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Advice Wanted Please - Living in Athens

(10 Posts)
cba Thu 09-Oct-08 09:54:02

My dh desperately wants to move to Athens. I do not want to go. We have 3 children 8, 5 and 3.

dh works every hour god sends but says it would be different in Athens as all his business is centered around there. His father is greek but has lived here since he was 17.

dh mum and dad are thinking of moving back over there but are not helpful with the kids here so would be no help there. Although I think the world of mil we do not see eye to eye on alot of things, e.g. babysit recently, first time in 8 years and got pissed.

I just feel such a big move is so daunting as I know the emotional upheavel and change would all be on my shoulders for the three children.

I do feel the younger two would cope, but my eldest son I fear wouldnt.

I have said to dh that I will come out every school holiday and take two weeks extra at a suitable time with the school, this has been agreed with the school.

dh will also come over every other weekend.

BUT, dh feels as though I am letting him down and this makes me feel so bad.

Am i worring over nothing?

rosbif Thu 09-Oct-08 11:54:19

I have no experience of living in Greece but I do have experience of living with three children effectively as a single parent during the week. It can be very tough and I began to feel a tad resentful of DH going off and having a career and a child free lifestyle during the week. It also affected DS2 quite badly as he really missed his father. I think quite honestly that your DH is not being very reasonable, if he says that you are letting him down. Surely his family should come before his job? Having said that I have just moved to be with my DH and am very happy and the children (I have 3 sons) have all adjusted much better than I expected. Could you possibly give it a go for one school year in an international school in Athens? Or even review it after three months to see how everyone is coping. You might surprise yourself and a think that in general foreign experiences are wonderful for children. Best of luck and I hope I have not been too negative, it is just not always so easily to be alone imo.

PollyLogos Thu 09-Oct-08 12:22:03

Hi I am in athens and I have three children. grin so far so good..... can you give a bit more info such as whether or not dh and or you are greek. If either of you are, are the children bi-lingual? have you ever lived here before?There are loads of foreigners living here and it can be a good life. There are several english speaking schools but they are expensive.

PollyLogos Thu 09-Oct-08 12:25:43

ps I doubt he would work less hours here. Everyone I know who have their own business (including my dh) work incredibly long hours. For dh its usually 9 am - 9-10 pm!!!

cba Thu 09-Oct-08 13:37:05

rosbif, what country have you moved to if you dont mind me asking and what are the age of your children?

Polly, my dh is half greek and can speak the language. I am on my own now monday to friday and most of the weekend because of business commitments.

I think the problem is I just feel such a wrench in the pit of my stomach at the thought of leaving. I am an only child and know my mum would be devastated as she is very close to our children.

I have contacted a couple of the international schools as I am going to see if I can get a few weeks off school before the children break up, that would mean them finishing school here middle of June. Hopefully the international schools I have contacted may let us join in their end of term activities such as international day and what have you in order to get a flavour of what goes on there.

I am also going to try and get this extra time off our school as if it is granted I would get 12 weeks there and could have a good look around and get a feel for the place. I dont think I could make my mind up until I had experienced winter months in Athens.

Polly, what is it like in Athens once the winter months hit? How old are your children?

Oh, dh is bilingual, I am not neither are the children.

rosbif Thu 09-Oct-08 20:55:26

I live in France and my DS 1 and 2 are six (they are twins) and DS3 is 16 motnhs. Go and visit and get a gut feel for the place. I really feel for you as I can see that you are in between a rock and a hard place.

cba Fri 10-Oct-08 09:59:38

thanks rosbif. I am hoping to go out there for the whole summer next year and maybe also Easter. We have said this for a years now but something has always come up dh business which has prevented us.

I have also said to dh that I would also need to go and stay there in winter as it is not all about the sunshine.

I am in a hard place as I just want to do the best thing for everyone around me. I think it would be a great adventure for the children but I coud not see them growing into young adults there as the county does not have the same opportunity's as here. I could be wrong, i think time will tell.

I do think my eldest son would find it the hardest.

PollyLogos Sat 11-Oct-08 16:01:18

Hi cba, sorry for the delay in answering but our home pc has crashed and this is the first chance i've had to get on line for a few days!

It isn't easy moving here. However it isn't all bad news! If your children go to one of the international schools you will meet lots of mixed greek/foriegn families, you'll make friends and probably have a very good social life. These schools are expensive though so with 3 children I don't know if it will be feasible They are also very good schols though so I wouldn't have many worries about that. I think your children will probably settle down quickly. Unfortunately the only problem with your plan at the moment is that the schools here finish around 15-20th June so you may have to try and come out earlier than you are planning!

The winters generally are great in Athens. The summer is much more of a problem being far too hot for normal life. We are talking cooking ironing etc in the summer heat not sitting by the pool! the winters are fairly mild - not much rain and certainly not for days on end. We do get snow sometimes - this winter past we had snow even in the centre of Athens - it only lasted about 24 hours though. Althoug we do get cold weather and rain we also see the sun nearly every day. Those long grey winter days of the uk don't exist here. After 20 years here i find the dull winter days in the uK very depressing when i visit.

On the whole I would say go for it. If you are reasonably comfortable financially and your children will be going to an international school you will get the best from Greece. I am glad that mine have been brought up in Greece although you are right that the opportunities are limited when thye leave school. But that is many years ahead for you and if they have have finished a foreign school they will go abroad for uni and work probably.

Hope this helps. Do ask away about anything else you want to know. Polly

cba Mon 13-Oct-08 15:36:12

Thanks for replying Polly. I have loads of questions, if that is ok?

Is either your or dh husband greek? How old where your kids when you moved there and do you have any extended family?

How did everyone adjust? Do you plan to come back? If not, how do you see your kids lifes panning out?

My biggest tug would be leaving my mum and I can honestly say that this is the only thing really that bothers me. She definately would not come and I am an only child. How did you cope leaving family.

I just cannot imagine another country becoming my home. Do you feel English or Greek? Where do you call home and where do your feel your heart lies?

I could go on forever, so anything you could tell me I am really grateful. I have said to dh that at this moment in time I could not go, but, I am not saying no forever. It is very difficult to commit to such a move when you have never ever been to the country in question.

One of the reasons why we put our kids into private school here in the uk was because of the long holidays they get. ds1 is now 8 and we have not spent one summer in greece in the athens area like planned, so it also difficult for me to say yes when plans have not come to fruition.

Thanks cbs

PollyLogos Sat 18-Oct-08 17:35:26

Hi cba - sorry this is the first chance I've had to get on the net since last w/e. I am very happy to answer all your questions and any others that you have but would prefer to do this via my e-mail. If you want to contact me at adele at in dot gr and i'll get back to you.

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