General chatter - Life advice, what would you do?

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05-23-2011, 02:47 PM
I need some opinions.

My career has become a bit stagnant at my current firm both financially and learning wise, and it's become clear to me that it is time to move on. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, that means leaving my home town and my mom. I can either move to a bigger city of which I have 3 options all about 2 hours away or moving to a bigger city in another state, probably Chicago.

My problem is that my mom and DS have a very special relationship and so do my mom and I, although her need to hold on to me has I felt always held me back from leaving Southern California. So while I feel like Chicago is where I'd like to go, although the weather scares me to death, I'm worried I'll always have this guilt about taking my son away from my mom and leaving her behind. I'm her only child and she's unmarried and I'm really the only family she has.

Obviously, staying in Southern California will probably accomplish the best of everything, I feel like I'd be missing a life adventure of some sort or not doing what I really want to, which maybe is the adult thing to do because family is important. But I don't want regrets. I also know that life in Southern California is expensive, but the weather might be worth.

My other option, is to stay here, suck it up at my job and just be satisfied with the otherwise great life we have. But there is so much here that we don't have and we're basically driving the 2 hours every weekend to go do stuff so why not just move there.

Anyway, I'd love some life advice. Thanks!

05-23-2011, 03:11 PM
I'm with you 100% and feel the same way with my mom (only child and only family - though my dad is with her). I would not want to leave her.

If I were you though, I would talk with your mom, tell her what you want to do, why you are reluctant to go after what you want, and first find out how she thinks and feels. Since your concern involves both you, I think both of you should have a voice and talk it through.

It stinks to feel like you have to choose between regrets...regret not going to Chicago or regret leaving your mom. In the end though, and I don't care how selfish it sounds, this is your life and I highly encourage you do what is best for YOU.

Remember, even if you do decide to go to Chicago, you won't be completely cut off. Talk and brainstorm together ways you could keep in it possible for her to even move with you to Chicago?

05-23-2011, 03:26 PM
I was going to ask about her moving along with you, too. Since it sounds like you get along great, it's not like you'd be moving to get away from her or anything, and she could be a great help to you while getting settled in a new city - while you're finding daycare for your son, if you need a babysitter in the evenings before you meet other moms to get recommendations from, etc.

Even if coming with you is impossible for you guys, I think you need to at least explore the option of going - send out resumes, at least. Maybe visit some of the cities that you think you might be able to find good employment, etc. I know you love your mom and she loves your son, but she's a grown up and can take care of herself (I assume, anyway - it didn't sound from your post that she's in ill health or anything. If she is, my advice would probably be different.). You need to think about what will create the best opportunities for you, both personally and professionally, and the best environment for your son. Having a loving grandparent near by should be only one of many considerations.

And, as a fellow Southern Californian, Chicago weather scares me too! I don't think I could handle it :lol:!

05-23-2011, 03:44 PM
I don't think you have any responsibility to your mom in terms of staying with her. As adults we are responsible for our own happiness and survival. However, I do think it is a parent's responsibility to make their child their number one priority. I would not recommend leaving your mom because it would not be ideal for your child. If given a choice between an ideal situation for you or for your child, I would go with giving all the best to your child. Sorry if my advice sounds isn't meant to be. It's just what I would choose. You will still have a chance for adventure when your child is 18. ;)

05-23-2011, 04:19 PM
luckymommy, why do you think that leaving her mom wouldn't be ideal for her child? Moving could open up a plethora of opportunities for her son. Yes, a relationship with a grandparent is important, but it's hardly the only consideration.

05-23-2011, 05:24 PM
I'm sorry, eclipse, but I was only taking into consideration the fact that she stated her motive for leaving would be for a more stimulating job. I think that as a single mom, having family around...particularly someone who her child is already attached to, would provide him with a sense of safety in the world that I believe is quite important for a developing mind. If she wasn't making enough money and couldn't stay in her current residence, then of course, that would take on a different kind of a spin on things. Again, this is just my own view and I'm not insisting that I'm right in any way. I think she was asking for a wide range of opinions and since mine was somewhat different than the others, I thought it would give her yet another perspective. :)

DixC Chix
05-23-2011, 05:40 PM
Is it possible to take some classes? I'm thinking that may open up other career opportunites and stimulation beyond the job.

I also get the feeling the child is not school age yet so that may be a consideration to stay until he is more mature to understand a move.

Parents raise their children to be adults, to enter the world and make their own way. As much as your mom would miss you and your family, it is what she has prepared you for.

Kinda wishy-washy answer, huh?

Don't let Chicago weather scare you. Its part of the adventure!!!

05-23-2011, 06:06 PM
I don't know what you need to do, but I can talk about my own choices for my own life.

I'm an only child, and a daughter. The job market where I grew up was very poor, particularly in my field, and I wanted to live in a bigger city, so I left my parents in their small town with hardly a glance backward.

At different times in my life, when I visited them, the small town life looked very appealing, but was usually when my life was unsettled, and when the thing that I needed to work on would not have been solved by "doing a geographical." So after some dramatic angst, I'd always end up affirming my original choice.

As years passed, my self-questioning has kind of faded away. I don't belong in that town anymore, though it's a nice place to visit, particularly when it's not buried in snow.

After my father died -- I moved back in with my parents for a little over a month to help care for him at the end -- I left my mother & resumed my life elsewhere. We called each other every day. She had some extensive visits down here with me. But we have quite separate lives, some very different interests, and she has her own circle of friends. And she loves her house. So to me, it's a no-brainer. Until she becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, we're staying in our respective parts of NY State, where we're each at her happiest.

Arctic Mama
05-23-2011, 07:41 PM
Leaving San Diego was the best decision I ever made, for a number of reasons. I live in Alaska now and I promise you that winter weather isn't nearly as scary as it sounds!

I do miss my family and my kids are not as close to their Cali grandparents as I'd like, compared to the set up here, but ultimately the cost/benefit analysis put this option as far more favorable than not. Only you can know for certain if career satisfaction and the adventure of the move outweighs familiarity and family. It certainly did, for me!

05-23-2011, 10:33 PM
I second the suggestion that you discuss the possibility of your mom moving to be closeish to you, since it sounds like you are her "rock" and you are still close. Assuming your relationship is healthy and you don't mind being near her, you could have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.

I'm also an only daughter, and I feel a little guilty for spending 3 whole years away from my parents. I'm sick of NY and they are too, so the tentative plan is for me to move to Austin and if I like it and decide to stay, they will too. The relationship between parent and child is really personal and no one can tell you what's "right" or "wrong" - but for me, I wouldn't feel "right" being super far from my parents as they finish out their lives.

Edit: My reason for wanting to leave NY is the weather. Winter is a terrible thing if you're at all sensitive to S.A.D.

05-23-2011, 11:01 PM
As a Chicago suburbanite, I must tell you that the weather is not that bad! LOL! :) But, then again, maybe that's just because I am used to it.

It sounds like you are ready for a change -- I also suggest talking to your mom and seeing if she would move closer to be by you -- you never know, she might be up for an adventure, too!

05-23-2011, 11:07 PM
I think you should have a heart to heart with your mother and go for it! Chicago is one of the best cities in the world, I love, love, love it here. The winters are tremendously bad though... really bad. Try and imagine -20 degrees... that's 90 degrees colder than those 70 degree southern cal days.

05-23-2011, 11:54 PM
I don't know how to sort out your family situation. Once your feel the way you do about a job it is time to move on. I had a similar job where I though I'll just suck it up. I wish I could go back in time and quit once I knew it wouldn't work out. I would have saved myself stress, drama, and eventually getting fired for something menial. This was such a blow to the heart because I poured everything into that job. Once you know a job wont work out just leave and save yourself the trouble. It's bound to end badly if you try to suck it up and make it work. Theres definately no shame in quitting a job that isn't doing it for you. Save your efforts for work (and coworkers) that are worthy of you.

05-24-2011, 01:50 AM
Thanks everyone!

Unfortunately my mom relocating with me isn't a possibility for many many reasons.

There are many things to consider when making this decision, I just wish something would present itself so that I would know what the right decision is. I'm also worried that my mom will think that the decision to move is all my DH's, they already are not the best of friends, and no matter what I say I know she'd always blame him for taking away her daughter. So maybe talking to her would be a good idea...there is also the issue of balancing the kind of my mom I want to be with the kind of professional I want to be and that I just haven't figured that out yet. So there is still a lot to think about. There is a potential job in Chicago that we need to explore for DH that could mean a lot more money which would mean the responsibilty of being the bread winner would no long fall on my shoulders and mean I could a lot more selective on what size firm I would want to go to and allow me to be the kind of my mom I want to be, which is present.

So lots and lots if stuff to consider. Ah...being and adult blows:)

05-24-2011, 10:43 AM
Im in the same boat.

What it came down to for me was where do I need to be to give my DS the best I can. The best opportunities, experiences, health and the best Mom.
It's not here.

I love my mother and her and DS have a great bond, and I've gone through so many feelings of guilt at the thought of taking him away from that.

BUT . . . his "Mya" will always be his Mya and I can't find that balance if I'm not 100% happy with where I'm at.

Not that I'm moving right away, I made a comprimise. I'm going to go to school here, and in 2 years when DS is old enough to start school and make his own circle of friends, use webchats, phone, write etc . . . then I will move. I don't know if that's the best solution, but right now it's made everyone happy.

On a side note, if moving can take some of the pressure off of you to be the bread winner, it is seriuosly something to consider . . . when you don't have that pressure on you it may end up helping tremendously to find the balance you are looking for. Good luck to you!!

05-24-2011, 11:12 AM
Oh, my, do I feel your pain! I have been reading all sorts of articles about how adult children rely on their parents longer, and all I can think of is: What about the opposite?! Clearly as parents get older and more frail they depend more on their children, but what about before all of that, when they depend on US emotionally?

I am an only child and my mom is truly my best friend, but I feel the reverse is even more true. She lives in CT and I now know she'll pretty much never leave. When I went to college (only a few hours away) she was wrecked. I moved back in with her for a year, then went to grad school a few hours away, she was wrecked again. Last summer I moved to Michigan to move in with my girlfriend, and she was REALLY wrecked. I'd never been so far that I had to fly to go home.

I felt horribly guilty about it. My mother still thinks we'll move back eventually, and we always said we would move back east- just not necessarily next door to her.

Sometimes, there are things I really miss about living nearby. Once in awhile it hurts that I can't just call her up and meet her for dinner or get coffee together or go to a movie. Just the stupid everyday things I can't really share with her anymore. But when it comes down to it, what I told myself (and what I think you should tell yourself) is that you can't live your life for your mother's comfort and happiness. Don't let your feelings of obligation hold you back from what you think might be a great adventure. She can come to visit if Chicago is where you end up. She will adjust because she'll have to. I talk to my mom pretty much every night on the phone. And there's always video chat, too!

As for her relationship with your child- I can't really speak to that, not having that experience- but you wouldn't be moving across the globe. You could still see her pretty much as often as you would like to.

Good luck!