Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: So what do you do when your world changes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wellington > Scotland
    Posts
    156

    Default So what do you do when your world changes?

    We will have been in NZ for 3 years come this September... I look back and canít quite believe it sometimes. No idea where the time went. Can relate to many of the usual upís and downís. Had a terrible bout of homesickness about 9months in, desperate to go home to Scotland, it passed and was then very glad we stayed. Love loads of things about NZ, dislike many others... But all in all got to a stage where I felt very happy and settled and couldnít see me wanting to move back to the UK at all...

    Cue our glorious little arrival, bouncing baby girl... Dec 2010. Wow... I thought emigrating to NZ was a rollercoaster... ainít got NUTHIN on becoming a mummy for the first time! Ha ha. I love it... but boy it has been emotional and very hard at times being so far from family. Am very very lucky to have my sister here, which helps. And my parents came out for a 6 week holiday in March too, so I had that to look forward to. First time I had seen them in 2 and a half years since we left (not through choice, just couldnít afford the trip back) it was heartbreaking when they had to go home again.

    So yeah, here I am... with the reality of what being a parent actually means now starting to sink in. Everyone is of course correct when they say itís something you learn in the Ďdoing. And I increasingly find myself looking to the future these days, only to find the idea of going back to Scotland lurking there. Itís a very different feeling to that desperado homesickness bout of the early months. Just a nagging empty sadness for family ties. There are two sets of doting grandparents over the pond...two retired grandmammas in particular who would love nothing but to spend lots of time with their granddaughter, and us of course. Going back regularly just isnít an option, we couldnít manage it on two incomes, and now we are on one! My husband loves it here, and feels absolutely no inclination to go back... but I now canít see myself bringing up my little girl without grandparents and her other aunties, uncles and cousins etc etc. And also for my own sake as much as hers...

    So really I should change the title... the world maybe hasnít changed that much. But my place in it seems to have, in such a huge way. Anyone been there and done that? For now I will sit on these feelings and see how they grow or morph... or whatever, you know whatís it like for those who have been here a while right? Hey ho... right now I say stop the merry-go-round I wanna get off and rest my tired little head.

    Saskia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    UK - Huntingdonshire
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Hi Saskia

    Having a 2 year old daughter and grandparents over an hour away (4 hours in one case) I really feel for you. Is there anyway you can narrow the distance between Wellington and Scotland? Do your parents/parents-in-law Skype? I regularly make a DVD for all my parents so they can keep up to date with their grandchildren. You have to be strong because it will only get harder ..... first steps, first words, first day on the beach ..... remind yourself why you emigrated, think of the life your child will have in the UK, think of their future in the UK. Grandparents won't be around forever and it would be a shame to jeopardise your future to ease someone else's pain, even if it is your own parents (blimey I sound like a hard case! ) )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    110

    Default

    I haven't quite made the move yet, but I do know a little of how you feel. I live in southern Ireland and my mum and my VERY large extended family live in the North. My husbands parents and his brothers and their families live seven miles away from us.

    I can really see why you would want to be close to your family, it's lovely to think you would have support network, but it doesn't always work out like that. We rarely to never see my husbands family. His brothers and their wives are very nice, but are very focused on their own lives, and we don't 'fit in' with that, and they would have good intentions, but little time for us. His mum lives next door to one brother and seems to take care of those kids a lot, leaving little time and energy for us. My kids get on great with their cousins, but separate schooling and friends mean they don't see each other much.

    I stayed for three months last year in my home village, and once the novelty of having us around wore off, we saw a fair bit less of people. People are busy, busy, busy. If your child is in school, has a playdate and homework after school, activities at the weekend, you don't have a whole lot of time left for people who don't do that too, however good your intentions.

    I do remember that when my first child was born I was very lonely, we had just moved here and I didn't fit in with my work friends and the friends who didn't have kids yet, but slowly, slowly the other women I met who had babies at mums and tots etc. became my support network, and now I feel as bad about leaving them as I do my family.

    It's a hard choice, people's lives at home will have moved on a lot in the time you have been gone, and things won't be the same. I found that hard in the time that I spent at home, visiting is different, people prioritise you because your time together is limited.

    Maybe you should consider trying to build up a support network where you are for a while, give it maybe one more year? It does get easier as your baby gets more active and sociable for some reason. Hope it all works out soon for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Edinburgh>Cambridge>Auckland
    Posts
    758

    Default

    Congrats on your wee kiwi Saskia.

    We're coming up to 3 years here and I had my DD 11 months after we arrived. Am I right that your DD is about 6 months old? I found the first year with DD to be a big rollercoaster tbh. At 6 months I was just starting to feel confident that I could handle her. It was way bigger than moving as a life change.

    I think it would be worth going back to the UK for a visit before you make any decisions about leaving. We took DD back at 4 months. I was a bit worried that I would want to move back, or feel like I hated the UK and could never live there again. But actually, the UK isn't going anywhere. And I find it so much easier having DD here for many reasons. It was also clear to me that our extended families weren't that good with babies and wouldn't be much help on a day to day basis.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wellington > Scotland
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Thanks guys... I suppose I should expand with a little more background, and perhaps you will see there are no quick fixes really.

    Why we left Scotland - It was the right time. No kids as yet and hubby needed more expansive opportunities in his career area (IT). He had always wanted to move somewhere completely different, and as we were thinking of moving from our little corner anyway, we kinda just thought, why not? We both knew it was a case of now or never. So it wasn't really because of anything being 'wrong' with Scotland, it was more a case of adventure seeking in a way, and wanting to experience something totally new. I am struggling now to find any reasons why bringing up kids back home would be any worse than NZ. Don't get me wrong, I also think NZ is a great place to bring up kids... but better? Not neccesarily in our case.... just different.

    My support network here - Is fantastic quite frankly! Have been super lucky with a fab group of girls from my antenatal class. And another couple of expat friends who have both had babies recently. Plently of tea and sympathy. I get out and about a lot. But I still feel lonely though... with no apparent reason.

    We Skype home all the time. But it just is absolutely no substitute for the live version. I think given almost three years apart this changes everyones perspective on 'time together'. I hear what you are saying about busy lives and that will always be the case, but I somehow would like to think that sense of taking your folks/family for granted that can easily take over (I was guilty of that before we moved) might not happen quite so casually if we were to move back. OH MY what I would GIVE to be able to drive (even 4 hours or more) to see Grandma. Cheers for the suggestions though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wellington > Scotland
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Thanks Kea... yep she is just over 5 months now. And yeah it is such an emotional rollercoaster... so I do intend to 'roll with it' a bit longer and just see how it goes. If we could afford a visit back I'd be there in a shot. Also would be a bit nervous about how I'd feel, and it probably would help sort out some feelings one way or another, but no cash... ain't gonna happen. (Note to all... as someone pointed out in a top 10 tips I was reading earlier... have an emergency/going home stash put away!) Oh and my parents were a fantastic help on the day to day care when they were here...so I do miss that heaps!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    was Oxford nr Chch, NZ now UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    I can't quite identify with your specific case as when we moved to NZ all my kids were teenagers. However we returned to the UK because we missed family and being part of their lives. When we came back we had all these ideas of not taking them for granted and seeing more of family etc... In reality that has not happened. Our lives are similar to the ones we left, our family contact has remained about the same - in some cases it has reduced!!! What we hoped to achieve by coming back has not materialised - partly down to us but also others. Lives carry on and although we have changed in our outlook - they haven't. You are still emotional since the birth (even after 6 months!!) and that is the time when you want your mum/sister/nan etc... You have good support networks in NZ - just relax and enjoy your baby. When mine were little my most important support was not my family but friends. Good luck & congratulations

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,856

    Default

    I relate very strongly to what 123laura is saying - her situation is very similar to what mine was when I was at home with small babies, having just (for M's work) necessarily moved right away from my family and old friends, and my parents were taken up with caring for their older generation, so couldn't visit much either. We talked and wrote often, and kept each other up with the news, and sympathized. But as far as emotional and practical support were concerned, I HAD to find substitutes for the ones I would have instinctively turned to. And it did happen, but it took time. And there were lots of times that I felt very down, specially when I did get back briefly, and found that 'home' had moved on without me, so what I was remembering just wasn't there any more.

    Feeling lonely - well, we're all alone inside our own heads, even in the middle of a crowd, even with the closest companions. To some extent, there are personal choices to be made about how to view that. 'Alone' doesn't HAVE to mean 'lonely', and the difference can often be a deliberate turning of the mental page, to look for a different focus. It might be to look for an advantage in what IS (however difficult), it might be to take up a creative option, or it might be to turn determinedly the attention to the outer world. There are plenty of self-help books on these topics.

    A couple of other thoughts. Remember that the world your daughter has is the ONLY one she knows. She's not going to be comparing it with a might-have-been and finding it second best, unless she learns that from you. If you try to enjoy HER world to the maximum, you may adopt it more.

    The other thing is, have you discussed all this with your doctor? Some of these feelings may have physical causes - it's not long since your daughter arrived, in the great scheme of things, and you may still have some hormonal changes affecting your state of mind.

    (((())))

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Thanks Saskia for sharing your experiences, you have come a long way, wishing you good luck for rest of the journey ahead.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Waikato
    Posts
    1,785

    Default

    Saskia, I'm going to be very honest with you about my feelings, but this is only my perspective. I wouldn't move my kids back to the UK now- they are too old and we've been out here too long and are too settled and too Kiwi to go back. However, if I'd known then what I know now I would not have come here for good. For a few years, yes, but not for good. I have literally broken my sister and Dad's hearts bringing my kids out here and although time has helped to heal that I now realise that my kids will never benefit from the closeness and intimacy of a loving extended family. They are loved by our families very much and people visit (more than many families- we're very lucky), call, write etc but it is not the same. My youngest in particular simply doesn't know what it's like to spend the weekend with her Grandparents or to have her aunties arrive for birthday tea.

    Understandably as the years go by and family events and rituals continue in the UK I can see a hole in the photos where my kids should be. Hand on heart, if I could go back in time we'd come out here for a year or so experience and move back before the kids got older and we'd rooted. I'm not filled with regret because I know I made what I thought was the best choice at the time and I enjoy life out here, especially seeing all my kids get out of life here but that's the way my husband and I feel

    I agree with the advice about not doing anything rash in the first year of your baby's life but it's not a bad thing to keep options open

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •