Kiran has two children under two and is a freelance writer and parenting blogger. Living in London with her family, she also writes about life as a mum over at Mummy Says. Here she tells us about her family’s decision to move to the other side of the world.
When my son Milin was 13 months old, my husband and I said goodbye to our friends, left our jobs and packed up our dream home in New Zealand. I was 15 weeks pregnant with our second child and we were making the biggest move of our lives. Looking back, it was one of the most stressful things we have ever done. But, we made it, and it was a move I now know we made for all the right reasons.
My husband is originally from New Zealand and we had lived there together for eight years. However, after Milin was born I started missing my family in London. With a baby at home, I suddenly wanted my own mum around. I wanted to hear from her experiences of bringing up two children, and I also knew I needed support.
I couldn’t imagine bringing up a second child without having more practical help, but my husband and I had always wanted two children. It was the hardest decision we’d ever made, but we decided to leave our lives behind and return to London.
Packing up was hard work. I was exhausted – as most women are – in my first trimester. I was working from home, looking after my ten-month-old son, and trying to sort our lives into cardboard boxes. Handing in my notice at a job I loved was heartbreaking. Saying goodbye to friends I loved was devastating. And leaving behind a life I knew, where I was happy, was terrifying.
We learnt a lot on that long-haul flight across the world. Night flights suited us better than daytime flights. That was because Milin could sleep on these as the timing fitted in with his routine. We learnt to avoid long waits at airports, because they just tired everyone out even more. And we learnt that breaking up such a big journey with children definitely helps. We spent a week in Thailand which allowed us all to recharge after one leg of the trip and start to adjust our body clocks.
I had been worried about the impact of the move on Milin, but now we have been in London for nine months, I realise I probably didn’t need to worry as much as I did. After a couple of weeks, he had slipped back into his routine of day sleeps and good sleeps at night, and he was settled and happy. The adjustment was easier for him that it was for his parents.
When my daughter was born in July, I knew I couldn’t have done without the amazing level of support we have had here in London. We didn’t only move so we could have more help – but with two children 18 months apart, the support has been invaluable. It has meant we have been able to have more rest and be kinder to ourselves than we could have been otherwise. That, I believe, has also benefitted our children.
Our little family no longer lives a stone’s throw from the beach and a stone’s throw in the other direction from the city centre. We no longer live our life outdoors, among possibly one of the most easygoing nations in the world.
But, we are surrounded by family. My children are growing up with their grandparents beside them. They are enjoying a childhood filled with the love and laughter that comes from a family being together and there for each other. It was a hard decision to make, but one we have gained so much from.
This year has taught me that the most important questions in life don’t ever have easy answers. But when it comes to making decisions involving your children, you must listen to your heart and follow your instincts.