Moving to Singapore with tiny baby(10 Posts)
In need of a bit of hand holding. Dh has accepted a job offer in Singapore, we'll be moving at the end of January. We've looked into the financial aspects of it all and are happy with the package, and will be spending our first 6 weeks there in a serviced apartment whilst we look for somewhere to live. Our plan is to stay for 2-3 years before returning to the uk so I can pick up my career again.
I'm due dc1 mid November (having a section at 39 weeks so no chance of lateness!). This will mean baby is about 10 weeks old when we move. I'm excited about the chance to live overseas but terrified as essentially my world has been turned on its head- first time motherhood, mat leave, new country and no doubt dh will be working long hours.
Where do I start with meeting people? We're doing nct here but all feels rather pointless now as am clearly never going to have chance to develop a relationship with the other mums in my class before we go. Are there the same sorts of activities for mums and babies there as there are here? Am I really going to end up with a live in maid, as expat websites suggest?
Would really appreciate if anyone can chip in with their experiences or point me in the direction of good support. Have tried to join the Singapore expat wives etc on Fb but don't seem to have had much success! Dh is so excited about the move and I feel like a party pooper as it all just feels a but overwhelming right now.
First, you'll be fine! If you're financially not struggling, this is a very easy place to be. Everything works beautifully, most people are lovely and it's clean and safe as houses.
If you're not working you will get by without a helper, but speaking as someone who was dead set against it, don't rule it out. Find someone who suits you and who you suit and it's a fantastic thing. It doesn't have to be an exploitative relationship- we're setting our helper up in business for herself and since she's been with us she's built a property portfolio in her home village.
I say to most people don't bother with a car, but my friends with tiny children have found it quite hard at times managing with prams and car seats and so on. You may want to see how you go but not rule it out.
In terms of friendship- remember that we're all pretty much in the same boat, or at least only recently disembarked! There's quite a sense of paying it forward - people will be glad to help and there's no shame in saying "I'm stuck in x condo with a 3 month old and desperate for adult company, who's up for coffee?". We all remember that feeling. You'll have dozens of responses - some people will drive you mad but you'll get anecdotes out of meeting them, which you can share with the real friends you do make. The FB groups are always busy so they'll take time to get back to you, and at least one is not accepting new members at the moment as the admins are busy. If you have any specific questions, happy to help via PM or here if you like.
Honestly- it's a great place. It's not home, but it's a great place to spend a few years. You'll be fine!
You will have a blast! It's not real life, just a nice shiny bubble but to be honest I keep saying to Dh that I'd love to go back as it's much less stressful than all the depressing stuff here!
People are friendly and welcoming I find, there are lots of FB groups and tons of mum and baby groups to go to. You'll meet people at your condo and through any clubs you join.
My advice would be to throw yourself into everything, it's an amazing opportunity to meet new people, try new things and it goes by in a flash. Don't rule out a helper, ours was amazing. If you wanted to work or perhaps study it would be a good chance to do so.
Look for a condo that seems family friendly, visit one you like again at the weekend check out if lots of families are around the pool..
Have fun!! It's a very easy place to expat..
I'm moving there on Saturday! Look me up for a handhold and a coffee. I have two DDs 5 and 3. Good luck with the move!
Thank you for the replies! Are there any forums/fb groups any of you would particularly recommend?
newyear good luck with your move! Will def look you up when we arrive.
Singapore expat wives is full of slightly crazy people but very useful for having questions answered. Just avoid threads about helpers like the plague!
Depending where you live there are more local ones..west coast/east coast etc..
Sure there are lots more recent ones we have been back two years now!
Look at new mothers support group, I ran it for 4 years and although I left 3 years ago, it's always been a great resource. Lots of info, discounts and meet ups.
I was very lucky to have been on two expat postings in Singapore and would return in a shot
I was a volunteer in the ANZA office for a few years; the "Australian & New Zealand Association" and any nationality can join as long as the membership comprises of 51% Aussie and Kiwi nationals. I highly recommend becoming a member.
ANZA doesn't have a clubhouse as such, but holds lots of social events, tours, classes, has sports groups for children and adults, charity events etc. in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
ANZA has a fortnightly coffee and information morning (Babycinos) for pregnant and new mums and their little ones....you can find out about doctors, clinics, ob-gyms, vaccinations etc. as well as meeting other mums (who may also be new to Singapore):
I did look up the website of "The British Association of Singapore" but they currently don't seem to be offering anything for parents with babies and young children. I never joined the BA as I found it to be a bit too 'sedate' for my liking. OTOH if your expat package doesn't include membership of the "British Club" and you don't want to buy membership yourselves, then membership of the BA does allow access to the Club on certain days. Btw, the "British Club" has a playroom and childcare so the parent(s) can go for a swim, play tennis, go to the gym, the library or the spa (or even just dine) but this is supposed to only be for up to an hour at a time:
You may find that without family and friends around you, it may be frustrating trying to do everything on your own with a small baby, especially if your spouse is putting in long hours at the office to get established, or has to do a lot of regional travel. You will need some time on your own just to do things like get a haircut, visit the doctor or dentist or run an errand. Most expats find that the cost of a (legal) part-time maid is pretty much the same as a live-in one.
I won't go into the specifics here about whether or not to employ a maid...but trying to keep on top of doing housework in an equatorial climate is extremely draining....you will be doing tons of laundry as you get so hot and sweaty and have to change clothes and have showers at least twice a day. I also found that the air is very dusty (probably due to all the construction constantly taking place throughout the island) so there is a lot of dusting and wiping down floors, bathrooms and surfaces needing to be done. We preferred to just have the aircon on in the bedrooms and would have the patio doors in the lounge open from when we woke up until we went to bed - not only being healthier than being in constant aircon but also cheaper as it costs a fortune to run....I preferred to spend that money on hiring a helper!
It's very easy to meet new people in Singapore. Pay extra attention when choosing where to live. We chose a very child friendly condo and made so many friends there. We certainly have a much better social life than we used to in the UK
New Mothers Support Group as mentioned are great (I was also on the committee!). Also St Georges Church has great playgroups which are cheap and great to meet people. Also try Mother and Child in Tanglin Mall, they have a baby cafe (if you are breastfeeding) and also a weekly clinic for loads of advice and to meet other mums. They also do a Musical Monkeys class, again a great way to meet others. Also search the group "storks nest singapore' on FB as this is a parents group which has great info but also they have meet up groups you can join.
Re maids, we managed without one for 12 years living there but we did have a weekly cleaner for 5 hours a week. Its horses for courses. Although it seems everyone has one, its not the case!
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