Archive | January, 2015

From Trailing Spouse to Trailing Mum!

30 Jan

Being a expat is a privilege, a challenge and a journey.

It doesn’t define you, yet it is a way to identify yourself. I have been living back in the USA for 18 months now, as a trailing spouse.

A new term I hadn’t heard of, yet now after research, writing blogs and learning more, I now have a better understanding.

When taking on another overseas assignment, I knew that we would have children oversea. I knew that and I was and still am happy to do so.

With motherhood comes, amazing moments, challenges, new stage of your life and new found respect for your own mother and those that you know.

If being a Mum wasn’t a challenge enough try being a expat or rather a trailing Mum. A Mum who followed there partner overseas and has a newborn.

If you had told me at our one year wedding anniversary that I would be living back in California, having a baby girl who was born 8 weeks early and spent 49 days in the nicu, I would say you are crazy. But that is what happened.

From that experience I have learnt a lot and have started to experience being a expat as a Mum. Instead of a late night on the town, I am going to mothers group, instead of a last minute weekend away, I am going on a family outing to the farmers markets and instead of a romantic dinner for two, it is now a dinner for 3 and you know what I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My expat experience is more enrich, meaningful and fulfilled.

Do I miss my family?
Do I wish we live closer?
Do I want our daughter to experience Australia?

Absolutely! But she is enjoying a life experience that children dream of, not to mention she is a dual citizen.

Recently I have had a few readers ask how do I do it. How do I be a expat mother. Well I am not going to lie, it is hard work! But I love it! Every single thing about it!

So to all those other expat Mums out there, here are my top tips for new mother expats, on making the most out of this experience. Also how to survive being a stay at home Mum ( short term or long term)

Mothers group- sounds corny I know but find a mother group. Both a online forum and a meet up group. This give you a chance to socialize with other Mums, learn from each other and be each other support.

Hobbies– make sure you don’t lose sight and time for your hobbies. Be it netball, singing, volleyball, cooking anything. Work out a way to continue these interests.

Time out– find time and a way to have time away from the baby. Go to the movies with friends, a girls night out, dinner with family, anything!

Communicate– being a expat our family and friends are far away, so make sure you keep them up to date. Send a monthly email, send pictures of the baby, chat on FaceTime, viber, Skype.

Help– don’t be afraid to ask for help. I learnt this when I was pregnant. A complicated pregnancy meant needing help. I was so touched by the support and help I had from my fellow expat friends. If you need help, ask for it.

Let’s continue this journey and enjoy motherhood, expat life and everything that comes with it!

“I am a wife and mother first, then the First Lady!” Go out there and enjoy your expat life!

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