Posted by: liz | 2007/02/18

Change schools, job, home

Dear dr.

After getting divorced in 1997, I raised my 3 kids, then aged 6 months, 3 years and 7 years on my own. We are very close, nevertheless their school teachers say they are very independant
and outspoken for their age, now being 10 years, 13 years and 17 years old.

After being single for 6 years, and going out with men here and there, I finally met a wonderful man in 2003. He asked me for a more permanent relationship, for which I was not ready, and I told him so. Although he was very disappointed, we kept in touch.

He then went overseas for a year and called me when ge got back in 2004 again to have coffee.

From there on we grew closer to each other and a permanent relationship developed between us.

The kids like him and vice versa, and we are now together for 3 years, although he stays in his own house and we socialize mostly over weekends as both of us have a very heavy working schedule.

A chance for promotion came along for him last year, which meant that he would be working in Stellenbosch most of the time, while I stayed on in Pretoria.

We discussed this thorougly, and I encouraged him to take the gap and go for it. He now flies home to us every second weekend, and some weekends I take a long weekend and fly down to visit him.

We miss each other a great deal. The idea was for me to move down to Stellenbosch with the kids at the end of 2006, but because of my 17 year old experiencing problems with mathematics, we decided to postpone the move until 2007, when he has finished his matric.

All of a sudden the kids now has decided (for me) that we won't be moving down as they don't want to change schools and friends. As they put it: "Mommy, we can't risk everything just to move to a different province, you have 2 great jobs here which you are going to loose (which is true) and we are attending the best schools in Pretoria.

I, on the other hand, feel that I have made many sacrifices to give them a good education, driving them to Ballet class and special practise in the State Theatre, Gauteng Gymnastics, Olympiades etc. etc. during the past years.

In Stellenbosch they will still be able to attend and take part in all their activities, but they now firmly believe that the Ballet teacher wil lnot be as good.. and the gymnastics teacher will not be as good... and... and... and.

I feel that they are unreasonable and that i have to put my foot down.

We have a chance of living a better and healthier life style, more family time, better health a the coast etc.

My mom and dad means well, but are now also intervering, saying that I must consider everything the kids went through in their lives during the divorce, and that I must be careful not to create a lot of pshycological problems for myself via their fears to move down.

I need an objective opinion as I am at my wits end.

and working long hours to pay for for all extra mural activities

Our relationship is strong and mature

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Our expert says:
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Its unfair to expect a reasonable parent, like you, to feel eternally guilty and eternally owing something to their kids, simply because there was a divorce. They may not be wild with joy aboput the move, but there's not the slightest reason to expect it to be at all harmful for them, or to cause psychological problems for you or them. Kids that age like to think of themselves as rebels, but they're actually highly conservative in the original sense --- they enjoy keeping things as they were, while trying to look like and behave like all the other kids, and pretending this is "individual". They can't assume that ballet and gymnastics teachers will be worse in the Cape --- they might even be better. And of course, if you had to stay up here, you'd have much less time and spare funds to spend on their extra-curricular activities, and would have to spend more time travelling down to the Cape for weekends, etc.
Maybe see a famil counsellor to lead a group discussion abou this so everyone feels their point of view has been taken seriously ; but you are the parent and can make a good decision for the best of all of you --- and your own needs deserve to be taken very seriously, after years of deferring to the kids

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Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2007/02/19

Would the kids be prepared to go to into hostel or boarding schools if they wanted to stay in Pretoria. I am sure the kids would love flying to Cape Town now and again. Yes, you would miss them but you can only sacrifice so much for your kids and to be the best parent you also have to be happy. Good luck, hope it works out for you.

Reply to Britty

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