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Any mums in Spain want to chat?

(256 Posts)
skydancer1 Tue 30-Sep-08 10:54:37

That's it really. I'm English (DP too). We have a two year old boy and live in Valencia.

kitbit Tue 30-Sep-08 11:05:58

yoohoo! We're in Murcia. We're all english, ds is nearly 4. Have you been here long?

Soph73 Tue 30-Sep-08 11:57:13

Hi there. We live in Gran Canaria. Got married here, had both children here DS1 will be 6 on Sunday and DS2 is 5 months and have been here 9 years in January. Oh and my spoken Spanish is still c**p blush

skydancer1 Tue 30-Sep-08 12:23:13

Good to hear from you kitbit and Soph! Been here 8 months and my Spanish is incredibly c**p blush. Murcia - hmm, we were thinking of going to to IKEA there soon. Cant write a lot more just now as have to take DS out before he drives me loca.

claricebean Tue 30-Sep-08 12:32:36

Hi all. We're in Cordoba. Have been here 4 and a half years plus a year in Granada before that. There's me, DH (both British), DD1 (8), DD2 (6), DS (3) and DD3 (18 months).

Soph73 Tue 30-Sep-08 13:07:08

Hi claricebean. We´ve got an IKEA on the island. It´s OK but it´s only got a small warehouse so a lot of the stuff you order takes forever to get here.

skydancer1 Tue 30-Sep-08 16:02:45

Just finished a 10 hour shift with no breaks looking after my Ds (he still wasn't well enough to go to nursery today after a bad chest virus last week/weekend in which we ended up taking him to the local emergencia). I feel I got through this reasonably well as nobody got killed angry grin Ds finally off in nap land. DP too busy today to help. Oh dear this is in danger of turning into a rant. I just think that being in Spain and not yet having adequate number of contacts/friends it is tough and isolating at sometimes having a toddler. I know it could feel like that plenty of times in the UK as most of my friends don't have children and just simply didn't understand...I don't know if others still feel this way at times as sounds like you've been in Spain longer (don't know about kitbit)

claricebean Tue 30-Sep-08 21:42:54

What brought you to Spain, skydancer? I know what you mean about support networks. I feel like I've just got mine up and running and it's taken me 4 years.

skydancer1 Tue 30-Sep-08 22:17:18

It's a bit of a long story claricebean and it's been a bit of a long day but will write about that another time soon.

kitbit Wed 01-Oct-08 09:11:58

Morning! We've been here for 5 years, and am only just starting to feel as though I've got a support network sort of there, it's really hard isn't it. When we had ds we didn't know a soul except for PIL who live up the coast, but they're a bit bonkers and have only babysat twice since ds was born (not that I expect it, but sometimes would be nice!). You do feel very isolated and it's hard to know if you're doing things correctly baby-wise when your friends in the UK are getting different advice to everything you're hearing over here! There's also not the easily available social stuff like toddler groups, we found that everyone lives near their families and that's where they socialise so it's very hard to meet other mums. It got better when ds started nursery and now he's at school it's better again, but it still takes time.

Hey, when you're planning to go to Ikea let me know and maybe we can meet up for coffee and meatballs!

skydancer1 Wed 01-Oct-08 09:40:48

Oy Kitkat nice to hear from you again. Well it's both reassuring and frightening to hear from you longer-timers how long it takes to settle and get a support network going. We came to Spain because we'd lived BC (before child) in Rome and liked the so many aspects - climate, food, pleasure principle in lifestyle there, but were very isolated there hmm. We found it hard to make friends with Romans who seemed ridiculously conservative socially and women not very friendly to other women. We're also Buddhists and knew there was a community of Buddhists in Valencia and when we visited we were impressed with how friendly in comparison to Italians the Spanish seemed. So initially we just thought of making the hop from Rome to Valencia. But then I got pregnant! Cue moving back to London for me to have the birth and be around friends and family for a year and a half afterwards. Once I had my Ds I wasn't so keen to move on to Spain as I realised I had all sorts of instincts for staying in the known as a mother...

But DP was determined and had hated his spell back in the UK! So we moved here albeit with me dragging my feet this time. I'm actually more optimistic in the longer view about integrating here than I ever felt in Italy, but it just seems triple the isolation/struggle factor being a mum here than it did in London, with it's stay and play nurseries on every corner and friends to pop in. However, here at least you don't have to struggle with daily rain and cloud, expensive transport and harsh street culture smile

I'd love to hear more from others why you moved.

Oh and KItkat would love to meet you for a coffee when we head out that way for IKEA. Having lived in Italy we are coffee-holics. I'll skip on the meatballs though - we're vegetarian (though not fuss-pot purists).

kitbit Wed 01-Oct-08 10:10:51

LOL re meatballs but yay to coffee!! Just popping in for quick check this morning so scuse haste, will pop back later!

skydancer1 Wed 01-Oct-08 10:15:45

I'm sorry I've just realised I've called you kitkat not kitbit! I also love kitkats you see...one of my little weaknesses blush grin

kitbit Wed 01-Oct-08 11:38:02

no worries!
<bangs head on desk after suggesting meatballs to a veggie> LOL

Soph73 Wed 01-Oct-08 11:59:21

Morning all. It does take a while to set up a support network. We´re quite lucky because both DH & I work in a school (which DS1 attends) and that´s what brought us here. DH wanted a change of scene so applied for jobs abroad, we came here & haven´t left I agree that there don´t seem to be any mother & toddler groups here (unless they´re very well hidden!) which would be nice. DS2 also has Downs but we are getting fabulous help from the state system already but will have to see what happens in the future as we don´t know whether he´ll be able to cope with 2 languages.

Soph73 Wed 01-Oct-08 12:00:14

LOL at kitbit & meatball suggestion

Soph73 Wed 01-Oct-08 14:41:32

Anyone else experiencing really heavy rain at the mo?? I think it´s eased off now but just my luck as all my washing is out - typical angry

skydancer1 Wed 01-Oct-08 14:50:38

We had that in Valencia last week - just when my son was ill and had spent two nights vomiting over the bedclothes shock It's sunny here this week but I still can't get the feather pillow dry hmm

skydancer1 Wed 01-Oct-08 14:51:17

P.s I did wash it first grin

kitbit Wed 01-Oct-08 15:48:56

We've had loaads of chocolate rain too - the locals are all muttering about the "gota fria" which I'm told is a torrential rainy season that follows a short summer ????!!?!?! All I know is that there's effing mud all over everything and all the women are out in their tabards sweeping everything off again!

claricebean Wed 01-Oct-08 15:51:04

Hi all. Goodness, it's nearly 5 and I've only just finished tidying up the lunch stuff. Just enjoying my cuppa and a few sneaky minutes on MN.

Soph, it's good to hear you are getting support from the state system for DS2. I must admit I have been pretty impressed with the funding and medical side of the health system here. Not so sure about bedside manner and after care, but that's another story. Also, something I have often thought is nice here is that there seem to be a lot of adults with Downs Syndrome here who are integrated members of society. I never noticed one adult with Downs Syndrome while living in the UK, whereas here I see quite a number in my day to day life. I often worry about bringing up the DC in a very provincial, white city (the only non whites here tend to be begging or hawking CDs), but am glad that they are growing up to see that people with and without disabilities live together quite happily.

Well, children running feral. Better go and be a mother. Chat later.

skydancer1 Wed 01-Oct-08 16:06:55

That's something I notice a lot here in Valencia too - the amount of people with downs or other learning disabilities, and the feeling of them being quite happily integrated into society - having lots available to them in terms of social/work clubs/outside support etc. My brother back in the UK has a rare learning disability and for years had to live in a huge institution (sad when my parents couldn't cope any longer with him, two other DCs at home and with no outside help). For the last twenty years or so he has been in much better supported living situations which tend to be small houses with sleep-in staff.

It occurs to me that this may be one big up-side of it being a Catholic society. Less hiding away of people with disabilities. More acceptance of diversity in terms of abilities -not race - I've noticed hmm - and (dare I say it) perhaps there is less foetal testing with abortion being an implied option??

Soph73 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:31:47

Morning all
Claricebean - I must admit there doesn´t seem to be any after care and they certainly don´t have any bedside manner The maternity hospital here is fabulous but I was completely gobsmacked about how they just expected you to get on with it! Hey, I suppose it was only childbirth, no biggie wink However, I think I´d rather be sick here than back in England.

skydancer1 Thu 02-Oct-08 10:34:50

I was pregnant in Rome and always a bit worried in case I gave birth there or had some complication meaning I couldn't fly back to UK. This was because I'd heard too many tales of families having to bribe midwives/nurses to give mums any attention in the post labour wards. In fact thinking about it, maybe we should have tried bribery in discreet envelopes at the Homerton London, for all the help you get there grin

I have heard that health care here in Spain is comparable to the NHS.

Soph73 Thu 02-Oct-08 11:45:01

Skydancer - I would say that health care here is superior. But maybe that´s just because we´ve always been lucky & have always had things sorted out quickly and efficiently and efficient isn´t a word you´d use often when living in Gran Canaria

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