Where to live? — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Where to live?

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edited April 2015 in June 2015 Moms
Hello fellow June moms. I've been stalking these boards for awhile but this is actually my first post ;;) My question is in regards to compromising on where to live. Little background info, I'm from the east coast and the DH is from another country. We were living in a one bedroom apartment in California that was pretty expensive before I found out I was pregnant. Ever since we found out, I have been dying to move back to my hometown, both for family support and financial reasons. At first, the DH was completely on board with the plan, but the. My MIL found out and said she wants us to live with them and would disown us if we moved back to my hometown. I have spent the majority of my pregnancy back in my hometown with my parents while the DH stays back in California (he works long hours and travels a lot). I'm giving birth here, and I really want to have our child grow up surrounded by all my family and friends like I was, but DH insists that we should live in California. We would barely be able to afford a two bedroom apartment there, but we could afford a nice house in my hometown. He agrees that he doesn't want to move back to his home country, but his only reason for staying in California is that it's easier for his aging parents to make a maybe yearly visit there. I understand DH has certain cultural obligations, but am I completely out of line here? I'm being made out to sound clingy and irrational for wanting to be closer to my family for the baby. Any similar situations out there? Advice would be much appreciated [-O<

Re: Where to live?

  • edited April 2015
    What a tough situation! First of all, while recognizing that this may be an instance of culture clash, to me your MIL sounds very controlling and that really turns me off from sympathizing with her. Again, it could be a case of culture clash... But I would not react well to her if I were in your situation!

    I think you and your husband both make valid points. I can totally relate to you wanting to save money and stay near family so if I'm going to "take sides," I would definitely side with you haha - but I can also understand your husband wanting to stay at his current place of employment and wanting to be in a location that is more central to both families, rather than super close to yours and super far from his. I do have to wonder though - if his family is really THAT far away that you could only visit once a year from California, is living on the east coast going to make that much of a difference for him?

    Ultimately I don't really have any advice, but I do offer my sympathies and I want to say that I don't think you're being clingy or irrational at all (if you are, then I am, too, haha!). Best of luck with this!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If your husband's family lives in another country and he can't see them as often as you see your family, I think a compromise has to happen. I don't know what city in California your hubby is in or where your hometown is, but is there a less expensive city in California to live in?
    Family is important I get that 100%, but it sounds like it's a lot easier for you to see your family than it is for him and he might not feel like it's entirely fair on his part, which may be why he's pushing to stay in California.
    My family is in a different city and I don't see them as often either, so I can understand kind of how it is. But it's easier for us here cause we have jobs and an apartment already. Maybe look into somewhere in California that might be a bit cheaper to live in that would still be accessible for his family and not too far from yours. And since you've been in your hometown for most of your pregnancy, your husband probably just wants you to be closer to him for a while.
  • You say you've been staying with your family for almost the entire pregnancy...are you employed?  I mean it's possible that you just have some cool, work-from-home type gig that enables you to work from anywhere, but i don't know a lot of jobs like that.


    I ask because if your husband is the primary bread winner, i can completely see why he would not want to leave California and his job.  Maybe it wouldn't be as easy for him to get a new job on the east coast where you want to live.  You keep saying that it's a lot cheaper there than it is in California, so i have to asume that you don't live in or near a large eastern city - those are not typically that much less expensive than California is.  It's possible that he just realizes that it will be difficult for him to find employment in his field where you want to live.  If he's the only person working, that's a lot of stress to put on him.  "hey i know you 100% support our family, but i want you to quit your job and move to another state where there might not be comparable jobs available" may not be an attractive option for him, especially if he really loves his current job.  Also, if the cost of living is so much lower where you want to live, it's pretty likely that compensation would also be lower, so maybe you can't afford what you think you can.  I don't know a loit of low cost of living areas that just happen to pay the same wages as high cost of living areas.  That's why businesses like to be in low cost of living areas if they can - because they don't have to pay people as much.


    Your MIL sounds a bit crazy...I'm going to assume that your husband's insistance that California is easier for his parents to visit is due to the fact that his parents are located somewhere in Asia?  That would also account for the culture clash of his mom wanting you to move there; in many parts of Asia it is common for extended family to live together.  But really, flying from, for example, Hong Kong to San Francisco is only 4-5 hours shorter than flying from Hong Kong to New York.  It's not that big a difference...once you're on a plane for 10 hours it may as well be 14.  However, if your preferred location on the east coast isn't near an international airport that services Asia, i can see where that would be a concern for him.  Do his parents speak English?  They might not feel comfortable with having to book connecting flights to come and see you, and that's why he'd prefer that you live in California - so that they'll be able to come visit more easily.


    I think you need to consider that your husband probably wants to be close to his family just as much as you want to be close to yours.  it is kind of unfair for you to ask him to move to live by your family without considering if he would like to move to be closer to his.  This is something that will require compromise and weighing out pros and cons - it's not a cut and dry decision.  Was this ever discussed before you got married or before you got pregnant?  That kind of discussion should be happening way before a decision needs to be made.  DH and i live in NC and our parents are in the northeast.  Would we love to be closer to them when the baby arrives?  Of course.  But our jobs are here, and our home is here, and we love living here...so we're just going to accept the fact that we'll only get to see them every few months instead of every day.  it was a hard decision for DH, because he grew up living next door to his grandparents and cousins, and our kids won't have that opportunity - but we'd probably be cutting our salaries in half moving there, and the weather is terrible, and we just renovated a house that we love and don't want to leave...so that won out over physical proximity to family.  It's about compromise.

    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

  • My $0.02 is that if they are in Asia, moving from West Coast to East actually is a significant difference - especially for "aging parents." If I were your DH, I would have put the brakes on, too. Your MIL behaved badly but her and your husband's main point is that visits are already limited and more barriers shouldn't be introduced. I can understand that.

    Terms like "clingy" are tough because there is no objective measure. In my family, we would consider you clingy. To leave your husband to be with your parents would be unacceptable in my family. In some families, that's perfectly reasonable, I know.

    Keep talking it through with your husband. This is one of those inherent challenges of international marriages AND of choosing expensive cities to live in. My DH and I are from the same small hometown, but will never live there. We like big metropolises but your point about their financial challenges, especially with a kid, is valid.

    Keep talking to each other about it. Communication is key. Stay rational, validate his concerns about being close to his family, and approach the situation with love and a mind open to finding a mutually agreeable solution. Good luck!

  • Hi everybody. Thank you for the responses so far. It is true that his family is from Asia, where traditionally speaking they would live in multigenerational households. Both my husband and his sister decided to live their lives out in America though. In regards to the job situation... I was employed up until I got pregnant, and quit at my husband's request. It's actually very common for the pregnant wife to go stay with her family to give birth, and since he is gone a lot I had no problem with this haha. He actually dislikes his job, and will be quitting once he gets the chance. He would be making a similar salary here (Atlanta), but the money would go a lot farther. Right now, we don't even have a place to live. After realizing that we couldn't afford a two bedroom place in our area, he has moved into a rented room further south and put all of our stuff into storage. The idea is that he will stay out there to hunt for another job and an apartment before I can come back with the baby... I've brought up living in a cheaper city in California that's much further inland, but he quickly shot it down (he's into surfing :| ) I know he is probably just scared of his mom. Because he was totally on board with moving to my city until the MIL caught wind of it. I was wondering if anybody out there had a similar situation, and how they navigated it. Right now, I'm just going with the flow. I just question it all.
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