We all have problems. We have personal problems, family problems, work problems. Even our problems have problems. Some problems are worse than others. I know that my problems are not necessarily the same as your problems. Having said that, I have a problem.
I have lived in NY for my entire life. I have been living in the same area for the past 20 years and am in close proximity to my parents, a fantastic group of friends and a solid business network. My wife and I see my side of the family pretty regularly. Its been a big help having them here especially with having a new daughter. But much of our family has moved away. My wife’s family has been out of the area for approximately five years and they are settled in their new locations. Most recently, my brother’s family moved away from the area in search for a better quality of life. Lucky for him, he was able to transfer with a job in place. While some of our family has been away from the area for a number of years, others have been more recent in their moves taking with them our cousins, brothers, aunts and uncles. I am aware that it is no one’s fault when family or friends relocate; however, it seems that with each move my opportunity to grow old and create memories with them also moves away. It is understood that life gives us these situations and we must all adapt and make changes as we see fit – but what happens when that change doesn’t appease everyone?
Prior to becoming parents, my wife and I felt that it was a bummer to see everyone go but we knew it would be easy to hop a flight to see them. Because of this, the impact of their relocation was not as severe. We also thought that it would not be a “big deal” if we ever decided to move. Don’t get me wrong. It was still very hard to go from seeing family regularly to seeing everyone once every so often, but we, like many others, managed and continue to manage to keep in touch. So now, dealing with the reality that much of our family has shifted their addresses roughly 1000 miles to the south, we must again look at our lives and decide what is best for us, and specifically for our daughter.
My wife has her mind made up and strong feelings that she wants to move regardless of any outside factor. Besides my daughter and myself, her entire family has relocated and is happy where they are. It is often difficult for her to be here without them. Me, on the other hand, not so much. I look at it far more in depth and try to bypass the emotional part of it. I look at the fact that we will not have jobs, medical insurance, a house (I hate renting), and no support network outside of our immediate family, which is scattered around the state within a 1 – 3 hour drive of each other. So therein lies my dilemma. Do we decide to move to be closer to our families so that our daughter can grow up with her cousins and with more of her family? This means leaving behind those that are still here. Or do we stay where we are, for the time being, and try and make a calculated decision as to what to do?
What would you do? Would you just throw caution to the wind and say, “Screw it! I want to listen to my heart!” and move your entire family while leaving everything and anyway that you have to support them? Or would you be rational and come up with a way to see them more often without relocating and possibly work towards setting yourself up for a relocation in the future by looking for work, a place to call home, good schools, etc.? I feel that no matter what choice I/we make it will be the wrong one and someone, somewhere, will be pissed off. There once was a time when I would have flipped a coin and followed the path of destiny. Unfortunately, with my growing age (and power) comes growing responsibility. I no longer worry about myself. I have a responsibility to my family – to my daughter – to make sure that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Granted NY is one of the most expensive states to live in, but I’d rather have a “bird in the hand”, if you know what I mean.
I am extremely interested to know if there are other parents out there that have dealt with, or are dealing with, a similar set of circumstances. I am beside myself and am just looking to make the right decision. I would appreciate any and all feedback. If nothing else, maybe it’ll pacify me to know that I’m not the only one faced with making this tough, life-changing decision.