One of the hardest life lessons that I have learned is living away from my family.
When my husband and I moved with our cat to Victoria, Australia from New South Wales, Australia…
I truly believe that I did not understand the adjustment that it would make. I didn’t understand the choice that I had made would impact severely on life experiences around me, and unfortunately it would be incredibly difficult.
Yes, of course I understood deep down that it would be tricky not seeing my mother, father and two brothers regularly but I didn’t realise the impact it would have when I made certain life choices.
For example, my husband and I were only engaged at the time of our relocating but when we decided to get married…
Boy was that tricky!
We had to consider travel costs for either side of our family – for example we weren’t sure if we were best to get married in Victoria which was our new home or would we get married in a more familiar location like New South Wales which was were we met.
There were financial factors involved, stress from both sides of the family and it was all around just a pretty crappy feeling because we didn’t want to put anyone in our family in a tricky position.
Wherever we did it, whenever we did it, there was never a perfect time.
There would be people that would have to arrange time off from their work to travel so that they could make it and it wasn’t as easy as just a flick of the switch. Lots of preparation had to go into it, all because of location. We had to just nip it in the bud and do it.
There have been huge milestones that they miss out on. One in particular is our pregnancy. My entire family hasn’t seen me pregnant and I am now in my third trimester. My own mother hasn’t had a chance to touch and hold my belly, she has only seen it on video calls and through pictures I send her. My family has sent us down parcels of gifts and well wishes, but it isn’t the same as actually having them in person being a part of the experience. I am going to have to go through it alone with my husband, yes he has a fantastic family who is supportive but it isn’t the same as a woman to be without my own support like my mother when I go into childbirth. It will be too tricky to schedule the right time for her to come down, and she has her own life and situations that she is coping with right now that it just isn’t realistic. It sucks, but it’s life.
When we moved locations, we knew it would be pretty tricky. We just didn’t realise how difficult emotionally the change would be.
It is harder than it looks being away from your family..
Unfortunately that is what comes with relocating and making that choice to have done it. I just don’t believe when you make that change you fully understand the emotional aspect from it all. It weighs on you. It’s a sense of guilt for being away from them, missing out on their lives and they are missing out on yours. It feels wrong. Regardless of how happy you are where you are, it is always in the back of your mind that it would be just that bit better if they were living near you.
I was speaking to a man at my work the other day who moved to America and all of his family is in Victoria, Australia and he was saying how regardless of where his belongings are he still calls where his family lives home. He says it is so hard only seeing them once a year, and that is only how much I see my family too. I could really relate and understand how he was feeling, and my family is only in a different state – not a different country.
The trouble is not about making the time to go visit, but it is financial aspect as well. It is so expensive to travel and if you have limited time off work it becomes even more challenging. Life gets in the way, and the opportunity to visit becomes next to nothing.
It hit me the other day that if you are only seeing your family once a year, that would be only seeing your family 12 times in 12 years.
Twelve bloody years!
If you actually let that sink in, it will make you so upset to truly think about. Ugh, it’s just something that you don’t want to think about. The fact once my baby is born, when they have lived 12 years of their life they will only have seen their grandparents and uncles 12 times. That is just the most horrible feeling, and this is all because of relocating away from family.
It just doesn’t make sense..
I don’t feel like this is something you are truly aware of when you make that jump to moving elsewhere. It’s a huge sacrifice. It isn’t as simple as just seeing your family more often, because it isn’t feasible sometimes in life and you can’t live beyond your means by catering to trips regularly. The costs add up over time, and it is unmanageable.
Living away from family is actually one of the hardest situations to go through, because family really is forever and they are so important. Make sure you hold your family tight next time you see them!