This is a bit of a vent, but I'd like some advice too if anyone has any.
I am a single mother with a mixed European/American background. After living in different countries on three continents throughout my life, I have now kind of settled in Eastern Europe. When I first moved here, I liked the country and felt good here. My children were both born here and I have a job that I enjoy. Moving is not an option at the moment. I have been here for almost five years and more and more, I am realizing that me and this culture are just not a good match.
Patriarchal attitudes prevail, and women are still much more limited in what they can and cannot do than in my home cultures. As a single mother, sole breadwinner, and feminist, I find this very hard. It seems like whatever I do, I walk into a brick wall - "women not allowed". While this hasn't effected my actions, it doesn't feel good. My oldest child, a daughter, is four now and she is starting to understand these things. As an example, she wasn't allowed to join the local kids' soccer team because "that is for boys". Mothers are not valued at all. My neighbors, though I don't have very much to do with them, make me feel like a freak and a broken person simply because I am a single mother. They make hurtful comments whenever I leave my house. From friends who are also single mothers, I can see that I probably actually get less of that because I happen to be a foreigner.
I am fed up with feeling like this, and I am worried about how both the culture's attitude towards me and my family, and my attitudes towards the culture, will affect my children. In the long run, I think I'd like to move - but I have no idea where, and I do love my job and am happy that working part time hours allows me to make a comfortable living. Spending time with my kids is a priority for me, and I can do it because of the low cost of living here.
Has anyone else dealt with something similar, and how did you handle it?