How NOT to tell your parents you’re moving overseas.

10,203 miles and/or a 26 hr flight.

This is what my parents and siblings are coming to terms with, the distance between Australia and Italy.

I have a tight-knit family, like a blanket crocheted by your 96 year old grandmother, it has a few holes here and there but still functions well.  We all live within an hour drive of each other – at the moment.  One sibling settled interstate of a couple of years, but returned.  That says something about my family. We do like each other !

My husband and I, in all of our enthusiasm couldn’t wait to discuss with our boys that we thought we wanted to make the move to Italy. We didn’t receive the reaction from my youngest that I was hoping for.

I expected a bit of disbelief and a few insecurities to be discussed, the fact that he would be changing schools and learning a completely new language. That would be expected along with the normal, “but I don’t want to leave my friends.”  But what I got and wasn’t expecting was physical nausea.

Sitting at the kitchen bench, my then 14 year old keeled over wanting to be physically ill.

Oh dear what have I done? My maternal instincts kick in and the need to comfort him and protect him overwhelms me.

Is my dream of moving to Italy being suppressed by the greater forces before the thought has even left my kitchen?

If there is any disharmony, if any cog in my well oiled wheel comes adrift I will have to abandon my plans.


We are at a lost and need external input. The next morning my husband and I call ahead to announce our arrival at my parent’s home.  We need to discuss how we handle my youngest; do we take a tough stance and tell him he has to come, he has no choice, or do we take the gentle gentle approach or do we abandon our plans before they begin because it is not in the best interest of my kids?

So how do you tell your parents you are leaving for a couple of years, and if we like it, we may stay a couple more?

Well I can tell you how NOT to tell them….

My parents did suspect that there is “something of serious importance we must discuss with them”….maybe because we told them that on the phone.

My adorable forever nurturing mum makes us all a cup of coffee and ushers us out the back door to the garden setting.

I let my husband take the lead, BIG MISTAKE, “So we have decided we want to go and live in Italy and we have a problem with….. (“for a couple of years”), ……he hasn’t reacted as well as we thought …..(“for a couple of years”) ….. we are wondering what approach you think we.…(for a couple of years”)

No one is hearing me… for a couple of years.   I am watching my father physically slump in his seat, he has a look on his face that I can only describe as stunned.   No jaw dropping shock, no gasping in disbelief, no eye contact with me, just stunned!   He looked pale like he was about to pass out.   For the second time in two days; What have I done?

“For a couple of years” 

“Oh year I forgot to mention that, just for a couple of years.”

In a matter of seconds my parents had lost their daughter ….and gained her back again. 



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