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Any expat mums 'stuck' in UK?

(5 Posts)
aDvice2 Mon 05-Jan-15 14:53:27

Sadly there's a real possibility I will be getting divorced. I hold a UK passport but was born and raised abroad. Although I've lived in London for more than 10 years and have many wonderful friends here my real support network - family, childhood and uni friends - are not in the UK. I have a young DD and if my marriage breaks up my first choice would be to move home so I would be close to this support network. But I don't want to take DD away from her father plus there are legal rules and about this and I would need his legal consent which I likely would not get.

I'm scared how I would raise my DD alone without a support network. DH and I both work full time but I also perform virtually all childcare and house duties (he refers to watching DD as babysitting if this helps paint the picture).

My question is how to deal with this. Is there anyone out there in this situation or knows someone who is? How did they navigate it?


CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 05-Jan-15 15:00:58

I only live 200 miles from the town I grew up in but it's far enough away and my family is small enough that it means I don't have a support network in any traditional sense. So when I discovered I was going to be a lone parent 14 years ago I had to create one from scratch. Started with work colleagues and local friends who were great. Joined any baby/toddler/nursery groups that fitted in round my work schedule (not many) and made more friends. I lived frugally & used the maintenance money from DS's father to hire a CM and I must have paid out thousands in babysitting down the years so that I could still get out of the house occasionally. Developed the art of entertaining at home so that my social life stayed lively....

Boils down to motivation, application, a little creativity and having realistic expectations about life as a lone parent. Challenging, yes but lots of joy along the way.

knightofswords Tue 06-Jan-15 00:15:16

Hi Advice. Go on the expat stuck mums page on facebook. There you will find several mums in the same situation, and they will put you in touch with some if you like. You can pm me if you like, I have personal experience of this situation but in reverse

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 00:30:31

You probably can't / shouldn't (IMO) move your child away from their father.

I don't fully understand the support network thing. If you divorce, you have exactly the same support network you've always had, minus one: your husband. And actually, he's still on the scene.

Or do you get a lot of help from his family that you predict will stop?

I think it's natural in the stress if a split to want to run back to the bosom of family.

But in terms of practical support, are you really in a worse position after divorce?

I moved for my ex husband. Only within the UK, but far enough that any of my old friends / family are overnight trips away.

flowers it'll be OK!

JapaneseMargaret Tue 06-Jan-15 01:00:23

If your home and connections and, yes, support network, are in another country (sometimes even the other side of the world), it is only natural that you will want those in the event of a split.

Why would you want to raise your child as a single parent in a county that you have no emotional ties with, no (or very limited) cultural references to, no grandparents and other family ties with?

I suspect that if you've never had a relationship, and a child, with someone from another country, it might be difficult to empathise, and understand what this means in reality.

Is it enough of a reason to move a child from its father? No. But that doesn't make it any easier.

I would hunt out some support groups, and definitely get some practical advice. Wishing you lots of luck. flowers

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