Insiders View + Children
Any Moms out there with an insiders view with small children?
I have a 3 year old here on the island with me. Luckily she doesn't have to go to school yet. Luckily for my pocketbook she doesn't have to go to school yet. Checked into Montessori for her. Nice enough school but way expensive, as are all the other private schools. Public school is NOT an option. It's either private or back to the states by kindergarten time. As far as child care goes...well my husband watches her while I'm at work...and when we both have to work, we have a friend watch her. It would be nice to have another family here with a small child to maybe trade some babysitting.
My 3 year old loves it here. She's learned to swim at 2. It amazes me but it is really the only thing she does besides go to be beach. Oh, we hunt for hermit crabs too. We collect them all up and then they escape. It's good fun for a 3 year old. Oh, she loves the geckos too....the other day we caught a baby one and let it crawl around on our arms....also good fun. They're hard to catch though and if you're not careful their tail will come off! I guess it's a defense mechanism they have.
If you're moving here with kids, a pool is a must have. Your kids will be entertained and you will have a way to entertain them. We found a place that offers swimming lessons. My daughter took only one 6 week class but she was in the pool everyday with us and she just learned how to swim. The same place also offers gymnastics for kids and probably other things as well.
If your kids are school age, good luck. I can't speak to that as we don't deal with school yet. I do know however that is is WAY expensive. I mean to the tune of 800 to 1000/month depending on the grade level of your child/children. Homeschooling is an option. I'd consider that as a last resort but I really want my child to have some socialization. She has NO friends her age. There have been kids that she's met that have come and gone (on vacation or whatever). I had a lady from work bring over her 5 and 6 year old for a day of swimming...but as far as neighbors go with other children her age...there are none. Maybe it will be different during "season" when the snowbirds come back to our condos...but my hunch is that most of them are retirement age and little kids don't really enter the picture.
Check out the pictures of my baby in the VI!
Feel free to call for more info if you'd like. (340) 626-9323
Your daughter is so cute! I have two sons 3yrs and 5mos. They are the light of my life, and my husband of course!! What are your long term goals? I know you mentioned that it would be back to the states or private school, what do you plan on doing? I wanted to make this move a long term move, but now I am not so sure with the schools and crime. What's your scoop on the crime? I hear so many stories, I don't know what to believe. Let me know. Thanks!
My personal long term goal is to raise my children the best way I know how. STX was a long term goal for me too. I guess in a way it still is because I'm only 1/2 of the decision making team of this family. The other member has some business deals in the works and I have to see if they pan out or not before we make a long term committment here or bail out. Truth be told I'd like to bail anyway. You can't realistically isolate yourself from the crime. You're always a potential victim. I find myself walking around looking over my shoulder. I'm not afraid but I'm diligent and always aware of my surroundings. I would NEVER walk around alone at night which is odd for me. I regularly took walks around my neighborhood after dark back home in the states.
I know it's confusing when your listening to a bunch of different perspectives on things like schools, cost of living, jobs and crime. I couldn't sort it out, I had to see for myself. I wasn't letting anyone squelch my dream. I wish I had opened up my eyes a little wider though. I really had tunnel vision and now I'm paying for it in a way. Just take a vacation. It's much cheaper and you get to see the "nice" side of island life if you're just here for a visit. Enjoy the water, the beaches, the snorkeling and diving. Have yourself a couple drinks, relax, enjoy and then go home to your safe haven whereever that is. Believe me...you don't really want to come here with kids.
We also had our hopes set on raising our child in a laid back island way, but it was more stressful for us than living in the states. I agree on getting somewhere in the states that is a great place to raise your family and take lots of "island" vacations. Just my opinion. You can't hear enough about how expensive, inconvenient, and a huge test of your patience it is to live in the islands...It really didn't matter how many times we heard it, but, like most people who moved, we had to see it for ourselves. A year later, we are back in the states and very happy about it!