Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LIVING ABROAD CHAPTER 2 - HAVING CHILDREN IN THE UK (COMPARED TO HAVING CHILDREN IN DENMARK)




 






I'm really glad that I had little A in the UK because I'm quite sure that if she instead would have been born in Denmark it would have been harder for me to leave as the UK is a bit more difficult to have children in compared to Denmark. It all started (by all I mean all the differences from DK) when I had my pre natal classes when the midwife told us that we would have to share the ward after giving birth with up to five different people. From what I have heard from my friends there are max. 3 in the room excl. their babies.  That makes a big difference, even though I had a positive experience two nights in the hospital in a full ward was enough for me.

I wasn't assigned to any groups with other moms either as you are in Denmark. Instead I met quite a few moms at the local children centre that I have since stayed in contact with. The children centres over here in the UK are a huge advantage as you can attend all sort of classes for free. I attended a yoga and baby massage class and a playgroup class. When I attended a yoga class there is a crèche included which is also helps your child get used to being looked after with other children in the age groups of to five years old. Sometimes they also do special courses such as CPR and how to wean your baby. It is also at the children centre you can see health visitors and have your baby weighed.

Concerning maternity rights you are really lucky if you get 3 months full pay whereas in Denmark you get 6 months usually and hereafter you get help from the government which is more than twice as much as you get in the UK. I only had one month full pay and had to live off my savings. Not an ideal option when you need as much money to spend on your child as possible. If you child is sick you also have to use some of your annual leave days if you don't have the option of working from home. In Denmark they are debating whether each parent can take 2nd day off if your child is sick. In Sweden you can even get up to 60 days a year off work if your child is sick.
 
Childcare is four times as expensive as in Denmark! If we had to have little A in full time nursery we wouldn't have been able to stay here so luckily my work is flexible with working from home some days so I have the option of half days at the nursery, but that is really unusual. I also think Denmark is safer to raise a child, at least compared to London. But this is an experience I would never have been without and I think I would appreciate the Danish welfare system much more when we do decide to move back. I would not say that we are moving back for good, there is always the option of going out again, even if it just for a short period I would most likely not turn an opportunity down.
 
First picture is from my baby shower, second is of little A and her aunt, third is from Hove Beach, fourth is little A and her good friend and the last is in Holland Park.

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