This week we’re leaving Dubai and heading over to the Seychelles where blogger (http://www.seychellesmama.com/) Chantelle lives with her husband Mark and their two sons, Arthur aged 3 and Freddie 18 months. Chantelle & Mark took the plunge in August 2012 to relocate from the UK to Praslin Island.
Over to our guest mama to tell us all about motherhood in the Seychelles…
What made you want to move from the UK to the Seychelles?
Mark and I knew we wanted to move abroad. As a teacher, his job was most likely to take us out of the UK so we started looking for jobs. We laughed when we saw there was a job advertised at an international school in Seychelles, and said no way would we get it. But, here we are!
What were your first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with your youngest, Arthur?
We always knew we wanted to have our kids outside of the UK so becoming pregnant wasn’t a total shock, although I admit we didn’t think it would happen quite as soon as it did! We were really excited. I have to say that we didn’t ever take a minute to allow ourselves to comprehend how big of a deal it was to be having a baby so far from our families and friends in a country we had only been living in for a couple of months!
When you fell pregnant was there a part of you that wanted to move back to the UK?
Short answer, no! We briefly considered going back just to have Arthur but the logistics of that were crazy and the idea of Mark not being there for the birth was just not worth thinking about!
What is the maternity care like in Seychelles?
From what I gather, the system is based around the UK system in terms of when you have all your appointments, scans, tests etc. I always felt really looked after. As an expat I had to pay for a ‘maternity package’ but it was less than £1000 for everything (except my c-section) and I don’t pay anything for the boys check ups or immunisations now.
Did you feel more prepared and confident when you found out you were pregnant with your second son, Freddie?
I think when I was pregnant with Freddie I didn’t really have time to worry about anything too much, Arthur was 18 months old and a continual bundle of energy for me to try and keep up with!
Just before I went into hospital I felt a lot more nervous though. Knowing I was about to have another c-section was a scary thought. Also, I was so nervous about how much Arthur’s world was about to change. No idea why I ever worried about that though, the two of them are inseparable!
What’s a typical day in the Seychelles with your family?
I imagine our weekdays are pretty much the same as families world over, the school run is the school run wherever right!? Our weekends are spent doing more ‘seychelles’ type things. We go to the beach, to the pool, for walks in the rainforest. I wont lie, its beautiful!. Of course there are times when we have lazy weekends and do nothing, but generally we try and take advantage of the amazing place we live as often as we can!
What’s the hardest part of being a mum?
Oh gosh, I don’t know where to even start with that one!! I can’t believe how much of a rollercoaster being a parent is! I think probably the hardest part is having to ‘adult’ all the time, sometimes my little darlings can reduce me to wanting to throw an epic tantrum but obviously that wouldn’t be okay!!
How is life different living in the Seychelles compared to life back in the UK?
Well, I rarely step out the house with make up on here whereas I’d never been caught dead without at least some mascara on in the UK! Instead of going out for dinners and drinks, we socialise at friends houses instead. I also think we socialise a lot more, that’s partly down to Mark’s job as headteacher. We really do have a great community here though so we are very lucky.
In general pace of life is much slower here, while that is nice it can be a little annoying!! Theres no direct debits so every month you have to go to the utility company to pay water and electric, to the phone company to pay your phones and internet bills, you get the picture! You’ll very rarely get your whole food shop in one place. I usually go to at least 3 or 4 each week to get various things, and of course no online shopping!!
What advice would you give to families thinking about moving abroad?
If you want to do it, just go. Don’t over think it, or stress yourself out with the ‘what if’s’. I’d also say give it a couple of years before you make any real decision on whether you like it or not.
To keep updated with our favourite Seychelles Mama, follow her on Instagram @seychellesmama