May 22, 2011, 9:05 AM
Post #14 of 18
Re: [robt65] Raising a family in Mexico?
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Good morning. That's a pretty big question to answer. Everyone has their own style of life and I would think it would depend greatly on what you are referring to a little more specifically. I am a Gringo married to a wonderful Mexicana, much younger than I. We have an older (adopted 8 year old daughter. We were also very much surprised last year with a wonderful (now 14 month old) daughter. At 68 years old (previously both my wife ad I were childless) this has really been an experience. A very happy and life changing experience but none the less an education for this fellow. I think in reality there are many things the same yet different. I can only speak to the states of Tamaulipas and Queretaro, including the cities of Tampico, Madero, Altamira, Queretaro, San Juan del Rio.
As in the USA or Canada, education here can be good or bad. While there are some good government schools, most are ill funded and the depth of the education is limited, at least in Queretaro and Tamaulipas, the two states I can speak to. Private schools (not necessarily American schools) can also be good or not so good. The costs are a little bit of a monthly budget but can be well worth it.
The costs involved generally in México when it comes to supplies and needs for a younger child can be rather expensive (more so than NOB in many cases. Both the quality and variety of goods such as diapers can be much more (as much a 60% more) expensive than in the USA. The variety of baby foods is for sure limited. The availability of some children’s items that you may want to find here, is either a lot more expensive, or is not available in quality or for that matter at all. Clothing for babies is very limited as to choice of colors and designs. On the other hand there are some (few) really cute clothing items available at (of all places) Commercial Mexicana, Soriana and Sam’s Clubs at a very reasonable price. Once every three or four months (we now live about 650 miles south of McAllen Texas in the Mexican highlands (mountains) at about 6500 foot above sea level; I usually make a trip NOB or my VA medical care. On these trips, I always make a run to Sam’s Club, Wal Mart, H.E.B. Stores, and a few other shops that I like and stock up on four months supplies that we enjoy. Diapers are always on the list as they are much less cost NOB, as is Old Navy, for my wife’s clothing.
Mail service here is terrible for the most part. Fed Ex, UPS and other such private carriers are pretty good although a little more expensive, but are surely a lot more dependable.
Doctors and Health care can vary the same as in the USA. Both in Tampico and in San Juan del Rio, we were lucky enough to find very good pediatricians and obstetricians. We have also had a couple that we were not at all content with for the care of our children. The same goes for dentists. Methods of health care her can vary a lot. Most times we had labs done by a place similar to a private lab in the USA as the doctors’ offices we found here did not do “labs” so you had to find your own lab. It is less expensive here for good medical care for children by about 30% to over 50%. When you are lucky enough to find the doctor you like, he / she is usually excellent and very patient orientated rather than so much dollar driven.
I remember being quite stunned when we went for a nine o’clock appointment to find only ourselves waiting in the office and not ten others for the same 9 o'clock appointment. When the doctor came out (usually on time, by the way), he / she actually knew your name and what you were there for. He / she wasn't asking you "well what can we do for you today?" He / she knew full well what you were there for, that day.
I also vividly remember the doctor walking the precious patient outside and he opened the door to a taxi the nurse had called for the previous patient. The doctor himself actually escorted his previous patient to the taxi and left us waiting. A wait I might add, that I was happy to endure for a few minutes. I must say I was impressed.
The hospital my wife delivered our baby at was a normal general hospital and was absolutely excellent and much better suited for having a baby than any I have ever seen in the USA. It was very clean, the staff was very attentive and the costs were well . . . . . . . . and I mean well below the exorbitant prices NOB.
For Example, our costs including all doctors necessary, from the obstetrician to the anesthetist to the pediatrician, including the hospital stay of five days (including three days of incubator) was a little over $3200.00 USD. My friend back in Kentucky, has a daughter who within a month, had the same care and amount of days including the same number of days in an incubator, and even though she had good health insurance through her employer (she got to see the total bill) the costs were over $27,000 USD. Quite a difference. Today, their baby is no more or less healthy than ours.
The cost of electricity here in Mexico is quite a bit higher than in the USA, especially if you are used to having some of the luxuries that we enjoy such as Air Conditioning, unlimited use of the computer internet, and other such things. It can add up quite quickly.
The quality of life (for me, as my wife has been used to it) has really been much better. The Mexican culture, history, and general day to day living for us (especially me, again) is far better. One does have to really come prepared to actually learn and adapt to a whole new way of life. The Mexican people in general, I have found to be very accepting and wonderful people to have as neighbors and friends. Most all who we have met, have been so openly warm and honest. You will have to learn to accept one trait that I found a little hard to adapt to. For most things in life . . . . throw away your watch and clock! Schedules for many things in life just don't exist. Mañana at nine in the morning . . . . . . can mean anywhere from tomorrow at ten or eleven, until next month at ten or eleven . . . . . . . and the only thing for sure in Mexico is that nothing is really for sure.
I hope this has provided a little insight into just a few things that may be new to you as they were to me. All I all, I wouldn’t trade my life today for what I left behind, for all the tea in China . . . . . . or chile in Mexico, as the case may be. I am a very happy man today.
This is so incredibly helpful! I'm a mother of two preparing to move to DF this year, and this info have really helped. Thankfully we use cloth diapers, breastfeed and I make some of the girls clothes, BUT I now know to stock up on some cute store bought clothes before the move. I , like your wife, also enjoy Old Navy ; )
Congrats on your new little one! What a great addition and great suprise for your family, how wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to respond thoughtfully to the OP's question, it has helped me too.
~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~