Monday, August 8, 2011

The Stress of Having Parents in Another Country

Yesterday my Hubby rang his parents in New Zealand.  They live in South Auckland and Hubby's youngest sister also lives with them, along with her 12 year old son.  When he called, his sister picked up the phone and said that it was great that he called as she was about to send him a message on Facebook.  Apparently she is moving down to Napier at the bottom end of the North Island of New Zealand.  This would be roughly a 5 maybe 6 hour drive from where they currently live.  She is engaged to a guy and he has recently got a job down there and she will be moving down there too.  Now, she asked her parents if they would like to move down there, initially they said no, but apparently yesterday they said that they would have to move with her too because they couldn't afford to live stay where they are currently.

This wasn't what she wanted to hear.  She has decided that she has done her time and needs to be out on her own with her son and her new man.  Fair enough I say, she is 40 years old and has only lived away from home for a short time in her life.  Her mother has just about raised her son for her!  Now of course she wants my Hubby and their older sister who also lives in Australia to try to help her to convince Mum and Dad that they shouldn't follow her.  The older sister was straight on the phone to Hubby yesterday, as she saw the Facebook message straight away and was ranting and raving about how selfish their younger sister is being.  I explained to Hubby how that is not true as I had been in a similar position a couple of years ago, I was the main person that helped my mum out and then when it came time for her to have to live in a nursing home I subsequently got stuck with all the hard stuff.  Well his younger sister has been dealing with her parents ill health for the last couple of years and I can only imagine how it hasn't been easy on her, not having other siblings to turn to for a hand at all.  Hubby sees my point and also understands where his baby sister is coming from.  The older sister on the other hand, just thinks she is being a total **tch about it all (mind you, this is the sister that in the past, has been the Queen of Selfishness so really she needs to just shut up lol).

I suggested to hubby that he call them again next weekend and just say "I hear you may be moving soon" (when he spoke to his Dad last night, nothing was mentioned about moving).  I thought maybe we could suggest that they  move over here.  I'm not expecting them to say yes, as I know they don't want to, but I feel that it is only right to offer.  We couldn't have them living here as naturally with 6 kids our house is full to the brim already and I don't think I could deal with living with them full time lol.  I thought that maybe they could move into a retirement village where they can mix with others but still have their independence, but also with their health issues we would know they would be safe.  The thought of them staying where they are, if that is what were to happen, worries me.  Mum doesn't drive and Dad now can't drive due to health issues.  His younger sister said that Mum has gone a little strange lately and is refusing to cook.  This worries me instantly as I wonder if the stress of "losing" her grandson whom she has virtually raised will be too much for her.  I feel that she is shutting down in a way.  Not having any family support nearby may all be too much for them.

I truly believe that somehow we need to get them over here.  I don't know if it is a decision I may live to regret as not having seen them for 4 years, we don't know just what is going on exactly.  I know Hubby's older sister won't offer any real assistance, she lives in NSW and we haven't seen her in 4 years either.  She never even mentioned getting them over here.  The main problem is that his parents have no money.  They rent, they own nothing of any real value.  We don't have the money to enable us to fly backwards and forwards if something goes wrong.  I know that Hubby will be worried sick about them if they stay where they are.

Right now I just don't know what to do.  I want to persuade them to come over there as I think at least that way it would ease the worry for hubby.  I have no idea how we would afford to bring them here as I know that straight away it would involve Hubby going over there to help them pack up etc then we would also have to pay for them to get here, which will involve passports etc as they have never left NZ before.  If they do come here, it will mean that we can't move to the country or interstate either (an idea we are tossing up, one which is/was sounding very appealling).  I wouldn't feel right moving them here and then we move away as well, that just wouldn't be fair.  So to do this would also put our dreams on hold,,,,,,but now I am being selfish aren't I????? lol.


I don't know what to do or not to do as the case is.  I'm the outsider and I should just keep my nose out of it to an extent but I also know that Hubby will be left playing "Piggy in the Middle" between his sisters.  Crap, Crap CRAPPPPPPPP!!!!  Life sure does suck sometimes!


Anonymous said...

I think you are doing really good brainstorming this issue. I think you have (or are) a good objective viewpoint for your husband. If the youngest sister really doesn't want the parents to go with her, (and she would have to promise to be decisive and not give in once she makes her decision...and I do agree she deserves to go on and start her new life), then I'd give the parents an offer, after convincing them it is not an alternative to go with the youngest. (An offer for a nearby retirement community, as I agree, you have too much going on in your household to upset your routine). I hope you husband listens to your reasoning, it is very good. Of course, then the "ball is in the parent's court" and they would have to face reality. I think that is where you will possibly hit a snag, older parents sometimes don't like change. I hope the money issues can fit into place. They are real, and would need sitting down and figuring. And if the parents don't come, you did your best and were fully willing to help out, and they know the offer is always there. Yes, i think the oldest sister might view you as an outsider,(that is just how siblings are sometimes) that is why you have to coach your husband and he will have to handle everything himself, and make the final decision to do the offer. Hope I am not too wordy here! love,andrea

OurGangof7 said...

Thanks Andrea :-)
I appreciate advice from someone that isn't right in the situation lol. I think you are right, I will just have to throw my suggestions around and let Hubby do the wheeling and dealing so to speak. Yes, I think they will be stubborn and not want to move countries (neither of them like to fly), we can only offer and hope the lure of their grandchildren (and us of course lol) may be enough incentive. I went through this kind of thing with my mum 2 years ago,, although she at least was here not in NZ lol.
Life likes to throw hurdles at you sometimes doesn't it!!

Tania @ Out Back said...

Sorry got no advice, but just letting you know that most families have "issues" among them so you are not alone. It is hard to keep everybody happy...

Abraham Lincoln summed it up:

"You can make some of the people happy all the time, all of the people happy some of the time but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time".

I think you have thought this through very well and I wish for you the best outcome for everyone. Family meeting maybe...

Good Luck!