Should me and my family immigrate to the UK?

Caroline - posted on 04/14/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My husband wants me and our three children to immigrate to the small village of North Waltham in Hampshire, it's the village where he grew up! I love our home in Florida it has a lovely view and we are amonst friends but on the other hand i don't want him to be upset, i know how much it means to him! What should i do?

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Michelle - posted on 04/14/2013

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Liz has given you some very helpful advice, especially about visiting first. You can always check out the job markets and housing online first and see what you would be able to afford.

It would also be a big adjustment to the weather for you going from tropical Florida to cold England. I have lived in England (for 1 year before I had children) and there is no way I would go back to live. I'm in Australia and found the weather too depressing for me.

You really need to be sitting down with your husband and having a big discussion about it. Write down all the pros and cons and make sure you are really honest about them. We really can't tell you what you should be doing.

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Caroline - posted on 04/15/2013

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Thank you so much, me and my husband have decided we will visit England for 2 weeks every year so the children can stay in touch with his side of the family. i hope you can help me as well as you have done for other problems i may have in the future. Thank you, Caroline xxxxx xxx

Liz - posted on 04/15/2013

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Michelle makes a very good point about the weather.

Most summers, England will be colder than Florida is IN THE WINTER. Winters are colder too. A lot of the time it isn't particularly cold, but just grey, damp and miserable...day after day after day. There is a lot of rain...lots and lots and lots of rain in fact. The English have a joke when there's a sunny day (not necessarily a warm sunny day, just sunny) between June and August that this one day was that year's summer. That joke came about for a reason!

This has quite the effect on the potential for outdoor activities, outside play time, enjoyable school field trips etc.

Conversely, when they do get snow, they are unprepared for it and the whole country falls apart/shuts down. There is no budget to do anything but grit the road a tiny bit and nobody owns snow chains or winter tyres.

When the weather does, on occasion, get into the 80s during the summer, few cars have air conditioning and almost no private homes. Some public buildings don't even have it, though it is becoming more common in those. On those occasions, most people have windows open and resort to use of electric fans and not much else to keep their sanity!

It's a noticeable enough jump in climate for me between PA and the UK. FL to the UK would be a massive shift and enough to make someone depressed. I can totally understand why Michelle found that difficult.

Liz - posted on 04/14/2013

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You need to talk this through and one of you needs to compromise. It isn't necessarily you.

I came from the UK and moved to the USA, Pennsylvania, to be with my husband and raise my family. Before our daughter was born, we both lived in the UK for two years and he disliked it. I wouldn't say he 'hated' it, but the dislike was pretty intense. I couldn't understand that, because it was what I was used to and therefore everything made sense for me. I moved to America solely because I felt less antagonistic to that move than he did to staying in Britain. Unfortunately, I'd also just qualified as a Registered Nurse, but haven't ever been able to work because we can't afford the thousands of dollars for schooling to sort out an equivalent registration here.

You don't say if you're a stay at home mom or if you work, but if you work you may well find it hard to adjust to the UK job market, depending on your training, your skills and the area you wish to work in. Fulfilling criteria to integrate into that market may be costly, depending on the line of work.

It's taken me three years to get used to life in America, but now that I have done I consider most elements of my life to be superior here. The only two sticking points are the distance from my friends and family and the amount of gun crime here, especially in schools.

I cannot stress enough how utterly difficult it is in an unfamiliar country with a young family and no immediate support network of friends and family. We have no babysitters. We have adopted the mother of one of my husband's friends as a grandmom and she does a superb job but can only do so much. We only get out for a couple of hours each time that my daughter goes there. We are lucky if we see one movie a year. We almost never go out, if at all.

If you have such a network in Florida, you really need to think VERY hard about how you'd cope in Britain without it. Also, Britain is ridiculously expensive compared to America. Unless your combined income would be in the hundreds of thousands, you'd find it exceptionally difficult to get a roomy house for you and your three children. Yes, some American houses are small, but the average house here is way, way larger than the average British house. British houses are often shoe boxes by comparison.

Also, you don't say whether you have gone, all five together, to the UK for a vacation recently or whether your husband is remembering his days there with rose-tinted nostalgia. It's changed a lot even in the last five years. If you haven't all gone there recently, looked at the job market, looked at house prices, worked out what your daily budget would be versus your expenditure etc, then you should do so in advance of any commitment, financial or logistical, to go there permanently.

I'm English. I love my country and my friends and family there. Life is sometimes aggravating without them and in an unfamiliar place, but I still would not choose to move back to Britain right now. I would be sacrificing far too much in the way of living standards, disposable income, size of house, amount of land around the house, amenities and much much more.

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