Happy Australia Day!

It looks as though January 26th this year was the last Australia Day we will spend in Australia for a while. We’re moving to New Zealand!

Mr L has, for some time, been looking for a new challenge at work and so when one presented itself he was keen to seize it. I had known of his aspirations to spend a couple of years working overseas ever since I met him and, although “live overseas” was also on my Life List (kind of like a mega to-do list), I still find the prospect of upping and moving (even if it is just across the ditch) somewhat confronting, especially when everything seems to have fallen so nicely into place for 2014.

Funny, because in many ways the thought of stagnating here scares me too. So many people say “It seems like only yesterday my son was in nappies/learning to walk/starting preschool. Last week he turned 18/35/52”. I love our life here at the moment but I don’t want that to be me, saying “Master L turns 21 next month, maybe we should look at moving/renovating/getting a life of our own”.

So I drew up a quick list of pros and cons.

Starting with the pros:

  1. I’ve always wanted to live overseas for a year or two
  2. We love NZ, at least to go to on holidays
  3. Mr L is convinced it’s the right thing for him and is clearly excited about it
  4. It’s really not that far away
  5. It’s exciting!
  6. Now is the best time to do it, before the little Ls are settled in school
  7. It might be the change I need from my job, which I love but I have started to think “what next?” a bit.
  8. It’s a great chance to declutter!
  9. It might be the perfect opportunity to have that 3rd baby

 In fact, the only cons I could come up with were:

  1. Master L is starting preschool and it looks amazing!
  2. I’ve managed to establish a very neat work, preschool & childcare schedule
  3. We love our nanny
  4. We love our house
  5. Mr L has just finished building a cubby house
  6. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get a job

1 & 2 were, literally, the first objections that came to mind. Matters of convenience. When children (and life in general) have a tendency to be inconvenient, it’s tempting to hang onto the bits that work. But there will be other preschools and other serendipitous work-life arrangements. (Hopefully, that is. See con #6)

3, 4 & 5 are really matters of sentiment. Ok, so having a nanny you love is also an issue of convenience but there will be other nannies. And who’s to say our current Mary Poppins won’t get her umbrella out of her bag & fly away soon for her own reasons? The house will still be here when we get back. (I keep trying to tell myself it’s just a house, but it’s not, it’s our home. It’s the first home Mr L and I bought together and it’s the first home for Master and Miss L.) We like our neighbours and our neighbourhood. But I know there will be other amazing houses, nice neighbours and great places to live. And, should Mr L see fit, there will be other cubbies.

6 is slightly more complex. Being a few years older than Mr L, and in a different line of work, I’ve reached a point in my career where the major hurdles are overcome. That’s not to say I’ve gone as far or as high as I can go, but from here on my career path is more of a ramble- I can go to different places and visit things that interest or stimulate me, but as far as money and career-standing go, I’m pretty much there. It’s a fortunate position to be in but it does lend itself to a bit of “what next?”-ing, or else it’ll be this until retirement.

I do, however, have a job that I need to actually do in order to remain up to date and skilled. Finding another job would help me maintain these skills (to varying degrees depending on the job) but the main issue is there doesn’t seem to be any jobs for me where we’re planning to live in Kiwi-land.

So, the options for me would be:

  1. Keep asking around and hope something comes up
  2. Get occasional work either back here in Sydney or out of town in NZ
  3. Study something
  4. Get a job doing something totally different
  5. Have a baby

I should point out that having another baby isn’t meant to be a last resort. We have been talking about having a third anyway. It’s more a question of: if I’m going to be off work anyway, what better time?

I don’t have a lot of experience with uncertainty. I’d say every year since I was born, I (or my parents, before I could talk) would have been able to tell you at any time where they saw me the following year. And we’d have been right, probably to the nearest hectare. So just saying “we’ll see what happens” is a pretty big deal for me. Yes it’s exciting but there is a nagging apprehension at the back of my mind, when I say that this time next year, I don’t know with any certainty what I’ll be doing.

But I’m fairly certain we’ll have wished our friends at home “Happy Australia Day” from afar and that we’ll be gearing up for Waitangi Day instead!

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