by Alyice Edrich
"We're moving to Finland," says my husband. "What? When? How?" say I. "We don't want to move out of the country," scream my children. "Wait, let me get on my breathing machine," says my mother. "Don't do it," says my father-in-law. But my husband can't help but get excited.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," he says. "I'll be too old to get another offer like this if I wait until the kids graduate from high school. And I know this stuff. I'm good at it and I won't have to learn anything new."
I couldn't believe it. He was seriously considering a move to Finland--a country we know absolutely nothing about. After being out of work for nearly two years, the $75,000 yearly salary seemed too good to pass up. It would mean getting back to where we were before we left his secure job in California and ventured out to start a new life. It would mean no more financial juggling. It would mean that I wouldn't have to work so hard and it would mean I could go back to enjoying the role of mother and part-time business woman. And besides, we've always talked about working overseas and traveling the globe.
But could we really pack up and move to Finland? Had the offer been for Italy, Rome, France, Germany, Hawaii, or even the Bahamas, I probably would've jumped on the band wagon with him. But Finland? We can't even stand the cold of Wisconsin. And then there were our kids to consider.
After a long family discussion with the kids, I'm happy to report that my husband has turned down the offer. Sure, it was a great opportunity. Yes, the pay was excellent. And the benefits were great, too. But my husband decided that no amount of money would be worth uprooting our kids from their grandparents to move to a country they didn't want to be in.
Now if a job in the United States would just open up, we could relieve some of the financial stress and I could start enjoying "family time" again.
What To Do When You Decide To Relocate
Taking the time to determine if relocating your family is the right decision is more than just dollar and cents. Moving to a new place can be a heart wrenching experience for children. In fact, it can be just as hard on parents as you leave behind close family, friends, familiar activities, and the life you've grown to love. But sometimes, moving is the only solution to keeping peace in the house or staying financially afloat.
Answer these questions before you decide to relocate your family across town or across state:
1. Are you moving to better your family life or to
afford more luxuries?
2. Will moving give you better health insurance or take your insurance away?
3. Will you lose the money you put into your retirement account or can it be transferred?
4. Are you moving because of a job promotion, because there are no jobs in your area, or because you are changing careers?
5. Have you discussed what the move would mean to your spouse and his/her career?
6. Have you discussed the move with your children and given them a say in the decision?
7. Have you made a list of pros and cons with regards to your new job and new location? Do the pros outweigh the cons?
Once you've answered the above questions, you can help prepare your children for the move by getting your children involved in the process from the start:
1. Tell your children why you are planning to move.
2. Ask your children about their concerns. Address their fears, worries, and anger with an open-mind.
3. Show your children a map of the town they'll be relocating to.
4. Order an apartment guide or home owner's guide and let your children pick out their dream home and then narrow it down by what you can afford to pay for rent or mortgage payments.
5. Order tourist information and show your children all the fun things there are to do in the area.
6. Order the local paper and read the good stuff to your children, but keep the negatives to yourself. Knowing the good and bad about a town is essential from a parent's point of view, but not the best way to ease a child's mind.
7. Take a mini-vacation to the area you plan to relocate to. Let your children see and experience the area first-hand. Let them discuss the pros and cons of the new area and don't be afraid to agree with any of their cons. It's important that you don't paint a flawless picture because no place is perfect.
Alyice Edrich is the author of several work from home e-books, and the editor-in-chief of a national publication for BUSY parents.
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