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  #61  
Old 28.11.2014, 15:58
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I'm in

You are soo right about having to be proactive about making friends and I'm anything but that. But now that you've made the first move, I'm in!
Me too !
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Old 28.11.2014, 16:19
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

My heart ached for you when I read your post. As you can see there of plenty of other bored expats

I am so desperate that yesterday I joined a swiss frauen knitting group - and I don't even knit! Hey, at least I was a source of amusement for them both in my horrible language skills and my lack of crafting talent. I made them laugh, had some great cake and coffee. I will go back next week as they are so eager to teach me - and I have nothing else to do......

Best of luck.
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  #63  
Old 28.11.2014, 16:20
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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You want to integrate here without a job?
Have a baby. Seriously. The whole system will suck you in and you will become Borg.
I'm having a baby and I'm freaking out worse than before! It was unplanned and I already discovered that it's pretty much impossible to find a job now. But after actually having the baby, it will be even harder. Turns out, finding childcare in Geneva is either really difficult (waiting lists of 3 years or more) and/or crazy expensive! Between paying for childcare and being taxed more because my boyfriend and I plan to get married, I will have to land a pretty good job if I don't want to end up losing money to be able to work...
And the thought of me being stay-at-home mom for the next 3-5 years just doesn't appeal to me at all.

Anyway, since I'm doing nothing other than sitting around waiting for the baby to arrive for the moment, I've decided to make a plan:

1. First 3-7 months: learn the local lingo asap and start applying for jobs already. (And if I have time left, learn another language as well.)
I already took a French course last summer, thank god, because that finally enabled me to make some friends. But since I'm doing nothing for the next 3-7 months, I might as well make sure I'm pretty damn fluent in French after that. (And I'm kinda dreading the thought of going into labor without being able to express my wishes).
Best case scenario: It will help me find a job after.
Worst case scenario: I will be able to enroll for a master at the university of Geneva, which is SO much cheaper than the ones at private schools. (But you need to have level B2 of French.)

2. 7 months - 2 years: find something that will make me feel like I'm doing something useful with my time.
Whether that means finding a job, volunteering or picking up a new study. I'm just so tired of wasting my time, when I know I'm capable of doing so much more.
I know that taking care of a baby requires a lot of time, but aside from this I would like to enrich my life with something else as well.

3. In the third year: if all else fails, start my own company.
So I have a gap in my resume as well. And with this pregnancy, the gap will only grow bigger. (No pun intended.) I realize that companies don't like it at all, but screw em! I know my own strengths, I know my own weaknesses. And if after step 1 and 2, I still won't be able to find a job, I will just create one myself. No matter if I will be successful or not, it will give me a goal and I will at least have tried.
I know I´m my own worst enemy, it's time to become my own biggest fan. If I don´t believe in myself, who will?
And seriously... There are people out there with way worse than a gap in a resume. Just think about the people that lost all in a tsunami. Or went to prison. They also need to pickup the pieces and continue. I refuse to believe we write all these people off because they fell on some hard times.

So make a plan for yourself and a time frame in which you do it. I also told my boyfriend: if I try really hard and I'm not able to find my happiness here after 2-3 years, I want to go back. And he agreed to come with me. The thought of this alone greatly comforts me.

Until then: fake it until you make it. This means: do stuff you normally wouldn't do. Hang out with people you wouldn't hang out with normally. Sure those people might not be your first choice in friends and back home, you probably wouldn't even have befriended them, but you simply don't have that luxury right now.
I met some people during my French course. And I was lucky enough that some kept harassing me to hang out with them, even though I didn't really feel like it at first. (Basically only because they were nothing like my friends back home.)
But I survived my first girls-only dinner last weekend! Before I went, I was simply dreading the thought of a girls-only dinner, especially since I can't drink right now, but I actually had loads of fun! And we will schedule another one soon!

Good luck!

Last edited by iPinky; 28.11.2014 at 16:38.
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Old 28.11.2014, 16:24
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Couple of quesfions and then I might be able to help.

1- which city are you from?
2- what was your previous job/qualifications?
3- how long have you been here and what level of german do you have?
4- are you living here in a city or a small village?
5- which expat groups did you try?

I know the whole issue in my own case and how I changed it. Hopefully I can give you some good advise.

Cheers.
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Old 28.11.2014, 16:27
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Until then: fake it until you make it.
This!
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  #66  
Old 28.11.2014, 16:57
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Okay, here's an idea. Why don't we (all who relate to this post) meet and see if we find friendship and strength in each other. For starters, it will be equally awkward for all .
I'm in too - heartening to know that we can be a good support system to each other .
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Old 28.11.2014, 17:44
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

@Hopeinajar, I know exactly how you feel and I'm not surprised that there are a lot of others in the same boat.

I moved to Zurich just over a year and a half ago from Canada for my husband, and am still struggling to "integrate" and meeting good friends, not just acquaintances. I've also had a hard time finding work in the Marketing/Communications sector and that was definitely confidence downer.

However, I did find that going to intensive German classes as soon as I arrived has helped me a lot as I can get by and the locals appreciate it when you put in the effort to speak German, even if it's not Swiss German.

I also joined a Basketball team and I find that when you play team sports, there's a lot more interaction (we practice 2x a week) and that's where you can meet locals, not just expats. Although I do agree with you that it takes much longer to make friends here than in other places I've lived (London & Hong Kong).

Career wise I found the Professional Women's Group of Zurich has been a very good platform to meet career oriented women and they are very supportive. You also meet a mix of local and expats. They have a networking event every month, the next one is on December 9th. It's also a good support group as it has inspired me to start my own business, as I have gotten a lot of ideas and suggestions from the members of the group.

I think what you're feeling is normal, so I would also stay away from the meds. I think the last comment was a great idea, perhaps we should arrange a meetup for those in this thread!

In any case, keep your head up, I'm sure with some time things will fall into place

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.11.2014 at 19:47. Reason: removed advertising links
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  #68  
Old 28.11.2014, 18:52
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

You say you miss your hobbies but you haven't said what your interests are? Team sports and music are the most therapeutic and social choices, and music is something you can start at any age. Have you tried singing, for instance? TildaOz of this parish teaches singing and piano and is a native English speaker, for instance. Most musical activities allow you to join a group at any level of ability, it gets you out, it gives you a goal. It keeps me sane - after a fashion, of course
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Old 28.11.2014, 20:18
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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And this happened in spite of not knowing German and your kids going to Swiss school? (I know I'm presuming a lot here, but can you kinda make out the gist of my question? )
Yep, came here not knowing a word of German and chucked my kids into Swiss school (I'm so mean! ) the friends I am making are all English-speaking though so far. The ones who can speak English seem to want to mother me a bit The ones who can't will smile at me but won't really speak because they can't, and because I can't either. But I'm working on this, my 12-month goal is to be able to simple small-talk in German and I won't mind taking the initiative I am not shy. I'm sure after that I can nudge my way into more friendships. I must admit is it easier to make friends with other mums with the same age kids. This was the same for me back in the UK, some of my best friends there I met through our children!
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Old 28.11.2014, 20:53
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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This means: do stuff you normally wouldn't do. Hang out with people you wouldn't hang out with normally. Sure those people might not be your first choice in friends and back home, you probably wouldn't even have befriended them, but you simply don't have that luxury right now.
I met some people during my French course. And I was lucky enough that some kept harassing me to hang out with them, even though I didn't really feel like it at first. (Basically only because they were nothing like my friends back home.)
But I survived my first girls-only dinner last weekend! Before I went, I was simply dreading the thought of a girls-only dinner, especially since I can't drink right now, but I actually had loads of fun! And we will schedule another one soon!
Couldn't agree more with this. And, as DB pointed out, you'll discover they're more like you although they (apparently) are nothing like you.
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Old 28.11.2014, 21:20
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I am so desperate that yesterday I joined a swiss frauen knitting group - and I don't even knit! Hey, at least I was a source of amusement for them both in my horrible language skills and my lack of crafting talent. I made them laugh, had some great cake and coffee. I will go back next week as they are so eager to teach me - and I have nothing else to do......

Best of luck.
They have cake...what's not to like?

Knitting has been shown to help with depression, from the sense of achievement (one more row done, something physical produced) and the apparently soothing nature of the repeated small task...somehow I doubt that's true in the early days of knots and dropped stitches! Good on you for getting out there and having a go at meeting some new people.
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  #72  
Old 28.11.2014, 21:32
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I am so desperate that yesterday I joined a swiss frauen knitting group..
Ha! Good for you

Knitting is great and can be a lot more than a way out of desperation...

I am just working on this weird and super simple thing



and was happy to squat a table with my gf both of us knitting and laughing at EPFL after we had to cram too much of cerebral stuff..the joy of doing something creative, I miss being able to make something tiny and fast for my baby. It is not mindless nor routine, in fact manual motion helps people organize their thought processes, digests abstract stuff, plan, mind map. And creativity makes one happy. If you have time, indulge.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 28.11.2014 at 22:22.
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  #73  
Old 29.11.2014, 11:28
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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You say you miss your hobbies but you haven't said what your interests are? Team sports and music are the most therapeutic and social choices, and music is something you can start at any age. Have you tried singing, for instance? TildaOz of this parish teaches singing and piano and is a native English speaker, for instance. Most musical activities allow you to join a group at any level of ability, it gets you out, it gives you a goal. It keeps me sane - after a fashion, of course
My passions were music (violin, piano), and dancing. I belonged to a buddhist meditation/philosophy group and have traveled extensively. Was into gymnastics when I was young. I would like to get involved in music again, but my motivation took a nose dive due to depression and it is not a social activity (I took lessons on my own, never played in a group or anything)

I enjoy Reading, but again, it's not a social activity and it is difficult to find any english bookstores with a good selection anywhere.

I enjoy Cooking, but again it's not fun always cooking by yourself. Haven't found any affordable/interesting courses.

I enjoy researching Holistic Health/natural Wellness and alternative medicine topics...doesn't seem to be much of that scene happening here.

I really don't like Sports or outdoor activities (used to snowboard a tiny bit, and I enjoy Fitness, but my knee is injured) Too bad, bc that's probably the best way to meet and get to know people here.

I'm awful at Knitting I'm afraid, find it quite dull. I've tried other Art activities/classes (painting, ceramics, drawing) and could never excel at it, It would just make me frustrated because I never got very skilled at it.

I'm considering a Master's program, but it seems you need to know German, or have better marks. I am just beginning and am slow learning this language, so it will take about 2 years before I get to even B1 conversational level.
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Old 29.11.2014, 12:07
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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My passions were music (violin, piano), and dancing. I belonged to a buddhist meditation/philosophy group and have traveled extensively.....
If you're familiar with some buddhist meditation or philosophy, wouldn't that be of any help in fighting/coping the depression? I know some people practising meditation for this purpose. Of course, apart from meeting more people.
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  #75  
Old 29.11.2014, 12:20
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

No, not all Masters are in Geman. Many are taught in English so if your marks are good enough you might be able to enroll. This will tell you about studying here and if you go down to Study Programs you'll find a link to all the ones offered in English.

http://www.crus.ch/information-progr...rland.html?L=2
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Old 29.11.2014, 12:46
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I enjoy Reading, but again, it's not a social activity and it is difficult to find any english bookstores with a good selection anywhere.
What about joining a book club? There seem to be quite a few in and around Zurich. That could be a way to combine an interest with a social outing and get to meet new people.

http://www.ziwa.com/new/bookclub.html

https://www.google.ch/#q=book+clubs+in+Zurich

Buy your books online through Amazon ( UK, DE or FR) or Book depository. They are way cheaper and there is much more choice than in Switzerland.


I do sympathise with how you are feeling. I was in exactly the same position as you over 20 years ago when we moved to France to live. It was impossible for me to get a job, my husband was working long hours and my appalling French made it very difficult for me to meet new people as it was impossible to communicate with them. This was in the days before email and Internet and international phone calls were expensive so I felt really isolated. My husband was trying desperately to find a job back in the UK but they were a bit scarce in his field at the time.
It probably took over a year for me to turn the corner and things to improve but they did and in the end I was very sorry to leave when OH was transferred to Germany after 5 years.
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Old 29.11.2014, 14:47
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I enjoy Cooking, but again it's not fun always cooking by yourself. Haven't found any affordable/interesting courses.
I completely agree with you cooking alone and everyday is so boring and one runs out of ideas. Would anybody be interested in starting something like a cooking club. We could learn making new cuisines / dishes from each other and escape the monotony.
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Old 29.11.2014, 15:03
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I love dogs! Not sure our landlord would approve but it's for sure a great suggestion for loneliness and sadness.
I love dogs too - we were reading the Vaud Cantonal laws yesterday for rentals and apparently dogs are always permitted PROVIDED that they do not disturb the neighbours / destroy the property.

So I was thinking it might be worth going to the shelter and finding an older dog (the shelter workers will know each dog well, so just ask them) that's very calm and quiet.

BTW - If anyone wants to start a similar get-together around Lausanne, just PM me! I'm all for fun get-togethers and was quite the social organizer in my old home.
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Old 29.11.2014, 18:43
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I enjoy Cooking, but again it's not fun always cooking by yourself. Haven't found any affordable/interesting courses.
You can always start or join a meetup where people meet and cook at someone's place.
You can choose a different nickname and nobody will connect the two profiles (I take it that quite a few people here are both on meetup and here) ;-)
Maybe ask your husband first, before you host one.
But the upcoming cookie-season presents a welcome opportunity to hosts these kinds meetups...


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I enjoy researching Holistic Health/natural Wellness and alternative medicine topics...doesn't seem to be much of that scene happening here.
To the contrary - or why do you think there are special private insurances for paying for all that stuff?

What about all those meetups?
http://www.meetup.com/Hacking-Health-Zurich/
http://www.meetup.com/mindfulness-classes-zurich/
http://www.meetup.com/The-Share/
http://www.meetup.com/Zurich-Spiritual-Interaction/
http://www.meetup.com/Primary-Healin...nergy-healing/
http://www.meetup.com/Yoga-Meditatio...ling-Seminars/
http://www.meetup.com/Zurich-Psychologists-Meetup/
etc.pp.

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I really don't like Sports or outdoor activities (used to snowboard a tiny bit, and I enjoy Fitness, but my knee is injured) Too bad, bc that's probably the best way to meet and get to know people here.
Depends on your gym, of course.
According to my Swiss co-worker, this one: http://indigofitness.ch/zuerich/ is "full of expats" and you only hear English there.
It's close to the offices of a lot of banks, so that really didn't come as a surprise to me.
He was however surprised...
If you take the "limited" membership (early morning/afternoon only), it's not even that expensive. The "full" membership I do find expensive.
I would ask a doctor to devise a fitness workout program that you can persist while your injury heals. Maybe take a few physiotherapy lessons to get the hang of it and then continue on your own in a gym of your choice.

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I'm awful at Knitting I'm afraid, find it quite dull. I've tried other Art activities/classes (painting, ceramics, drawing) and could never excel at it, It would just make me frustrated because I never got very skilled at it.
Yep. Same here. It's not for everybody. I turned to cooking as my way of self-expression and creativity ;-)

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I'm considering a Master's program, but it seems you need to know German, or have better marks. I am just beginning and am slow learning this language, so it will take about 2 years before I get to even B1 conversational level.
There are one or two meetups where Germans meet.
Their German is more "by the book" and you might find their (High-German) conversations easier to follow.

Last edited by rainer_d; 29.11.2014 at 18:44. Reason: :s/There/Their/
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Old 29.11.2014, 21:35
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Like so many others, I can say I truly relate to the OP’s feelings. I have done a lot to push that gloom aside, but the underlying feeling of dissatisfaction, and the fear of things never fundamentally changing, remain.

I created and self-published a graphic novel; it was a meaningful purpose for a couple of years, and it’s also a decent way to fill a gap in my CV. I mean, can you imagine, I got an actual ISBN! (Indulge me, the book just came fresh from the print last week, so I’m still overwhelmed.)

And yet, I feel less of a person for the lack of proper direction, for the lack of career prospects. But oh, was it great to read Dougal’s experiences! It encouraged me to try to put my faith in the long game.

I’ve also struggled in making meaningful connections, beyond the smalltalk between neighbours and strangers. What has made life easier was taking the initiative: instead of waiting for some great meet up to materialise in my neighbourhood, I decided to organise one myself. So now there’s a small, changing group of folks around Baden meeting once a month; I can tell you these monthly meetings have not brought world peace or ended any famines, but things are certainly loads better than they used to be.

I also made friends with another frustrated unemployed trailing spouse on my German course, so we can now feel frustrated together; there is a perverted joy in it.

There’s one thing I feel very strongly about: there are already so many people in this thread who have sworn to show up at a social gathering that it would be criminal not to actually organise one. I don’t know Zurich too well, and since I find organising a surprisingly empowering experience, I strongly urge one of you Zürchers to cook this up (and invite me). But I warn you; if nobody gets around to it, I will. And I have a track record.
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