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homesick/bored/lonely

homesick/bored/lonely

Old Mar 15th 2011, 7:47 am
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Wow that's a depressing title for my first thread! But the fact is I'm feeling a bit rubbish at the moment. We've been in NZ (Hamilton) for nearly a year, and I am bored. I think maybe I am not cut out to be a stay at home mum (we've two girls, aged 2 and 4). I am a hopeless housewife! And I really really miss family and friends. Making friends is not as easy as I had anticipated. Kiwis seem to be friendly enough, but have such close networks of family and friends that they don't really need any new ones! My husband works very hard and loves his job. The girls have some time in daycare and kindy so I have a break/do some housework and they love that. They have lots of good friends. I think it is a better life for the rest of the family but I am not sure it is for me. If it was just up to me I would run home and give up! But it's not. And I can see the potential... If anyone out there can empathise, it would be great to hear from you. I am really not a wet blanket!

Jennie
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 8:12 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by jenham View Post
Wow that's a depressing title for my first thread! But the fact is I'm feeling a bit rubbish at the moment. We've been in NZ (Hamilton) for nearly a year, and I am bored. I think maybe I am not cut out to be a stay at home mum (we've two girls, aged 2 and 4). I am a hopeless housewife! And I really really miss family and friends. Making friends is not as easy as I had anticipated. Kiwis seem to be friendly enough, but have such close networks of family and friends that they don't really need any new ones! My husband works very hard and loves his job. The girls have some time in daycare and kindy so I have a break/do some housework and they love that. They have lots of good friends. I think it is a better life for the rest of the family but I am not sure it is for me. If it was just up to me I would run home and give up! But it's not. And I can see the potential... If anyone out there can empathise, it would be great to hear from you. I am really not a wet blanket!

Jennie
Forget about the kiwis..it ain't going to happen. Been here 6 years and we have only one kiwi couple who I would just about call friends, AND we do most of the running. All our other chums are from other countries. Get out there (I am a stop at home dad and have been for 6 years. Used to be plod but gave it up to come here whilst Kate persues her career in Healthcare) . By getting out there I mean go to all the toddler groups..I went to one EVERY day. If you have time do some volunteer work, I am sure there is some where you could even include the kids. Join clubs.......I even went knocking on neighbours doors when we 1st got here. You will miss the Uk and all you left but it sounds like everyone else is moving on. Don't be too hard on your self, what us emigres have done is nought short of huge. Don't worry, be lucky!! Be happy!! Sounds like a song comin' on!!
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 9:50 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Have to agree with Genesis on that one regards the Kiwis. I worked in many different jobs in Auckland and found it neack anyhow.r impossible to make mates. A travelled Kiwi now they can be a different kettle altogether. A non travelled Aucklander forget it my own cousin was hard work to the point were i gave up. Some and this is fact even believed we all lived in terraced houses like on Coronation Street.....now that is bizarre but non the less true. Some Brits were strange like as though they had something to hide, were escaping and all they needed like a hole in the head was a fellow Brit to speak to. I hope you settle in Hamilton i did consider moving to at one time it seemed a nice place. Best of luck anyhow
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 10:44 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Sorry to hear you are feeling so fed-up. Were you also a stay-at-home Mum in the UK?
I think it is understandable you feel the way you do - I'm through the 'stuck at home with young kids stage' but it should be in fact one of the easiest times to make friends 'with other people in the same boat'.
I had to smile when I read that everyone...including the 2 year old had made friends apart from you lol. I think you are being a bit too hard on yourself.

Concentrate on being at home for the benefit of the kids/everyone's sanity, rather than trying to be a 'domestic goddess' in the culinary and cleaning department. Time flies and it won't be long before they are in school the whole day....and you'll be free to get back on corporate treadmill if you want . However rubbish you think you are at organising domestic stuff, your OH would likely be a million times worse.

In the UK as Genesis said, I found Parent and Toddler groups and even parent-run playgroups were a great way to feel part of the local community. I even ended up running one.
If you are expatriated in a non-English speaking country (as I have been before) it is actually easier since the expats all keep their circles open to newcomers since people regularly move on.

Here the worst thing you can do (and I've done it myself because I can't lie) where there is no language barrier but they are used to a churn of 'Brits', is to give them any inkling that you may not be here for good lol. That is an excuse for them to be polite but not go out of their way to include you (coffees are expensive- Kiwi budgets are tight) in their (busy) lives.
Having said that it is best to try to befriend the parents of kids your kids are friends with....this is the main thing which has worked for me...although I hate to say this most of these are also immigrants of some description despite being NZ citizens unlike me.

I have also found it necessary to grow a thicker skin (because sometimes you will get knocked back) - suggest to someone when you pick up the kids that you meet half an hour earlier next week for a coffee or whatever....the worst thing that can happen is that they decline.

You actually really only need one or two like-minded people who also have kids of a similar age to socialise with during the day a couple of times a week...and what currently seems lonely and isolated will become fun. If you like reading, you could even start a Book group - advertise in local supermarket.
In one of your free time slots try to find a local activity you can attend such as Nordic walking, swimming, adult ed class, dance class etc etc
Missing your support network is entirely understandable as well...I don't think you can ever totally replace that...that is just a reality of being here with the UK so far away.
As I said in another post, the expatriated nuclear family tends to be thrown in on itself - you are very reliant on each other for everything including emotional support.

I also found it strange as I was used to socialising as a couple with other couples in UK that here there is a tendency for male and female to keep their friends separate to a greater extent...sometimes there is no overlap. The girls' or boys' weekend away seems very common too.

Since your OH seems to have settled so well at work, perhaps he could invite a work colleague and partner over to dinner...and take it from there. You have to make the effort I'm afraid and along with the knockbacks there will be the friendships which do actually blossom but it may take a while longer than you would like.
How you feel is entirely understandable though.
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 10:58 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=701179

Have you seen this Hamilton meet-up thread?
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Old Mar 15th 2011, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by jenham View Post
Wow that's a depressing title for my first thread! But the fact is I'm feeling a bit rubbish at the moment. We've been in NZ (Hamilton) for nearly a year, and I am bored. I think maybe I am not cut out to be a stay at home mum (we've two girls, aged 2 and 4). I am a hopeless housewife! And I really really miss family and friends. Making friends is not as easy as I had anticipated. Kiwis seem to be friendly enough, but have such close networks of family and friends that they don't really need any new ones! My husband works very hard and loves his job. The girls have some time in daycare and kindy so I have a break/do some housework and they love that. They have lots of good friends. I think it is a better life for the rest of the family but I am not sure it is for me. If it was just up to me I would run home and give up! But it's not. And I can see the potential... If anyone out there can empathise, it would be great to hear from you. I am really not a wet blanket!

Jennie
Hi Jennie
Welcome to BE I'm sorry you're feeling a bit lonely and unsettled at the moment but hopefully you'll find some understanding & helpful advice from the members of this friendly forum.
Best wishes, happy posting & hope your life improves soon
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 1:20 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Oh Jenham I wish I had known this last year (although perhaps you werent in the same place/situation?) I lived in Hamilton for 18 months and love chatting and socializing. I have children a smiliar age as well.
Its strange for me as I am a kiwi (that lived in the UK) and therefore 'sound British" - (I dont really - but to kiwis I sound as if I have a brit accent!.) So now after telling hubby how much friendlier kiwis are etc I am seeing it from the recieving end - a brit abroad - how strange is that?

I would agree that toddler groups are the best way in. You will probably come across other people in the same situation. It took me a very long time to connect with people when in the UK and i agree with luvwelly. Its very much girls get to know girls and fingers crossed the hubbys get along!
Good luck - I am sure you will meet someone I found Hamilton a great little community.
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 1:22 am
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Smile Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Hi,
Wow,your thread could have been written by me.The only difference being we've been here in Hamilton 3 years and we have 2 boys,nearly 3 and 5 months.
If you fancy meeting up at some stage pm me.
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 6:18 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by padozwi View Post
Hi,
Wow,your thread could have been written by me.The only difference being we've been here in Hamilton 3 years and we have 2 boys,nearly 3 and 5 months.
If you fancy meeting up at some stage pm me.
Coolio Jennie..looks like things are on the up..well done!!!!!
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 6:44 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
Coolio Jennie..looks like things are on the up..well done!!!!!
Yes you only need one friend....and it gets a whole lot better.
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 7:08 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by padozwi View Post
Hi,
Wow,your thread could have been written by me.The only difference being we've been here in Hamilton 3 years and we have 2 boys,nearly 3 and 5 months.
If you fancy meeting up at some stage pm me.
Count me in too , if stay at home dads allowed looking after a 4 yr old when she not in nursery, in Cambridge so not too far away , been here 2 months and struggling a bit too , although I love the place , does that make sense pm me too if you like to meet up
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 7:26 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Thanks all for your replies. I do feel a lot better today - one of those down days! I would love to meet up with any brits, boys or girls! I will PM once I work out how... I think I need to post some more messages...
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 7:29 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Originally Posted by jenham View Post
Thanks all for your replies. I do feel a lot better today - one of those down days! I would love to meet up with any brits, boys or girls! I will PM once I work out how... I think I need to post some more messages...
with that in mind here's post number 3 so hopefully I can send those PMs now!
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 9:22 am
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Hi Jenham! I'm in Hamilton too, and am a stay-at-home mum to my little girl who will be 2 in June. We've been here for about 20 months, and have gone through some big highs and lows and we did the typical thing of nearly going home after a year but we pulled through & now are glad we stayed. I have become good friends with another brit SAHM who I met on here, she posted the Hamilton meet up thread as quoted in luvwelly's post. It would be great to hear from you
Sarah.
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Old Mar 16th 2011, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: homesick/bored/lonely

Thanks all. I'm quite excited now! There seems to be a nice little group of us now! If anyone else wants to join us, PM me (I'm getting the hang of this now!)
Jennie
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