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Mothers living abroad - Are there any others out there?

47 replies

MalmoMum · 17/01/2002 19:57

I wondered if there were any other mothers based abroad out there? If nothing else, we can be some use for travel advice.

This is partly out of my own curiousity as I now know there's Lisboa out there and Pob. While it is nice to know what is happening in the UK, it's not the only focus, some things do relate to being abroad.

Hope you will identify yourselves. I'll try to post on this thread now and again to keep it active.

All the best

OP posts:
Pupuce · 17/01/2002 20:22

There are quite a few Ozzies and some mumsnet mums are based in France, others like myself are in Brittain but have lived in several countries. I know there is at least 1 American living in the UK... so there are foreigners on this site.

mollipops · 18/01/2002 08:41

Hi MalmoMum and Pupuce - an aussie here...can't even remember how I found out about this site. I think it was through dooyoo actually, but now I can't remember where I found out about THEM! Hope any other aussie mums out there will own up too!!! I think it's a great place, and motherhood definitely speaks all languages!

Marina · 18/01/2002 10:43

There's Hedgehog in Belgium too (how are things au-pair-wise now, Hedgehog?) - I hope Lisboa sees this thread because she's posted for advice on activities in Spain/Portugal and I think she's the only one in that part of the world at the moment.

Pupuce · 18/01/2002 12:55

Chelle and Bloss are also from Australia.

Hales · 18/01/2002 13:05

I'm in Germany, in Cologne with a 3 month old daughter. I have one other English friend with a baby but all my other friends are mostly single or in a couple but definitely not interested in babies! Please say Hi if there is anyone near here!

Marina · 18/01/2002 14:18

Hales, I have an English friend, not a mumsnetter as far as I know although I have mentioned the site to her, who is living in Leichlingen. I am a bit ignorant of German geography but I think it's close-ish to Cologne. She has a three month old baby too and is feeling a bit homesick.
If you would like me to forward your e-mail address to her, or for me to get her to contact you, get Mumsnet to give you my e-mail address and I'd be glad to help.

JJ · 18/01/2002 14:54

I'm an American from Chicago living in the UK. Mollipops, motherhood does speak all languages--it's the slang I have trouble with!

We might move to Zurich next year. Hope the posters on the "moving to Switzerland" (or something like that) thread are still around!

LIZS · 18/01/2002 19:42

We moved to Zurich in June last year from England with 3 year old and I had baby here in August. There is a fairly large, if spread out , ex-pat community from all over the world, so lots of friendly advice readily available. Also websites such as can help with a range of information.

Hope this helps JJ.

Hales · 19/01/2002 11:09

Marina, I'd love to get in contact with your English friend.How do I get mumsnet to give me your email address? I'm new to the website!

Marina · 19/01/2002 18:49

Hi Hales, I think you e-mail [email protected], say you want to contact Marina, and they do the biz. Refer them to the thread if they want to know the context. You used to be able to do a link to your own address, but the setup has changed and I am not sure how.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

JJ · 19/01/2002 21:49

LIZS, thanks! If we're going to move I will post asking for your help. Our kids are almost the same ages. My eldest is turning 4 next week and my youngest was born in September. The big questions I have are about housing and schools. Actually, the biggest is: if we move next school year (somewhere between September 2002 and May 2003) will we be able to find a place at an international school? We've already decided to send him to one (if we move, of course) because we'd most likely be moving back here in a couple of years and think that would make the transition easier.
Thanks again!

pob · 25/01/2002 19:33

And there I was thinking Malmomum referred to marshmellows....oh dear! Just got back from uk, very happy to find this strand! Have to say there are loads of expats here in Paris - there's a very well organized mum's network; would be very happy to help out anyone coming here. Oddly enough, my sister is over here too - next to Geneva on the french side with three little ones...

MalmoMum · 25/01/2002 20:22

And your marshmallow reference makes no sense to me, Pob, I feel like a real out of towner. How was the travel experience? Any best/worse bits?

I've taken to my bed with a cold and the most exciting drug I can take is ginger tea which I can't taste anyhow. Just as well dh left the skin on the ginger when he peeled it, it gives me something to get my teeth into.

OP posts:
LIZS · 25/01/2002 20:31

JJ Our ds attends Zurich International School which is based on the west side of Lake Zurich and caters for kids from 3 upwards on several different sites . There is a website for the school (try although it may be changing imminently.)There are also at least 2 other International Schools in Zurich and many bilingual kindergartens so it would probably depend on where you chose to live. People seem to come and go during the academic year, often at short notice, so it wouldn't necessarily be a problem but suggest you make as early contact with school as is feasible as demand seems to fluctuate. I admit this was our biggest concern when we had the offer to come here,and for the same reason ,but so far it's working well for all of us as it has given me the opportunity to meet other Mums in similar circumstances.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.

pob · 28/01/2002 07:57

Malmomum: dh makes ginger tea?! Gosh, sounds like a sweetie! Do I take it there's a new one on the way?! 'holiday' went very well - took car seat in the end, no probs, and bought a Maclaren daytripper whilst there, so will be in training on the metro and buses here for next trip....only prob is next time there will be two....ho hum! Aside from that, just walked everywhere - parents on top of massive hill by seaside, so opportunity to stuff some fresh air into dd! Supposedly off skiing next they have 'chains' for the wheels of the daytripper?! PS: the marshmellow reference is more to do with my own distorted view of the world (can I use pregnancy as an excuse?!) rather than anything else....

MalmoMum · 28/01/2002 12:51

Glad your trip went well and you managed the car seat in the end. We are coming up to your dilemma, on our previous trips back to the UK, we had borrowed friends rock-a-tots but ds is verging on the upper weight limit. I will have to get them exploring the NCT routes to have something in residence the other end.

Yes, another one is on the way, due August! Don't know about snow chains for Maclarens but have found an alternative for you skiing mommie. Try They have a double buggy which converts from a 3 wheeler to jog with to a trailer for your bike. After you have cycled to town you can make a swivel 4 wheeler to walk around. Once you hit snowy ground, you can take the wheels off, strap and harness to your dh and pop skis where the wheels used to be. You'll be laughing!

We have found a stockist in Denmark which we will go to visit once we have got rid of this virus. DH is pretty keen, it must be the gadget appeal, certainly not the sport side from him. Anyhow, best to capture the momentum. Only downer is double buggy is very wide. Can't have it all. I want a double trailer for the bike anyhow and there's no excuse for not using a bike here.

If you are looking at a double buggy have a look at the Kiwi Explorer tandem (easy to do a search on alltheweb).

Hej då

OP posts:
sjs · 29/01/2002 06:15

Hi - I'm overseas too - in Hong Kong with 1 year old daughter. Came here from UK 5 years ago. Any other Asia based mumsnetters?
Also, anyone got any recommendations for car hire in UK. We are going back to UK in couple of weeks and would like a good recommendation for a pick up or delivery of car to Heathrow. Last trip back we had a nightmare experience with Hertz (car which their own baby seat didn't fit in, poor service and an hour long wait after a 13 hour flight with 6 month old baby!) Also hate the way the big companies try to upsell you a "better" car, tons of insurance, fuel options etc etc. Does my head in when I'm jet lagged! So friendly, high service, baby seat providing car hire company requested!

Lil · 29/01/2002 13:44

What excellant timing for this thread...Pob, our family may have to move to gay Paris this summer, and I have tons of questions about it! I will have a baby and a 2 and a half year old, and wondered how easy/hard it is to meet people if I am at home being 'mum'. Are the French particularly child/mum-friendly? How quickly did you pick up the language and how do you teach pre-school children French, do they just absorb it at this age?

I'll stop there, I could go on for much appreciated!

Hales · 29/01/2002 15:42

Thanks Marina ... Have been skiing which is why I didn't reply sooner. Went to the Chalet "les Mazots" in Chamonix as recommended by this website and it was really child friendly....I managed to get in lots of skiing while my little one was entertained all afternoon!
mumsnet has already got in touch with me about your friend near Cologne so hopefully I'll meet or speak to her soon.

pob · 30/01/2002 09:35

Lil, good news! Whilst I can't compare Paris to anywhere else in terms of babies - dd was born here - the french are very friendly towards mums in general, and the park facilities are excellent (age-labelled, well maintained playthings, and even some grass - though not always!)....although changing facilities are few and far between. There is an excellent english-speaking mothers network - over 900 members - which has weekly activities for toddlers etc all advertised in quarterly magazines and is a great way to meet other mums. I'm not a genuine expat - dh is french, so dd gets french at home(no tax-free salaries or smart appartment in gorgeous area....make sure you get one!)- but most mums find places for their older children in 'halte guarderies' (playgroups) for at least a few hours a week, where they are surrounded by french, which is enough to start them understanding if not speaking! We do baby gym and baby swimmers in french and a singing class in english, aside from message activities...there's plenty to do! I've been here two years now and the french is coming along - slowly!! - but stumbled on a playgroup where the only way dd could get a place was if I took french lessons there - has worked out brilliantly! Also had a french nanny whilst working last year, so had no option but to practise every day, which was excellent, but not a sufficiently good reason to run out and get a job!
This is ridiculously long; has your/your dh's co sent others here before - they could definately help....otherwise, it's probably much easier if we get in touch you want to swop emails? (not that I have any idea how to...)

pob · 30/01/2002 09:39

Malmomum, thanks for the info. on bikes and trailers...will keep it in mind for next year - huge bump at present (due end April) so think it'll be snowmen and snowangels with dd next week...although really fancy snowshoeing (did it at school in a previous life!) tell the truth hadn't even considered cycles - been living in a city too long! Is Malmo big or small, green or grey? And have you got rid of that virus yet...must be fed up of the ginger tea, that's for sure!
à bientot

Marina · 30/01/2002 10:05

Hi Hales, glad you had a nice time. I have passed on the details to my friend but she's about to go away herself so it could be a couple of weeks before she gets in touch.

PS Did you have your baby in Cologne? Were you shown a natural birthing room with a knotted rope hanging from the ceiling? She nearly fainted.

Lil · 30/01/2002 12:32

Pob, thanks for your enthusiastic reply, it's made me feel more positive about a move. Normally I would be more upbeat & excited, but being preggers with a toddler in tow means a big upheaval like this seems much more daunting! Dh's company is french so they have plenty of experience of moving staff around, once it becomes more certain I will see what they say. With the English groups it sounds like I will be able to get by with my schoolgirl francais initially which is a relief. The upside to this is eventually being able to be fluent in a second language - you must be nearly there by now!

Swapping emails would be a great idea, but I am leaving work for maternity leave imminently, and haven't set up a home line yet (help, no mumsnet!!). Hope you will continue logging on, as will be able to keep in touch - meanwhile had better start ds with 'voiture' that will keep him going!!

pamina · 30/01/2002 12:45

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pob · 30/01/2002 14:09

lil, just wanted to add the mothers group website - have a peak before you leave work....Pamina's right, there are millions (well, lots) of expats both in and just outside Paris - esp. on western side. Enjoy your maternity leave and let everything fall into place by itself!

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