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Old 18.01.2009, 01:27
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Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Hi there outside
10 months ago we mooved from Zürich to Nyon with our two toddlers 3 years and 10 months. Even with my master of law I decided to stay at home full time, at less 48 hours per day, since the birth of our first child. In fact with my job as a legal counsel I had no chance to cut to a part time job. Unfortunately I feel like an "alien" in this society because there is no acceptation for a mum to be "just" a "stupid" mother who wants to do things with the children and in fact I don't see the need to take a nurse just to be able to go to a dentist, hairdresser etc. It seems that the society wants to have children but they don't have to disturb the silence of the normal world... Is it not faboulous to enter into a women clothing shop with at least 6 others women inside without children and as it comes always my toddlers, boyslike..., start to crying in according just in the shop and all the other women, mothers perhabs as well, looking at me with a look "why are YOU here and with your crying children oh no!!!" as I'm the most wanted enemy of this world. That's really the most sad feeling of being an ugly alien...

So please tell me are there others like me???

Thanks for any support...

Shirin
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Old 18.01.2009, 02:30
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Argh...yes, I hear you, but I don't think it's just a 'swiss' thing - I had my first two children in Australia and they were 2 years apart...

I packed mine off to preschool at age 3, and long day care two days a week for the second one from about 18 months, to get a break, and to be able to juggle my life...I definitely felt the pressure to be working too!

my tips
- people forget what kids are like
- the less we are around children, the more we forget what kids are like
- toddlers are the same, the world over - they talk loudly, need to move and throw tantrums when tired or cranky...
- you meet some oldies who remember, and some oldies who forget.
- your best supporters are sometimes the least likely people (I often find elderly men the most encouraging about my children, and the least judgemental, and mothers can sometimes be the most critical of other mothers.)

I get the impression, however, that most people have family/friends around that they can leave their children with when they need to do things like appointments (and that is what I would have done in Australia - left my children with their dad or grandma or a friend)...and I know I've lost this support now that we are living away from everyone...luckily my children are mostly at school, so I can make-do...

I think the first two years are the hardest, and it gets easier after that.

I wish the world was more child-friendly, but it is not, and at some point (particularly when the second one was about 3-4), I stopped taking them to the shops altogether - I now internet shop, or shop when they are at school, or take half a day on the weekend when my husband can look after the children...because the kids hate shopping, and I hate shopping with the kids!
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Old 18.01.2009, 12:25
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Maybe you should move a couple of villages down the road? Where I am I am being frowned upon because I went back to work part time...
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Old 18.01.2009, 13:25
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

My next door neighbour constantly asks me when I'm having children (since I'm currently at home, looking for work). When I tell her I'm looking for work and not planning on having any ruggies, she gives me a strange look as though to say "Why would you do that?! WHY?!"

We all get judged for whatever reason. As long as the choice is the right one for you and your family, eff 'em.
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Old 18.01.2009, 14:02
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Hi

it feels terrible to be frowned upon, but kids are just kids, noisy and busy, especially toddlers. I also chose to stay home despite having a postgraduate degree. I took my children everywhere as even in my home country all the grandparents were still working when mine were young toddlers.

Hang in there, ignore the looks. Pick your times for shopping carefully, make sure the kids are not overtired or hungry. I know this is not always possible For seven years I had at least one child at home full time, no day-care etc. It can be a very enjoyable time, seeing the world through the eyes of a little person.

I find now that that they are all in school full time they are actually worse to take shopping because they do it less frequently. They whinge more and have more 'I wants'.

If you want a few hours to yourself you may be able to find a place to look after your children. I know there is a place here in Basel, based at a church where you can leave your children on a regular basis for a couple of hours.

Good luck
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Old 18.01.2009, 14:30
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Hello,

Maybe you should meet moms in a similar situation? It gave me a lot of strenght, when I moved here, to realize that some other moms I know are experiencing the same thing....I almost think that moms of kids 0-3 live on a different planet, and can understand only one another.....At this age even going grocery shopping seems like an Indiana Jones adventure . By the end of the day I am ususally POOPED, and I haven't really accomplished that much...

My tactics: I always smile apologetically when my toddler acts out, and that usually eases the tension between me and the person who has a problem....

And wish me good luck...I am taking my son to my dentists appointment with me next week..see how it works out!!!!
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Old 19.01.2009, 15:24
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

To be honest I think you need to meet some of the expats. There are loads in Nyon and I am suprised you feel so alienated unless you havent met any of us yet. There are alot as most work with the financial markets from singles, married, with kids, without kids..... Maybe you need to add a thread to meet up in Nyon with all us Nyonnais.... Perhaps you havent met the right nyon people yet.

Hang in there and give it a go
I love Nyon
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Old 20.01.2009, 10:56
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Good Idea Lizard Day. There are lots of us Expats around Nyon. 1 third of the population here in Nyon is non-Swiss. The more of us that can help each other out the better. That's not that we shouldn't integrate.

Shirin, I certainly know what you mean about the looks you get sometime from people. Our 3 year old boy is always having temper tantrums in the street and the shops. It can be very tiresome for any parent. Hang in there. I get odd looks being the Dad taking my kid around places.

Fortunately for me, my son is currently in full time day care, so I get a break and a chance to look for work. My wife finds it harder than I do to deal with the emotional roller coaster that is our toddler. I think being organised and having things planned to do with them is key.

It's tough for any spouse left at home in a foreign country with no family support. My wife's family is in Switzerland but too far away to help out on a frequent basis.

Switzerland still generally has a one parent works the other stays at home attitude. However this not always financially viable.
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Old 20.01.2009, 11:14
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Don't worry about it!

Even if your child has a *major* meltdown in the shop - anyone who has kids has only complete sympathy, and anyone who doesn't can not possibly understand.

Being the father of at least 2 drama queens, seeing someone else's kid being grumpy, surly, obnoxious, overtired, nagging, yelling, crying, screaming, punching, chasing, dripping ice-cream, etc. etc. in public just allows me feel that my kids are are cool, and just like those of everybody else.

So every time you are worried your child is a public spectacle, just think that you're bravely making all the other parents happy!

cheers,
(Mr)Wibble
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Old 20.01.2009, 11:29
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Oh how I am relieved each time I hear other children's screams in the supermarket!
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Old 20.01.2009, 15:07
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

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Oh how I am relieved each time I hear other children's screams in the supermarket!
Yes, unless you've just gotten your grumpy bundle to sleep- then you head for the hills!
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Old 20.01.2009, 16:19
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

It's tough for any spouse left at home in a foreign country with no family support.

And speaking very simpleton french. This is so true...Thanks for making this comment.

That's why I have been thinking about organising a Nyon BABYSITTING COOP (swaps), for moms like me and others who do not have a family here neither had time or possibility to find a decent (english speaking) sitter yet. If anybody is interested in this idea, pm me.

Shirin, I feel your pain. Nyon, however, is usually quite nice, maybe people are just crabby when it is cold and one of the reasons to chill in the store is to warm up and they do not want to put up with too much ruccus. Be selfconfident, it will have calming effect on the kids but also detere the grumpy folks from intervention. And if they do, ignore them. I gave up the idea of going into a store with a toddler that is not asleep, unless the whole transaction takes under 5mins, it is really boring for our kid otherwise and makes her think of mischief. Appointments are harder, but we have thought about bringing a portable dvd player, as it has been a lifesaver for our regular overnight drives. You can have the sound almost hardly audible. They sell these quite cheaply these days.

I agree to have a day packed with activities, makes even the most defiant child way more co-operative and enables the mom to meet others. Especially in winter when kids can't run off the energy outside, it is so essential. I see moms with kids, we go to a playgroup few times a week, Mommy and Me classes (art, gym and I know there is music too), Ludoteque, the kids library at La Combe, trips to Ste Cergue for sledding, now I noticed the ice ring near the train station (though it's probably gone now with these temps?), there is a lot more fun stuff to do, there is a play area at Migros restaurant too but one has to watch out for older kids not lending on your toddler's head. Signal de bougy in the summer is fantastic and great public swimming pool or the beech in Nyon.
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Old 21.01.2009, 12:02
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Agree summer is totally different in Nyon and alot to do. The outdoor pool is great and the beach. It would be good to organize a monthly/weekly bbq. I know my friends that are mums would love to come too. I am actually not a mum ... I love kids, Nyon and organizing things so suggest when it warms up a bit we can organize a club. I worked once in a kids camp and the kids are thrilled to do different activities. An idea. Just PM me any time. The only thing is I have an office job that takes up a lot of my time so would not do any baby sitting but would love to go out for the day and make new friends.
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Old 21.01.2009, 12:26
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

Not sure where you are from, but this attitude reminds me far more of the UK, than here. I think they are much more child friendly here than in UK, what you describe I felt much more there as a full time mother than here.
Loads of adults talk to my daughter, more so when she was younger, and I was amazed when I first got on the train and saw the ticket inspector take the time to chat to my daughter and issue her a play kids ticket which she loved, not just a one off experience.

Like someone else said, everyone gets or at least feels judged for something about motherhood. I think it just goes with the territory, either you work full time, and thats bad, or you dont work and thats bad, or you allow your kids chocolate before they are 5, or you dont and thats bad!

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Hi there outside
10 months ago we mooved from Zürich to Nyon with our two toddlers 3 years and 10 months. Even with my master of law I decided to stay at home full time, at less 48 hours per day, since the birth of our first child. In fact with my job as a legal counsel I had no chance to cut to a part time job. Unfortunately I feel like an "alien" in this society because there is no acceptation for a mum to be "just" a "stupid" mother who wants to do things with the children and in fact I don't see the need to take a nurse just to be able to go to a dentist, hairdresser etc. It seems that the society wants to have children but they don't have to disturb the silence of the normal world... Is it not faboulous to enter into a women clothing shop with at least 6 others women inside without children and as it comes always my toddlers, boyslike..., start to crying in according just in the shop and all the other women, mothers perhabs as well, looking at me with a look "why are YOU here and with your crying children oh no!!!" as I'm the most wanted enemy of this world. That's really the most sad feeling of being an ugly alien...

So please tell me are there others like me???

Thanks for any support...

Shirin
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Old 26.01.2009, 23:46
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Re: Help me I'm just a mother, what a disaster!!!?

hi shirin

it's interesting, swiss seems love hausfrau
there are some well educated swisswomen who prefer to be just mothers (with at least 3 kids). or else prefer to work half time to have more time for the kids. it's in bern tho, i dont know about zurich

btw is it possible that your frustration is more that you are a housewife and not working any longer?

i am somehow frustrated by being a housewife, simply dont know what to do. plus not even have a dog nor a kid. how i miss my job
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