When the company I work for announced their relocation from Gibraltar to Malta, I was lost for words. I knew that this was going to happen at some point but hoped it won’t be so soon. At the same time, with Brexit looming, you don’t need to be a genius to see that companies were making backup plans. However, we were not ready to move. Not yet. We just started to settle in our new home in Spain, children started to attend the local school and nursery and four months on we were about to pack our bags again.
But let’s be honest, it was another opportunity to learn something new, travel more and get to know another country and culture.
So I got home and asked Hugo: “How would you feel about moving to Malta?”
“I always wanted to learn Maltese! When are we going?” he jumped impatiently.
I was stunned. I don’t know if it has anything to do with our parenting or we are just lucky to have kids with such an easy-going personality. Wherever we move, they see something positive in it. And I am pretty sure before now, he had no idea Malta exist and they speak Maltese!
Once in Malta
Just the other day, when I was alone with Hugo, seeing him in a happy and talkative mood, I asked him how he felt about us moving from country to country. This was two months after we relocated to Malta so I wanted to know his point of few after he had a chance to settle into a certain routine.
He was bouncing and skipping next to me as we were coming home from the swimming lesson.
‘I feel great! I am happy to move around, we are travellers,” Hugo cheered. When I asked about his friends and whether he is not sad losing them, he replied that he was a little bit sad but if we ever went back to any countries we had already lived in, he could just meet them again and he already had friends to go back to!
Who are we worried about?
This showed me and proved what I already knew. How simple and honest child mind is. It is us, parents, who complicate everything with countless worries and questions about how will the children cope, will they make friends, and will they fit in, what if they don’t like it… But are we worried about children or ourselves? Are these questions about them or about us?
My main concern regarding any relocation was whether we will be able to provide for our children. There is no point pretending that money don’t matter. Because they do! If you can’t afford decent living in a foreign country and you might not be able to enjoy what’s there on offer, then what’s the point of moving to where you know nobody. Being miserable, feeling guilty…
Malta is an expensive country to live in. The rental cost is shocking. There is no point denying it.
We should learn from our children
I believe that when it comes to a question of relocation, sitting down as a family is the best way how to make a decision. It is important to have an honest conversation with children about their feelings. We should listen to them, support them but we shouldn’t transfer our worries, our bad experience and our insecurity onto them. I think there is a lot to be learned from our kids and I am certainly learning from mine.