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Mums needs vs The Children's

(23 Posts)
late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 13:27:02

This is a hard one. Basically it comes down to this. We currently live over the water in France, however I am not happy. I don't have many friends (had loads in England), don't get out much due to no cash, don't find the life here very stimulating and further more find it really difficult finding a decent job. OTOH, my hubby has his head firmly stuck into a house-build project (he goes from one house-build to another, this really isn't what makes me tick), and my kids are both happy at school. They have a lot more freedom, they're free to play out in the street, they go to a quaint village school etc. and of course they will be bi-lingual at the end of it. The only problem for me is that I feel suffocated by domesticity. In England I had more outlets, here I just spend my time washing clothes, doing school runs, going shopping and cooking....yes I know we all have to do this, but shouldn't there also be another dimension to ones life? Anyway, I've come across the perfect job for me in England and I would love to go for it. Obviously this would mean uprooting my kids, upsetting the balance with hubby and getting a passport for the dog. Not to mention the costs involved in relocating. Do you think it's wise to put Mums needs first, or should she remember that her life is now about her kids happiness and get on with Motherhood? Please help, it's a real dilemma.

PaisleyLeaf Tue 07-Dec-10 13:29:46

I don't know.
But we do have quaint village schools and nice places to live where children can play out on the street here too.

taintedsnow Tue 07-Dec-10 13:30:32

What does your DH think about a possible move?

dreamingofsun Tue 07-Dec-10 13:32:40

how long have you been there? ie will it improve (more friends/hobbies) given time or is this as good as it gets?

Mummy2Bookie Tue 07-Dec-10 13:33:34

Dp and I plan on moving to Australia in a few years to give dd a better life.
Personally I would weight up what you've left behind and what you have now. Is it a better life where you are now? Are your children happier? Etc
Do you speak the language? Why don't you try a language class ?
You could enquire about the job and possibly attend an interview if it's offered. You have nothing to lose by doing this.

ChateauDeLaShite Tue 07-Dec-10 13:33:56

I think your children could easily be as happy in England. How old are they?

late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 13:34:11

DH thinks that we can't afford it, and he would be right.

EyeOfNewtToeOfFrog Tue 07-Dec-10 13:34:24

How about you apply for the job anyway? You don't have a decision to make until you've been offered the job! It is a tough dilemma though, I symapthise.

Mummy2Bookie Tue 07-Dec-10 13:34:36

Mums needs are important but so are dc's. That's why we want to move.

Balsam Tue 07-Dec-10 13:35:25

Can you not find a job in France? It sounds to me that you are not happy being a full-time mother/housewife, rather than the fact you are in France, so get a job where you are as a kind of trial run and see how it goes. If you find you like the balance, then you can look further afield for a better job. If you decide being a SAHM was better after all, you quit and you've lost nothing.

lummox Tue 07-Dec-10 13:44:32

Have sent a message to your inbox.

olderandwider Tue 07-Dec-10 13:48:21

Could you offer English lessons to children or adults? You may be able to do a distance learning TEFL course to become qualified, or do it on a casual basis. Not sure what your skill set is or whether this would be your idea of hell, but may be worth thinking about.

YulenoYurbubson Tue 07-Dec-10 13:51:03

I think you need to change something. Even if it isnt a move back to UK, you can't go on being all stepfordy and seething inside. One day you'll wake up and bitterly regret all that wasted time.

thumbplumpuddingwitch Tue 07-Dec-10 13:54:08

Would it be feasible to travel to the UK during the week for the job, then back at the weekends? Is there any leeway for working at home at all, so that you could maybe do 3 days in one, 4 days in the other country?

Failing that, try and get a job that you can do from France, via the internet.

late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 14:13:13

Sorry girls failed to tell you, I do have a part-time teaching job, only problem is I'm not paid much and it involves loads of travel. I've had a few teaching English jobs over here but the pay and benefits are appauling! I don't get paid if I don't work, i,e, holidays, sickness etc. it's the way these language schools work. You are right about commuting, this is one thing I might look into and I have been scouring the Internet for writing, teaching jobs too.....It's more about being undervalued over here, there are things that I can do, but the pay and benefits are nowehere near as good as Angleterre, what do they say? You don't know what you've got til it's gone! I also speak a good level of French but miss English self-depracating humour, you just can't beat it for lightening up the the French seem to find it hard to be open about their lives etc. so you end up having quite a lot of superficial conversations.....maybe that's a cultural misunderstanding on my part, I dunno. I'm lonely I suppose, sob sob

late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 14:15:32

p.s. love your idea thumbplump....about 3 days and 2 working from home, please find me that job!

jamaisjedors Tue 07-Dec-10 14:20:49

Those TEFL jobs are the pits.

How long have you been here?

What will you do when the children leave home? Or decide to go to England for their studies (less likely nowadays with tuition fees I grant you).

I have a lot of friends here who haven't really settled into French life, even after 6+ years.

You have no real reason to be here, and life as a (semi) sahm is not much fun in France, there really is very little going on and people are quite family-oriented.

late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 14:31:45

Thanks Jamaisjedors, are you in France too? I've been here on and off for 7 years, I have tried loads of different jobs, making friends, inviting people round for meals aperos etc. giving free english lessons, getting a dog, working on the house, doing the garden, but nothing seems to work - I miss English people and just LOVE IT when they come to visit, they inject a real buzz into the place for a week - then when they leave I hit rock bottom and slowly start to climb back up's really not for me, but my kids have been through so many moves that I am trying to stick it out for them, I think I'm making myself ill though. When do I say to my family, enough's enough, I wanna go home?

TarheelMama Tue 07-Dec-10 14:44:53

Moving is hard on children. If I were you I'd see what I could do to make life happier for me without uprooting my children. My parents did this for me when I was growing up. My dad worked away during the week rather than move us so that I could finish out school where I'd always been. It was tough and financially draining on them but I am v grateful.

Hullygully Tue 07-Dec-10 14:51:54

That is a jolly hard one. For me, the dcs happiness comes terribly high up my priorities so I'd be reluctant to move them. is there any way you could offer B&B/gite/Chambre d'hotes stuff to English people and get some Englishness and some cash thereby? Or specialist holidays of some sort? Walking? Local interest? Cooking? Or arrange these via other parties?

frgr Tue 07-Dec-10 14:53:19

OP seems to think that there are two choices - place mum's needs first and disrupt everyone/cause disharmony OR "remember that her life is now about her kids happiness and get on with Motherhood". Both are depressing options from the sound of it.

There are more options in life than the above. A happy family has a happy mum (and dad). But surely you can work out something between your partner and you so that it doesn't end up causing rows vs. you have to be quiet and keep on as a Stepford wife?

The options seem very simplistic. And people have moved on from that way of life. If you find your role in the home unfulfilling, is there any charity work that you could do? How much effort have you put into getting a job, either fulltime, freelance or part time (if your skills allow)? Does your DH know how unhappy you are? Does he care? if he does, is he committed to you - would he pick up 50% of the childcare and home duties when/if you got a job? these are hugely complex issues and isn't something which is addressed in any depth in the OP.

But... there are other alternatives....

chocolatine Tue 07-Dec-10 14:57:58


Not sure where you are but even if you're not near Paris, have you considered joining Message?

Absolutely loads of anglophones, all dealing with the same problems - including careers in France. There's a really active internet forum and if you're not too far, maybe you can get up to some of the events?

late30s Tue 07-Dec-10 16:44:04

thanks Chocolatine, very helpful advice ta.

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