Should I move to my hometown or stay in husband's hometown?
April 21, 2014 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I need some advice regarding where my family should live. My husband and I met on the West Coast, got married, and had our first baby. After our baby was born, we decided to move back East where our families are. His family is on one side of the state and my family on the other (about 4 hours apart). At the time, our work situations allowed both of us to move to his hometown because our companies happened to have offices here. I had always dreamed/planned to move to my hometown someday to be near my family but due to the work situations, it wasn't feasible to move there at that time. So we are currently living in his hometown, near his small family, who we don't see a ton. Recently, both of our work situations changed, and we are now both working from home, meaning we could live anywhere. In addition, we recently found out we are pregnant with our second child, and with two kids and demanding careers, it seems to make much more sense to live near my family since we have to much more support. So now we have to decide whether to move home near my family, which is where I want to be, or stay here, in the house we bought last year and in a town we have come to really like.

In the year that we have lived here, I have wanted more and more to live near my family. I have a big family (about 20 relatives) who get together regularly for dinners, birthdays, etc. Basically, everyone is involved and supportive of each other, and loves to have fun. In addition, everyone is so helpful, whether it is last minute baby-sitting or shoveling snow when my husband is traveling, it would be so nice to have the support of my family since we both have demanding careers and a child. My husband's family is just one parent and one sibling. They do not get together often, we have been invited to his mom's house only twice in 15 months and they are the type who want to see us and our daughter when it's convenient for them and that's all. At the same time, if MIL doesn't see baby enough, she complains (and lies) about how long it's been. They aren’t very helpful- the MIL cancels on babysitting or sometimes just says no, even if we just need help for an hour or two and she’s going to be driving by our house, and husband's sibling has baby sat one time in 15 months. The MIL situation is an entirely different issue that I will not go into right now, but lets just say it's been a trying and not very pleasant year living near her.

So now we want to move, and my husband says we can move anywhere I will be happy. However, it's just not that easy! I know deep down, my husband would not be as happy. All of his best friends are within two hours of us (meaning they will be 6+ hours away if we move), and he is even closer to his friends than his family, though he acknowledges that we can't plan our life around the friends he sees on average of once every other month. Furthermore, my husband (and I) loves our house, our neighborhood, our daughter's daycare and the town we live in. And then add in some practical issues such as having to sell our house, tell my husband's family (which they won't take well), and having to uproot our life again so soon after doing it once, are all issues holding me back.

My husband says we can put the house on the market tomorrow if I want, and I've said for so long living near my family is what I want more than anything, but now that the opportunity is here, I am having trouble just doing it. Help!
posted by flower777 to Human Relations (20 answers total)
Move. It sounds really clear that you really want to be closer to your family. You should do that. Yes, it's a big undertaking, and yes, there are some drawbacks, but from what you've written here, it will be worth it to you.
posted by aka burlap at 12:28 PM on April 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seems like a no brainer to move.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:32 PM on April 21, 2014

I would move. If you see friends every month or so, plan to see them every 3 months or so. 6 hours is a long trek, but not for, say, a long weekend every few months.

Family support is something you can't take for granted and it's something a lot of people don't have. Given that you're going to need some extra support with another kid on the way, this is the perfect time to do it.

Just make sure that your husband knows that he can let you know if he's missing his friends and that occasionally y'all can pile into the car (or plane or boat or whatever) to visit them if he wants to do that.
posted by xingcat at 12:32 PM on April 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

Why are you asking us what you know you want?
posted by Murray M at 12:46 PM on April 21, 2014

you're gonna want that helpful extended family nearby when the second baby drops.
posted by bruce at 12:52 PM on April 21, 2014

I think in addition to the fact that helpful relatives nearby will make your and your husband's lives easier -- having a close, warm, social extended family in their hometown is a great gift to give your children. Obviously they'd be fine driving to see grandma every couple months, but if they could go over twice a week for cookies it would really be a blessing to them growing up.
posted by gerstle at 12:55 PM on April 21, 2014 [10 favorites]

Flip a coin. Heads you move, tails you stay. How do you feel when it comes up [xxxxx]?

(From what you've written here, I vote move.)
posted by rtha at 1:12 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have people who can add to your quality of life, practically and emotionally support your young family, and give your kids 20+ (ok, say 18, there are always a couple of screwballs) positive and diverse examples of what a reasonably functioning grownup human is like, don't deny it to yourselves or your little ones. Six hours by car is many fewer by plane (if possible), and one visit with his friends a month is the most you'd manage anyway. I bet there are lots of nice houses in your hometown you could both like just as well.
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:16 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

You know you want to move, and you know it's what's best for you and your family. You also know what's making you hesitate, which I think boils down to the fact that it makes you nervous that you'll be moving away from your hubby's people. You have to just get over that. Let MIL have her tantrum, who cares? Ignore it. She's not worth your time. Encourage hubby to make plans to see his friends and to make new friends. And most importantly you have to trust your hubby that he's telling you the truth that he's okay with this.
posted by bleep at 1:16 PM on April 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

The sooner you move, the sooner you and your family will be able to put down roots, make new friends, and find all of the new places you'll love in new town. The importance of having helpful family support nearby when you have two kids can't be overstated. If you're lucky enough to have that situation, take advantage of it.

Plan for hubby to leave for long weekends here and there to visit his old friends. With your helpful family around, having him gone for several days needn't be a nightmare.
posted by quince at 1:38 PM on April 21, 2014

It definitely sounds like you want to move and are ready for it, but the only hesitation is your husband's feelings. Is there anything you can offer to make this transition more lovely and pleasant for him? Say, once every two months he gets a "guys weekend" back in his hometown and you volunteer to do momma-duty that weekend? A trip to Vegas (or some other guy thing his friends like to do, fish, camp, LARP, spa weekends, skiing, whatever). Can you buy him gift certificates for a quick flight back to his hometown six times a year? This seems like an easy decision, but think about how to implement to make him happiest...
posted by amoeba at 1:42 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Move! Being close to a tight-knit family is great, and it'll be great for your kids. Yes, it's disruptive, but it's what you want and your spouse is game, so go for it! The pain and hassle will be short-lived in the grand scheme of things. It's easier to do now than it will be any time in the future.
posted by rosa at 1:46 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just had a second child last year, and having family to help has been a Godsend. Move, and do it before baby #2 arrives. It's not going to get any easier the longer you wait. Make a deal with your husband that he can go back and visit every couple of months while you and your kids hang out with your family. You are a team, and you do what is best for the team.
posted by snickerdoodle at 1:53 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing move, and do it before your second child arrives.

The only real potential "con" that sticks out is the change to your husband's social life - but, of course, he will eventually make friends and still be able to keep his current crew - heck, they may even see more of each other once you move given that he'd be the Old Friend We Haven't Seen In Awhile, and now they'll have to plan and rearrange entire weekends to get together.

With 20+ supportive family members already willing to help you, there will be no shortage of people who can introduce your hubby to various prospective friends. And I say this as a parent who moved to a completely new town 5+ years ago where DH and I did not know a soul. And yes, I'm convinced we see a lot more of our old friends when we're just visiting than we would if we still lived there. Visiting old friends always tend to be a high priority for folks.

Your MIL will get over it. She sounds like the type who will be critical of you no matter what you do - just think how much harder this choice would be if she were sweet, thoughtful, and always followed through on her promises to babysit?
posted by hush at 2:11 PM on April 21, 2014

There are some things you like about both where you live and where you might live. (1) search for a compromise which gives you both things to a certain extent; and (2) take your time. Usually time answer's these questions.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:18 PM on April 21, 2014

It sounds best for your kids to move. Realistically, your husband is going to see less of his kids after the second kid anyway (and you don't mention them stepping up for babysitting). Seeing them once every two month from 4-6 hours away isn't that big a sacrifice.
posted by saucysault at 2:27 PM on April 21, 2014

Move! It sounds overall like short term hassle for wonderful long term benefits!

And depending on how far along you are, don't delay, you've been thinking about this for years and now seems like the time. If you can, try to take advantage of the relative pregnancy calm that's the second trimester to get some of the big daunting decisions/work done.

And what others have said about helping your husband plan regular trips to see friends.
posted by pennypiper at 2:57 PM on April 21, 2014

You are pregnant and you want and need to be closer to your family. His job as a father is to protect the mother of his baby. Let him protect you. Start looking for houses near your mom's house. It will be an easier leap if you know for sure what you are leaping towards. Look for a house with a guest room for his friends to visit, but not his mom, she sounds awful.
posted by myselfasme at 5:45 PM on April 21, 2014

Friends come and go; family is forever. I think you know your family is the better bet. Move.
posted by catatethebird at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2014

Can you rent out your current house for a while and get a rental of your own in your hometown as you seem to really love your house?
posted by hazyjane at 10:54 AM on April 22, 2014

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