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Are you also a foreign mum in the UK?

(14 Posts)
abroadalone123 Fri 21-Nov-14 12:07:25

Is it me or are there other mums that struggle to get a doctor's app because there's no one who can look after your baby?
Am I the only one who have tried to see a paediatrician for your child instead of a GP without any luck?
Do you also miss those days when you could go to the cinema with your hb?
I have to admit, I feel veryyyy strange when I go to a playgroup and I can't follow any of the songs they sing there.
Would like to hear and share the experience from other foreign mums living in the UK!

chloeb2002 Fri 21-Nov-14 20:31:18

I think it's the same all ways round ��
I feel lucky that nearly all my experience of bringing up my kids has been in aus. So I don't have much UK stuff to compare with grin
I just learnt the songs, adapted to a different system �� happier with the way things work here so that helps. Certainly with health and education from my own experiences.
Try and make local friends that's a big helpgrin

Alligatorpie Fri 21-Nov-14 23:34:48

I agree, this sounds like being a mom in any country. Dd1 was born at home, but a six hour drive from family. We lived in a Egypt when dd2 (2) was born, and are now in China. You just have to get on with it.
Do you have local friends? Can you hire a babysitter so you can get out? Can you Google the songs so you know the words at playgroups?
I am not from the UK, but I think a gp would refer you to a pediatrician if you need one...but I could be wrong.
Hope it gets better for you smile

Saltedcaramellavacake Sat 22-Nov-14 01:27:56

I was a foreign mum in the UK until my daughters were 4 and 2 (now we're in Singapore). The GPs are fantastic and will refer you to a paed if you need one (or you can pay privately if you prefer). Here in Singapore you virtually have to go to a paed and its all so much more medicalised than it needs to be. Google the songs to learn the words - who knows, maybe they'll become your favourites linked to this time of your life. I now take my toddler to the "British mums" playgroup in Singapore so just we can sing "Wind the bobbin up" and "Sleeping Bunnies"! Local friends help. I had a babysitter in London who was wonderful - ask around as a babysitter is not too expensive if you really need a day/night away. It's hard being away from your family and old friends when you have your own family, but once you find a group of supportive friends it all gets better. I found English people very warm and welcoming.

SurfsUp1 Wed 26-Nov-14 06:11:01

I just took my baby with me to the Dr and booked a babysitter to go out alone with DH. Could you ask around for recommendations for good sitters?
Maybe even get a regular time once a week/fortnight during the day for an hour or two just for little thing alike dentists appointments and getting you hair done etc etc?
Do you have a mothers' group? If so you could organise a reciprocal arrangement with one of the other mums?

To be honest I'd forgotten most of the words to the nursery rhymes so if there were a few changes I wasn't too thrown. Now I'm back I get a bit thrown with the local versions!

ajaxabroad2010 Wed 26-Nov-14 10:24:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

abroadalone123 Wed 26-Nov-14 16:10:59

Hello All - Thank you very much for your supportive replies. I do have a baby sitter but she only works after 6pm and on weekends as she is a teacher. I'm struggling to find someone who can "cover" me for one or two hours if I need to go the dentist. I think I will ring my neighbour's doorbell who is very nice and who I think we can become friends with LOL. The idea of finding new friends it is a bit strange but I have to be opened mind, I know.

I have to admit that overall being a mum abroad, in this case in the UK, has been a big nice challenge. Despite that sometimes I can feel a bit lonely or homesick, this has been by and so far the richest experience of my life.

I have talked with a few foreign mums and they all feel more or less the same: a bit lonely, trying to find things to do, making new friends, feeling homesick, adapting to a new social and medical system, which doesn't mean it's bad, it's just different. This has happened to me as well, so I was really curious about how other foreign mums out there feel. Did the fact of giving birth and "learning how to be a mum" in a different country and in a different language affected or touched you in some way? I'm interested to know if any of you had gone through something similar as I had.

So, I'm all ears!

TheFriar Wed 26-Nov-14 16:16:23

I'm in the same boat than you and yes it's completely different than just being a mum.
I laugh when I go back home and I hear friends complaining about toys their dcs have with 'strange melodies' (also usually associated with 'highly irritating'). They are always the tune of some English nursery rhymes lol.
And yes it's hard to fit within at groups when you've never even heard of the concept. Or to make friends in these conditions.

TheFriar Wed 26-Nov-14 16:22:01

Re the effect on how you are as a mum, I think it's huge.
My dcs have learnt both type if songs (very stubborn. I was determined they would learn from both their heritage).
But it's more the way I've patented them that us very different from what it would have been if I had stayed in my home country. I've den a nice mix and match of both ways to suit myself and as a result don't fit anywhere grin which doesn't matter because I think i have the best if both worlds.

I think that it's also different depending on where you live. If you have the chance to be in an area with it's if movement (of population), quite a lot of foreigners, I think it's easier than if you are in back of nowhere, small town where everyone knows each other for generations.

TheFriar Wed 26-Nov-14 16:25:49

Btw I don't find English mums that warm and welcoming tbh.
But then I'm not in London. I'm in a small town in the north east where people have been telling me that they still don't fit in 30 years on. And that's wo being a foreigner...
So not an issue from being from abroad as such but it does make things harder.

WorkingBling Wed 26-Nov-14 16:50:53

I lived here for many years before I became a mum so I did have friends and a support network of sorts, even some family, but I do know what you mean.

The nursery rhyme thing definitely freaked me out - not just because I didn't know the tunes or the words but because they were all so bloodthirsty. We stuck with "friendly" little rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle and Incy Wincy Spider! grin

I agree with The Friar though that parenting styles are a bit of a mix up of both countries which can be interesting. And sometimes I feel I'm terribly unEnglish and that my English mum friends think I'm a heathen. But that my friends from home think I'm terribly uptight. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. smile

Broadly though, it's fine. I miss having parents and family around for babysitting, but on the other hand I don't have to deal with as many crazy grandparent/IL moments as some of my friends. So definitely pros and cons.

SurfsUp1 Wed 26-Nov-14 23:06:27

I found navigating the NHS a bit of a challenge. Hospital care was fantastic, but GPs etc I found to be a total PITA. Not being able to choose your GP. Not being able to get an appointment when I wanted them. Having to tell the receptionist what was wrong with me - WTF!!?? 10 minute appointments or whatever it was.
The free thing was great and all, but sometimes I would have been very happy to hand over the cash just to skip all the hassle.

I'm now back home and having DC3, so I guess there may be things that I didn't even realise were different until I experience them here. Then again I'm comparing Australia and England, so it's hardly a massive cultural divide.

Littleen Wed 10-Dec-14 15:47:06

I'm a foreign mum in the UK (Norwegian), and I've got to admit I struggle with the social aspect here. Culture difference seems quite an obstacle (been here 5 years in total). I've never had a problem making friends in Norway, or with other foreign women, but English ladies don't "get" me! My partner is English so he does all the baby songs in English, and I'm fine with all the other British stuff, but I have been here a while. This thread seems a bit dead now, but if anyone know somewhere I can find other foreign women to get to know, please pm me smile I'm lonely!

Nolim Tue 06-Jan-15 07:10:45

Agree with Littleen. Sometimes it is easier to connect with another expat even if they are from a different culture/language than with someone who has lived here all their lives since we have encountered different challenges in the journey. However i find easier to yal to people in my little one's playgroup than eith people in other social groups since we have something in common: our little ones! smile

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