Every country is different, even if it is in the smallest way. They all have their own flare, style and way of doing things. When we look at the world, and the different countries we can definitely see some resemblance in how certain countries do things, and if one looks hard enough they can find some pretty big differences.
The United States and the UK, specifically England, are two of those countries. We see them as very similar, as in they both speak English (with slightly different accents) and they tend to share the same colour of skin and religious background. However, they could not be more different. America and England have a very colourful history together, most of which is not pretty. However, they coexist today in a neutral sort of way. They respect each other and let each country do its own thing.
So, how do their parenting styles line up? What is it like to be a mom in the UK? Is it much different than America? From first glance, one may be tempted to say no, they are not much different, but that would be an injustice. They have some pretty big differences in the way they handle baby showers, birthday parties and even where mom goes to relax.
Even the way they spell the word mom is different, but why? Let’s explore these differences in how to be a mom based on what country they live in. Is one mom-style better than the other? That is really up to the reader’s discretion.
12 Even How They Spell Mom Is Different
The changes in being a mom between the two counties is evident from the very beginning. It was evident from the very beginning of this article, it is right there in the title. That difference is in the very spelling of the word. Most of the western world, including America, spell it M-O-M. In the UK, they spell it M-U-M. It is one vowel different, but it speaks on a much deeper level on how different the two places are.
If you are waiting for a big descriptive section on why the two places spell this word differently, I am sorry to disappoint you. There really isn’t a big and grand explanation. The main reason the two spell it differently is because they pronounce it differently. Those in the UK pronounce the word so that the vowel sounds the same as it would in the word ‘cut’. They simply spell it how they say it.
11 Midwives Are This Country's Popular Choice
The use of a midwife is on the rise all over the world, with women opting for this more personal and one-on-one care during their pregnancy and childbirth. However, in America, the use of a medically trained OB is still the most popular route to go. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what a woman is comfortable with, but the UK does things a little bit differently.
Their use of midwives is much higher than America. Even if you decide to go with an OB for your pregnancy and childbirth, the National Health Services will still send a midwife to your home for the first 10 days following delivery. It provides mom with some extra support and assistance because we all know that those first few days with a newborn can be very overwhelming. Moms all over beg them not to leave when the 10 days are over.
10 Where Do Moms Hang Out?
Moms all need a break here or there. They need to get out there and mingle with other moms. American moms generally hang out in kid-friendly places. They all meet up at the local park, mall or library. They chat while their children safely play a short distance away. They don’t normally mix children and alcohol together (unless it has been a bad day).
The UK moms do it a little differently. Specifically, at the start of the school year all the moms are invited out for “Mom Drinks.” This is an event where moms get a chance to meet and mingle with other moms who have children in the same class. There is a large pub culture in the UK, and a lot of the local pubs have playgrounds outside attached to them, so that while mom is getting a couple drinks, her children are safely playing just a few feet away. Seems the UK is doing this right.
9 One Country Does NOT Do Baby Showers!
Who doesn’t love a big wonderful baby shower? In America, everyone loves them. They love to get together and celebrate the life of a new baby coming into the world. Of course, they also use this time to shower the new mom with presents and well wishes. It is a rite of passage in America for any new mom. It is so important; most Americans wouldn’t be able to imagine a world where there are no baby showers. Well, the UK doesn’t do them.
The UK is not keen on hosting baby showers, and that is because of a very superstitious reason. They feel that by celebrating the life of a baby before it is born and buying gifts before the baby is born that you are somehow “jinxing” the pregnancy. They believe that if you do this, then something may happen during the pregnancy that may result in a loss.
8 Becoming A Mom Comes With A Price
One of the biggest issues going on in America right now is healthcare. America is known for having a health care system that is well behind a lot of countries. If a woman does not have insurance of some kind, then any medical treatment is not going to be cheap. First, the testing and ultrasounds during a routine pregnancy can run into the thousands. That will seem like pennies when it comes to how much childbirth can cost a woman and her partner. The number will only go up if she requires any extra care or if her baby needs to spend time in the NICU.
In the UK, moms do not pay a penny when they give birth. Even if the mom needs a C-section, she will walk out with a bill for $0. This is thanks to the National Health Services, which is a universal health care program that makes medical treatment accessible.
7 What Is Maternity Leave?
Every country has some form of maternity leave for new moms. A chance to be home and care for her baby as well as herself, as childbirth does take some time to recover from. This is another thing that America is seriously lacking in. They get very limited time, whether or not it's paid is determined by their individual employer. Most women get somewhere between 6-8 weeks, an amount of time that baffles mothers in other countries; including the UK.
Moms in the UK get 39 paid weeks maternity leave if they had employment before pregnancy. For the first six weeks they get 90% of their income. For the next 33 weeks they get either $200.00 or 90% of their income dependant on which amount is lower. This not only allows mom to relax and bond with her baby, she can do it without worrying about money for just a little bit.
6 School System Differences
Schools are always an important discussion to have when it comes to a country. If a family with young children were considering moving to another country, one of the things they would research would be the new country's school system and how it is run. American public schools are pretty standard when it comes to education. They have an elementary school, a middle school and then a high school. Nothing horrible, but nothing exemplary either.
The UK is a place that is based on class, and their schools are no different. Children attend primary school until they are 11 years old. At that time, they can take a test called an 11-plus. If they pass than they can move onto a better school. The test is not easy, and parents even hire tutors for up to a year before this time to make sure their child does well.
5 Contraceptive Awareness! (This Is A Hot Topic)
The whole world is concerned with teen pregnancy and the push for more and better sex education. They are also urging or easier access to contraceptive methods for teenagers. America has been trying to nail this down for many years now, and while the number of teenage mothers has dropped in the recent years, it is still near epidemic numbers.
The number of teen mothers in the UK is a lot lower than the rate of those in the USA. This could be due to how they handle their contraceptives. In England, kids aged from 13-24 can sign up or a “C-Card” program at any local library, school or pharmacy. This program entitles them to free and unlimited condoms. The only catch is that they must talk to a health professional about safe sex before receiving it. They are also encouraged to tell their parents, but they are not required too.
4 Shy With The Presents
We all know the joy and headaches that come with children’s birthday parties. They all normally follow the same routine. A bunch of children get together, at a rec center or a person’s backyard. They play some games, eat some cake and open a lot of presents. It is a lot of fun for the children, but a bit of a headache for the parents. You would think something as simple as a birthday party would be the same in every city, country and continent around the world, but you would be wrong.
The UK does it a lot differently than America does. At a kid’s birthday party in the UK, the children do not open presents in front of the other children. They keep the wrapped presents until they get home and then open them. While they do serve birthday cake, it is not something that is eaten then and there either. The slices are wrapped up and sent home with each guest to enjoy at a later time.
3 No Summer Camps Where?
A lot of children have fond memories of spending time at a summer camp. They run around outside and partake in a lot of outdoor activities with their friends. America has wonderful summer camps that children flock to every year. They make life long friends and learn skills that will help them throughout their life. It also is a great summer break for the parents.
If you are a fan of summer camps, either as a child or parent, then you won’t want to live in the UK. In the UK, they do not have summer camps. There is no outdoor adventure waiting for them. Instead, they have some classes that the children can attend. They also have a lot of outdoor festivals. However, the lack of a summer camp can be a lot for a working mom or a SAHM who just needs a break.
2 No Bragging Here
A mom is always proud of her children, and she can’t wait to share the news with everyone she knows. American moms are very proud moms and are not afraid to tell everyone about their child’s latest good report card. They will tell their family, their friends and even the postman. They are rapidly typing on social media, just dying to get the word out there that their kid is special and really going somewhere one day.
There is nothing wrong with bragging about your child, but the British people are more conservative with their views and behaviour. It is just in their nature. They don’t tend to brag about their child’s skills and intelligence. Due to them being of a more conservative culture, they also don’t tend to laugh at themselves as much as the Americans do. As a mom, it is always important to have a good laugh at yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned.
1 Even How They Push The Baby Out Is Different
Childbirth is very different in every country. Every country has their own protocol on what they deem to be safe at getting the baby out. America has almost every method of delivery as well as pain relief that you could imagine. A woman can choose many different types of pain relief to help get her through. That is, unless it is ‘gas and air’.
In the UK, they offer ‘gas and air’ as a form of pain relief, and that would be oxygen and laughing gas. One woman was able to get through her entire labour with just gas and air and felt very relaxed with little pain. She was also discharged and sent home just three hours after she delivered her baby. While most moms in America are in the hospital 24-48 hours after the delivery of their baby.
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