“Daughter emigrated. How do I feel?”
I thought it might be interesting, as part of my blog series about our moving to Mexico from the UK (start reading the series here, if you haven’t already done so), to ask my mum to write about how she feels about our move.
We all know that it’s super exciting to head off overseas but how do our parents feel when we disappear, especially if we take their grandchildren with us? Col and I are incredibly lucky to have four extremely supportive parents between us. Both sets have been nothing but positive about our random decision to uproot our lives for no reason other than the desire for adventure. Not once we were made to feel guilty or crazy. In fact, my parents have agreed / jumped at the chance to come and spend months at a time with us here in Mexico.
Well, without further ado, I give you my very first guest blog poster: my mum!
It’s now 10 days or so since my lovely daughter and family moved to Mexico for….who knows how long. I am surprised by how I feel.
When they were preparing to go, the last few days here felt a bit like the end of the world. We went to stay and saw how empty their house looked, bereft of kids’ toys and all the detritus of every day life. And on the day they actually left, even though they had not wanted us to go to the airport to wave them off I sort of felt that we should have done.
Anyway, there were an anxious few hours, well lots of them actually, until they let us know they had arrived safely and then it was a fait accompli so no point being sad. And since then we have Skyped and video what’s apped and it doesn’t feel any different from when they were in London. We have seen the property in which they are living and seen our bedroom….even watched the children climbing on our bed. When the little ones hear our voices on the phone, they come running and want to see us both. Their faces break into the most heart-breakingly beautiful smiles…..what could be better than that? Cass is wonderful at keeping the lines of communication going. She tells us what is happening with the children and schools and house hunting and things so that we feel included and still needed. I find that when I think of them, which is often, I am smiling. It’s not a conscious smile, I just notice that I think of them all and my face is smiling. We get photos of houses they are looking at, things the children are doing, food they are eating….what more could we want?
A few years ago, I had a huge shock when I realised that my children love me as much as I loved my own parents. It was a real surprise. And now we have grandchildren who also seem to love us hugely….how lucky are we? I actually KNOW that they all love us as I hope they know that we love them. It’s being included that does it. We are a family and our children are having the adventure of their lives. What’s to be sad about? If they are brave enough to do what they are doing it’s because they feel safe enough in themselves and their family to embark on this sort of adventure, maybe it’s because we, as parents, have given them the confidence to do this.
We shall be flying out to go and stay with them in a few weeks. Last time they were in Mexico we stayed with them for a month over xmas and had the most wonderful time, sharing a house and just being together. It was unbelievably fabulous and gave us amazing memories. And soon we shall be doing it again. I can’t wait!
And How Do I Feel, Having Read That?
I think I knew how my mum feels without reading her writing. She isn’t the type of person to make us feel bad about going. As she said, we were raised to be adventurous and to be full of confidence. How would making us feel bad help anything? Either we’d then stay at home and resent our parents, or we’d leave full of guilt and sadness. As it is, we left with just a little sadness. Because who doesn’t love proximity to their parents when the relationship is strong? I adore spending time with my parents and would never want moving abroad to mean they were less a part of my life, or that of my kids. Thankfully skype, whatsapp and a plethora of other social media mean we barely go 24 hours without some sort of communication. Today I called my mum from the supermarket because whatsapp is free in Mexico. I had a question so I called her, just as I would have from London.
So, yeah, her daughter emigrated. But it’s gonna be ok.
How has your family managed in a similar situation?