Going Home

Old May 25th 2016, 2:34 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by Bucks_Family View Post
Whilst certainly valid, the replies so far don't address the major issue as I see it - the cost of childcare. It is expensive, $800 a month for our 4 year old. So the choice comes down to either one parent works and the other is the childminder, or both work and go through the rigmarole of finding and paying for childcare.
If only the newspapers included flyers from nurseries offering 40% off! 😂
Sorry, has to quote our own post. My husband has forgotten already that we had to pay 1000 GBP per month when we were in UK. We were pleasantly surprised how cheap the childcare was when we moved to Canada. Thought I'll add it here for him. He obviously changed his perception now
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Old May 25th 2016, 3:40 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Going Home

I'm shocked that a family would go through all the upheaval of moving to Canada and be thinking of leaving after only 1 month. I'm going to Canada in 5 weeks and I'll be there on a holiday/recce for almost a month!

Surely it would be better to explore the land a bit more, savour the experience and then if the feeling persist return home? Then at least your family will have had an enriching experience for the price of all he upheaval.
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Old May 25th 2016, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Maybe you chose the wrong City or the wrong Province - what made you choose Calgary?

Childcare is apparently very expensive - mine are grown up and in the UK (but still quite expensive!!) so can't compare.

Generally, cost of living apart from that I find to be slightly less in Canada.

The multiple supermarkets thing is a bit of a pain - you just have to get used to it, but we usually alternate between Save on Foods and Safeway. We avoid Superstore (which we call 'Death by Shopping') because of the bizarre and illogical store layout, unless we want something that the others don't sell.

We find we shop more at producer-owned food stores than we did in the UK, especially for things like proper bacon, decent sausages, some meat, salmon, nice bread etc, although that's partly because there are some really good ones reasonably near us (Hopcott, Bruce's and Lepps, for the info of locals!).

Milk and cheese are a bit pricey, but you get used to that.

For fruit and veg, take advantage of seasonal availability, which is more prevalent here, unless you want to be at the mercy of California and Mexico, for which price fluctuations are much more evident.
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Old May 25th 2016, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by weewifey View Post
Snowy thank you for your reply. As I have replied to plastic, we are not suffering from homesickness, or culture shock. We are making decisions based on the best care available for our 2 young children to also allow us both to work.

Good for you, sounds like you're making the best decision for you and your family.
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Old May 25th 2016, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by Shirtback View Post
Having cogitated a bit more on the topic, I have to say I'm quite flabbergasted/impressed at the idea of a family with young children moving transatlantic & both parents having full time jobs & need of (not previously arranged) childcare within one month.

When I came over (with young children), I don't think I knew which way was up for a good few months, let alone thought about ft work outside the home

And before anyone gets antsy: in my prior (to Canada) international moves, I was the main breadwinner, & we'd agreed before moving that the other parent would stay home as long as it took to get the whole family settled/daycare sorted.

When I came to Canada, I spent nearly 2 years working on a p-t/freelance basis because childcare options at the time weren't brilliant/affordable/readily available. But we knew that before we came over.

Through happy coincidence/serendipity, I was then fortunate to be involved in the conception & implantation of government subsidised affordable daycare in my province.

I don't think it would have been any better/easier/cheaper in the Uk, then or now. My Dsis in the UK has recently had to delay her return to work after maternity leave because of finding childcare, & she'd been looking/planning for a year. My other Dsis in the UK could not have completed her studies & then worked without free childcare for quite a few years from the various grandparents.

I have young(er) relatives who moved to Calgary from Mtl a couple of years ago: one parent stayed/worked from home with the kids for over a year, before they found a good nanny-share. Again, they knew that would probably be necessary & planned for it.
Your first paragraph summed up my thoughts very neatly - I couldn't decide if I was amazed or impressed by the OPs plans either!
We have moved a few times between Scotland and England before coming to Canada nearly 6 years ago, all moves brought about by my OHs job changes, and each time we have taken the decision that I would not work for some time but devote my efforts to our family settling into the new area - exploring the local area, making friends, establishing contacts etc.
I was used to working full time in an interesting career before that, but something had to give and our children were still young enough to require care. It's challenging being in a new place or country, and can be lonely and boring at times so it's the OPs decision as to whether it's worthwhile in the long run to make what seem to be short term sacrifices now. Having said that, making the decision after a month seems fast but only they know the full impact.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Thank you for all of your replies and 'insight', I appreciate it and do take on board some of the comments. But geez, I thought the purpose of these forums was to provide people in similar circumstances with support, not to mock or belittle. If my family and I decide to move back to the UK after a day, a week, a month or a year, that's entirely up to us and we will make the decision based on what is right for us.

I wasn't looking for approval from anyone to move home. We know what is good for our family and what will make us happy, if we know something is not right for us why delay the inevitable? I know many of you think it is far too soon, that's your opinion, but again it's our choice.

I have read a number of posts on here by people still in the UK and asking for information on living in the Calgary area so the reason for my initial post was just to make them aware that the cost of living is high.

I appreciate a number of people say they are better off here than in the UK, I find this hard to believe but I suppose that depends on occupation and what part of the UK you came from etc. I have spoken to a number of our neighbours, some Canadian and from other parts of Canada and some other expats, the consensus from them is that Alberta is one of the most expensive provinces to live in, with some of them saying they have travelled to other places for services such as dental care because it is so expensive.

I really admire those who have given up their jobs to look after the kids until school age, which here is obviously much later than in the UK but not everyone has this option. To all the people still in the UK and looking to move here, it is a beautiful country, lovely people and better weather most of the time, but turns out the grass is the same colour!!!
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Blooming 'eck! That's madness, our pre-school was £9 a session. Even the private nursery that my daughter was at is only £50 a day, so would be around £9k a year with the free hours. And I'm in one of the most expensive parts of the UK!

Beginning to think I'm in the wrong business judging from some of the childcare prices in this thread.
It's not even an expensive nursery - £40 per day then 10% sibling discount and 15 hours free term time only. It stacks up with 2 kids in full time.
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by Lifebeginsat36 View Post
It's not even an expensive nursery - £40 per day then 10% sibling discount and 15 hours free term time only. It stacks up with 2 kids in full time.
Ah, two kids - I thought you meant for one!

It does get cheaper, believe me. Mine are in that lovely 'no childcare needed' phase, before they get expensive again as teenagers.
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

I just reread your initial post and your impression about working life allowing for a lot of family time - I too have been surprised by the long hours people work here, often both parents, but my impression is that 'family time' is more appreciated here, and people seem to make every hour outside work count for more than I'm used to seeing in the UK. That's not a criticism of you or I - families around here seem to be very involved in evening activities, even teenagers 😉 then dash away to the cottage most summer weekends, which is often a long drive Friday and Sunday evening. It makes me feel quite weary at times! I'm more than happy just to chill out at home
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 View Post
I just reread your initial post and your impression about working life allowing for a lot of family time - I too have been surprised by the long hours people work here, often both parents, but my impression is that 'family time' is more appreciated here, and people seem to make every hour outside work count for more than I'm used to seeing in the UK. That's not a criticism of you or I - families around here seem to be very involved in evening activities, even teenagers 😉 then dash away to the cottage most summer weekends, which is often a long drive Friday and Sunday evening. It makes me feel quite weary at times! I'm more than happy just to chill out at home
Yes I agree with you Twitcher and funnily enough we have made much more of the family time we have here, I can't help thinking though that this is largely to do with the weather being better than at home so more options available in the evenings!

Unfortunately the company my husband works for here has changed management and the new boss believes in working 60 hour weeks so our overall family time is now much less than we had and my husband doesn't want to miss our kids growing up because he's always at work!
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Old May 25th 2016, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

I could write this exact post except it's been 5months for us and I'm a few hours north of you in St. Albert.

Living costs are transpiring to be lots more than uk for us and we are down to 1 salary. I
can't find a job, childcare for 2 is going to be 2-2500 plus after school for #3 limits what I can apply for.
I hate not having a job and it's making home life pretty hellish because I am feeling so demoralized, unworthy and useless.

I totally get your frustrations with grocery shopping - I hate it now, used to quite enjoy it. And I resent that I pay a lot for poor quality fresh food (I know, seasons and transport mean it's not going to be the same as uk before anyone jumps on me).

I am finding acquaintances to be quite rude and unfriendly, my neighbour told me last week they were "glad the previous tenants had left, they should have gone back to the trailer park where they belonged" - I just can't get on with comments such as this being acceptable to make.

The local kids are culturally much more abrasive and brash, and my kids really hate that, they will regularly come off the playground and ask to go home because other kids are pushing/not taking turns/saying horrible things- thy probably aren't, just culture deems it acceptable here but not in the uk.

I guess, I'm really finding the culture differences so big (and It has blindsided me) that I'm having to compromise on my own views and morals and that's something I am finding very hard to accept.

As you can probably tell, I am struggling to find any positives about living here currently! I'm sure there are some but for now I'm still wallowing in what I have lost.

If you can stick it out for a few months at least I really would, my rollercoaster did improve for a few months in the middle but am now back down and will be needing to decide on my fate in the next 6 weeks or so (other elements at play mean a time limit forcing this). Feel free to pm me and we can wallow together!

Worth checking in on the moving back to the uk section.
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Old May 25th 2016, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by weewifey View Post
... But geez, I thought the purpose of these forums was to provide people in similar circumstances with support, not to mock or belittle. If my family and I decide to move back to the UK after a day, a week, a month or a year, that's entirely up to us and we will make the decision based on what is right for us...
I have often thought that there should be a Rainbows and Unicorns section here. Where the only replies allowed are those that agree, support or affirm the opening post.

If this website has any value to prospective immigrants it is because of the range of opinions and experiences expressed. You posted yours. It is a bit precious to complain about other people posting theirs.
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Old May 25th 2016, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by weewifey View Post
Thank you for all of your replies and 'insight', I appreciate it and do take on board some of the comments. But geez, I thought the purpose of these forums was to provide people in similar circumstances with support, not to mock or belittle. If my family and I decide to move back to the UK after a day, a week, a month or a year, that's entirely up to us and we will make the decision based on what is right for us.

I wasn't looking for approval from anyone to move home. We know what is good for our family and what will make us happy, if we know something is not right for us why delay the inevitable? I know many of you think it is far too soon, that's your opinion, but again it's our choice.

I have read a number of posts on here by people still in the UK and asking for information on living in the Calgary area so the reason for my initial post was just to make them aware that the cost of living is high.

I appreciate a number of people say they are better off here than in the UK, I find this hard to believe but I suppose that depends on occupation and what part of the UK you came from etc. I have spoken to a number of our neighbours, some Canadian and from other parts of Canada and some other expats, the consensus from them is that Alberta is one of the most expensive provinces to live in, with some of them saying they have travelled to other places for services such as dental care because it is so expensive.

I really admire those who have given up their jobs to look after the kids until school age, which here is obviously much later than in the UK but not everyone has this option. To all the people still in the UK and looking to move here, it is a beautiful country, lovely people and better weather most of the time, but turns out the grass is the same colour!!!
I'm sorry if you are disappointed by some of the responses you have been given. Unfortunately, on any forum you will get responses from people who may disagree, from those that will offer suggestions or others who may be supportive. It's the nature of the beast.

Nobody has suggested that you don't know what is right for your family - people are just offering alternative scenarios, in case one of them might work for you. Sometimes, seeing another option can be a lightbulb moment and can put a whole different spin on things.

I can't seem to recall any posts that have mocked or belittled you, but if you feel that there have been please feel free to report the posts by using the 'report' button situated at the bottom left of each post (it looks like a white exclamation mark in a blue box).

Good luck with your move.


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Old May 25th 2016, 6:08 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Going Home

Originally Posted by weewifey View Post
But geez, I thought the purpose of these forums was to provide people in similar circumstances with support, not to mock or belittle. If my family and I decide to move back to the UK after a day, a week, a month or a year, that's entirely up to us and we will make the decision based on what is right for us.

I don't think anyone is really trying to do that - some regular posters do usually come over as a bit sarcy, but in reality, we've probably ALL been through some or all of what you're going through now.

We originally landed in Kelowna (because that's where the TFW-job I managed to score was located). My wife hated it there - she couldn't get a job, the winter was too cold and it's just one big shopping mall.

Fortunately after 4 months the company asked me to relocate to the Lower Mainland, which is where we always wanted to be.

Going home is a big decision and personally I would give it a bit longer - are other locations an option? Is a single income an option for a while? Is there a job you could do that is home-based?
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Old May 25th 2016, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Going Home

It appears on here that a lot of people are in industries that give a lot of time off and must give good enough pay to have a lifestyle that they want - I wish I could find something like that, but i've had literally zero replies to over 200 resumes sent out

We both live to work, rather than the other way around, I get 10 holidays a year, and am expected to work stat days if i'm scheduled, she gets 10 days plus stats.

I'm going back to the UK for 33 days holiday right off the bat, plus shorter shifts and better working conditions...even some of the best jobs in the Calgary area don't seem to offer that!
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