This post is all about the things that aren’t so great about being a Seychellesmama. These things do not outweigh the positives of living here for us. I’m not looking for sympathy here (and know I won’t get it!!!) but I thought it might be nice to share that living in the Indian Ocean does have its drawbacks!!
- I’ll start with the obvious! Being away from family and friends. I won’t get into this too much, it speaks for itself really. There are days that are harder than others! To be honest though, I lived about 5 hours drive away from my parents before we moved here and okay tack another 10 hours to that to get here by plane but its safe to say that the views are a lot better here!! Another reason why this is hard is for help with Arthur. Mark and I really have raised him by ourselves, which I’m not complaining about but there are days where you would like to drop him off at grandparents for the afternoon and take a little break!
- Weather. Yes its glorious, and yes it makes getting Arthur dressed very easy however for the last month he has had perpetual heat rash and that sucks!!!
- Availability of anything. To me this is the hardest thing. This isn’t just baby stuff, although that effects us most these days. You can not consistently get anything here. The thing this bothers me most with is nappies. The shop at the top of our road is generally very good and does order things for us but if it runs out on Mahe (the main island) then we have to wait a few weeks/months until another shipment comes in from whatever country. There will always be some sort of nappies that we can get but for some reason people here prefer cheaper brands that are really plasticy and horrible 😦 to me buying nappies like that are false economy, although they are cheaper you get through so many more because you have to change them every 5 minutes!
- Medical care. So this has only been highlighted in the last month where I took Arthur for the doctor for heat rash and a second time where we went to hospital. We have to pay, it’s not America expensive, but its not cheap!
- There are no groups/classes. I’m talking parent and baby groups, I do always feel a pang of jealousy when I read on twitter about mummies going to different groups or classes with their babies. It seems like a nice way to meet other parents and its something thats missing here.
- There are no pavements in most places. This is a bit of a pain for going for walks. The roads are mostly very quiet and so its not too bad but it’s not ideal!
Okay so I think thats the main things covered, can’t really think of anything else right now! I’m not sure how this list will change as Arthur gets older, i’ll be interested to look back on this!!
Thought I’d share some of the things that I enjoy about being a mama in the Seychelles so far (no particular order):
- Getting Arthur dressed is never really a chore he pretty much lives in bodysuits. It’s too hot for anything else, so no layers required. In fact often he is just in a nappy during the day.
- He gets to be outdoors a lot! I always wanted to have kids somewhere where we could spend a lot of time outside, somewhere hot basically . We definitely get this here. I find it amazing how a walk in the fresh air can do a grumpy baby so much good (and a grumpy mama too!). The view is obviously good too which is another bonus for us both! At 6 months he’s just starting to get to an age where taking him to the beach is fun, he can sit up by himself and so can have a good look round at everything.
- Health and Safety hasn’t gone mad here. I guess the most obvious example I can think of is how baby walkers are now so frowned at as they are ‘dangerous’ due to the injuries they can cause. They have even been banned in Canada. Now I bet that nearly all of us had baby walkers when we were little and we are all just fine!!! Surely common sense needs to be used here, if the baby is supervised these things are perfectly safe!! Sorry I’ll get off my soapbox now I just get cross when ‘health & safety’ steps in when a bit of common sense just needs to be used!!
- I don’t feel judged. I’m not saying everyone feels this way in other places, but we really are pretty much left to it here. We had a health visitor come round once for about 5 minutes and we go down to the clinic once a month to get him weighed. His 6 month check up consisted of them asking if we had started feeding solids yet, seeing he could sit up already, seeing if he could crawl (he can’t). We briefly spoke about his sleep and that was pretty much it!
- There’s no ‘x-box culture’. I guess this partly goes hand in hand with my second point. I know Arthur is too young for this to be an issue yet but still it’s something that scares me and is one of the reasons we wanted to have a baby here!!
- Swimming. There is a small hotel thats a two minute walk from our house that we can take Arthur swimming in all the time. It’s my favourite thing to do with him, he loves being in the water (just like me!). We have started taking him to splash his feet in the Ocean too. It’s rainy season here right now and its a little chilly by Seychelles standards so we haven’t taken him in for a full dip but it won’t be long….I can’t wait.
- The ex pat community. It’s been amazing how helpful people have been. We had a lot of stuff given/loaned to us that has been so useful, a bumbo, a changing table and we even got our cot (actually this was from a Seychelleois family)…..Its at least 20 years old and handmade, it was in a bit of a sorry state as had been kept outside and kind of used for storage so me and Mark did it up and now its beautiful. We had to order a custom mattress as its an unusual size but it will last until Arthur is ready to go into a proper bed as its really big. I even got thrown a baby shower which was just so lovely considering by that point we hadn’t even been here a year!
- Baby love. People here LOVE babies. Everywhere you go people want to give Arthur cuddles, he gets a lot of fuss made of him! If we go out for somewhere to eat there’s always been someone offering to hold him/play with him while we eat….amazing! Also there is more availability of baby things then there is anything else which is of course very useful!
There are also some challenges in being a Mama in Seychelles, I’ll do another post soon 🙂