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Advice on where a newly single mum should live - country or city?

(8 Posts)
WideWebWitch Sun 01-Feb-04 17:26:45

This is for a very dear old friend so any advice appreciated. I've strongly recommended that she subscribes to mumsnet and she says she will but at the moment she's shell shocked, understandably and asked me to ask this question.

Her horrible b****** of a husband (have been using stronger language than that about him this weekend but I'll spare you it for the moment) has just walked out on her (won't give a good reason, no warning at all) after 20 years and 3 children. They're 6,7 and 1 and she's wondering where they should all live. They live in a small country town atm but she's considering her options and thinks she probably can't face staying in the same house or town. Her parents are in Wales so moving there is a possibility as is Bristol, as it would still be nearish to them but would also be close to me and another mutual friend who lives in Bristol. Of course I'd love her to come here but I also think a city would be better than the country because:
She could work if she wanted to/has to (she's an accountant)
She would find childcare reasonably easily
There's more anonymity and less stigma attached to being a single parent in a city(I speak as someone who was a single parent in the depths of the countryside for a while and was horrified to discover how much predjudice I was up against)
Better facilities in terms of shops, outings, events etc.

What do you think? Any other comments? She's in a complete state and wakes up with panic attacks at 3am every morning atm. We're (me and other friends) making sure she's not alone since she doesn't want to be and we're trying to help with practical things like this. She knows she doesn't have to make a decision yet but she did ask me to ask you what you thought, especially anyone who has been left alone with 3 children. The children don't know yet. It is truly awful. TIA for any comments.

sb34 Sun 01-Feb-04 17:32:39

Message withdrawn

Lisa78 Sun 01-Feb-04 18:03:11

hugs all round. Was a sp with DS1 and subject to some totally undeserved stereotyping. I was in Leeds and can't imagine how isolating it would've been to be in the country.
I was lucky to make friends thru NCT and church, (once they got past the stereotype and realised there was a person underneath ) and found the support network I inadvertantly built absolutely invaluable

spacemonkey Sun 01-Feb-04 18:03:40

how awful for your friend www - my heart goes out to her

i agree with all your reasons why a city/town would be better than country but it's supremely important that she doesn't isolate herself from her support network of friends/family at a time like this

also i think it could be a mistake to make a hasty decision now while she is still reeling from what has happened - things will become clearer in her own mind when she's had a chance to come to terms with events.

I'd also worry that moving to a different area would mean more disruption for the children. This was a major concern of mine when my marriage broke up and I had to move to a rural area because we were homeless and had to accept whatever the council could offer. I made a point of not moving the kids to a new school because I thought it would be unfair to impose any more potentially traumatic changes upon them at such a difficult time.

Probably stating the obvious - I'm sure there'll be loads of great advice from others! Hugs to your friend X

expatkat Sun 01-Feb-04 18:16:44

www--I think the decision would strongly hinge on your friend's personality. I love cities & could only be happy in one, I think, single or otherwise, but someone else might have always fantasized about living in the country but couldn't, say, because of their dh's work. I think this is the time to do what _she_ always wanted to do--and work, childcare, the rest will hopefully follow. I would find moving back to where my parents are from unbearable--not worth whatever help my parents could offer with the kids. But perhaps your friend likes Wales well enough to return, and perhaps she has a less-complicated relationship with her parents. And re. finding a new partner. . .in theory there are more available single men in a city, but we all know many single city-dwellers who are not finding a partner there either. As for the notion of "stigma"--completely irrelevant in my mind, but then again she may just be different to me & more sensitive to being "stimatized." So I think there's no easy answer. Poor woman. I'm so sorry to hear stories like this one. She's lucky, though, to have your support www.

sykes Sun 01-Feb-04 20:44:20

WWW, I'm in a similar position to your friend - but just two children (four and two) - together fourteen years. Although not very rural, I live in a village in Surrey - work in town - and am very tempted to move back to Hertford. Have tried not to do anything in a rush and I'm sure she doesn't want to - although it's tempting. I think the awful thing is, apart from how dreadful she'll feel, the massive worries about the children - less contact with their father, new schools etc if she moves. It's so hard and mind-numbingly painfull. IF she wants to contact me at all - please say that would be more than fine. I am so sorry and really empathise with what she's going through. I know that my friends were my lifeline and am sure you're doing everything possible - phone calls/visits etc. She'll be so worried about the children and that's when I needed my friends even more - if possible. I think you have to talk it through with her so much - I still am eight months later. So sorry for her. It's hell.

stupidgirl Sun 01-Feb-04 21:19:20

Like others have said, I think it's important that she doesn't rush to make a decision.

I'm a single mum and live in a big town (despite the fact that we have lots of young/single mums here there is still a stigma, although I've never recieved serious abuse). When I moved here I'd been living with parents and was just desperate to get out. Ds was 18months by then. I moved here as it was the cheapest area and the only place I was likely to find somewhere to live. I hate it here now. I am sick of being watched from all angles and having dozens of police sirens past the window all hours of the day or night, I hate the dirt and the pollution, I hate never feeling like I have any privacy. But that's just me. Cities and towns depress me. I am desperate to get out and can't now. I dream of a house in the middle of the country miles from civilisation. But, like I said, that's just me.

I think your friend just needs to take her time - I'm sure as things stop reeling quite so much things will become much clearer in her mind. There is no one solution, she needs to come to the conclusion herself.

Sorry, I'm not making much sense I have a lousy cold and my brain isn't functioning properly (well, less properly than usual...)

WideWebWitch Mon 02-Feb-04 19:57:42

Thank you everyone, I'm very grateful for these comments and I'm going to see her tomorrow so I'll be showing her how to use mumsnet. Thank you for all the offers to contact you, I'll make sure she sees this thread.

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