Moving Away from Family

Moving away from family is sad- not matter how exciting the prospects.

Moving Away from FamilyIt’s not that I don’t want to go. It’s just that I don’t want to leave.

I have spent most of my life in a 60 mile radius. There was an exception for college, and for two years when I turned 4, but the rest of my life has been spent close to home. My sisters each moved away for a while, and for the first time since high school, my whole family has been back together- something I always wanted.

Now it is my turn; to try something new, to live somewhere else, to know who I am outside of the surroundings that remind me of who I am supposed to be. This is something else I have always wanted.

But now I have kids, and my son and daughter have grown knowing what it means to have ready access to their grandparents and aunts and uncles- to feel the confidence that comes from being accepted, loved and adored for who they are- by so many people. I didn’t expect my kids yo have best friends at 3 and 5 years old. So it’s different.

It isn’t that we have to go- though we would be foolish not to- but it is more than that. It is a chance to experience a different climate, and new people… a lifestyle that offers outdoor activities all year long and sunshine 300 days each year. It is an opportunity to know a different part of our own country and for my husband to grow professionally in a way that is exciting for him and for us.

I look forward to all of these things. I am eager to experience understanding our family for our own dynamic; with different surroundings and people, and without the reminders that keep me boxed into who I have always been.

It’s just the leaving; the saying good-bye, the knowing that my dad is not a phone call away to remove a bat that has entered my house when my husband is away. It is the understanding that we can no longer visit my mom at work when it all is just too lonely.

It is the already longing for the impromptu sleepovers of my siblings… that are always child inclusive because my sisters and brother value my kids as much as I do. It is the wondering of who my own family will be without the support of my own.

I do not know how to reconcile this. I am unsure of how to prepare myself so that I lead my children to the exciting and positive experience we are about to have.

So I am trying to be with it. I am not distracting us and my tears flow freely. When my children ask what is wrong, I tell them; that I am sad. That I will miss my mom and dad and Momo and grandmother and Minna and Bridgey and Uncle TJ. I tell them that this is the place I have always called home- that the ocean is in my blood and that this is the blood of my family.

I also tell them that I am excited. I share all of the things that I am looking forward to- like stability, adventures, and exploration. I share with them that our whole family will never change and that the people they love are never more than a plane ride away. I remind them that all they have to do is call any one of these people and they will drop everything to come. Just as it always has been.

For now this will have to do. Once we are settled things will seem brighter. They will be fresh, new and exciting. My children will fall asleep in the only home they have ever known; the space between my husband and I.

As time passes we will evaluate what continues to make sense for our family and adjust accordingly. In the meantime, we will take with us the unshakeable love of our family, and the knowledge that something as small as a plane ride can’t compete with a large family who loves deeply.


25 Replies to “Moving Away from Family”

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  2. Thank you for this article. I have been struggling with this ” idea” for a few years now. Hubby had a job opportunity in Florida and we didn’t go because when I told my mom she all about had a nervous breakdown and my dad begged me to stay. I still long for the newness and everything you stated . Always lived in the same place for 40 years with family 5 minutes away. This opportunity is rearing its head again but I feel guilty for wanting to leave. I know it is selfish of my mom to put this emotional blackmail on us and that’s it wrong but I still feel bad about wanting to go. Good luck to you and would love to hear a post move story in a few months to see how you fared!

  3. Thank you for this, it’s exactly how I am feeling about our impending move. Our family is close, my children and cousins are best friends. My parents and my husbands mum is always around when we need them. But we also have an opportunity for my husband to try something new, me to make new friends and grow stronger within myself. And to get out of debt. I’m scared of the change, but a change is maybe something we need.

  4. I’m reading your post at such an appropriate time.lying in bed here the night before we move house with our three kids and dog.the only thing holding me here is that I’ve family close by,I’m going to dearly miss them and the special relationship they have with our kids.
    I do know if we don’t move we will regret it and you only live once. I’m luckily only 1hr hoping time together will be even more special.thanks for your post

  5. Thank you for this article. You summed up everything I’ve been feeling. Such a mix of emotions. When I was younger I always wanted to leave my hometown. But now that I’m older & have a young son, the thought of leaving my Mom & siblings breaks my heart.

  6. I left my family 3 years ago… and still feel this way! We moved from Vancouver to Langkawi, Malaysia. We have had adventure and exciting travels to over 7 countries (and a second baby!) and in 3 months we go home for the first time. I was scared to leave Canada and say goodbye, it broke my heart. We lived 5 min away from both our families…I was on maternity leave and saw my mom and grandma every day! My guilt from ‘taking away their granddaughter and endless joy’ never subsided. Now….I am leaving here…and feel equally sad! This is all my kids know as home, and I have to take them away and leave their friends and school and surroundings. I guess either way I feel guilty. The benefits outway the negatives usually when you leave, but that precious time with extended family has always left my heart aching.

  7. I’m going to another country in two days. This post really helped me understand a lot about what it means to be with your family or away from it. I wish things could be the way I wanted them to but then life wouldn’t be worthwhile anymore. Thanks for this beautiful article.

  8. This article was perfect to read my husband & I moved for a job op he got. We don’t have kids yet but are both very close with our family & I feel so emotional about everything glad to hear I’m not alone in this & that the positives out weigh the negatives.

  9. Helpful, but with us it’s Gramma & Grampa leaving just to have adventure, and enjoy life in our retirement. I’m from Nova Scotia, and have lived, raised my family for 40 plus yrs. in ON. Like one lady said,”the ocean is in my blood.” Just would like to try living on the coast again for a while anyway. I’m afraid my kids & grandkids won’t understand.

    • Dear Sharon:

      All of my grandparents have left us already, but I do know know that i have been begging my dad to just sell his houses and quit his job to enjoy freely with my mom now that they are older and have worked so hard. Although like you say it wold be a sad time while they are away and I would miss them a lot since we have always been together but there is nothing I would want more than to see them enjoy life and rest. Watch a sunset sitting at the beach together. Breathing different air and enjoying beautiful views together. This month is actually their 39th anniversary! And I think that just like in your case they have dedicated all of their life to us and to provide the great life we have. Taking a well break and vacation is the least thing they deserve! Do not fear their understating as a loving daughter I think many would agree with me that parents and grandparents deserve everything for all that they do and sacrifice for their kids and grandkids !!

      Go and have fun,relax, meet new people and try things you never did before! Good luck!

  10. This was great to read! Are there more articles to it? A follow up? We are considering moving back to GA from home. We only moved back home 4 years ago because of me. Because we wanted to start a family and I did not want to do it without family. I feel bad often because my husband had such a great circle of friends in GA and I made him move. He does not have this here at home, and I have regretted moving back in many way, but have also been so happy to be back and having helping hands with our first child. GA has so much more to offer us then home as; more sunshine, way less cost of living (with comparative salaries), and really good friends and faith, and having kids college mostly paid for there. Here, at home, it is mostly just family is why we are here, which I love, but it is hard at times too because there is a lot of drama. Moving back to GA would but good, but hard I know. My husband is a Real Estate agent and would have to make it there! Good thing is we know people in GA in the biz, but we still have to make it on our own. So glad this article came up. Any comments are welcome! We are struggling on what to do, especially since I am 10 weeks pregnant and our first has such a strong bond with my parents! But I am always wanting to go back to GA and especially at this time of year with the non-stop gloominess of home I want to leave here!!!

  11. Thank you for this. We’re struggling with our plan for a move away from my family (in the US) to a place closer to my husband’s family (in the UK). We have two little girls that are loved immensely by both families, but moving across the ocean to where my husband is from is better for our family- financially and culturally. It would be safer and easier to stay here- but would it be better for our growing family? The only way we can know is to take the plunge and go. I fear a nervous breakdown from my mother when we tell her, because these are her only grandchildren and my father left her years ago. But she won’t be without family and we can’t live our lives to please her (or anyone else). It’s encouraging to see other people who have ‘been there, done that’… Makes me feel less alone in all of this.

  12. This is how I’m feeling, although I’m 2 years into the move. I lived in the same school district all my life, with large extended family around. I was up for the adventure, then found out we would be expecting our 1st grandson. We moved forward with the move anyway, with the promise that we would go back often to visit. But last visit I didn’t even get to see my grandson, I saw my other 2 sons; but my eldest son’s family was too busy for me to visit. Broke my heart. Now I want to move back, because my middle son is now expecting a baby boy. I want to be part of my grandson’s lives and don’t feel I can do that so far away. They get busy and I’m busy with work, too – so coordinating time to Skype is challenging and doesn’t happen much. However, my husband has established a successful business here and does not want to leave. I’ve found work, but making much less than I used to – this is also causing financial discontent for me, feeling less independent than I’m used to. My husband has mentioned divorce, but I really don’t want that, I love him and want to find compromise. Is there anyone living , at least part-time, in separate cities from their spouse? My husband is very black & white picture and I’m trying to find the gray to make this work….suggestions, please.

  13. You sound extremely selfish!!! Your children are lucky enough to be around their
    exrended family and you want to take that away for some sun!! Dont bother brain
    washing your kids it is what it is. You dont have to go, you want to.

  14. Loved the write-up and very helpful; made me also feel not so alone. My husband was offered a relocation opportunity and I feel it’s “now or never”. Have lived in one state all my life. Thank you for sharing.

  15. This was such a great post. My husband and I are struggling to decide if we should make out of state move, which will take them away from grandparents and aunt/uncle. But it will allow me to afford to stay home with them – currently I’m a working mom who works late hours. This post made me cry and was very inspirational. Thanks for it.

  16. I’m 22 and leaving the home I’ve known all my life to live with my fiancé and start a life together. I always thought I’d fly the nest no problem but have found it very difficult to leave my parents and grandparents ( who live down the road). This will be the first time in have lived away from them for a prolonged time. My fiancé said that in 6 months if it doesn’t work (we are moving near his family) and if I am unhappy we could try to find a house nearer my family.
    I know it’s selfish but I feel I’m giving up more to move so far away and leave my family behind everything I’ve ever known. Including my cat that I love so much, he has to stay with my parents as I am not allowed to bring him to the house we are renting. I felt that even if he could come it would be a small home comfort and I would feel less lonely when in the house by myself.
    I find myself crying every five minutes and putting off packing my stuff. I am heartbroken but should be excited about this new adventure. The fall out with his family a week ago has not helped as I feel I will have no one to speak to that understands.
    I hope things will get better and I will flourish and toughen up and grow in to a more I dependant person. Good luck to everyone moving far from family or even just to a new city. I believe there’s no place like home and hope wherever you end up you are surrounded by love and begin to feel settled.

    • Lucille,

      Hello, I am in the same situation although my husband and I are choosing to move to FL from MO. I’m just curious if you found happiness? And why couldn’t you find a home that would allow you to bring your cat? Your post made me sad. My move is getting more and more real the more we talk about it with our family and make plans to go look at apartments. It is something that we have always wanted to do so it is very exciting but also a mix of emotions considering we have lived close to our friends and family our whole lives. Good luck to you!

  17. I cry every night knowing we will be so far away from my mom. Her grandkids are her world. It breaks my heart.

  18. wow this article definitely hits home with me. I am 25 and extremely close with my mother who has been battling stage 4 breast cancer. She is doing well but I am finding leaving her is too tough to bear. My husband and I are relocating from Michigan to Germany and I cant lie I am terrifed. He has told me that I either go with him and if i cant do it i have to move back in with my mother. I feel trapped to between the life I once had with her and the new life I have to go to. I had a serious bout of depression over the whole situation and was brought back by therapy and medication though I am still having anxiety over the whole life change. I am praying that with time I can accept this new life and look back at my old life with happiness.

  19. Thank you for this! Has it got any easier? I left my family 8 years ago and moved from Arizona to Rochester, NY! I really want to go back but my husband doesn’t at all! I don’t want to split up our family to move back but I want so badly to do so. At the same time I really try hard to see the positive in my surroundings and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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  21. Several months into a move away from friends who became like family and watched my children grow, we regret moving. The job opportunity it brought and the newness factor weren’t worth it. We miss the support and have learned that mundane, same old is ok. Take an extra vacation, but don’t move away from people who love you. Trying to make the best of it

  22. Hi there! Do you have a follow up to this? Like so many others, this hit home and brought tears to my eyes. We’re lightly considering a move from NJ to CO (with 2.5 year old twins and ALL family in NJ), and when I saw mention of that “300 days of sun”, my heart fluttered like it does every time I think of the prospect……… oh boy.