my step daughter who is currently away in College, were the first to know about
our decision to move. Accidents happen and we did not want to risk them hearing
it through the grapevine before they heard it from us. So telling them gave us the
“green light” to share the news with the rest of our family and friends.
This was an interesting exercise – emotionally. It was
hard for me to announce the move with the appropriate enthusiasm when I had
such mixed feelings about it. At the risk of sounding ungrateful (we could do
much worse than to move to a city that figures permanently among the top-3 on various
lists of the world’s most livable cities) and despite all the excitement of
embarking on a new adventure, I also feel awfully sad. That makes telling
people a bit awkward. It’s hard to explain that the enthusiasm and
anticipation I feel about our new life does not mean that I am not, at the same
time, utterly devastated to be leaving so many loved ones behind.
I think most of our friends feel the same way. They were
excited for us when they heard the news, but at the same time disappointed that
we will not be around anymore. Some were openly unhappy. Some tried – and are
still trying – to find arguments to keep us here: maybe my husband can commute from
Vienna; or maybe we wait another year before we move. A few were
considering moving to Zurich themselvesJ. I received many
messages and phone calls – all of them wonderfully touching – not making it any
her friends seemed to be sad but ok. When my eldest son told his friends, they
were very disappointed. Some were in denial and some threatened to leave town themselvesJ.
A very close friend who practically grew up together with my children was especially
mad at my husband: “Why on earth did he have to get a new job? Wasn’t the old
one good enough?!” (Perfect fodder for that moving mother’s guilt).
We try to keep an open line of communication with our
children – now even more than before. It’s important that we allow them to take the
time they need to process their feelings (which may include being mad at their parents),
but also that we are there to listen. Again, there is a delicate balance to be struck:
on the one hand I want them to know that I feel just as sad and upset as they do
– about leaving friends behind –, but on the other hand, I want be a source of
confidence and comfort for them. I want to reassure them that not only will
they not lose the friends they have, but they will also make many new ones. I need
to overcome my own hesitations and doubts and mixed feelings and appear
confident – for their sake. Not always an easy task.
your impending move? How did you “manage” your own feelings about the move?