I read people's stories about the leaving family behind and know I am very lucky to have such supportive parents who understand our reasons to be going. I know they are upset but they are also the first people to say to do it and not stay here because of them. They long ago realised we may end up in Australia and have been expecting it. And yes, my Mum is one of those who is quite firm on telling me to go live my life and that she didn't have me with the expectation I'd look after her in her old age. She subscribes to this so much that even when she was seriously ill some year back when I was living overseas she kept it from me. She was adamant when I did find out (she was recovering then) that she didn't want me to come back for anything longer than a short visit.
They freely admit they'll miss us and their grandson terribly but are also prepared to learn to use Skype and Facebook and other things. And also get more into emailing and so on. Plus they are putting some money into an account each month for trips to Australia. We talk about the move sometimes with them but often its not brought up and that's fine. We don't keep it secret but we don't feel the need to overload them with talk of it either. We keep them posted as to the general plan and so on and fill in any important bits as we go.
The thing is, we already know the other side of the coin with regards to having family living the other side of the world. My hubby is an Aussie and so of course, with the exception of a handful of family members, they are all in Australia living. So his parents and grandparents and other family have had to sit by and only read about their (great) grandson, nephew, cousin and see pictures and video. Thankfully Skype has changed the weekly phonecall to something more involved and we really embrace it. Some have made visits to the UK (my MIL and hubby's brother included) but until we went over for an extended holiday last year, most of them had never met our son (and lots of them had not met me even!) My son was almost two at the time. He'll be 4 or 5 by the time we get back there to live. So yes, we feel very torn as we want our son to know both sides of the family. Hubby has lots more family than me and also some having children in recent years whereas all mine had their kids years ago. So for us, we feel such mixed emotions but really do feel that being in Australia is best for all of us for so many reasons.
And we have said 'never say never' about returning to the UK at some point in the future if we wish. Although we hope that it'll be permanent we accept we may decide to return for whatever reason. Hubby is working hard so as to enable us to at least make bi annual visits to the UK at least, even if he doesn't come along, myself and our son can visit to see family and friends.
So yes, for us, whichever way we go, we leave family and friends behind. But thankfully have family and friends where we are going. And both hubby and I have made the choice to move to Aus together and everyone that matters is supportive, even if they are upset. Of course, for my MIL and other family over in Aus, they are delighted but also understand how the family and friends here are feeling.
Ummm I don't know if there was a point to this. Just rambled. Anyways, 'nuff said