Struggling in Melbourne

Old Oct 8th 2007, 10:24 am
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Default Struggling in Melbourne

Hi all,

I am new to this site, only found it a week ago and already it has been a huge help and a great support! I have spent the last week reading various threads, nodding like a crazy person in agreement with some of the things written! Well, to start with, I'll fill you in on our background....

There are four of us, my husband, myself, our 4yr old son and our 2 yr old daughter. We arrived in Melbourne September 2006. OH is a Civil Engineer. He responded to an advert in 'The Construction News' in the UK in January 2006 and was interviewed in London. We came in on a 457 visa and OH's Company paid for our furniture to be shipped over, our flights and first 6 weeks accomodation, this was a huge help.

We felt this was an opportunity too good to pass by and had been looking in the last few years to live in Australia. (we've both been here before and live abroad b4 we had our children). We felt we wanted to give our children a much better life than they had in the UK in terms of outdoor activities, schooling, weather etc..Also, a main reason for coming was OH's working conditions in the Uk, he worked away from home alot and we wanted to have more quality of time together as a family.

So, off we went! I left behind a great support network of friends and family, as I'm sure alot of you did too! We brought my mum to help with the move. We arrived in Kew, to an apartment (nightmare) and then rushed into renting a bungalow with no garden, this was to get settled asap for the children, but in hindsight it was a huge mistake. We signed up for a year. OH got settled into work, normal hours for him, 7am till 6pm. These hours for me were easy to cope with in the UK as I had lots to do and plenty of people to see, but here, the days seemed very long.

I busied myself with playgrps etc but have to say, I longed for familiarity and routine. It was wonderful to have my mum with us but the downside was when she went home, I was extremely unhappy by Xmas 2006. As I had relied on her too much I was now facing an 8 week School holiday break with not having secured many new friends! I could see Melbourne is a stunning City, but day after day I was felling increasingly isolated and became very down. This surprised me and everyone who knows me alot as I am a 'can do' person. I went home in Jan 07 with our children for a good think. OH stayed here to hang onto his job and at least give us an opportunity to give it another go. This was hard on us all.

I returned to Melbourne with our children a month later. We moved to Coburg to a new house, supplied by OH's Company. Our son has a place at the local kinder, 3 afternoon's a week, I have joined the local leisure centre with a creche facility, we have joined a music group and swimming lessons, so in other words, I have given it my best shot! I don't give in easily!

Life here is OK but still a long way off from what I was expecting. I feel we have come a long way as a family and are extremely close, this has been the biggest plus to being here. Our children are happy and have been to 3 birthday parties so far. Plus I held a birthday party here for them as both born in Sept. Felt this was a good way to break the ice, so to say! But I haven't really made any 'friends' and haven't been out in months! The people are friendly enough but quite set up in what they do, I feel I can only do so much without appearing desperate! I am desperate! I can only take so much conversation from my son and daughter all day and some days, thats all who I talk to! Then I'm on the phone in the evening fighting back the tears! I'm beginning to think all this just isn't worth it afterall.

The parks are lovely, we have been to The Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsular, all the Tourist attractions and are heading to Brisbane for Christmas. I do think you have to give up alot, family, friends etc..to gain alot. Of course the lifestyle is better but I still am very unsettled. I'm not sure if this is due to the city we are in. Melbourne is a huge city and I do feel lost here. It's so busy! The beach lifestyle we so long for our children, I don't feel exists here.

We are 70% thinking of returning back to the UK. I feel extremely disappointed by this as our Australia journey has really taken all our energy and zest and it would be great to have achieved the lifestyle we set out to. I would like to know, has anyone else felt like this in Melbourne? I keep hearing Perth is a wonderful place to live. I think I would feel so much better if I felt I belonged in a community. We live in a very multicultural area and I do sometimes think I am back in Birmingham 'Balsall Heath' and Moseley(no offence Balsall Heath and Moseley!)! With not a beach in sight!

Yes, I will state the obvious, I am a whinging pom! But we are at a desperate point here, return to the UK or risk moving again here! Any help or guidance would be much appreciated, ta.
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Old Oct 8th 2007, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm sorry that you are a bit fed up.

I'm a teacher so over the summer hols I can go for days just talking to my little boys and you do miss talking to grown ups! There is only so much Spiderman you can take!

We are moving to Ocean Grove on the Great Ocean Road in January - I worry about making friends but I'm hoping that I'll meet people through working and through my kids. We are fortunate to have family in Oz so if no one wants to be our friend we'll harass the rellies .

You should see if there are an BE meet ups going on where you live. There must be other mums in the same boat. Would a part time job be an option? I know most of my friends are people I've met through work or the kids.

I hope it all works out for you whatever you decide

Janet
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Old Oct 8th 2007, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Have sent you a pm.
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Old Oct 8th 2007, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Originally Posted by happy4 View Post
Hi all,

I am new to this site, only found it a week ago and already it has been a huge help and a great support! I have spent the last week reading various threads, nodding like a crazy person in agreement with some of the things written! Well, to start with, I'll fill you in on our background....

There are four of us, my husband, myself, our 4yr old son and our 2 yr old daughter. We arrived in Melbourne September 2006. OH is a Civil Engineer. He responded to an advert in 'The Construction News' in the UK in January 2006 and was interviewed in London. We came in on a 457 visa and OH's Company paid for our furniture to be shipped over, our flights and first 6 weeks accomodation, this was a huge help.

We felt this was an opportunity too good to pass by and had been looking in the last few years to live in Australia. (we've both been here before and live abroad b4 we had our children). We felt we wanted to give our children a much better life than they had in the UK in terms of outdoor activities, schooling, weather etc..Also, a main reason for coming was OH's working conditions in the Uk, he worked away from home alot and we wanted to have more quality of time together as a family.

So, off we went! I left behind a great support network of friends and family, as I'm sure alot of you did too! We brought my mum to help with the move. We arrived in Kew, to an apartment (nightmare) and then rushed into renting a bungalow with no garden, this was to get settled asap for the children, but in hindsight it was a huge mistake. We signed up for a year. OH got settled into work, normal hours for him, 7am till 6pm. These hours for me were easy to cope with in the UK as I had lots to do and plenty of people to see, but here, the days seemed very long.

I busied myself with playgrps etc but have to say, I longed for familiarity and routine. It was wonderful to have my mum with us but the downside was when she went home, I was extremely unhappy by Xmas 2006. As I had relied on her too much I was now facing an 8 week School holiday break with not having secured many new friends! I could see Melbourne is a stunning City, but day after day I was felling increasingly isolated and became very down. This surprised me and everyone who knows me alot as I am a 'can do' person. I went home in Jan 07 with our children for a good think. OH stayed here to hang onto his job and at least give us an opportunity to give it another go. This was hard on us all.

I returned to Melbourne with our children a month later. We moved to Coburg to a new house, supplied by OH's Company. Our son has a place at the local kinder, 3 afternoon's a week, I have joined the local leisure centre with a creche facility, we have joined a music group and swimming lessons, so in other words, I have given it my best shot! I don't give in easily!

Life here is OK but still a long way off from what I was expecting. I feel we have come a long way as a family and are extremely close, this has been the biggest plus to being here. Our children are happy and have been to 3 birthday parties so far. Plus I held a birthday party here for them as both born in Sept. Felt this was a good way to break the ice, so to say! But I haven't really made any 'friends' and haven't been out in months! The people are friendly enough but quite set up in what they do, I feel I can only do so much without appearing desperate! I am desperate! I can only take so much conversation from my son and daughter all day and some days, thats all who I talk to! Then I'm on the phone in the evening fighting back the tears! I'm beginning to think all this just isn't worth it afterall.

The parks are lovely, we have been to The Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsular, all the Tourist attractions and are heading to Brisbane for Christmas. I do think you have to give up alot, family, friends etc..to gain alot. Of course the lifestyle is better but I still am very unsettled. I'm not sure if this is due to the city we are in. Melbourne is a huge city and I do feel lost here. It's so busy! The beach lifestyle we so long for our children, I don't feel exists here.

We are 70% thinking of returning back to the UK. I feel extremely disappointed by this as our Australia journey has really taken all our energy and zest and it would be great to have achieved the lifestyle we set out to. I would like to know, has anyone else felt like this in Melbourne? I keep hearing Perth is a wonderful place to live. I think I would feel so much better if I felt I belonged in a community. We live in a very multicultural area and I do sometimes think I am back in Birmingham 'Balsall Heath' and Moseley(no offence Balsall Heath and Moseley!)! With not a beach in sight!

Yes, I will state the obvious, I am a whinging pom! But we are at a desperate point here, return to the UK or risk moving again here! Any help or guidance would be much appreciated, ta.
hello - just sent you a PM.
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Old Oct 8th 2007, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

hi love, all will come good when you meet a few expats i think... they will contact you with meet ups and before you know it you will have a coupleof mates who you can meet up with.... others will come over time.. when i first moved to chesterfield in UK i knew no one but after a couple of years i had loads of mates only a couple who i could relie on but all the same it mattered..

good luck chick, i'm off to SC now and pappin it as i dont know anyone.... all bar 4 families i've met on here!! but without them i would be more scared... i have 4 kids and 3 are very young but hey ho.. it will be different.. and an adventure.. hope it works out for you, dont give in and go back to uk,, you may just need to move around a bit.. try brissie at crimbo.. give me a ring for wine and a mince pie!!! xxxxx S-j x
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Originally Posted by LiverpoolLass View Post
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm sorry that you are a bit fed up.

I'm a teacher so over the summer hols I can go for days just talking to my little boys and you do miss talking to grown ups! There is only so much Spiderman you can take!

We are moving to Ocean Grove on the Great Ocean Road in January - I worry about making friends but I'm hoping that I'll meet people through working and through my kids. We are fortunate to have family in Oz so if no one wants to be our friend we'll harass the rellies .

You should see if there are an BE meet ups going on where you live. There must be other mums in the same boat. Would a part time job be an option? I know most of my friends are people I've met through work or the kids.

I hope it all works out for you whatever you decide

Janet
Thx so much Janet with your speedy reply! Just knowing someone has heard me does help! My daughter has a place at a community based Kinder for Jan, I hung on and found her a fantasic non profit place for 2 days a week, this coincides with my son attending his 4 yr old kinder programme. I am going to train as a swimming instructor to keep me busy! Thx again!
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Originally Posted by s-jmelbournewannabe View Post
hi love, all will come good when you meet a few expats i think... they will contact you with meet ups and before you know it you will have a coupleof mates who you can meet up with.... others will come over time.. when i first moved to chesterfield in UK i knew no one but after a couple of years i had loads of mates only a couple who i could relie on but all the same it mattered..

good luck chick, i'm off to SC now and pappin it as i dont know anyone.... all bar 4 families i've met on here!! but without them i would be more scared... i have 4 kids and 3 are very young but hey ho.. it will be different.. and an adventure.. hope it works out for you, dont give in and go back to uk,, you may just need to move around a bit.. try brissie at crimbo.. give me a ring for wine and a mince pie!!! xxxxx S-j x
Thx S-J! You sound like my type of person too! I can almost hear you singing your words! Thx for the positive energy and good lukck with the sc, been there, it is stunning.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Have you thought about relocating further out of the city. There are fantastic little communities around - either further up the Bay or to the Hills (which probably wouldn't work for you, as you want a beach lifestyle!). Also depends how far your OH is prepared to travel for work.

Certainly, for me, being part of a small, established community has made all the difference and I have a great support network after a year.

Not sure that you would find this so easily in Perth - I think you'd have to avoid the new estates as, for me, they tend to be lacking in that community feel.

Rachel
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 2:27 pm
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I'd try moving to another area, lots of time to research it properly, good luck
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Reading this makes me feel like you need to take 2 steps back in order to go 1 step forward.
Were in the same boat in Belgium. Can't wait to leave this place for OZ.
Before you pick up and go back home, try Qld.
Alot of people on here have difficulties in the first place they settle, and then love it somewhere else in oz.
G' luck
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Have you looked at Britvics?

http://z7.invisionfree.com/BritVics/index.php?

Good luck...hope things work out for you
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Originally Posted by happy4 View Post
Hi all,

I am new to this site, only found it a week ago and already it has been a huge help and a great support! I have spent the last week reading various threads, nodding like a crazy person in agreement with some of the things written! Well, to start with, I'll fill you in on our background....

There are four of us, my husband, myself, our 4yr old son and our 2 yr old daughter. We arrived in Melbourne September 2006. OH is a Civil Engineer. He responded to an advert in 'The Construction News' in the UK in January 2006 and was interviewed in London. We came in on a 457 visa and OH's Company paid for our furniture to be shipped over, our flights and first 6 weeks accomodation, this was a huge help.

We felt this was an opportunity too good to pass by and had been looking in the last few years to live in Australia. (we've both been here before and live abroad b4 we had our children). We felt we wanted to give our children a much better life than they had in the UK in terms of outdoor activities, schooling, weather etc..Also, a main reason for coming was OH's working conditions in the Uk, he worked away from home alot and we wanted to have more quality of time together as a family.

So, off we went! I left behind a great support network of friends and family, as I'm sure alot of you did too! We brought my mum to help with the move. We arrived in Kew, to an apartment (nightmare) and then rushed into renting a bungalow with no garden, this was to get settled asap for the children, but in hindsight it was a huge mistake. We signed up for a year. OH got settled into work, normal hours for him, 7am till 6pm. These hours for me were easy to cope with in the UK as I had lots to do and plenty of people to see, but here, the days seemed very long.

I busied myself with playgrps etc but have to say, I longed for familiarity and routine. It was wonderful to have my mum with us but the downside was when she went home, I was extremely unhappy by Xmas 2006. As I had relied on her too much I was now facing an 8 week School holiday break with not having secured many new friends! I could see Melbourne is a stunning City, but day after day I was felling increasingly isolated and became very down. This surprised me and everyone who knows me alot as I am a 'can do' person. I went home in Jan 07 with our children for a good think. OH stayed here to hang onto his job and at least give us an opportunity to give it another go. This was hard on us all.

I returned to Melbourne with our children a month later. We moved to Coburg to a new house, supplied by OH's Company. Our son has a place at the local kinder, 3 afternoon's a week, I have joined the local leisure centre with a creche facility, we have joined a music group and swimming lessons, so in other words, I have given it my best shot! I don't give in easily!

Life here is OK but still a long way off from what I was expecting. I feel we have come a long way as a family and are extremely close, this has been the biggest plus to being here. Our children are happy and have been to 3 birthday parties so far. Plus I held a birthday party here for them as both born in Sept. Felt this was a good way to break the ice, so to say! But I haven't really made any 'friends' and haven't been out in months! The people are friendly enough but quite set up in what they do, I feel I can only do so much without appearing desperate! I am desperate! I can only take so much conversation from my son and daughter all day and some days, thats all who I talk to! Then I'm on the phone in the evening fighting back the tears! I'm beginning to think all this just isn't worth it afterall.

The parks are lovely, we have been to The Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsular, all the Tourist attractions and are heading to Brisbane for Christmas. I do think you have to give up alot, family, friends etc..to gain alot. Of course the lifestyle is better but I still am very unsettled. I'm not sure if this is due to the city we are in. Melbourne is a huge city and I do feel lost here. It's so busy! The beach lifestyle we so long for our children, I don't feel exists here.

We are 70% thinking of returning back to the UK. I feel extremely disappointed by this as our Australia journey has really taken all our energy and zest and it would be great to have achieved the lifestyle we set out to. I would like to know, has anyone else felt like this in Melbourne? I keep hearing Perth is a wonderful place to live. I think I would feel so much better if I felt I belonged in a community. We live in a very multicultural area and I do sometimes think I am back in Birmingham 'Balsall Heath' and Moseley(no offence Balsall Heath and Moseley!)! With not a beach in sight!

Yes, I will state the obvious, I am a whinging pom! But we are at a desperate point here, return to the UK or risk moving again here! Any help or guidance would be much appreciated, ta.

I've lived here in Coburg for circa 20 years plus now, for me being from central London (Lewisham/Peckham) it feels familar except with the benefit of no Agro and plenty of open space. The multi cultural aspect I love, in fact it makes me feel part of the world community rather than just the Aussie one. The fact I can go down Sydney rd, and encounter conversations in different languages (mostly Italian and Turkish) gives me a warm buzz rather than put me off.

I dont think your a whinging pom in any form, in fact one of the downsides of Coburg is the local schools. We sent both of ours down to Brunswick, (Brunswick South in fact) and the oldest one at home now goes to Northcote high, having given up on the Coburg schools about 12 years ago with our older two.

Coburg is definitely a Inner City location now, with all the pros and cons that that affords. For me when I look for recreation I look towards the city rather than North towards the open spaces. Sort out a priority list for yourself, if you need a smaller community vibe, places like Woodend, Macedon, Beveridge, or even closer in Eltham and Warrandyte may be your style. I doubt if Hubby would be pleased though, as it will quadruple his travelling time.

A lot of freinds come by, via the schools that you take them to, My advice is check out Coburg West, Brunswick east/Brunswick North west, and South, you may find you have far more in common with the people that take their kids there than in the Local community.

Best of Luck, are you in Pentridge village BTW ? I'm across the road towards Sydney RD

I've re read your post indepth, and I would say it's imperative that you check out the Brunswick schools, I'm sure you will find some people you can relate to easily in that location. You'll be into after dropping of the kids at school activities with the local mums, down and around Lygon St, High St, Rathdown st and bottom end of Sydney Rd after a while, then you wont want to move. I'll be amazed once you start to move amongst those people, if you still feel the same way.

Last edited by ozzieeagle; Oct 10th 2007 at 3:20 am.
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Happy4,

A lot depends on where you've settled. We rent in a VERY lush and posh area of Melbourne ( Hampton ) and the beach is at the bottom of the road. It has a lovely busy main street with good shops and gorgeous wide streets to walk the dog around and admire the beautiful houses here.
We cant afford to buy here and we've been looking EVERY weekend since we arrived 6 months ago.
The area has settled us slightly. It's not crazy busy and everthing's within walking distance. BUT, being unable to buy anything even NEAR this area has unsettled us to say the least. We ahve found house buying here to be a very difficult path and a frustrating and off putting one. Last week I even wanted to go home. This is not the life I imagined leading even although I've been here before. House hunting every weekend for nearly 7 months is not my idea of a "great lifestyle" and it has been dissapointing really.
Anyway, time will tell for us as we've just put yet another an offer in on a house. ( see my thread in The Barbie ) First offer was refused so waiting to hear if our increased offer will cut it.
What I'm trying to say is that I feel similar to you even though I LOVE Melbourne. It's just all the other "real" stuff which is spoiling our time here so far.

*pearly*
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

Originally Posted by onepearlyb View Post
Happy4,

A lot depends on where you've settled. We rent in a VERY lush and posh area of Melbourne ( Hampton ) and the beach is at the bottom of the road. It has a lovely busy main street with good shops and gorgeous wide streets to walk the dog around and admire the beautiful houses here.
We cant afford to buy here and we've been looking EVERY weekend since we arrived 6 months ago.
The area has settled us slightly. It's not crazy busy and everthing's within walking distance. BUT, being unable to buy anything even NEAR this area has unsettled us to say the least. We ahve found house buying here to be a very difficult path and a frustrating and off putting one. Last week I even wanted to go home. This is not the life I imagined leading even although I've been here before. House hunting every weekend for nearly 7 months is not my idea of a "great lifestyle" and it has been dissapointing really.
Anyway, time will tell for us as we've just put yet another an offer in on a house. ( see my thread in The Barbie ) First offer was refused so waiting to hear if our increased offer will cut it.
What I'm trying to say is that I feel similar to you even though I LOVE Melbourne. It's just all the other "real" stuff which is spoiling our time here so far.

*pearly*

I should imagine it's one huge wake up, when one realises that lifes everday realities exist here in almost exactly the same way as the UK. So to put yourself behind the 8ball by reestablshing in the housing and employment market, must be the final straw for a lot of people, when they realise their living their dream is at least 5 years down the track.


Today right now If I could I would probably move to Thornbury or Northcote, almost the same distance out as Coburg, but with a better errrm "aspect" on all counts. Problem is thats going to cost me at least 300,000 dollars more and I'm not getting a mortgage for that at this age. Better of travelling the short distance over there to enjoy what I like. Same with the beach lifestyle, etc, better to live somewhere you can afford and travel to it in my opinion, especially if "everything" is relatively close like in a place like Coburg.
ozzieeagle is offline  
Old Oct 10th 2007, 4:14 am
  #15  
shoot from the hip,baby
 
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Default Re: Struggling in Melbourne

"I should imagine it's one huge wake up, when one realises that lifes everday realities exist here in almost exactly the same way as the UK. So to put yourself behind the 8ball by reestablshing in the housing and employment market, must be the final straw for a lot of people, when they realise their living their dream is at least 5 years down the track."


That's SO well put mate! You've said what I've been thinking for a while, moreso the bit about realising the "dream" is further down the line than expected.
Well said!

*pearly*
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