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  1. #1
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    Default Would you move if it meant being far from your kids?

    Sometimes good personal advice comes from perfect (or not so perfect) strangers. This does have somewhat of a living and relocating theme, but on a more personal note. So give me your thoughts people.

    I have been given a dream job offer in Miami as a Biomedical Engineer. Suffice to say that I would love my daily quality of life in and out of work so much more than I do now. I get depressed and moody to extremes in Ohio winters and I hate my current job.

    The catch? I have to move away from my kids! They are 15 and 11. I am divorced and stuck in Canton Ohio because this is where my ex and my kids are. The new job and move to Miami would mean I get the typical out of state "Parenting Schedule C", which is 6 weeks in the summer (albeit 24/7) a week at Christmas, a week at Spring Break.

    My fear is not so much how they will cope with it, because I think they would like the experience and they are very happy at their mother's in Ohio as well. My fear is how I will handle the months without seeing them. I just want to be sure that I won't end up trading one misery in Ohio for another in Miami.

    They want to fly me down next week. I had this job offer a year ago and turned it down for the fear of missing the kids. I regretted that decsicion ever since and now I have a second chance.

    Is this TMI?

    Scott

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    I know what you are going through as I have been doing it for 7 years now. My daughter visits for the same periods you mentioned you would see your kids. One thing I have noticed is as my daughter is getting older (13) she is becoming more independent. Even though I have her for the summer, she likes to go home in mid-August for dance competitions.

    My daughter loves to come out and visit as she gets to do other things with another set of friends. I am moving this summer from San Diego to Miami with my transfer. My daughter asked to come out so she could visit her friends before I moved as well as wanting to drive across country to see many new places. We are turning this into an adventure stopping at numerous places along the way (Hover Dam, Grand Canyon...). I told her to pick places that she would like to see and we would work out a travel plan.

    So I am not too long winded, my advice is take a job you enjoy. I end up spending more quality time with my daughter now then I would if I lived in the same town. Because our time is limited we tend to do more things together. Yes you will miss their games or whatever they do, but I make a trip up to see them when I can. If you have more questions just pm me and I will be happy to answer any questions.

  3. #3
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Scott, thanks for sharing. I don't have kids ... but it seems like a no-brainer to me (especially after reading Chris' advice). Your kids will only be getting older and more independent -- soon enough, they'll be off to college. What do I see here as a golden opportunity? Long-term happiness for both daddy and the kids.

    Again, I don't have kids, and I do understand that certain sacrifices need to be made, but it sounds like it's fair enough for you to follow your dream job and still be a good father. Have you talked to your kids? How do they feel about it? Perhaps they will be excited to come to Miami part of the year. If coming to Miami is a positive experience (instead of an upheaval) then also consider what a wonderful opportunity for them to experience a different culture; it would also be educational and mind-opening. I see that as another long-term benefit in a situation like yours.

    If you already regretted the decision once, just think how much more you'll regret it twice. You've been given a second chance to follow your dream job.

    I think you have already answered your own question ;-) ...

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    Thanks Maria, perhaps I have answered my own question indeed. Only I can make the decision of course but insight from others is often priceless. Interesting that both someone with kids and someone without, offer similar advice. Thanks for the input.
    Miami would actually be less of an upheavel. There would be less back and forth and less for the kids to forget at one house or another. Living in two houses is not normal for kids. Hard to put all of it on them to remember items. I have my daughter's favorite hair straightner and you wanna know how many times she forgets to take it to her mother's? lol It's disaster for a teenage girl to wake up in the morning without one!

    You asked the key question Maria. Have I talked with the kids? Yes I have and my daughter is excited about it, but my son says he would miss me. She is 15 and he is 11 so I expected this reaction. I figure I have a good year at most with my daughter before boys cars school friends events become more and I become less. That's just the way it happens and should happen. So why be miserable and wait until they are both out of High School. Besides it is not imposible that my son may want to (and be allowed to) come live in Miami with dad.

    I would make it the best experience that I could for them both. We would all attempt to learn to speak Spanish together. The culture change could be healthy for them and I so love that about Miami. What kid doesn't want to come to Miami for Christmas and spring breaks? My daughter would even be able to bring a best friend with her for that week.

    So yes this is the way I am leaning. The career and lifestyle opportunity is incredible. Designing a product that will give back mobility to people and help to heal them. That and it's in Miami? Fuugghedabouddit!

    I think it is a good thing for kids to learn by example that it is ok to have a dream and go for it. To chase down what you know will make you happy.

    Thanks for the offer Chris, I may just PM you to hear more of your direct experience with this.

    Scott

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    Would you move if it meant being far from your kids?
    Take the dream job, Scott.

    It's not like you're moving away from your kids for good.

    I think it is a good thing for kids to learn by example that it is ok to have a dream and go for it. To chase down what you know will make you happy.
    You're right. For them, this will be the time in life dad lived in Miami.

    You sound like a cool, caring father.

    Have an adventure!

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    Gus
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    Chris, the road trip with your daughter sounds like fun.

    Have you heard about an area just north of the Grand Canyon in Utah called Grand Staircase/Escalante? There's lots of pretty driving around there.

    After that, you can cut through Colorado, down across Texas, stopping in New Orleans and Orlando, before ending up in Miami.

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    Thanks Gus! Thanks for your opinions and the compliment. You are right, I am not leaving my kids. I hate when people I know say "How could you leave your kids"? I am just rearranging my time and compressing it. Like Chris said, I will have more quality time with my kids with less interruptions. It will actually make their lives LESS complicated I think.

    Today I gave the company available dates for an on sight visit to their new facilities in Blue Lagoon and a housing hunt. I had been in Miami a year ago at their old location. I could use some more recommendations for real Estate Agents for Rentals. Let me know. I will look at Neo Vertika, Brickell on The River, some towers Right on Brickell Ave and even New Midtown Miami (I know about the neighborhood). After that I will have him take me through some Mid Beach low rises.

    Do any of you Miami Beach 411'ers ever get together?

    Thanks,
    Scott

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    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Ditto what Gus said ... a happy father that leads by example is a very good thing!

    Scott, I'd be interested in learning more about your work. I've studied and taught a particular kind of therapeutic yoga and am interested in anything that helps people with mobility, especially now that I'm slowly getting back into a healing path.

    Now, as soon as you move, go straight to Target and buy a hair straightener. OMG!!! :lol:

    I think our forum contributor Priscila has a favorite realtor. Perhaps you should PM her.

    As for the NeoVertika, I'd be curious as to see what you think. I took a tour of the Miami River two weekends ago and I was really impressed by the buildings at the mouth of the river. Really interesting energy there ... it all looks so modern but underneath it all is a fascinating history.

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    Hi there,

    Have you consider bringing them down with you? Miami Beach is great place to live and the quality of life can't be beat. I have a friend who moved down here is away from his kids. He's been here a year and the kids are moving down to live here in a few months. The kids have been down here to visit and they love it. Who wouldn't?

    A dream job is more than just a job. And you shouldn't pass the opportunity. I used to live in Manhattan which has the best jobs for careers in Finance, it pays a lot of money, and you learn from the best in the industry. Last year I left my job on Wall Street, all my friends and family and moved down. Not for a job, but for a better quality of life. It took me until just last month to find a good job in my field, and now everything is falling into place. I guess my point is, there are always ways to get your life the way you want it, even if it takes a year or so.

    Worse thing that can happen you hate living here, and can move back to Ohio, though that's highly unlikely. If I were you, I'd do it in a heartbeat. And I have an awesome realtor, email me if you want his contact info.

    Good luck in your decision. I'm sure you'll not regret it. :)
    Pris

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    Maria,
    Hey thanks for the input. I will let you know about the River condos. I prefer the beach but need to find the right place that works for all of us.
    You can PM me anytime and I will give you the company website if you would like more info. I thought you might appreciate the hair straightener story. When I was divorced 6 years ago my daughter was 9. She has this outrageously long beautiful hair. I had no clue how to help so I took her to a hair salon and paid some girls to teach me how to braid her hair and do the pigtails and ponytails and just take care of it in general. It's a bit embarassing to tell, but I was clueless and needed help. Now at 15 she won't let me near it. The straightener is sort of our inside joke.

    Priscila,
    Thanks for sharing some of your personal choices. It's good not to live under American "Dogma", that is to say; living with the results of someone else's thinking. Yes I have actually thought about the kids living with me. I currently have joint custody, but it would be a battle with the ex to move them here. They grew up in schools here and an Ohio judge would most likely not see it in their best interest to up root them to Miami. That being said, they both are old enough to have great influence in court should they want to come live with me at some point. I am sure my daughter will want to go to UM in three years. I can hear her now, "Screw you Ohio farm geeks, I am going to Miami!

    Anyway, I think Priscila already sent me a realtor's name but go ahead and PM me again. Well I am being flown down soon. I want this, it's just taking the initial leap that will be the toughest part. As Priscila said, things will settle in the first year.


    I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and ask myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. - Steve Jobs of Apple Inc.

  11. #11
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I love that Jobs quote. It reminds me that prosperity is about so much more than just having money.

    I too have recently moved under very different circumstances and without having to consider kids, but it all boils down to following my heart and fulfilling my life's purpose. It's requiring some sacrifices right now, but who cares if I am doing what I love? I think that's what it all comes down to. And it's in this space that I'll probably manifest the right person to love too.

    Priscila ... congratulations on things working out for you!

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    Scott-

    I went through a very similar situation just over three years ago and my kids were almost exactly the same age as yours. I wasn't offered a great job per se, but it was a very unique opportunity at the time and it was something that I was interested in. The job required me to be gone for 4 - 5 months at a time with 1 - 2 months off. The first thing I did was speak with my children about it. After telling them about the job and how long I would have to be away they both surprisingly said "Dad, go for it!" My kids wanted me to be happy even if it meant we wouldn't see each other as often.

    Now I've got one off to collage and the other is turning 16 next month. What we have found is that the time we've spent together over the past 3 years has been far more interesting and fulfilling for all of us. Rather than just coming over to the house on Wednesday for dinner and hanging out every other weekend watching TV or going to the beach we have been to Europe together several times or taken road trips across the country together. We all just seem to make the most of every minute we are together now and it has really been great.

    I am moving to Miami now and my son is very excited about that as well. We will only be 5 hours apart and I think he is kind of excited about the whole "Miami" thing too. :)

    I guess the bottom line is that you have to make yourself happy or no one around you will be happy anyway.

    Good luck with your new job!

  13. #13
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    I really want to boycott this thread to avoid sounding like a sourpuss but I keep being drawn back to it so I might as well add something. I can't help noticing that everyone giving you the thumbs up Scott is either childless or a father already somewhat separated from his child- quite possibly facilitating a move...

    I'm just trying to say that I would never use the word 'dream' to describe anything I could only do by leaving Nick behind...not even a vacation. I want him to see the world- be that my Miami neighborhood or Tibet. How am I supposed to show him anything if I am not there.

    That said, I know children can sense a parent's unhappiness and if push came to shove, I guess I'd rather Nick not see me than see me unhappy where I know for a fact I'd have minimal positive influence...

    I can tell though by your posting on here that you're not just another creator but rather a provider- especially since you don't want to uproot your kids from the stable lifestyle they are in (schools, friends, etc) just so you don;t miss them that much.

    I think your daughter might be able to help your son with any issues he may have because she will be the one he identifies with most as well as trusts most. Kids take issues they blame themselves for the hardest so as long as you establish that your move has nothing to do with leaving them specifically, everything will work out. Maybe at first there might be some resentment or head butting but they're not that far off from those young adult years where they'll learn what life is really about and make their own decisions about you based on the quality of your time together rather than the quantity or frequency of visits- but that doesn't mean you shouldn't call and/or see them EVERY chance you get.

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    Suzy,
    Wow. Very insightful. I hope you don't mind that I say this in a public forum (too late if you do), but I imagine that a guy could easily fall for you. As I read your post, it felt like you knew my family on an intimate level. You completely zeroed in on my two kids and how they feel about each other and saw the provider in me. It really got to me. Thanks for the input.

    This decision is just another difficult aspect of divorce. It does not free a person from what everyone thinks. It brings up new challenges like dating someone who has kids in another school district and a house in another town or neighborhood and mortgages and ex's and kids schedules etc. Plus if you want to see your kids on a regular basis, you stay where they are period or you move and adjust which forces them to adjust.. I have had to suppress a lot of opportunities, but self sacrifice is an ingredient of love.

    I would of course have them 24/7 for 6 weeks in the summer and a week at xmas and spring. My life and focus would be 100% dedicated to them when not working. The gaps in between will be filled with phone calls and web cam visits. I can always fly up for events that are meaningful to them.

    Trust me though Suzy, the advice given here is merely insight taken from other human beings and their life experience. The input is valued and appreciated or I would not have asked for it, but my final decision will be based on following the heart, because it usually already knows what you want.

    By the way, my son's name is also Nick:)


    -Scott

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    I have 3 kids and they are all grown and 2 live out of town, one actually in Cleveland, not too far from you. My one kid in town has my grandchildren so all is great there. I think only you can make this decision but in time the seperation will occur anyways because they grow up fast, go away to school, and usually move elsewhere. Given the current demographics, it is doubtful your kids would stay in Canton after they get older anyways.

    I longed to move to Miami Beach when my now 40 year old son was 3 and it was nixed by my wife. Finally after all this time we have a place here, though it is just for vacations currently. I love the place and dread going back up north even in July. Though Michigan (go blue!) where I live is really a beautiful state with our lakes and shoreline (longer than Florida's), the economy and the general atmosphere are such a drag that I can't wait to be in MB. If we had moved when my kids were smaller, there is a good chance they would all be down here with me now.

  16. #16
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    Scott,

    I moved to Miami about eight months ago for my "dream" job. The three years prior to that, my two sons, 16 and 13, lived with me and spent summers and alternating holidays with their mom. When I moved down, my ex and I worked it out so that they would stay with her until I got settled. They would've moved with me except it all happened so fast. Now that their school year is almost at a close, they're moving down within a month or so.

    I moved knowing that we'd be together again, so it might be a little different. But I can tell you this: A good relationship and a strong bond with your kids doesn't fade over distance. My kids are dying to come here, and my children still remain my best friends.

    Personally, I spent the bulk of my teen years thousands of miles away from my parents and it wasn't so bad. I think it's much harder for parents than teens at that age. They ARE starting to become independent. They still need guidance and all, but they're sort of exploring the world on their own. But that isn't to say they don't need their father, either. I can't predict the effect this year apart will have on my kids, but again, it just comes back to the bond.

    I miss the crap out of them, and when I first moved down it was pretty lonely without them being around. It still gets like that from time to time. I would send them a care package, talk to them regularly, talk to them about what we would do when they came down... We still do, but there's an end in sight for me. I wasn't crazy about being apart from them this year, but it's sort of worked out well; they got to spend time with their mom and live a different life and I've gotten some personal things straight.

  17. #17
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    'Sporty' Scott:

    Thank you. It's really a difficult topic for me to discuss because it hits home on REALLY emotional levels.

    I honestly believe that you can raise a child without a father as I'm doing so now- so I really turn a blind eye to 'fathers' concerns' because the sperm donor has none. Is it right? No. Do I think Nick is missing out on things- I hope not but he does kick the floor and say "I don't have a dad' when his classmates introduce their dads on mornings so I KNOW the absence affects him.

    I also know the absence affects kids through my own relationship with my father which I admit is VERY STRAINED now that I'm on 'the other end.'

    I always idolized my dad and why not? I hardly saw him- maybe once monthly even though he lived here, and when I did, he always had a SUPER COOL toy. I was the first to have a Nintendo, a glittery pink Raleigh bike, a two story Barbie house (That yellow and white Dream House from the 70s) and he would take me to the Video Powerhouse (an arcade that used to be on Coral Way and 27th Ave in the 80s) so I could watch him play Ms Pac-Man. He gave great presents but never 'did' anything with me and as an adult, I can remember thinking as a little girl "I wonder what he'll give me today" on the days I was supposed to see him. I looked forward to seeing him because of his gifts and nothing else which is not how kids are supposed to see their parents.

    I tell you that your kids will form their own opinions of you as they grow older because I've lived it. My mother NEVER said anything negative about my father- no matter how many times I told her that I hated her and loved him more. As I got older (and public searches became easier online), I found my parents divorce decree and a bunch of other sh*t that NO ONE ever told me about and my opinion of him started to change but it wasn't until I had Nick that things came 'full circle.'

    Life has a funny way of paying you back for your sins through those you love. The irony here is that because of the situation with Nick and his absentee father, my father's own guilt for his actions, or lack thereof, with me is starting to eat him alive and he's told people he wishes he 'could do it over,' but the proverbial damage is done. We can't communicate at all; everything ends up in argument because I resent him. We don't really speak and even this morning, I hit the 'ignore' button on my cell phone- knowing he was simply calling to say 'Happy Mother's Day.'

    I resent him, not because he wasn't there, but rather because he 'chose' to not be there. I understand your situation is probably very different but that's why I tell you that it's important they know your potential move has nothing to do with not wanting to be with them. If you don't talk to them and explain where you're really coming from, when(if) they form the wrong opinion, you'll have no way to combat it...

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    Wow thank you all for sharing some very personal experiences.

    Suzy I can totally see why this subject hits so close to home with you. I can read your heart in what you wrote. If your personal experiences have resulted in a closer bond and motherly love for your son, then that's a beautiful thing. Yes I believe there are certain things a boy can only learn from a father or other adult men, but I think that your stunning love for him has and will make them a non issue.
    Scott, you are fortunate to have an ex that will accept only having her kids for the summers and breaks. That is rare indeed. There is a good possibility that my son Nick will be able to move down later to live with me. My daughter does not want to change High School and I would not move her. Four years straight in one High School is a promise I made to her and keep it I will. She did say she would want to go to UM and live with dad in three years, so there's that. My son is 12 next month.

    I need to preface all this and tell everyone that I have been a VERY involved father since day one. Both my kids were bottle fed and I took my turn every freaking two hours in the early weeks while working full time. I changed so many diapers that I can do it one handed (including taping up into a ball). I mixed up formula at 3am. I did the whole deal. I sang the same song to them every night while tucking them in and I still do with my son. I taught my son to pee on cheerios so he could aim straight. I taught them both to ride bikes. I sang to my crying son while he was wrapped in a sheet getting stitches in his lip after a bike fall because his mom was to hysterical to go in and needed me to. I took my daughter to father/daughter camp three times a year where we shot bb guns and rode horses and went out in canoes and hiked and told stories all night around campfires. I had to teach my son to respect girls and women. i had the talks with him. I taught my son to play the drums. I go to games and concerts and parent teacher conferences. I have been there for the hard stuff man. There is no lip service to my parenting and this is also why it may be a pretty drastic change for my son. This is what eats at me.
    My ex cheated and I divorced in 2002. Since divorce, I have had my kids 50% and adjusted my schedule at work to be a single dad. I paid some hairstylists to teach me how to braid and take care of my daughters hair when she was young. She had her first period at my house for cryin out loud. A single dad has to deal with new aspects of parenting too. Now it's baseball and soccer and boyfriends and homework. My son Nick is smaller and has been bullied at school. I talk with other parents and teachers and I deal with this. I am a Father and proud of my track record.

    Today I had a talk with my daughter. She and her brother are happy at their mom's farm now. She has adjusted to High School and says she is better prepared for me to be in Miami than she was a year ago. My son will not want me to go. However as Suzy said, he loves his sister and trusts her. I agree that this may be harder on me than them. I will have nights in Miami at home alone at night where I will hurt. I must know that going in to this.

    Now that I have given you some background relating to my parenting, let me say that I HATE Ohio. I moved here because me ex had family here. I have none except for my kids. I get severely depressed during winters here. We had 30 inches of snow in February alone this year. It is cloudy over 300 days here. I am a triathlete and love to race and run and swim and be outside every chance I get. I love it hot! I mean Miami hot. I am completely burnt out at my job and it has been affecting my motivation and performance. I was offered this position in Florida a year ago and turned it down because I feared the pain of missing my kids. My son still has 6th grade through High School to go through and honestly I just don't think I can stay here that long. At the same time I don'tknow how it will be on the long stretches when I can't see him. I am torn. Lot's of my friends have said wait until they are on their own, but this opportunity will not be there then. I will be of an age where it will be too late to start new at a company and give up my years and seniority here. I will not be as wanted a commodity to a company as I am now. This is my chance to be a Bio-medical engineer and design product that goes into humans to give them mobility and keep there quality of life after trauma accidents. That and the City that is Miami make this such a tempting opportunity. Perhaps I am running away from something, I don't know. I want both my kids and Miami and this job, but cannot have both.

    Again it is not like I am leaving them. I will have them 24/7 in the summer and will make that time incredible and bonding with them and myself. There are positives and negatives. I just have to make sure I am not trading one misery for another.

    Again Suzy, I thank you the most for sharing some of yourself with me. You "showed me your scars" so to speak. Thanks. You come across as a pretty amazing woman and Mother. Happy Mother's day to you.

    Scott

  19. #19
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for sharing so much. I think it's pretty obvious from what everyone has said that quality versus quantity is key. God only knows there can be loads of resentment and anguish even in families that share the same living space.

    Suzy you are so right. Everything we are today is a result of patterning we received as children and as a parent, you have the power to use the lessons you've endured to help your son and move on from those patterns. Rock on!

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    Scott,

    Getting back to your concerns about the kids for the summer; I asked my wife who is much more knowledgeable than me about almost everything about younger kids and she recommends some type of organized summer camp or activities for your kids. Perhaps you should check with the MB recreation department. I think they have a range of programs which could interest your kids and keep them busy while you are working. I know they have a great water park/pool in Flamingo Park and lots of other facilities.

    Good Luck with your decision.

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