Dilemma: my son is moving abroad – should I go with him?

Katharine Whitehorn / 06 April 2016

Agony aunt Katharine Whitehorn hears from a reader whose son is moving away for work, leaving her wondering whether she should follow.

Dilemma: my son is moving to another country

We were very pleased when our son was offered promotion in the firm he works for, but now we understand that they plan to send him abroad. 

He has not been married long and has no children yet, but presumably they may follow; he is our only son and we are wondering whether we should arrange to move too. 

My husband is retired, so that would be no problem.

Katharine Whitehorn's advice

There might be other problems that you haven’t envisaged, though. You don’t say where your son is being sent, but he might well be moved again and you be left stranded; moreover, he and his wife would be preoccupied with coming to terms with a new country, a new culture and making new friends; they might not have much time to help you settle in.

I realise the thought of being cut off from your only son appals you; but it’s really not so bad these days, with instant email and air travel; you can talk so easily on the phone- no more tinny unreal voices, and with Skype you can even see who you’re talking to. 

I know more than one couple with far-flung offspring who greatly enjoy going out to visit abroad; they get a long visit from the family, too – longer perhaps than they might have if they lived nearer. 

I think you’d do better to stay put – at least for the time being.

Related: being a long-distance grandparent

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