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To go back to the UK or not go back to the UK.. that is the question.

(29 Posts)
FarFarAway Tue 10-Dec-13 13:15:51

Would you go back to the UK?

For the first time ever I am considering it after 14 years away. Since separating with ex DH I find I am struggling financially here big time. I work for a company teaching english to adults but the hours are very irregular and I don't have a stable income. I love my job and love my life here. It is all DD's have ever known and they are happy and its normal life for them. But my work prospects are so restricted since my written french is appalling and I don't have the right french diplomas.

Seriously considering going back. The pros are to be nearer family, my parents are getting on so it would be nice to see more of them. (In my current financial situation it is once a year). Also it would be nice to know someone is there to help out if one of the DD's is sick because juggling work and 3 dd's can be difficult. And my choice of job is much more diverse. I have been looking at websites and would like a job in place before, or if, I return and there seems to be more jobs advertised that I can apply for than here.

But feel my life is here and I never envisioned goinging back. But is it just because I am used to it here. The UK seems like the foreign country sometimes. But I am not coping financially. The garderie and cantine bills are crippling me and because my divorce is not final I get no help from the caisse. Some months my parents have had to help me out. If I was in the UK I would have help from family around the corner so childcare costs would diminish and I assume I could claim tax credits. But then that makes me sound like I am going back for benefits!!

Feel if i go back it is all for the wrong reasons and I will regret it later. But it could be the answer to a solution and give me the chance to earn enough to support my dd's

So what would you do? Someone tell me what to do!!!

scottswede Fri 13-Dec-13 10:00:26

I completely sympathize with your situation. We made the BAAAAAAD decision of moving to the countryside in Sweden, thinking it would be roughly the same as the countryside in the UK. Couldn't have been more wrong,,, Anyway,,,,,,
Even though we have a 6-12 month plan on returning to the UK, we have recently started a dialog on moving nearer a city for a while just to see if that makes any difference to how I feel about living here.
Moving country AGAIN is not ideal. We have moved country 3 times in 15 years. I'm not massively homesick, just not gelling with this place.
Is moving location within France an option for better work prospects ? fsmile

Lavenderhoney Sat 14-Dec-13 04:34:53

If I was you I would go back. You can stay with your mother, put your girls in school- have you called the local schools and asked about places and how they might support them? It depends if you want to rent or buy, but you can look on rightmove and get some ideas.

If you exh is moving country and you can't afford to live there, and job prospects, even not in your field will be open to you- it might be better in the long term. Also, if your dc want to go to uni, don't you have to have been resident in the UK for a certain amount of years?

I am going back, without my dh, and I had the opportunity to move to france- I didn't want to, as I prefer to to be in the UK alone, than another foreign country where I am more likely to struggle.

You can always keep your clients in France using Skype, if you wanted to.

desertmum Sat 14-Dec-13 23:03:06

I returned to UK 3 months ago after 20 years (and 2 DC) overseas, for kids further education. It has been extremely hard for me and a bit of a breeze for the kids. The hardest part has been getting back into the system after so long away. We are like ghost people, no credit history, still waiting for NI numbers for the kids and as such still waiting for student loans and grants to be issued, unable to open bank accounts, get mobile phone contracts - no credit history so everything has to be bought in cash - the list goes on. My kids are constantly complimented on how well they speak English - the first time was amusing, the next 20 or so not so funny . . . .
For your kids to get home status at Uni they have to have lived in the EU for three years prior to applying.
But on a bright note we are not finding the weather quite as horrendous as we expected.

FarFarAway Sun 15-Dec-13 10:58:14

Thanks again for the replies. A mixed bag of responses. Interesting to hear the stories of those who have returned and not sure that made the right decision and those who feel absolutely it was the best thing.

I think the key thing here is practicalites over what I want. I want to stay here because I know my life here, I have friends around, I like where I live and I love my job. But life is often a struggle.
Perhaps I imagine the grass is greener in the UK and the idea of my family being closer and DD's having a more contact relationship with their GPs.

If I go I would definitely try and wait until the end of the school year. So in the meantime I have phoned up my contacts for more work here to keep me going financially. I have a new private contract that will start in February and have decided I have to work at least one saturday in two with private clients too. This is possible when exH has the dd's. It still feels very unstable though.

A big thing for me is housing now. It is so expensive in the UK and so much cheaper here. If i find a more stable job in the UK any extra money would be swallowed up by rent and buying would be an impossibility. Because housing is cheaper here i have a very good chance of buying again and if I can increase my hours then I get extra income not just on housing. This is a very short term financial view and not really looking at retirement etc.

If the girls want to go to uni here there are no tuition fees so I assume it would be cheaper. There is a kind of grant system for children from low income parents too. I am sure my girls would qualify for that.

And another thing I prefer for the girls is the difference in society and culture. There is a lot less of the celebrity culture here for the young, there is less of a problem with underage drinking. I feel they are really quite sheltered from lots and sometimes feel they are quite innocent compared to English kids I know. And I like the idea of children staying children for longer. I could be wrong of course and just looking at France through rose coloured glasses.

So still thinking..and putting off a decision.

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