When a Child Emigrates – The Effect on the Family Left Behind

Emigrating is a selfish decision.  Yep I’m allowed to say it, I’m the one who emigrated after all.  I made my decision knowing that leaving would upset a lot of people and it made me feel like a horrible, awful person.  So I done a Q&A with my Mum, to find out the true effect on the family that’s left behind.  Hopefully this will be a useful insight for other parents/’grown up’ children who are in the same situation!

What were your initial thoughts when I first said I was emigrating?

I think the hardest time was actually when you had only known Jesse about a month and I was thinking ‘if this is ever to become serious it would probably mean you emigrating… My baby can’t leave me, how would I cope?’……BUT as time went on I could see how right you were for each other and we got to meet Jesse and fell in love with him too so then I just WANTED you to be together. When he asked you to marry him it all became real and then became a long countdown to D-Day as we called it.

Has it been easier than what you thought it would be?

It’s getting easier now…. The few weeks either side of ‘D-Day’ were awful, can’t deny it, but as I say to everyone, it’s not the distance that’s the problem.. It’s just a typical Mother thing, having to let go, and it would have felt pretty much the same even if you were only moving 40 miles away and not 4000. It’s just a case of getting used to a new way of life…. And I can go shopping now without crying over the strawberries because you always used to pick them up!!

In what ways do you still feel we are close?

I still feel just as close because we still talk about everything the same as we did. FaceTime, Snapchat, Messenger…. I can still see you, talk to you, have a tour around your house, you can show me things you’ve bought, I know what you’re having for dinner…….

What are your favourite things about where I now live?

The summer weather, lots of space, empty roads (and straight roads at that), American flags flying proudly everywhere (why can’t the UK be like that?), squirrels in the garden, (I know some people here have squirrels in their garden, but we don’t) countryside, big trucks, some really nice food (funnel cakes, slow cooked beef….)

Do you think my quality of life will be better in the USA?

It very possibly could be. You will certainly always have a bigger house than in the UK because you get so much more for your money over there. If you were living here ALL your wages would go on a mortgage for at least the next 30 years. The UK Is becoming too over crowded, open fields get houses built on them. Most things in the US are cheaper. Families over there seem to spend a lot of time together socially – maybe because of the nice weather? Because our weather is so unpredictable it puts you off arranging big outdoor gatherings.

When a Child Emigrates

Is there anything you worry about with me living in America?

Definitely the healthcare. I worry that you could end up in debt just because of illness or an accident, or worse, that you don’t get treated at all. Although our NHS is in dire straits you know you will get treated and not owe a single penny. I also worry a bit about tornadoes…. And deer running across the road in front of you when you’re driving!!

Think about if I was living in the UK, do you think we talk more being further away than we would if we were on each others door step?

If you were living somewhere else in the UK I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be FaceTiming for an hour every day. Because your life seems exciting just because of where you are, there is so much more to talk about. I want to hear about all the differences, new things you’ve experienced, new people you’ve met, what the weather is like and you want to talk just so you feel connected to home and we don’t feel so far away.

What are you looking forward to the most when we next see each other on a visit?

Just spending time together, whether it be here or in the US. Visiting places. Giving you a great big bear hug. If we come to you it will be nice to see you looking ‘at home’ and not a deer in the headlights like when we left you there – scared and worried about pretty much everything!

What’s the hardest thing about me living so far from home?

At first it was just missing your physical presence (but that would have felt the same whatever the distance). I think the hardest things will be in the future. If you have children, or you are ill and we just want to be with you straight away but can’t be. For you it will be the same. If something happens here and you don’t know whether you need to get back or not.

Do you think my blog has helped close the physical distance between us?

Definitely. I get excited for you when you are doing fun things, and just knowing that some of the things you write about can really help someone. It is great for family and friends here to read too. I also feel a bit like a ‘silent’ partner as I get updates on your viewing figures, or give my opinion on things you write about.

I was lucky that when I first moved across, my Mum, Dad and Sister flew with me for a visit.  I think this helped a HUGE amount.  They stayed at my house, they got to see the local area and even meet some of the neighbours.  That way when we do speak to each other, some of the places I mention aren’t totally alien to them!

How do you cope being away from your family?

4 thoughts on “When a Child Emigrates – The Effect on the Family Left Behind

  1. Such a lovely idea!! I originally started my blog just to keep in touch with my friends and family back home and I feel like it’s helped loads! I can definitely hear my own mum in your mum’s words 🙂

    Alanna | Adventures and Naps


  2. I’ve never thought you were selfish for leaving. I would have been selfish for trying to make you stay. It’s not like it was an easy decision, or process… It was really really hard for you and I am so proud of you for working at it and you deserve to be happy X


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