Should I move back to the UK for support network?(11 Posts)
Hey so I'm first time mum-to-be and first time poster which is why it's really long sorry
I'm 29 and live in Spain. I'm 10 weeks pregnant (unplanned but happy). I moved here on my own 18 months ago after 7yrs of planning and saving money through the financial crash of 2008... I struggled to get here and I love my life here. I've always been adventurous and fiercely independent. I have some good friends around me but I've got no family here.
My boyfriend (of 10mths) is 26 and happy about the pregnancy but he works in a bar and goes out for after work drinks every night 'to unwind'. I've asked him to come home a bit earlier a few nights a week so I can get some proper sleep without being woken up by the daylight (I work days and once I'm awake, I'm awake, feeling resentful, sick and tired). He is really struggling with this request (maybe he's an alcoholic but he doesn't seem to display the classic signs) Yes, the late nights are a deal breaker. He's had enough time messing around (out every night since March)
I thought he'd change once he saw and heard the baby on the scan 2 weeks ago.. he tells me we are his top priority but actions speak louder than words...
We've had the conversation a load of times.. with varying intensity (including me telling him I'm considering moving back to the UK as I'm not sure I can be a single mum without family support.. paying rent for a start..) and he'll try for a few days but then he'll be back to staying out until the nightclubs close at 6am. Then we have the conversation again. I have zero worries about him cheating and he comes to all the doctors appointments, makes me food when I'm sick and has saved a load of money for the baby already. But he can't seem to do this one thing for me however much I ask and therefore I'm not getting the sleep we need and the support I feel that I need from him.
Am I better off forgetting about him temporarily until he realises that I need him to step up or step out or should I give up on him altogether and move back in with my lovely incredibly supportive family back in the UK? The only thing stopping me booking a flight is that I was depressed in the UK with the ratrace lifestyle and grey skies and am afraid that situation will repeat itself.
I'm happy enough to do whatever is best for Little One even of it does mean a couple of years of UK misery and ending my relationship. I would sacrifice anything for the little life inside of me but I have to decide because the stress isn't good for baby (or me!)
To make it more complicated, he's Irish and I'm English so if I have the child outside of Spain and decide to come back in the future we won't have rights to residency (thanks brexiteers) and it's unlikely that the child would see much of it's father (which I think is sad as he'd make a great dad once reality hits)
I cannot financially support us alone and no I can't claim government support as I've not enough months worked for the comprehensive social security system which I don't want to access anyway.. Spain is already paying for (very good) antenatal healthcare which costs far more than the few euros that go out of my paycheck and into social security...
I do not want to raise a child in the UK or live in the UK permanently.
Yes, I could just chuck him out the apartment as the tenancy is in my name but I would struggle to pay bills on my current wage and therefore can't save enough alone for the time off work I'll be taking when the tourism season ends.
My family don't have the means to support me financially but I could live with them and possibly claim UK govt. support although I shouldn't struggle with employment in the UK anyway.
My questions are-
Has anyone been a single mum abroad? Away from family?
Are a few good friends sufficient support in a foreign country?
Can friends ever offer the same support as a loving family?
Should I give up my dream lifestyle (already gave up my dream job as it wasn't suitable for pregnancy) ?
How do you get the balance between what is best for baby and best for yourself?
So my situation is no where near as complicated or difficult but.
Husband and I live 500 miles away from our families. Both have good secure jobs and a nice (But rented) house.
I'm pregnant with our first. And currently we are bending over backwards to get my husband a new job and get us moved before baby arrives. I know I will not be able to cope without the help love and support of my family (And his).
He will only get 2 weeks paternity leave. Then be back to full time.
Having spoke to friends and sister's who have had babies in last few years, they all say family help and support makes a massive difference and is now they've been able to cope do well.
If we stay here I have a very small number if friends but they have their own lives and some their own families, so no matter what they say or even plan they can never and won't be the same level if support.
If we move financially we will be worse off but for us it's a decision we are ok with as help and support matters more.
And I'd say even more so for you are your dp is already showing he's not willing to make sacrifices etc.
My DH will be brilliant but with working ft there's still a limit.
Whatever you do I wish you all the best.
My thoughts are that if boyfriend won't get off the swill now, to be considerate to you, you've no chance once there's a screaming baby there at night. He's already telling you that booze comes first.
Grey skies? Rat race? Not all of the UK is like that. But you may have been away too long to get government support here.
No suggestions but good luck.
Thanks for your input guys it really helps to get some perspective and opinions! I know on one hand I've got a bit of time but on the other it is going to go so fast! I've booked a few days back home to visit the family and talk it all over with them so fingers crossed I come up with something and best of luck to you girls as well!
SaS2014 good luck with the move and try not to stress too much (not easy I know)
Hi 'First time mum to be'........ I too became a mum for the first time whilst living in Zambia......you say you are independently spirited - let that spirit of independence be your guide, as well as your support, especially as you sound as though you LOVE the life you have.
Spain is not that far away from the UK - there must be other mums over in Spain that you will come into contact with? It depends upon the family/ies as to whether the support is what you actually want - rather than being told how to bring up your own child......every child is different - and each 'mother' has their own ideas as to what is right.....which might not be right for your child. Try to find out what clubs/groups there are there for mums to be - that's not to say you don't want the family to see/be with offspring when arrival happens.....but there is always Skype, Facetime etc etc.......and it's a lot easier for family to fly to Spain than it is to take all the paraphernalia for a baby to the UK. With regard to the boyfriend.....oh my love I do feel for you.....but please take heed, I had a partner who had no intention of stopping drinking - I kept hoping - but in the end I had to concede that I didn't want a life that ended up most nights with him sloshed....he could not go more than a week without a drink - and that's what an alcoholic does....they don't drink every day - but they are dependent upon it - and as time goes on, they need less and less to get drunk - in essence, they just top up. ......and that's no situation to bring a child into. Better be alone, no matter how hard up - with your child - because no matter how much you hope, he will NOT change until he admits he has a problem with drink . The answer then is teetotal - no 'small drink now'.......it has to be a total cut off. Do you honestly believe he could do that? If the answer is no, then cut your losses and remember those fantastic friends you have out there - are also 'the family who will support you'....Is there no possibility of you finding a smaller place?
Go home. Take the help.
Don't worry too much about going back to Spain as if you end up putting him on the BC your child will be eligible for an EU passport through him. You won't, but you don't know quite how Brexit will play out yet. You can always make sure you're back in Spain before the end of the process anyway.
But having real tangible help for the first year is invaluable.
I'm sure he's a nice guy and maybe he'll make an affectionate father.....once a week. But he's in no way capable of being a 24/7 father.
Hi OP, I am currently in a very similar situation as you, I live in Madrid which part of Spain are you in ? would be nice to meet similar minded people, spain can be very isolating. I just had a baby girl. PM me.
Hey all, thanks for your answers! So I gave him the ultimatum (I figured better now than in 6mths time when baby arrives) and... he could not understand where I was coming from at all so I told him to leave. It hurt hurt hurts but it's not my first breakup so I know I will be OK. Still haven't decided where to live though.. I spent a few days at my mums and got a job offer there but still got the plane back to Spain..
I took a second job here to pay the bills but neither is very strenuous or stressful and if it does get too much I will just go and stay with my family.
Imariamani- I live in Mallorca (in an ex-pat resort) congratulations!! 😁😁😁 it makes me smile and even more determined to do the right thing by my little one to come 😊
Pewsey62- I have a couple girlfriends here with kids and it IS easy to meet people.. I don't think I will be lonely, it is just that practical help that ElspethFlashman is referring to.. I will definitely put him on the BC as it's the right thing to do but yay added bonus about the passport thing I hadn't considered that...
Thanks all good to know I am not alone xoxoxo
Your child will definitely be able to claim an Irish passport through the father and under EU law you have the right to live with your child in any EU country thanks to the EU case law of Zambrano.
Good luck 1sttime4everything.
I am Spanish and lived in UK nearly 20 years. Living abroad is tough, more when bringing up children... BUT I agree about rising your child under the sun and not the cloud!!
Im sure you will make loads of friends and a good love in friendly Spain.
Hey all just wanted to say thanks to new posters and also update..
Everything is going well with the pregnancy and Daddy has finally sorted himself out! A bit of tough love and risky ultimatums paid off..
So we will all be staying in Spain (together) and baby (boy!) will have an Irish passport as his first travel document. Friends have been amazing.. so far we have been given a buggy, crib, playmat, loads of clothes and a few more bits on the way as well..
I am honestly so relieved to be staying in the country that I love and more importantly raising my child in the lifestyle that I want for him.
So.. looks like a happy ending everyone thanks for your advice and support and generally keeping me sane 😊😊😊 and good luck to each and every one of you in your own journeys xx
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