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The loneliness of parenting abroad

(7 Posts)
Maninadirndl Fri 26-Jun-09 09:51:07

I am a stay at home Dad in conservative Bavaria. I've been here eight years now, I live around reasonably affluent people and have everything I mostly need. I'm into gardening and growing herbs, veg and fruit.

My trouble is the lack of anyone on my wavelength. There is only one other man in our town who is a Brit SAHD but he works part time. I have no chance at 42 of ever finding a job - I travelled a lot to interesting places as a computer mapping person and was told I was very good at it then.

Some nice lady at the kindergarten gate this morning said I look terrible and yes I drank a few beers last night but it wasn't just that - the last two nights I haven't slept properly, and I didn't drink much beer.

Just as women as mums feel pretty undervalued I feel in my role here even lower in value to anyone. How can one regain self esteem? I feel nuts talking out to the web but there really seems to be no one out there in my boat.

Please help.

YommyMommy Fri 26-Jun-09 10:26:11

Hi Maninadirndl,

Welcome to mn! Sorry to hear you are feeling pretty down at the moment! Although you love your dc dearly, staying at home with them all the time - especially if you have little adult interaction - can be boring and v tiring! How many dc do you have?

I am a SAHM and my dh works away from home so it get pretty tough sometimes! I have 2 ds a 3 yr and 8 mth old!

Do you ever meet up with the other dad?? I know you say he works part time so he must have some free time? What sort of things are there to do where you live? Do you have a dp/dw??? It sounds like you need a distraction other than the kids!

Were here to talk if u want to! grin
Sorry if I've not been much help!hmm
x x x

Maninadirndl Fri 26-Jun-09 10:33:19

Thank you! I have two - a daughter five and a son 3. That's it! I get little adult contact, just kids all day.

The other bloke started as a friend - he did a load of building for us as he is a plasterer cum bricklayer. I used to be more an academic so am only good at lighter jobs not cement type heavy stuff. He was doing jobs for us for a while then I just got fed up with him laughing when I asked questions about how to lay foundations for a shed for example, like I was so idiot. I told him I felt fed up sometimes and he just said "Get a job" - he lives next door to his mother in law so its easy for him to work part time, whereas my MiL is selfish and useless.

Thank you so much. The fact that you wrote some words helps. After I wrote that I went out for a bike ride in the forest and saw a woodpecker. That lifted my spirits a bit.

I am a reluctant renovator of our house - we watch Grand Designs quite a lot, and am in the middle of belt sanding a staircase. Have to go and do a little but then I shall come back in a bit.

kapusta Fri 26-Jun-09 11:14:05

Maninadirndl, I can really sympathise with the way you feel. I am originally from the UK but now live in Russia with my Ukrainian husband and our DS (1.10). I have lived here long enough to have a decent amount of friends - both Russians and expats - but like you, I would say that I lack people who I would say are truly on my wavelength.

Our DS was very much wanted and of course I absolutely love him to bits, but parenting can be so monotonous, especially when you're doing it pretty much on your own in a foreign country. I count myself lucky that I work part-time and have a nanny to look after DS a few hours a day - but even so, there are still a lot of hours that I am on my own with him before DH gets home from work in the evening. I thought (prior to having DS) that I would love this one-on-one time with him - I had visions of us doing arts and crafty things, etc. hmm - but I must admit the reality is a bit different, and most days I find it a matter of getting through the hours before bedtime as best I can (and then pouring myself a very large glass of something the minute he is asleep).

I think I am feeling particularly down about everything because I am just back from a 2 week vacation in the UK. I met up with old school and uni friends and found myself envying their lives. They nearly all live in London and are forever meeting up in the evenings or weekends, with or without their kids. I think I would enjoy parenting so much more if I had a support network like that.

Anyway - just wanted to say you are NOT alone.

Maninadirndl Fri 26-Jun-09 12:13:55

Well I just went to fetch the kids from kingergaden and on the way went for the first time to a glaziers shop.

In 1999 I left Saudi Arabia after 5 years there. Long story short I enrolled in evening art classes in pottery and stained glass which I'd never done before. I built these two lovely glass coloured fish based on fish I'd seen on coral reefs in Arabia. I also loved pottery. I found creating things for their own sake to be so therapeutic. In our house we have a very ugly window high up between bedroom and bathroom. I want to start a project like that which is gratifying and creative.

Kapusta: "Largs glass of something". Only one! Must be interesting living in Russia. I flew through Moscow on the way to Mongolia in 2000. I got stuck in the airport as I missed my connecting flight and there wasn't another for three days. I ended up locked in a floor of the Novotel near Sheremetyevo! I rang people in Britain on my mobile and the British Embassy came to get me out after two days. I spent the remaining day of the three sleeping on the floor of Sheremtyevo Airport on my cagoule, going to the duty free to spray myself with perfume to I didn't smell too bad!

kapusta Fri 26-Jun-09 13:13:36

Well ok, it's usually more like two or three large glasses blush ...

Hilarious story about sleeping on your cagoule at Sheremetyevo grin

Living in Russia is interesting although I've been here 15 years now so it's lost its novelty value a bit. I used to really love it but since having DS I have become a bit more lukewarm about it and actually would pack up and leave tomorrow if I could convince DH that the time was right.

Having a creative project sounds good. Are there any evening classes in pottery/art, etc. where you are that you would be interested in taking? It sounds like you get a lot of pleasure from that and maybe it could give you a focus and help with the self-esteem issues?

Maninadirndl Fri 26-Jun-09 14:13:56

Kapusta so hangovers are an occupational hazard of this job then huh? Good job I only have about 500m to drive to KG! I could have broken a breathalyzer this morning!

I was en route to Mongolia to Ulan Bataar as a GIS mapping consultant. Sent to "save" Mongolia's soils. I arrived very professionally. Was met by a charming lady who showed me to my flat in a prefab tower block. She gave me the flat keys but unfortunately once I locked the door I couldn't unlock it. So I had to shout to her downstairs and throw the keys down to her, to unlock the door and how me how it worked.

So I was not exactly the hero of the day. But I did meet this tasty German woman who is now my wife....

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