“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!

Mum and me in Rwanda, 2005. She flew out to see me when I lived there.

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?


Cassie

Mexico Cassie is technically British Cassie but who cares? Currently in the process of moving one family across the ocean and back to Mexico. Hurrah!

28 Comments

Liz · 24/01/2018 at 9:31 pm

I too have a very supportive family – even when what was supposed to be a temporary move turned into a permanent one! I get the occasional guilt-inducing comment from my Grandma, but actually the worst has come from a friend, which has lead to that friendship being on very shaky ground. I probably keep my family more in the loop since I became a Mum, and Skype/social media is awesome. My daughter is probably as close to my family (who she has never lived in the same country as) as she is to my husband’s who only live 45 minutes away.

    Cassie · 25/01/2018 at 6:38 am

    From a friend? That’s pretty shitty. I agree that becoming a parent can improve your own relationship with your mum.

Kylie · 26/01/2018 at 8:19 pm

I absolutely loved this post Cassie, it almost brought a tear to my eye! As a Brit living in America, I can totally relate to my own situation. I talk to my Mum for an hour every day on FaceTime. The goodbye’s never get any easier (for either of us!) but I’m so grateful for her support! Reading the comment before mine, my 2 so called ‘best friends’ stopped talking to me completely once I moved! In all honesty, I couldn’t care about them as it just shows what the friendship was really like, I’d be devastated if a family member cut me off like that though!

    Cassie · 26/01/2018 at 8:25 pm

    Friends cut you off because you moved? That’s terrible. How immature and selfish of them. Hope you’ve made loads of new friends in my home country to make up for them.

    Cassie · 26/01/2018 at 8:26 pm

    Hah. Got it wrong way round, you’re a Brit too. Sorry. X

Melissa · 26/01/2018 at 8:59 pm

Interesting to read your mum’s perspective. I love that she said she raised you to be confident and brave. As a mum myself, I hope to instill that same type of confidence in my daughter.

    Cassie · 26/01/2018 at 9:01 pm

    Me too. My daughter is already super brave and long may it last.

Angie · 26/01/2018 at 10:04 pm

I’ve been away from home for 10 years now, I do make sure to visit every year. I know that it was hard for my mum to say goodbye everytime I leave but then I make sure that she sees I’m happy in what I’m doing. It is always great to know that whatever happens, there’s a home that we can go back to. A lovely post 🙂

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 7:26 am

    Gosh, ten years, hope we make.it that long! Going home is always special and, as you say, good to have a place to go.

Teja · 26/01/2018 at 10:22 pm

It was a bit rockier for me. And I didn’t even emigrate – just moved out and began travelling solo more. But I stuck to it, and I think it ended up to be the best thing all around. [I’ve linked an article I wrote about that to this comment, to answer your final question. In it I also made the point that I would and could do that, ironically because of her and the line before me].

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 7:24 am

    Good for you. And yes the strength that came before is so important.

Miranda Menelaws · 26/01/2018 at 11:05 pm

Aww this is so sweet 🙂 Love that you guys are able to keep your special bond with each other despite being far away <3

I love my weekly skypes with my Mumma back home, so so special. I went nearly a month without them when I was having some issues with my internet provider and realized just how needed they are.

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 7:23 am

    Glad you got intetnet issues fixed. We all need our mums!

Anete · 27/01/2018 at 4:23 am

What a nice story! I always love how adventurous an fun life gets when you get to spend it with your loved ones abroad. And when you have such a special bond with the family even from far away.

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 7:22 am

    Thanks! I agree life is an adventure but it’s good to have loved ones behind supporting.

Kelly · 27/01/2018 at 10:07 am

I love this unique post idea. I moved to korea when I was younger and my parents freaked out and did not handle it will at all. SO I relate to this and feel it’s a good idea to remember how our travels impact those we love.

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 10:18 am

    Thanks so much! Sorry it was hard for your parents. Hope they’re better able to handle this now!

Melissa · 27/01/2018 at 11:41 am

I think we have it easier now moving around the globe thanks to tech like Skype and What’s App and Facebook Messenger. My best friend moved to China to teach and yet we still chat every day so it’s not much different than if he lived in the next town, except it takes more effort to see each other face to face. In short, yay for Skype!

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 12:31 pm

    Hurrah for strong friendships.

Bernie · 27/01/2018 at 12:27 pm

That’s lovely to read. You clearly have a great relationship with your mum. We did it the other way round, in that it was my mum who emigrated. It gave us great excuses to have holidays to meet halfway and explore more of the world together.

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 12:31 pm

    Exactly! Any excuse, right?

Jacky · 27/01/2018 at 2:18 pm

What an interesting read! I love how supportive your mum is of your decision 🙂
When I told my mother I was moving to Finland she didn’t talk to me for 3 days, haha.

    Cassie · 27/01/2018 at 5:31 pm

    Oh no! Hope she came around!

Lily · 28/01/2018 at 12:16 am

I love the support you’ve gotten and that this is your moms point of view, it isn’t always easy for parents to be so far from their kids and vice versa. BUT I love that you chose Mexico! Which has been your favorite city so far? Check out Monterrey I have tons of family there 🙂

    Cassie · 28/01/2018 at 2:16 pm

    Monterrey is on the list. Haven’t found a place we don’t like yet.

carrie · 28/01/2018 at 2:32 pm

Wow, you are so fortunate to have such an amazingly supportive mother. Sounds like she’s adjusting pretty well. Even when I just go to Mexico for a few days my mom incessantly texts me to make sure I didn’t get robbed or murdered! It’s also great that you’re doing so much to stay in touch with her, I’m sure she really appreciates that.

    Cassie · 28/01/2018 at 2:34 pm

    My parents were worried the first time we came but now they realise Mexico is just another country, some areas are safe and some less so.

Ellie · 28/01/2018 at 3:47 pm

Such an interesting read! I think it’s useful sometimes to reflect on how our travelling makes other people in our life feel… it’s not always easy for everyone else!

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