would mean he would have to move away from home and he won't do it.

I say, step out. Take a chance. What's the worst that could happen? If it doesn't work out, you can always move back.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Northern California
93 posts, read 148,490 times
Reputation: 77
Default Thanks Germaine and Debz

I appreciate your kind words and advice. Hope things are going well for you too.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:49 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
20,576 posts, read 17,100,318 times
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We moved away too. My husband and I met in high school, and our parents still live in the same town about two miles from on another. My sister and his sister both live in that town, along with our nephews. My grandparents and uncles are close by, as are two more of my husband's sisters.

It was hard to move away, but we ultimately chose the best path for our family, which was to accept an out-of-state job offer and move to an area with better schools and more affordable housing. We don't have any family near us; the closest are my aunt and cousins who live about six hours from here in Des Moines.

I grew up very close to my father's parents, and my dad and his brothers have all stayed in that same area, close to one another. My parents had the same "should we move" dilemma that debzkidz talks about. Now my grandparents are ailing, and there's no way they'd move now. Even down the road, my sister won't move because her son's father is there, and she doesn't want to separate them, but if my sister won't go, I don't think my mother would agree to move away from her. The only place she might go is Albuquerque, where my other grandmother lives (my mom's mom), but my parents do not like the desert and it wouldn't be a good place for my dad's business. So they're stuck. At least they purchased a home back when it was somewhat affordable. When we left, the bubble hadn't burst yet, and our landlords put our dated rental on the market for $800K. Who the heck can afford that? Not us.

It does stink not to have a built-in babysitter, but with three kids it was always a hassle for us anyway. Most any grandparent will watch one kid, but three ... they start hesitating. That is, until you leave and then they want the kids for a week! Okay, so that's my life.

Do what's best for your family. If it means you leave the nest, that's OK. My grandmother, the one to whom I am so close, was very sad when we left. I have guilt, and sometimes she cries that she will not know our son the same way she knew our daughters (there's a gap in ages). But she is the youngest of five sisters and the only one who left Nebraska, when she married my grandpa and he joined the Navy. She tells me that it hurt to leave her parents and sisters, but her husband and children had to come first. She understands why we went.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Petticoat Junction
931 posts, read 699,715 times
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Do what's right for your family. Extended family might get some input but never a veto. That 'leave your parents and cleave onto each other' (or however it goes) has meaning.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:59 PM
 
587 posts, read 1,029,049 times
Reputation: 955
You mentioned that if you move to Florida that you will travel to CA 2-3 times a year. How many times a year have you traveled from Ca to see your mother in Ga? Believe me- hauling kids across the country 2-3 times a year is no picnic for ANY of you.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: here
16,581 posts, read 12,893,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
You mentioned that if you move to Florida that you will travel to CA 2-3 times a year. How many times a year have you traveled from Ca to see your mother in Ga? Believe me- hauling kids across the country 2-3 times a year is no picnic for ANY of you.
I must have missed that part, or I would have said something about it.

That probably isn't a very realistic expectation. Once the kids are in school, it gets harder to fit visits in, and plane tickets are expensive! But still, do what you need to do.
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