New to STT
My family is new to the island. My husband works all day and I'm home with our 3 yr old. We quickly learned that getting her in school right away is proving more difficult with a money shortage. Our stuff has not arrived yet and we are looking for people to meet and things to do.
Welcome to the Island. And good luck to you!
Welcome and good luck getting settled. I'm sure in time you'll adjust to island life.
"New to STT's" post says a lot in a few words. It tells how important it is to do thorough research BEFORE making the move and why a Pre-Move Visit is highly recommended by the regulars on this board.
Now, I'm not implying that "New to STT" did not do their homework but rather but those thinking about relocating to the Caribbean can benefit greatly from reading those 4 short sentences. Here's what they say:
1) Newcomers are often without a support group (i.e. relatives, friends and even acquaintances) when they first get on island and it sometimes takes quite a long time before newcomers "fit in".
2) Life in the islands is not without it's challenges, especially for those with young children. In New's case her husband is at work all day and she's left home alone with her child in an unfamiliar environment - no easy task for a young mother. I suspect "New'" doesn't have access to a car so she can get out and about. This, of course, will make it more difficult for her to meet new people and make friends.
3) Even though her child is only 3 YO "New" recognizes the importance of her child's education but is somewhat stymied by the high cost of putting her child in school. This is a point that is well discussed on the forum.
4) Getting one's "Stuff" to the island can take much longer than then one first imagines. Things move on "island time" and that's often difficult to describe to those contemplating island life. When people contemplate moving to the islands they often dream of getting out of the rat race and living a simpler life - well having to wait weeks and weeks instead of a few days for your "stuff" to arrive is the price you pay for that so called "simpler life" - everything takes 3 or 4 times as long to get done her than it does back in the mainland USA.
5) It's always wise to build up a nest egg BEFORE moving to the Caribbean. Things here can be pricey and having a "money shortage" can make life seem difficult. The bigger your nest egg is the easier it will be to make the transition to island life.
So, "New to STT" welcome to island life, keep a positive attitude and friendly disposition and you'll soon begin to feel like an islander. And for those contemplating a move to the Caribbean, do yourself a big favor while you are doing your research, take off the rose colored glasses, read "New to STT's" post as well as everything on the relocation website and look at the info in a realistic manner - you'll be much better prepared for a move to the islands.
If you do have access to a car, get out to the beaches. Set up near other moms and kids. Conversation starts easily in these circumstances. If you only have one car, it will be worth the effort to take your husband to work and keep the car for mobility.
I agree with what's been said so far and would add to LindaJ's comment about taking the car and getting OUT. Because you are a "stay at home Mom" doesn't mean you have to literally stay at home all the time. You and your 3 year old can get out and about and, in the process, meet other mothers who are doing exactly what you're doing. Moms and their children congregate at beaches, you'll meet plenty of Moms in the supermarkets (!) and other places but you have to have the flexibility to get out and there's no reason (unless your husband uses the car for business) that you can't drop him off a couple of days a week and then either pick him up at day's end or else have him arrange with a coworker to bring him home - or take a cab. It's not easy but it's not impossible either!
When you come to live here the Welcome Wagon doesn't come to you, the onus is entirely upon you to mix and mingle. Good luck!
PS: You might also think about looking for a part-time evening job a few nights a week for a few hours. Several of the bartenders/servers working with me at my restaurant over the years were Moms in exactly your position!
Thank you everyone for the helpful advice. Our family moved to the island when my husband was offered a great job opportunity while we were here on a short term assignment. I've read many of the posts regarding pre-move topics and relocation issues. We prepared as best as possible. I do understand many of the challenges ahead.
We do only have one car. My husband has no problem with me having the car while he's at the office. The main reason I ask where to go, is that while I learn to navigate the island, I don't want to waste gas driving in circles with no destination in mind.
My daughter and I are very ready together out there, meet people and have some fun! Especially with the holiday season upon us.
There is a Mom Gathering with youngsters at the Dorothea Tot Lot - I think? it is on Wed. mornings - maybe a mom can PM you about that - you might ask at Montesorri if your child can come one day a week to visit and acclimate - or even the ELC at Antilles - it would seem a possibility and you could meet some other parents even if you just ask about attending a PTA night. Magens [way to the right by the rental shack] seems to have a nice child friendly group most days - Hull bay on the weekend is very family oriented - maybe a Church group if you are so inclined - Dutch Reform Church in town seems to have a lot of younger members - there are plenty of young families here, you may have to overcome a bit of shyness or reserve but don't hesitate to go up to parents and introduce yourself and explain your situation - we have almost all been there too.
For yourself - maybe join a yoga group - an arts community- or volunteer somewhere - the Humane Society - one of the Health Groups - or a part time job as suggested - you may be surprised at how quickly a few acquaintances can network you into a whole different community because it is such a small social climate on STT. Maybe your husband can introduce you to some of the wives or female co-workers who have families - it is to your advantage to meet people across a wider range of cultural upbringings in our diverse island society - having a money shortage is certainly not a deterrent around here these days - so don't let it get you home bound - teach that young one to swim and snorkel and really the child may be your best ambassador to new friendships.
Lots to Learn: Welcome to our little corner of Paradise! 🙂 Zero already posted some of my thoughts. The Tot Lot, Montessori and the Reformed Church are great ones. Also, since you are on the Northside, Magens Bay is a big hang out. The VI is definitely a network community. If you get out there and meet some three year olds, you will quickly find the organizations you seek.
I hope you come out to some of the Christmas events- the tree lighting that was at Havensight this week, the Miracle on Main Street and lighted boat parade next Friday , the 16th. I haven't heard if the Rising Stars are giving a Christmas concert, but that would be one to watch for. This is a very festive time of the year. Even grinches get caught up. Wait for the "How will Santa get here?" song. It will infect your household!:D
A huge "Thank You" to Exit Zero and East Ender! It's very exciting to get positive feedback! We will definitely check them all out! We sadly missed the tree lighting and I will be sure to attend as many upcoming Christmas events as possible! I'm very intrigued about this "how will Santa get here" song, is there a specific radio station to tune in to?
I spoke with the Montessori and was informed the preschool clesses are full for the year. Spoke with the owner of Little People and she was incredibly happy and helpful! Has anyone had good or bad experience with this school?
I wish the rain would stop so we can get out to play!
Is the Dorothea tot lot the little park with the dinosaur and the plane that looks like a goldfish cracker? I didn't see any signs posted. Thanks!
How will santa get here?