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To ask people's opinions on moving abroad with children?

(2 Posts)
OscarandTimmy Thu 03-Apr-14 13:21:05

Before I start, I just want to make clear that this is something that I am only musing with and have not intention of upheaving my family any time soon without full research.

I would love a more outdoorsy lifestyle for my children and family. I am not fully happy living in the Uk and would like to move to a warmer climate.

I am aware that a move will not be a bed of roses and there will be sacrifices and cons to contend with. I have family living in Malta and Tenerife, although they are retired so not the best to ask for advice re a young family.

A little bit about our situation:
I currently have no trade/occupation and am a SAHM to a one year old. I am also 12 weeks pregnant (would not consider moving before the baby is born, as I want to give birth in UK).
My partner has a small painting and decorating firm. We own our home, and if we sold it, we would have 30-40 grand in our pockets. Obviously this is not a lot, but a starting point.
We would not likely get in Australia, US, NZ, so our options are more likely Europe. My partner would need to have a firm job offer before moving in the painting and decorating industry.

Does anybody have any tips/advice (good or bad) regarding moving abroad and our current situation?

I am aware that the grass is not always greener, but this is something I would like to give a try, providing the circumstances were right.

AIBU to want to look into this and ask for advice? My partner is also keen.

dreamingbohemian Thu 03-Apr-14 13:37:53

YANBU -- you wouldn't be moving for a while so you have loads of time to do research, which is the most important thing.

We have moved twice since DS was born (he's now 4), first to France and then to Germany. My advice would be to look first at those areas where you do have family living. When we moved to France it was near DH's family and it was a godsend having people already there to help out, explain how things worked, etc. Also you won't be too isolated.

My other advice would be to think about what kinds of work you might be able to do -- what did you do before becoming a SAHM? As an expat usually you have fewer job options open to you, so it could become quite stressful if your DH is the only one able to work. Even if it is just part-time work, or babysitting, things will be much easier that way.

Also be sure to look at the family benefits policies wherever you are looking -- look at whether there is child benefit, whether childcare is subsidised, when school starts. Here in Germany, for example, child benefit is €184 a month and we're paying only €40 a month for full-time nursery (it's means-tested). So we have a much better quality of life.

I would actually strongly recommend Germany for families -- it's very family-friendly, the economy is good and in some places you can get by with English and very rudimentary German. It's true the winters are cold but the rest of the year is really nice, much better weather than the UK, and it's a very outdoorsy and sporty culture.

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