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Move to London a good/bad idea for Single mom with one DD?

(67 Posts)
suzydelarosa Thu 07-Jul-11 23:39:27

I'm a single mom to a 5 year old who is just about to start school. Have been doing it solo for just over a year now which is fine as my job is fairly relaxed and I have a good routine. However I really want an opportunity to take my career 'up a notch' and would love to move to London; I just dont think Scotland offers as much in opportunities and, to be fair, I just want a new start. It's a pretty relaxed life up here but I want more...

Anyway,,, I've been offered a few exciting jobs in London but each time I bow out because although London seems grand on paper... I start worrying about having to live in a very expensive 1 bed rental flat and living my life rushing from work to afterschool club! Worried I've got 'rose-tinted' glasses about London and the reality will be much different.

How do the single moms living in London cope? Grateful for any thoughts...

Some stats: I'm 40. Good salary between 40-50. Scotland based. Some family in London but not hands on... Thoughts?

VioletV Thu 07-Jul-11 23:47:06

If you're planning on living just outside London then fine. I've just moved out of Central. IMO, it's no place to raise children. Most of us who can are getting out.


suzydelarosa Thu 07-Jul-11 23:50:48

Thanks VioletV. I've read a lot of threads and half of them are pro-London, the other half have escaped or can't wait to!

If one lives in Zone 3, 4, or 5 how can they possibly leave work at 5 (central london) and pick DD up from school/afterschool club before 6? Do people really do that? Is it at all possible?

Because my work is quite specialist I kind of need to work in a city... just turned down job at lovely art auction house in London. sigh... mwahhhh...

cestlavielife Thu 07-Jul-11 23:53:55

take the job!
central london is great
parks, green space, lots around.
lots of weekend activities for kids they can get involved in (and you can meet other parents) or just the local parks
i live in zone 2 nw6 it is fab
my sister is in clapham also loves it
live in the nicest area you can afford but central - eg kensal rise is central, young families/media/arty and not as expensive as say notting hill

cestlavielife Thu 07-Jul-11 23:55:19

and you are right you cannot do a suburban commute to zone 3 or 5 or 6 - impossible

suzydelarosa Thu 07-Jul-11 23:55:42

see... everyone loves or hates it! I truly just dont think I can afford London on my own. 2 bed flat min £1200/pm in Zones 2/3... etc etc!

VioletV Thu 07-Jul-11 23:59:35

I've lived all over the place. I used to start work at 8 and finish at 4 if that helps? Hertfordshire is lovely and not too outside. You can get the City Thameslink into Kings Cross and that should link you to all the underground lines. It does take a while to get used to it all. Could you do a practice for a few months?

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:02:09

Thanks for the suggestions Violet...
I think the logistics of it are just challenging... if I was living in Hertfordshire, just say, and had to start work at 8, then I'd need to drop DD off at daycare for 7ish to catch the train and get into town... hmmmm.....!

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:05:20

Any thoughts on good 1-person salary in London appreciated! I don't think I could do it w/o 45-50k p.a.

VioletV Fri 08-Jul-11 00:07:48

It's possible and it can be done. It's just getting into routine isn't it? I won't lie it's bloody hard work but you do get used to it even if you hate it!

Question is if you don't take this job or move to London, will you regret it?

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:10:23

Thanks for the advice. Goodbye job at Christies... I regret it already!!! Would rather regret what i've done than not so will start looking about again.... thanks!

VioletV Fri 08-Jul-11 00:15:20

My mate's husband is one of their auctioneers.. They live just outside of Croydon in a place called Selhurst which is pretty easy to get into central..

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:17:31

Sigh... now I feel even worse! oh well... at least I had the offer, I think that counts for something, I think! Must remember it was pretty upmarket, I am not very double-barrelled-nameish....! cheers...

razors Fri 08-Jul-11 00:17:32

Don't listen to VioletV!!! I live in Central London and it is the perfect place to raise children and everyone one I know does not want to leave. Hertfordshire? I lived in Hertfordshire - lasted 6 weeks - got my arse back to civilisation FAST! Its an amazing place to live Parks - museums - street life - architecture - you can eat in every corner of the world........anyway suzy where are you thinking of moving too? will you buy or rent? have you checked out transport and schools?

razors Fri 08-Jul-11 00:20:36

What job??? I'm a single parent living and working in London Suzy - talk to me not Violet : )

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:24:28

Thanks razors... Lived in London 10 years ago and loved it. Family are in SOuthKen, brother in Clerkenwell, I also lived in clerkenwell area but was thinking somewhere around Queen's Park.

However I'd have to rent at the outset - looks like it'd be £1400 (circa) for a 2 bed place. Taking into account utils, bills, food, travel, afterschool care, think I'd need min £50k. Thoughts?!

Damn I miss my husband's salary!! ha ha

VioletV Fri 08-Jul-11 00:25:20

razors You forgot to sell the part of the high crime and how dangerous it actually is.. Nice try there but at least be honest about London. It's not a great place to raise children. And yes I have lived there my entire life and I work Full time and have lived in zones 1,2,3,4 and 5.

Op listen to who you want I'm sure you're big enough to make a decision on your own.

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:33:35

I live in Glasgow so also get the joys of worrying about knife-crime!

London + kids --- it's probably a better place to raise kids if you have £ and therefore access to more amenities.

Also I truly am indecisive; I think my husband left me due to indecision!!

Thanks for all your ideas.

razors Fri 08-Jul-11 00:34:01

Queens Park is lovely as is Kensal Rise West Kilburn, Maida Hill. Can I recommend Gumtree and Loot - you can search online - I would look at House share options - some big beautiful Edwardian houses around there - you and your daughter could strike lucky! What job do you do? I work from home and part time in the office which is around the corner from my dd's school, and also work freelance so can juggle my work around my daughters. I live in a part buy part rent in Paddington - something you could look in to? You decide what life you want and you can make it happen. Got to go bed but ask away I'll be back tomorrow night.

VioletV Fri 08-Jul-11 00:35:30

Just a quick one before I run off to bed. Suzy, I personally think you'll need more than that if you're to live in central and pay childcare. Oh and London's a great place if you're single, I just wouldn't advise bringing children up there.

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:42:15

Thanks VioletV and Razors. You are so much nicer than the idiots who laughed at me on YahooAnswers!

Off to bed - will consider options. Job was paying just under £40k which is a big paycut for me and I live in Scotland... Didn't want to bankrupt myself.

Will come back if I have any questions.... thanks.

AmberLeaf Fri 08-Jul-11 00:43:59

I just wouldn't advise bringing children up there

Oh nooo! all of our children are doomed!

Suzy...yes it has bad points but dont be put off by VioletTheHarbingerofDoom!

suzydelarosa Fri 08-Jul-11 00:52:54


AmberLeaf Fri 08-Jul-11 00:54:53


Go for it I say.

royaljelly Fri 08-Jul-11 01:09:32

Why on earth would you want to move to crime central???? Scot5land seems to be the better option esp. as uni / prescription fees are free. Take plenty of jumpers though.

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