Fit Mamas Club February 2016 Hello and welcome to Fit Mamas Club. The monthly linky where you can share your fitness and healthy lifestyle post!! I started this linky along with Toni from gymbunnymummy.com to help keep myself motivated in my fitness and to help […]
Month: February 2016
Arthur is 32 months old.
This month has been a busy one. We have not only moved house, but we also had a week without Mark when he went to London to interview new teachers.
I was a little worried about how Arthur would deal with the house move this time around. We spoke about it loads in the month leading up to it and we were lucky enough to have the key for that month so we could visit lots (and spread the move over time which helped loads!). That meant Arthur had lots of time to get used to and explore our new house. He’s been so happy here right from the start. He loves his new room and slept great right fro, the start.
Every morning he’s been waking up and saying “nice new house”. It makes me so happy!!
We have also had a little sleep revalation since we’ve moved. Arthur now sleeps, or at least is happy to stay in his room until about 7am every day!! For anyone that knows us, or regularly reads my blog you will know what a dream that is! Arthur has always been an early riser (like 5am early) and so for me to be able to get up have a shower and a cup of tea before he’s up has changed our whole day let alone morning!!
His later wake ups mean I’ve been getting a chance to get myself sorted and prepared for my little whirlwind when he gets up!!
I’ve also been giving him breakfast as soon as he wakes up, that’s cut out early morning TV time and asking for cookies every morning!!
I can’t express enough how much of a difference this has made to our whole day. Everyone starts the day less grumpy and it really does set the tone for the whole day.
Not sure if it’s connected but Arthur is showing less and less interest in the TV, he does like it on but he rarely sits through anything any more.
Arthur does have time on the iPad every day. It’s the same time every day and it’s always taken away after the same amount of time. It’s not connected to the Internet and only has the apps allowed by us. He is always really good when it’s time to take it off him. There are some that will be quite judgemental of us allowing him to play on it but now he’s not napping it’s the only truly quiet time I get during the day. It gives me a bit of time to reset and get some stuff done and so for us it’s all good.
He is showing much more interest in his toys each day. He plays so nicely and it’s really lovely to watch as well as jumping in and getting involved with him.
One of Arthur’s favourite games to play with me is ‘picnic’. The best thing about this is that we use nothing to play it except our imaginations! We sit down and munch away on whatever Arthur fancies ‘eating’ at the time, it quite often involves sweeties and chocolate cake but just as often some juice and apples (just like his real life requests!)
He also loves to sit down and read stories both with us and alone. I love listening him to while he “reads” any of his stories it’s so cute!
I am being increasingly aware of the fact that Arthur will be starting school soon. He will be going in for the last half term of the school year, I think just for mornings and maybe only a couple days a week depending how he gets on! He will be starting properly in September. I’m trying to soak in all the moments I can with him right now. Don’t get me wrong there are times when I’m totally ready for him to, like mid tantrum; but in general I know I’ll miss him lots when he starts!!
About a month ago I was browsing through my Twitter feed and I came across a retweet of @ExpatStuckParentint
I took a look at the account thinking it might be a new expat family blogger!
It wasn’t, in fact it was kind of the opposite! It is a site dedicated to helping ‘stuck’ expat parents. I had never heard of this before, I clicked through to their website and read on.
After reading, I really wanted to help them raise awareness so offered them a guest post on the blog. So now I’ll hand you over to learn a little more about something I hope none of us will need!!
Hello expat parents: we’re excited to be guest blogging for Seychellesmama and to tell you about us… in the hope that you will never need us!
www.expatstuckparent.org is for mums or dads who find themselves trapped in a foreign country because the other parent forbids them to leave with their child/ren. It is also for parents who are forced to leave without their children because of this. You may already know a family in this situation, or may come across one in the future, so we are writing this in the hope that you will be able to offer help by pointing them in the right direction.
What does it all mean? Well, you may not realise this, but if your relationship doesn’t work out and you wish to go home with your child/ren, it’s not that easy. You can’t just up and go, even if you are subject to abuse, or your child is, even if you don’t have a visa to remain in the country after a divorce, or any means of supporting yourself: there is an international law, called the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which will generally insist that custody issues are settled in the country in which the child has ‘habitual residence’. Unfortunately, the term ‘habitual residence’ is a grey area and can come into force within a few days or weeks, or after a year or more.
To get a better idea of what this really means, here are a couple of imaginary scenarios for you (we have used examples where the mother wishes to return ‘home’ as our statistics show that 97% of parents wanting to return home are mothers, while 92% of them have suffered from abuse, mental health or drug/alcohol problems with the other parent, although of course fathers can also find themselves in such situations):
1.Andy and Joanna move to New Zealand as Andy has been offered a job there. Joanna is a stay-at-home mum, looking after the couple’s toddlers; she does her best to make friends and settle in to their new home but it’s just not the same… and then Andy has an affair. Joanna decides to get a divorce and plans on going home to Liverpool with the children. She doesn’t tell Andy much about her plans as he has already moved out and is living with his new partner. She returns to Liverpool after less than a year in NZ … what happens next?
2. Shelley left the UK to study in the USA. She met someone and moved in with him but he turned out to be abusive: the police were called several times until she finally gave up and left him. She then realized that she was pregnant but managed to continue with her studies. She has very little contact with the father of her child, who is not interested in his baby. A few years later she is offered a job in France and moves there with her baby… what happens next?
Unfortunately, in both these scenarios, and in many others, the parent in the country where they all were can invoke the Hague Convention and the courts are very likely to insist that the children must return to where the ‘left behind parent’ is and where they had lived, even if it was only for a short time. Shared custody is likely to be the court’s solution, meaning that, in the examples above, the mother then has to remain in that country if she wants to be close to her children. She may not have any support there, no job, perhaps not even a visa that allows her to work or to access any benefits, and this may ultimately result in her deportation. However, the courts are only concerned with where the child is and not with the child’s continued relationship with both parents or indeed with the child’s relationship with their primary carer.
What can we do to help? We were set up in 2012 by mums who have been through it, come out the other side but have not forgotten! We have a lively Facebook page called ‘Expat Stuck Mums’, a twitter feed – @ExpatParentInt and our website. We aim to:
- Prevent parents from falling into this trap by offering our Pre-emigration contract which helps parents to plan in good time what will happen should the move not work out for them both: http://www.expatstuckparent.org/pre-emigration-contract
- Raise awareness to prevent this situation through working with the media; contacting decision makers; attending migration fairs and publishing information
- Support parents through email and Facebook; sharing experiences and linking up parents so they can form local support networks
- Campaign to change the law so that expat parents wanting to return home are not put into the same category as abduction cases. We are currently writing a new campaign and would welcome your input!
- We are also really excited about this year because we are applying to become a registered charity (so keep a look out for a relaunch of our site with our new name!). Often people assume that we are paid, have premises and oodles of resources BUT actually we are volunteers doing this in our spare time, whilst working demanding jobs and looking after our families! Wherever you are, if you would like to volunteer please get in touch.
If you need help or support, for yourself or for a friend, or just want to know where to look for confidential advice, you can reach us by email: email@example.com / website: www.expatstuckparent.org / Facebook: expat stuck mums / twitter: @ExpatParentInt