12 May, 2015 @ 11:52
1 min read

Spain seventh best country in the world to be a mother

Carrie Frais co founder of MumAbroad and her two children e
MumAbroad co-founder Carrie Frais

SPAIN is the seventh best country in the world to be a mother.

Save the Children has revealed its 16th annual Mother’s Index, and Spain has left the UK way behind in 24th, while Norway came first.

MumAbroad co-founder Carrie Frais
MumAbroad co-founder Carrie Frais

This comes as a different survey by MumAbroad.com found that half of expat mums in Spain, France, Italy and Germany never want to return to their home country.

Overall, 62% of mothers ranked quality of life better in their adoptive countries than where they came from, but many also felt the education system is worse.

Interestingly, children’s activities and children’s services were also perceived as worse in their new countries by around a third of expat mothers.

Exactly 50% of those surveyed said they had given birth in their adoptive country, and the majority (85%) agreed it had been a positive experience.

Just less than half believed they had integrated well, citing learning a new language as the main hindrance.

Tom Powell

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  1. Where do they get these stats from Haha. Probably the same ones who did the election polls. Have they taken into account free dental treatment for children. Price of a brace for my friends child in Spain €65 per month.

  2. My son, aged 9, recently had a brace fitted here after the need for an “apparatus” was diagnosed by three separate dentists, one working for a local Centro de Salud. I conducted some research and was told that, in the UK, not only would he have to wait until age 12 for a brace and, perhaps, meanwhile “have teeth pulled out” but also that there was an 18 month waiting list for such treatments. Plus, if you go private in the UK, the brace costs almost exactly double the price it does here. In my son’s case, the brace does not cost 65 Euros pcm or anywhere near. More like 25.

    I think the UK is a rotten place to be a mother. I was depressed there and used to stare at the cross-channel ferry on a daily basis, wanting to board it and leave. Here, I have never felt like there is a “single mother” label on me or my family: quite the opposite – we are integrated into the goings-on of the town.

  3. This report is not really about being a mother per se, but is more about quality of life issues that affect people in Spain. Moving country does not make it easier to be a parent. Being a parent is a constant. Integrating into Spanish life is not dependent on being a mother or father, and quality of life is rarely related to just the prices of things. Comparing costs like-for-like is moot anyway, because you have to take into account wages, taxes and so many other factors besides.

    If you are depressed in the UK, your depression will not automatically cease when you arrive in Spain, moreover it will be replaced with other problems and realities, and challenges. If you are depressed or stressed in the UK, moving abroad will not remove your stress, and can actually be more stressful, as any counsellor will quickly tell you. Only the naïve believe that moving abroad cures such things.

    Being a parent is a challenge anywhere, and Spain has its own challenges for parents. Employment, language, schooling, and social benefits are four things that expat parents will know a lot about from living in Spain, as they are often the most problematic things. Education is poor and the teaching methods are simplistic. Staff morale is often very low. Investment is non-existent in rural schools.

    Sadly, being a mother in Andalucia currently means watching your children’s long-term prospects go down the drain, which is why international schools are 80-90% full of Spanish children who want an English-speaking education and an eventual move abroad for a career, with a future and proper prospects.

  4. Fred,
    an excellent post. If education in Spain is so good how is it possible for two English girls to enter primary school in Guadix, speaking zero Spanish (parents likewise) and within 6 months be top of their respective classes.

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