I have been umming and ahhhing about writing this post, as I don’t usually write about myself, and my blog is about the children and family life in general. However, this is a big topic relevant to us moving abroad, and the only down side I have stumbled upon so far. So, in the light of giving a balanced view on our move to Sweden and how it is working, this topic is something I feel needs to be written about. When we moved, I always knew we were also making the decision to leave our family and friends behind in order to pursue a long term dream of mine and Dadda’s. I don’t think I ever underestimated the enormity of this, but 6 months on, and after a recent trip to the UK, I am feeling it a little more than usual. Definitely no regrets about returning back to Sweden though after the UK visit.
It is very common now not to have your family around you for immediate support when bringing up your children, and I realise this. However, I did have a lovely group of friends from various eras and areas of my life. People have been amazingly friendly here in Sweden since we moved, and hugely helpful, but it takes time to build up the sort of relationships with family and friends that we left behind in the UK. As well as the relationships you leave behind, for a long while you are leaving behind the option of you and your partner heading out together for some quality time as there is no one to look after our mad trio just yet. Not only that, but when the going gets tough (which it has been with the trio recently), there is no back up, no one to give you a break, and no one to moan to that knows both you and your children properly just yet. I think that is why I am feeling it a little more recently, as the trio have been a little hot to handle in various ways, and being a stay at home mum, I am with them 24/7. If you are thinking of moving abroad, this is something to seriously consider…how you would cope leaving behind your family and friends. I am not saying I won’t make new friends here, I really hope I can and do, but you need to consider if you really can go it alone as a family unit, certainly for a good chunk of time near the beginning (perhaps one of the most stressful times too as everyone settles down into their new life). I will attempt to explain why I am missing these important people.
Back in the UK over Easter I met up with some of my closest friends for a catch up and a hug. The first one we met at Gatwick for breakfast. This lovely person has known me pre-children, pre-marriage, whilst I was working as a nurse, and we have shared drunken camping trips together. Then my little lady met her 2 BFF’s whose mums happen to be 2 of my BFF’s. We have been together since our girls were 4. They have known me with baby twins, they have helped me chase toddler twins on days out, they have never once judged my chaos, and we have supported each other through the ups and cliff dropping downs of life, as have our girls. Then there are my 2 close friends that are fellow twin mums. One supported me hugely when mine were newborns (she was a few years down the line, and could remember the calamity with clarity!), and the other one has twins a few months younger than mine. They know what it is to have young twins, and to try and carry on with the chaos that twins bring, and survive others’ judgements and often open comments and criticism! These lovely ladies know me as a person in my own right rather than just a Mamma and relocation planner! However, they also know our children too and my other half, and can easily offer help, advice, support, or even just a mummys’ night out. Being new in Sweden, and being a stay at home mum, means that I am struggling a little to make a groove for myself outside of being a Mamma and a wife. Whilst our little lady and mini men settle into their school/förskola friendships, and Dadda has headed out a few times now with his work colleagues, whose company he enjoys, I am floundering a little on the friendship front. I know it will all come as I have met some really lovely people that have made us all feel so welcome, and I know it will take time to build up relationships, and until then I’ve just got to settle in for the long haul, but it doesn’t make missing these special people that are family and friends any easier…..you know who you are, and I am so lucky to have you as my friends, and I look forward to welcoming you here over the summer 🙂