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Single Mum

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Sunnykath79, May 8, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    I'm a single Mum to a 6 year old and am just wondering if anyone has any experience of working as a single parent overseas. I have taught abroad previously, before I had my son and think it would be a great opportunity for both of us.
    I think my main concern is that it would just be the two of us, if one of us were sick or I needed to work and he had finished for the day etc. I'd imagine there would be activities and things he could go to after but I guess I'm a bit anxious as I've always been helped out by parents whilst living here.
    It would be great to hear of any other experiences.
    Thanks
     
  2. Hi,

    I'm a single Mum to a 6 year old and am just wondering if anyone has any experience of working as a single parent overseas. I have taught abroad previously, before I had my son and think it would be a great opportunity for both of us.
    I think my main concern is that it would just be the two of us, if one of us were sick or I needed to work and he had finished for the day etc. I'd imagine there would be activities and things he could go to after but I guess I'm a bit anxious as I've always been helped out by parents whilst living here.
    It would be great to hear of any other experiences.
    Thanks
     
  3. orangepatriot

    orangepatriot New commenter

    Hi Sunnykath,
    I'm overseas with my 2 kids and husband and we find it difficult as a two parent family. Not to say that it couldn't work for you, but the lack of support network does make things tricky. Although you eventually build that up in colleagues, as with any friendship it takes time, though I've found that people can sometimes much more supportive in expat communities as they understand the difficulties. We were told that there was nothing in the way of childcare out here (ME) but have since found out that there is, but it's all very informal..would you be in a position where a retired grandparent could come out with you at first to help until you find your feet and get to know the lay of the land?
    Sorry, that's not much help at all is it! Best of luck with it all.
     
  4. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Though I am married due to my husbands job we often don't work in the same country. This means that I have taken on teaching positions with my young son - now 11years. Together we have been to Nigeria where we had a full time live-in nanny; China with help in the house and a huge family orientated network; UAE with help in the house and plenty of family style things to do; Italy - help in the house but not a huge network of family orientated activities - you have to be a self starter in Europe.
    Go for ME, SE Asia or Asia (China) - Most of these places offer good money, free/subsidised housing. Preferable to apply for large schools where your son would have an immediate network of friends. You might even find a babysitting circle among the mums or if it is a full-through school get in touch with 6th formers who want to earn some money.
    I'm embarking on my next adventure to Qatar this year! Can't wait!!
     
  5. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Lovely, lovely.lady.
    This is right on the money. Choose your location carefully, and you'll have more support than you need. In all the countries I've worked in, parents could afford at least part-time help, so you could for example get a carer to come in every afternoon to watch the boy during the gap between his school hours and your working hours. They could also tidy the house and perhaps start dinner in that time. Imagine the luxury.
    If he gets sick, you'll have to stay home, at least at first. Later, when your son has a strong relationship with the afternoon carer, hopefully he/she could be on call for some sick days.
    And starting by bringing a grandparent along is a brilliant idea. Even two-parent families can struggle in the first weeks of a new appointment, when children can't be left home alone but people haven't been able to hire carers yet.
    And there are often family networks to help fill in the gaps.
     
  6. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Here in Europe child care is relatively expensive but we have employed single mums who have coped wonderfully.
    I have been a single dad for most of this year with my wife studying full-time in the UK.
    But my daughter is 16 so this has been a formative maturing process for her as she has learned to get me started in the morning properly dressed and with a good breakfast on board, to sort out my school bag, organise the washing and ironing, cook inventive and nourishing dinners while keeping an eye on my homework and ensuring I don't slink off to watch TV, listen patiently while I moan about what those horrible teachers did today, monitor my online activities, welcome my friends who drop in after school, and so on.
    Much more useful skills for a young woman than those IGCSE thingies she's also toying with.
     
  7. Thanks for all the replies, I'm thinking probably South East Asia, Thailand or Brunei, as I lived in Thailand before. I guess you are right in that it will depend a lot on the school and area that we are living in. It's just quite daunting but good to hear other stories from people who have been in similar positions.

     
  8. Alphaalpha

    Alphaalpha New commenter

    You have a PM!
     
  9. saoghalbeag

    saoghalbeag New commenter

    Some really brilliant responses - it's awesome to see single parents taking on the world with their kids!! I spent 6 months at an international school in China with my (then) 4 year old. It was amazing and something I would definitely consider again - but with an older child! I did not stay long enough to organise an ayi but had loads of volunteers for babysitters amongst other teachers with kids, parents who were at home with younger kids, and Chinese teachers. Towards the end I had some difficulties with the school and unfortunately this made the isolation unbearable so we came home rather than staying for a full year as we'd hoped. But we both recall the experience with fondness and definitely plan to do it again!!
     

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