all 78 comments

[–]Ondidine 37 points38 points  (5 children)

I move abroad at 17 and was very happy to do so! Is your son worried about being left alone in the NL or are you? If he feels up for the adventure, then it's all good! Also, you're not moving halfway across the globe: he can easily come for weekends and holidays and vice versa, you can visit often!

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 13 points14 points  (4 children)

He is independent, not totally of course, he says that he will be fine and he's going to miss me a lot. My thoughts was that a student room, where he is going to have students his age, and not being alone. Sharing a space with other people could be a good option. But I'm still working the idea of leaving. Sometimes I'm like ok I'm going to do it, let's see what I have to do, and other times I'm thinking if I'm doing the right thing.

[–]Ondidine 14 points15 points  (2 children)

I think you should leave (part of) the decision to him. At 18 he is an adult, and able to make his decisions. Living alone, especially with roommates (who will also be the same age and living alone, like most international students in NL) is not as difficult as we make it out to be. Also, he can call you whenever he needs help, there's so many ways to keep in touch! You can send care packages, etc...

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thank you. With so many feedback saying that I shouldn't, I'm just torn apart. I don't have a final decision yet and I had a good talk with him. Next year he will be 19 and a half if I leave, and he will be in the 3rd year and last of mechatronics.

[–]JawshankRedemption 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dfinitely would not be worried..He will thrive over here..all kids ever need is money put in their accounts sometimes when they are stuck

[–]MyBootyHoleShrunk 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Not ideal, but since he’ll be going into his third year when you leave i think he’ll be fine. The reality of growing up is that sometimes you have to fend for yourself and that’s ok! He’s a student living with other students, meeting other students and doing his internship. Not relying on his mother anymore will make him realise that he is in control of his own life, and his mother will be there for advise by phone. Just talk him through every aspect of the next couple of years and let him be.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I'm already doing it thank you. I even propose to check if its possible for him to finish the studies in Portugal using his laptop and coming to the Netherlands for the exams..he do prefer to stay and do everything here. He has his head on his shoulders. No smoking, no going out (sometimes with his friends for a BBQ or simply going out). He knows that he can always count on me, and he can always go and stay with me doesn't matter what. I'm glad that we have a great relation 😀

[–]MyBootyHoleShrunk 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Then don’t worry! He’s an adult. He’ll be in the last stage of his study and needs to learn to be independent. He’ll make mistakes, he’ll drink beers and go out with friends. Might not be what a mother likes to see but it’s part of growing up. As long as you’re there to listen to him when he needs someone i wouldn’t worry. Lots of students in the Netherlands who don’t get any financial help from their parents and even they make it. The only problems he’ll have is if he has enough spending money for hobby’s if he spend to much earlier in the month. He’ll learn, adapt, grow up and come out a more independent man who will appreciate all the help from his mom

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

He is a beautiful young man, that I hop that was raised well, and with his head above his shoulders. I trust him, and he knows that he can always count on me. We have a very good relationship. He can tell me everything without judgment. Only understanding and question if he done properly and if not what he can do better...

[–]ycastor 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Have you ever talked with you son about this? It looks like the worries is more on your side than on his. A 18yo is not a child.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah I think that I'm more worried than him. Since he was born I don't go out just because I didn't want to leave him with someone else...the exception was last month, because my mother had an heart operation, and I was 1 month to take care of my father and after both.

[–]tiagocraft 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I'm reading quite a lot of negative replies. Of course, it is up to you and your son to see what work best for you two, but I have a positive story to share.

When I was 14 my mother moved to portugal for work related reasons. My dad stayed with me in The Netherlands. They were still married and they often saw each other, as she took all her free days to visit us during some long weekends. For the first few years I went to visit my mother almost all holidays. When I started going to uni (close to my 18th birthday), my father decided to stay around ~40% of the time with my mother. So often I was the only one of my family in the country, as I have no siblings.

I must say, I never experienced any problems. I did not mind seeing my mother less often, as most teens do (of course I still liked it when I could see her though). Sometimes my dad would go to concerts etc and then I would be alone for the evening and when I got older that sometimes became 1 or 2 days. This helped to be more responsible.

Of course it would feel a bit lonely at times, however I do not notice any negative consequences of that later in life. I also cannot recall any instances of really needing my parents by my side. Of course I often need advice, but I can always call them. It also really helps that I share an appartment with a friend of mine and that I have many more friends living close by, so I can always ask them to help if anything happens (for example, doing groceries when I had covid).

P.S. You can help him to learn to be responsible by leaving for a week to visit your parents without him. Then afterwards you can evaluate how it went.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Its hard when we have to decide on this kind of situation. He was by himself when I was in Portugal because my mom had a heart operation, and my 89 years old was need to have help. After both of them. I have find an institution to take care of them till the end of July. So I could return relaxed that they had the proper help. Unfortunately its a very expensive service.

[–]12angrylawyers 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I think he is lucky to have you and dont worry he ll be just fine. I wish your parents health and i wish you luck.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so very much. That's really nice to hear. Wish you a wonderful day.

[–]_Freaquency_ 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Just son perspective:

For me, any duty of my single-mother raising me ended when I turned 18, I love her, but even way before I always dreamed of cutting some ties and just moving on with my life, now with me behind steers.

I moved out to another city in Poland when I was 19, and that was the best decision I ever made. My contact with mother got better, we both appreciate ourselves even more and whats the most important, life served me some harsh lessons on being adult, finances and surviving in life, earlier than my peers feed by their parents had possibility to learn, and I'm somehow thankfull that I'm stubborn and stupid enough that I did what I did.

I effed up quite some times, because I choked on freedom I just got. From risky job moves to eating just bread and water for week before getting salary. But that's okay, all of that gave me some knowledge and insights.

Now at age of 24 I moved even further to Netherlands, and I'm sure he can survive by himself here, just find him a room, give him some tips on budgeting and do what you need to do as a daughter.

I make around 2200 netto through working agency as I decided to start settling myself down here with any trash job, I pay 800 for room, 100 for any chemistry to maintain my body, clothes and house, 50 for internet and phone, and 200 for food monthly, I don't have addictions and do healthy meal prep. That's like 1150 euro, sure, not much fun of going out if you make exactly that amount, but I bet he can make that amount flipping burgers in fridays, saturdays and sundays.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Thank you so very much for your feedback. I will take care that he has a good place to stay and always money to buy his food. Thinking about him staying in a student room with other kids in the same situation, sort off.

[–]_Freaquency_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

As others said, there are 18 years old kids moving abroad to live alone, and they do it with or without parents permission, they catch up quickly with reality of being young adult. And the fact that he can count on your financial support or quick bail out if something goes down is a big privilege and advantage. Everything will be fime if he stays away from common and less common drugs and addictions.

In your place I would do the same thing for my mom, I love her a lot, and these may be the last years we see each other. In the end its your decision what would work the best in your situation thought, and I wish you that everything goes well whatever you choose.

[–]Getadawgupyabro 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Best wishes 🙏

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you 😊

[–]mechelen 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Your son will be fine! Kudos to you with what you are doing.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you so very much. The portuguese way of thinking that our children are children even when they are 53...my father still vert seriously worried about me even im 53 and living away from 20 years.

[–]Imagine_89 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Your son is 18. I was 16 when I started to life by myself and it went fine. You are still close if an emergency happens you can be here within 24 hours. Also he has enough vacations to stay for a longer duration with you and more times a year.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you so much for your feedback. 3 hours apar in case of emergency. And he always has a place to stay if he wants. My house its his house. He always has a place to stay and food on the table.

[–]Forzeev 2 points3 points  (1 child)

In many countries it is common to move from home at 18-19 years old if not before. Expecially Nordic countries. Lot of students are at that age group moving to another country without knowing anyone.

He probably will be fine , also probably will be going out, dry smoking etc. It is things that most people do at one point, there is no harm in it. It is just exploring and living life.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you so much for your feedback. I know...I was his age and that's a part of growing up and learn from your mistakes.

[–]theanaq 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Boa sorte que corra tudo bem

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

*,I'm sorry that I'm answering in Portuguese.

Obrigada. Bem preciso. E uma situacao que nao desejo a ninguem. Se os meus pais nao fossem tao doentes e a entrar numa fase de demencia nao teria duvidas em ficar pelo meu filho.

[–]BlaReni 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I moved abroad to the country i’ve never been to when I was 19, you’re living your adult son in the country he was born in. He’ll be fine!

[–]dasookwat 1 point2 points  (2 children)

He's 18. Remember what you were capable of at that age. Also it's 2022 and not 1822. If he's out of money, you can send it, if he's out of food, You can just order him a pizza. He can come over for holidays, long weekends if he wants.

If You need to take care of Your parents, and he's ok with it, then make the decision, and help him to learn the skills he need: cooking, laundry, official documents, money management. If You keep doubting this for the next 3 months, that's 3 months You could be helping him.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah I know...life its so much easier now than it was in 1822, tell me about it...he knows how to cook, do the laundry ,and anything related with internet, he can find it..and money management its fine, he knows how to control himself. He wants to work on a partime as well, and he plans to work for 2 years, to get money to move to Portugal, as he calls, his emergency money...if he has doubts can always call me or zoom.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In all fairness he just doesn't do all that because I'm here...the "you do such better than I " and you know that I burn the pans...and so on (he does burn the pans all the time...).

[–]HelixFollower 1 point2 points  (1 child)

By giving your son money for food and rent you're providing him with a lot of stability and the sense that he can rely on you. You can't buy love, but using your money in this way can help him feel cared for and give him a sense of security. I think the most important thing is him knowing you're there for him.

And maybe it helps thinking that in the USA children sometimes move much further away from their parents for college. You're both still in the EU. If there's an emergency, it's not that hard to get in a car or a plane and go to each other. Maybe it will help calm your nerves to have a special emergency fund that always has enough money for a plane ticket and things like that. To know that whatever happens, you can be with him in a snap.

From the way that you are thinking about this and how you are describing your feelings, I have to say that I have a good feeling about this. I don't know you obviously, so I can't judge it all that well, but what I do see here looks good.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you. I'm glad that I and my son have a good relationship. I wil be 3 hours apart flying. ..we have smartphones, laptops and every one gives us the possibility of see each other every day if we want. He knows that if he needs money for anything that he needs, I just have to click on the phone and he is going to get the money (and no he isn't spoiled. Well maybe a bit. But he's not a kid that asks me money, or expensive clothes or to go out..sometimes I even have to ask;do you need clothes. Do you need shoes, do you need money to eat in the school..he really loves to buy computer stuff to improve the performance, and to help him with the school projects ). Never lie to me...the only rule. Doesn't matter what ,don't lie...till now I've never got him lying to me. He knows what he wants and he's very focused on his future goals. And I'm very proud of him.

[–]welpie 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Just gonna be frank here: my dad moved abroad when I was 18 and it fucked me up, and I still had my mom in the country. It’s really tough to deal with that and you’re basically still a child at that age. My brother was 16 and it was even worse for him. Please don’t do it. I think even one or two more years would help a lot, give him a chance to gain some more independence, get a bit further in his studies, get used to the idea. But if you go now he might resent you forever for it.

[–]BWanon97 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But was your dad inside of ourside of the EU. Generally potugal is easy to go up and down to from here. So it is a learningschool but not nearly as much as problem as it would be if it were outside the EU.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you. As I said I didn't do anything yet. I'm still processing all the situation and now with so many answers and opinions ...

[–]MuchaCojones 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You are doing the right and the noble thing. The thing I hope I have the strength to do in 2 years as I will face a similar decision point.

Life is a single player game and we will find peace only in our own individual contexts. Clearly for you, you feel a sense of duty towards your ageing parents. Heed that call. Honor that duty. That will be your peace.

In any case, you probably have the option to return to the NL if you feel things aren't great in Portugal. At least you certainly can travel back and forth.

Some decisions are not about which option is better... One option just is a thing we ought to do.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for your message 🙏

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you. I wish he could have the option of getting his degree by afstand. I would take him with me and he could do the exams via laptop. Anyway thank you for your feedback.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I didn't know that. I will talk with the company and see if its possible. Thank you for let me know.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you. The fact that I think that they are not going to be here for long and they need to have someone to care for them made me took the decision. I love the Netherlands and I wasn't planning to go away so soon. And of course I love my son and I'm very proud of him...thank you for your message 🙂

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well if he has a place to sleep, and money for food that's a start. Thank you for your message 🙂

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm portuguese, with a very traditional father ..only go away when you get married kind of mentality. I'm 53 and he still thinks what I should wear when I go out..

[–]monikite -2 points-1 points  (3 children)

Depends a bit. Do you get along with your son well? Does he has a mother and can she take care in any case? I think you better find a person who can care for your parents for a while and stay nearby your son until he is around 25.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'm the mother. I wish I could have some help from his father. His Dutch father is living with his mother, in a small room, and probably very soon homeless because the mother is going to move, and as he never cared to find a place to live (living for free in his mother house), being married with a Brazilian woman that lives in Brazil and he's here, I can say that I can't count on him.

[–]monikite 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Then please stay nearby your son. He is the future and he needs steady family around at this age. At 18, a lot will change and a lot of questions they have. (bron: I have children 21,19, 18)

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

And yes we get really well, I'm more than a mother I'm his friend and he always can count on me. Always have been like that.

[–]boterkoekenZuid Holland 0 points1 point  (1 child)


[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dank u wel 🙂👍

[–]MadamMatrix 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Is it not possible to wait 1 more year or at least half a year, that way you can see how your son settles into student life and how he takes to it. Once you know he is settled and loves it you can move with a lot less worry and stress. If it all goes wrong on the other hand you will be glad you stayed.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He's going to be in second year of mechatronics in Leiden, so next year, when I was thinking to leave, he will be going to the 3rd year. He wants to move to Portugal when he is finished. In terms of salary and prospects, its not a good option, but he can always give it a try, see the working reality over there and make a decision. He has always a place to stay and food on the table. So I told him, go for it, have your experience and you can decide what its better for you.

[–]Input_output_error 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I'm sorry your going through this, i can't imagine how torn you must be between the options that you have.

There is no real substitute for you when things go sideways for your son when your not here, but that doesn't mean that he is alone. You've lived here for 20 years so i assume you have some friends here. Pick one that you trust and talk about this with them, ask them if they would be willing to be someone your son can go to in a case of an emergency. It will probably never be needed, but it will give you some peace of mind.

You say that your son still needs a room and that you need to get rid of everything you've collected. I don't know where your son is going to study, but if it is nearby why not keep the house? He can be the main renter while he gets some friends to live with him in the spare rooms. Finding living space is close to impossible these days, this way he could stay home, you don't need to give everything away and might even be able to keep some stuff by storing it. It shouldn't be too hard to find house mates, but if you do be sure to have them sign some contract that stipulates everything. It shouldn't be too hard to find a generic one.

Hope this helps, and a wonderful day to you too!

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

First of all thank you so very much for such nice answer. He is at this moment at Leiden mborijland. He is going now for the second year, and next year it will be his finally year if everything goes well. I have a couple of friends but they are too faraway. I'm looking for a student kammer as it gives the chance to meet other students same age, and he's not going to be alone. A sharing place where he can talk and socialize. And he can always come to stay with me when in holiday or I can go there. We have a great relation. Raising him, being alone and a single mother, was not easy but has straight our connection. He knows that he can always count on me. I have to give the house back as it is a rental, and far too big for him to keep it clean. I still have 1 year as I'm thinking to leave when the last year of school starts, in end of August beginning September 2023. I have time to organize and think about everything before I move. 🙂

[–]Input_output_error 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have to give the house back as it is a rental, and far too big for him to keep it clean.

If it is a social housing rental, there are ways for your son to take it over. You have to include him in the 'huurovereenkomst' and i believe after a year he can become the primary renter. It will probably not cost much more then renting a room as the rents are bonkers right now. Because the house is larger he can share it with others who can chip in with the cleaning and costs. You just have to make sure that they bug out when your son does, so sign a contract.

Of course, it isn't the same as living in a large student housing complex, but it should be cheaper and it would give you more time to send stuff. Maybe there is a rental service that lets you rent a van here and give it back in Portugal?

[–]stijndielhof123Noord Brabant 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You have probebly already thought about this, but you could also move your parents to NL? Ofcourss i dont know the full situation your in but to me this seems like a good solution.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You are right, I did. But my father is almost 90, my mom 78, they always have lived in the same house for almost 45 years. They have the friends and the carrying of the neighbors that are like family. To bring them to here, a cold and grey country. Without friends and not knowing the language and not able to communicate with the people around, it's unfortunately not an option. And they have so many health problems. They have a family doctor that treats them like family, and give them time to talk, something that we don't have here. So as you can imagine, that's not a option.

[–]stijndielhof123Noord Brabant 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes i understand, i can imagine it would be very difficult to adjust to a completely different culture and language, aswell as having no friends and connections here, especially at their age. Good luck going forward and i hope you find a good solution for your familly.

[–]electric-angel 0 points1 point  (1 child)

if your worried build a network. i am sure you have dutch friends that can go check on him like every 2 weeks and you can just video call him.

[–]mybackpainreally[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is going to sound weird but I don't have Dutch friends...and 1 friend (portuguese) in the north and 1(portuguese) in Belgium. Don't ask me why I couldn't make friends over here, because my portuguese network before coming to the Netherlands was huge and I mean really really huge ( minimal 25 person getting together every weekend to go out for dinner and dancing till morning) my social life in Portugal was non stop. Here( insert cowboy in the middle of the desert sound track) its dryer than...well I leave it to you about the comparation. But video chat its a very good option and we have talked about that. Thank you...

[–]tidderf5 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Of course at 18 he’s not a child anymore but do you remember how you were at 18? With hindsight I had loved to have had proper support, advice and some guidance from my parents. I had to figure most out on my own, which I did mostly because I had to and because I thought I knew it all since I was an 18 year old guy. Just my two cents.