AIBU to think that I'll never feel at home here?(235 Posts)
I've been in UK for 7 years now. But I often think that I'm not welcomed here. Me and my DH both are working, my DD1 is in year 8 now and doing brilliantly. My DS2 goes to nursery and does great there as well. So our kids are fully integrated. But I don't have any English friends and that makes me feel on the side of local life. I can't make people like me, but they never expressed any interest in making some kind of friendship. I love this country, here's my home. Just sometimes I feel sad that I'm not the part of this country..
A lot of people find that "the grass isn't greener on the other side" when they move country - it's common for you to feel like that, especially when you have only been in the UK for 7 years. I don't know how old you are, but given you have a child in year 8 you will presumably have spent at least 3/4 of your life in a different country.
Trust me, it will be a good 20 years before you feel at home - if ever.
What about hobbies and interests - that's a great way of getting into the social side of things. I am very friendly with people I work with, but they are not my friends. I've made friends through my hobbies.
I'm from Latvia if it's relevant. I don't have much time for hobbies with two kids and job I was thinking maybe about some volunteering job on Sundays to make some friends and improve my language skills. But I don't know where to start actually
Whereabouts in the UK are you? Both geographically and do you live in a city, town countryside?
I live in a different part of the UK from my 'hometown', and get a degree of this as well. Where I am now, a lot of local people haven't moved far from where they grew up, already have old school friends as well as family living locally and just aren't in the market for new close friendships. I have made friends in the 10+ years that I've been here, but they are mostly other non-locals; a few not from the UK at all and others who, like me, have moved here from other places within the UK.
I think to an extent that's the norm- my friendship group are all in the same boat as me, living away from their family support networks and more in need of making close friendships which can make up for some of the family support we're missing, if that makes any sense....
Conversely, my siblings who settled much closer to home are still very friendly with people they've been close to since their teens, and also see a lot more of my parents and each other- all time commitments which mean it'll be harder for an 'outsider' to break into their networks.
And I never thought the grass was greener here.. I just had no choice. If I ever knew what I will go through here, I wouldn't come at all. It's good people can't see the future Know life is much better but the lack of knowing English life from inside makes me feel uncomfortable. I hope you understand what I mean
It was polite and social question to ask a bit about you. Your response came across as rude. "If it is relevant" . You may not have intended that but you are essentially telling me to piss off.
If you asked me the same question - "Where are you from?" I'd enjoy telling you. I'd ask if you knew the place, etc.
However you don't want to engage with me that is clear.That's fine.
DeathStare, I'm in Suffolk in quite big town. Local life is a bit quiet for me as I used to live in the capital in my home country
I’ve been here since 1990 and it’s still not home! Unfortunately, I’ve been away from “home” so long that it’s not home now either!
I do have friends and as others have suggested, I found them through hobbies. It is difficult, though and many many people will never accept me as British- I’ll always be a foreigner to them even though I’ve renounced my citizenship of my home country and have been a U.K. citizen since I was 11!
Sixteen apples your approach is probably why the OP doesn't feel at home here! She wasn't being rude at all!
Canyousewcushions, I really understand what are you talking about. I've got couple of friends who moved here from my country as well and we know each other from school. We also trying to support each other as it's hard to not have any family around. But I feel like I would be more than happy to have wider circle of people around me
I've been in the UK for 25 years and it is most certainly my home, but I recognise the feeling you are describing.
It is strange being without roots, as corny as it sounds.
I think it helped me to go to toddler groups and then back to work, simply to mix with other people.
That's exactly how I feel WickedGoodDoge . I don't feel at home in my country already and I don't feel at home in UK yet..
If you go to your local library you may find details of volunteer groups on the noticeboard.
Parts of Suffolk can be very insular, I used to live there, moved from another part of the country. I just think you have to throw yourself into any group/organisation going and be friendly - is there a PTA at your DC's school - I know PTAs are hated on Mumsnet but having moved a lot I have always joined the school PTA and made friends - not necessarily best friends - but people I enjoy spending time with.
What about WI ? - some really good groups in Suffolk. Volunteering is a good idea, I am involved with volunteering locally and we recently had a woman from Estonia join us, she loves it and I know she has made friends with the other volunteers and is keen to meet up outside of our volunteering.
I feel similar to you OP and I’ve lived in this country all my life!
Moved last year to a village 20 miles away and have yet to make any new local friends. My daughter is in year 6 and I work so haven’t had the opportunity to meet any local mums as I don’t do the school run and I’m unable to help out at school events.
I find it’s harder to meet new friends as your children grow older as parents don’t tend to stay at parties and chat (like they do when the kids are younger) and unless you have the time to get involved in lots of the school activities, the chances of meeting new people (I find) are quite limiting.
Don’t take it personally - I think a lot of people are just quite wrapped up in their own bubble and may not realise you want to join in?
The problem is that almost all mums i meet at school/nursery seem very unfriendly and that makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable. May be I'm wrong, but I often get strange looks from them when they hear I speak different language. I've met only two really nice English mums so far who where really friendly and supportive. But unfortunately they both moved and we lost contact
I’m really sorry that you don’t feel very welcome or at home here, Mornel. If you lived closer I would invite you to meet.
I agree with Ragwort that the WI might be good: www.thewi.org.uk
I think the UK is quite reserved, generally. I moved to where I live ten years ago (I'm British and live in the UK) and am only just feeling a bit more a part of the community where I live since having ds and attending toddler groups and so on. If you add a linguistic barrier (your written English is very good and no doubt also your spoken English is as well, but I know it can be tiring to live life in a second language) onto that as well as cultural differences, it's not really surprising that you might still feel a bit on the outside.
I think volunteering is a great idea. It will hopefully help you to meet people with whom you have something in common from the off, which is half the battle.
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