I need to get out and have a social life with dh. We can count on one hand how many times we've been out without the dc in the past 11 years! We won't be near family for a long time so what are your best tips on getting out and above all getting the dc looked after? They are 9 and 11 so not so small. Main plan is to start having sleepovers in the hope that they'll get invited back both on the same night!
I really don't know, but the only time DS has sleepovers ( as invited to or we have other children to sleep over) is because we have a VERY strong relationship with the parents. So make friends yourself, baby sit for them and hopefully you will get the favour back but really... don't count on sleepovers invitations to be able to go out.
Alternatively, include babysitting as an essential part of your budgeting. Actually, it is essential, when you are on your own with no support network you really need some time to yourselves.
We have a babysitter who used to babysit for DH's predesessor and I have also used others. Mainly either people from school or recommendations. A few of the school staff babysit and I know staff from a few of the nursery schools also babysit. Otherwise it is word of mouth really.
We were really lucky to get a fab girl who is a real tomboy and will play football with DS and is mad into Formula 1. She also found us our puppy!
The sleepover things actuallay works well for quite a few of my expat friends her (Oz). If it's possible to make friends with other expats with kids (preferably close in age to yours) you'll all be in the same boat.
Our lives were transformed when DS1 turned 13 and we could start leaving him to babysit!