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Monday, 5 September 2011

A move to Madrid with tot and bump? Gulp.

Friday night hubby comes out with: "How do you fancy moving to Madrid my dear? We can leave next month" An opportunity had come up and he could potentially open a new office out there, but would have to leave soon.

Erm... Well... I'm 4 months pregnant, would have to give birth there, deal with a newborn AND a toddler sola with no family around and a slight fear of spaniards. My dad passed away this summer and my sisters will be away at university leaving my mum by herself. Wouldn't I be a terrible daughter?

"But look at these amazingly huge apartments smack bang in the centre, next to this park, with a terrace, a lift and a pool for the same rent as our 1-bed flat in Twickenham! My London salary with Madridlenian costs = living like Kings and saving. I guarantee you'll adore this city and you can fly home once a month for a week if you like."


When we met, hubby had already spent 2 years living it out in Madrid and obviously had a fantastic time between internships and studying, living in the heart of the city and absorbing it so well that he knows it like the back of his hand and speaks like a native. (I'd even say he speaks better Spanish than me - which sucks!). I had visited a good friend there once in my student years and although found it very pretty, and adored the food, there appeared to be a more enforced class division that was a bit uncomfortable and it seemed a bit behind the times compared to London. But hubby convinced me that was the Madrid de pijos and he'll show me the 'other side' that he knows I'd love.

So here I am, Monday morning researching maternity hospitals, the health system, playgroups, childcare, nurseries, job Market (for me) and waiting to hear if there is any more news on this decision that will most certainly jolt me welcomely from my comfort zone. No proximity to our families, no river or sea in Madrid- I'll miss my river walks, the rain, the new friends I've made since becoming a mother, the familiarity of day-to-day life, but mostly, the place where Leon's grown up.

But that's silly! I'm after something exciting, changes, warmth, freedom and challenges. We always planned to move around a bit and we haven't (largely convinced by my parents that the Richmond area was the best place to live in Europe if not the world). Motherhood has pretty much turned me into a rather traditional housewife whether I like it or not and I feel the need of a release to propel me to a more exciting life. We were expecting to move to Paris early next year, but Paris now feels like a second home to me anyway. Hubby's family will surely be disappointed as we've put off moving there for 2 years. Leon has a little cousin there too. But sometimes we have to do what's right for us. We're still young, don't own a property and can still be mobile. The cost of renting a larger place here in SW London is huge, and Paris is not much different as we'd be looking intra muros.

My worries that Leon (and I) will have to learn a whole new range of songs to join in at playgroups is the height of it and I'm ready and happy to take on this challenge.

I'm starting with as a resource for expats in Madrid but if anyone has tips of moving abroad with a toddler or pregnant they'd be very welcome.


  1. How exciting!! We moved from Teddington to Copenhagen with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, I have to say that it was much easier than I expected it to be, there's a lot on offer both locally and in expat circles so don't be afraid to get stuck in to both (I was surprised to hear that a lot of the tunes to nursery rhymes were similar if not the same here by the way!)! As much as I miss my family and friends back home, I can't see us moving back any time soon, which is just as well as we are moving from Copenhagen to Munich in 6 weeks time! Good luck with it all! Emma :)

  2. OMG! Wow, what a huge decision!!!! No lo puedo creer! Y felicidades, no sabia que estabas esperando ;) Nosotros tambien estamos que nos mudamos a EEUU y no sabemos que hacer.

  3. Hi Emma, great advice - love that there are similar tunes for nursery rhymes! Good luck with your move too.
    Maria Jose- que te regresas! Que cambios - ganas de oir todo sabado por un ratito ;)
    Looks like we'll be going in February which is much less scary- can give birth here!

  4. How exciting.We came to UK 5 years ago with a bump. Decided to go back home,Turkey, with 3 yo and 4 m.o ,then didn't find it easy in Istanbul(big city with 2 kids) and 5 months later returned back! Was quite an adventure but we are happy now. It's easier to travel whilst kids are younger and don't you can always come back :)Good luck with everything!

  5. Wow! How exciting! I can see how you'd leap at the chance despite all your misgivings. It will be an amazing experience.

  6. Wow - exciting and scary at the same time! Found you through the Blow Your Own Bloghorn linky and will be checking in to see how the move prep goes - good luck!

  7. From someone who's a big scaredy cat - go for it! I really admire your sense of adventure. I will find mine one day, somewhere!

    Good luck to you and your family, and find lots of cool stuff to blog about.

  8. Wow! That sounds amazing! It's a scary decision to have to make, especially when you feel you are leaving your mum, bt realistically, it's a short flight and this way you'll always make a big effort to see her. Hope it all works out perfectly for you.

  9. How exciting! at least it is not so far from London. wishing you all the best of luck xx