You know your a Mum if….

25 Jun


This blog is a shout out to all my fellow Mum readers. As a new Mum I have entered the world of diapers, spit up, poop, mothers groups, feeding, prams and so much more

So it struck me that I have gone from wife to wife and mother. I was one of those people who went to wine bars and didn’t understand the need for parents to be home at a certain time, schedules, what teething meant and the excitement when you meet another Mum you connected with. 
I have entered a whole new world of motherhood, with a greater appreciation and understanding of all the mothers I know, especially my own mother. 

It has dawned on me at the supermarket that can a stranger tell if I am a mother when I don’t have my daughter with me. The answer would be yes. 

20 reasons that tells you and others, you know your are a mother. 
You know your a new Mum if…

1– If you can navigate a baby store

2– If you ask a fellow Mum where she got a baby item from 

3– If you are trying to lose the baby weight while your baby is trying to gain weight 

4– If you can smell poop a mile off

5– If you have mastered the art of feeding and pushing the pram at the same time

6– If 7.30am is a sleep in

7– If you have a shower which is less than 5 minutes on a daily basis 

8– If you are excited that you made a new Mum friend

9– If you start discussing schools when they are a newborn

10– If you have spit up on the back of your top

11– If going to the supermarket alone feels like a vacation. 

12– If you have 3000 photos on your phone and 2800 of them are of your baby

13– If you buy sweet potato and your husband thinks it is for dinner when it is for making baby food 

14– If you miss your baby even though it has only been half an hour.

15– If you rush the end of dinner as you need to get home to the babysitter 

16– If you think it is so adorable when your child, smiles, laughs, crawl and giggles

17– If going to the movies is a luxury rather than the nom

18– If there nothing better than a baby cuddle

19– If you start planning there 1st birthday months in advance 

20– If you want to do it all over again

I love being a mother and wouldn’t change a thing. I have gained an appreciation and an understanding of the beginning of motherhood. 
The adventure has only just begun! 


Trailing spouse- trailing mother- travel widow wife 

16 Jun


      I am often asked what do you do, why are you in the USA, where is your husband and the question I am asked almost daily how do you cope with your husbands travel. 

      A reader of mine ask me to write a blog about how to cope with having a husband that travels. To that reader, this blog post is for you. 
      More and more people are traveling for work, both interstate and overseas. Some travel a little and others travel a lot. 

      I grew up with a Dad that travelled a lot in fact he commuted from Perth to the eastern states weekly. My Mum made every effort to make a happy, positive household. I can now start to understand what she went through as a mother and what a truly amazing job she did. 

      When I meet my husband, little did I know that he too would travel a lot. I have been with my husband for 11 years and over that time his travel has increased slowly until the last 5 years where it has become more often. 

      Having a husband that travels is far from easy, especially now with a newborn. But we make it work and enjoy spending time even more when we are together. 

      Over the years I have gained tips and tricks of being what I like to call a travel widow wife. A wife who is alone while there husband travels for work.
      So here our my tips for how to cope with a traveling husband

      1- Keep in contact- messages, viber, FaceTime, calls, whatever it takes to keep in contact on a daily basis. 

      2- Keep busy- plan out your days, while he is way- meet up with friends, work out, do chores, what ever your interests are ,fill your time with your favorite things to do.

      3-Schedule – it is crucial to plan. If I want my husband at an event or appointment then I plan around his schedule. We have what we call “black out day” where it is a must he is here and he tries to work his travel around that. 

      4- Communicate – communicate your thoughts, plans, daily thoughts with him. Make sure you include him on decisions and daily goings so he feels apart of the family. 

      5- Flexibility- flexibility is key. My husband travel changes all the time and it is key for me to be flexible and not to take it personally. 

      6- Support– ensure you have support around you- friends and family. Our friends are our family as we are expats living overseas. However I call my parents every day and they can FaceTime with our daughter. They are always there to support me and give guidance. 

      Every day I learn I new tip or trick and I never stop getting advice and support from fellow mothers. Being a mother, expat and a travel widow wife, is still new and I seek help when needed. 

      Enjoy every moment with your husband and make those moments special. Plan trips, date night, family outings and enjoy the ride! 


      Traveling with a baby= a new travel experience! 

      13 Mar


      Each day millions of people around the world travel. They travel for holidays, business or pleasure. 

      Travelling in my opinion is an art form perfected over many years. From packing the perfect amount of cloths, picking the best flights and connections, requesting the best seats to getting through security in a timely manner, getting sleep on the plane and avoiding jetlag on arrival. 

      Now I would say that I am or rather was a good traveller, I would arrive to the airport with plenty of time, pick the shortest line with no families when going through security and relax in the lounge before boarding.

      What I didn’t realise was when we had our daughter my travel plans would change. It was now about feeding schedule, changing diapers and packing for the baby. I had become one of those people, you know the people who you dread seating next to, as they had a baby. 

      I am that person. My appreciation for parents on long haul flights has changed to amazement. I was the person holding up the security line and collapsing the stroller at the gate. 

      I did so much research before our long haul flight from LAX to SYD, I asked every parent for advice and did a pre pack and prepped as much as possible. To be honest it went brilliantly! She slept 13 hours out of 15 hours. I could not have been prouder. 

      So with that said, a recent reader of mine asked me for my 10 top tips when travelling with a baby. So I dedicate this blog to them and here are my tips.

      1- Use an umbrella stroller or carrier-as much as possible before you board the plane 

      2- Pack light– Pack the essentials you need for yourself and the baby but don’t over pack 

      3- Travel insurance– make sure you get travel insurance for the baby. That way if anything goes missing it gets damaged you are protected. 

      4- Book a bassinet on the long haul flight if possible.

      5- Feed or give the baby a teething toy for take off and landing to assist with pressure changed to there ears 

      6- Lounge access– if possible join a frequent flyer club or buy a day pass and use the lounge prior to flying and during connections. That way you can change, bath, feed the baby easily.

      7- Ask for assistance– everywhere I went I was offered assistance, take them up on it. From security helping you with your items, to the airline staff assisting with boarding and on board 

      8- Get to the boarding gate early and board the plane when offered to do so. On most flights families with children can board prior to a general boarding. 

      9- Toys– bring your babies favorite toy with you. This will assist with providing something familiar to your child and help with the travel.

      10- Change and fees prior to flight– by the time you boarding, taxi and take off it is often an hour to hour and half before you can feed your baby again. Not to mention that is with out delays. So may your baby as happy as possible prior to boarding the flight. 

      So go forth and start travelling. Thank you to all of my dear friends who gave me advice and encouragement to fly. It was worth it, bringing our daughter to Australia for the first time was something I will never forget! 

      Visiting home as a expat! 

      9 Mar
      Visiting home as a expat! 

      As a expat we long for the day to return home for a visit to see friends and family. 

      The excitement of pressing booked on your flights. The anticipation of walking on to a Qantas jet and hearing a Aussie accent and then the final descent into the land down under.

      On arrival you rush to get your Aussie food fix be it a pie, a flat white or some Cadbury chocie. Then you wait to see your family and friends! You reconnect on what has happened in the past year, all the local gossip and you remience like old times. 

      It is a strange feeling! It is like meeting an old friend, familiar yet you don’t see them often. It is as if nothing has changed yet there are changes around every corner. From new restaurents, building, freeways to       friends and family having children, buying houses and moving interstate. 

      Being a expat is like living a double life. We have two houses, two sets of friends and two lives. One is not better than the other, just different. You fit in your life where you are living and the when you go home you fit there too. 

      I am proud to be an Australian and to bring our daughter home for the first time. How long I will be a expat living in the usa, I am not sure. One thing is for sure, is that I will make sure our daughter knows where she is from, make a effort to come home yearly and enjoy the time we spend in Australia. 

      No matter where we live and what we do we will still and always call Australia home! 

      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!



      Discover your expat city!

      2 Dec

      So begins part 2 of arriving as a expat and becoming a local. This is part of a series which will assist you with becoming a expat.

      Many readers have requested assistance, advice and information on tips and tricks of being a expat and living the expat life in the Bay Area.

      So to answer your question the first tip is to discover.

      Discover the place you live, get to know your local community and enjoy what your city has to offer.

      The Bay Area has an array of things to do. No matter what your interests are, be it the arts, food and wine, sports recreation, history and nature there is something for you.

      When arriving to a new destination the first thing I alway do is go on. Hop on/ off bus. It may not sound luxurious or overly exciting compare to other tours but it allows you to get your bearings, a lay of the land and start to discover what the town has to offer.

      This will assist with finding what neighborhood you would like to live in, the local spots to eat and background on the community.

      For San Fransisco check out for tours.

      Being a expat a lot of the time you don’t chose where you go or are posted and that means that maybe the destination isn’t a major city and may not have tours. So if that is the case grap a map and make your own tour. Check out all the major attractions of the town and get the lay of the land that way.

      Once I have completed the tour then it is time to embrace the expat experience!

      I find, I always feel better about a place once I have done some discovering. Check out the local spots, get a feel for the town and then you can make a start in getting settled.

      First stop discover, second stop research!

      Let the expat journey continue!

      Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful!

      28 Nov


      So as you all know I am Australian. As an Australian we celebrate Australia Day, Anzac Day, AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup, Easter, Christmas to name a few.

      So Thanksgiving is an new celebration for my family. Today is our fifth Thanksgiving in the USA. I can now say it is one of my favorite holidays.

      It is a time to eat and drink, be thankful and spend time with family and friends. So I guess like Christmas without the presents.

      Today I reflect on the past year and reminisce about the highlights of the past year.

      From holidays, celebrations to births, weddings and magical moments. It has been a year to remember.

      Without a doubt the highlight was the birth of our baby girl Grace. It definitely wasn’t the pregnancy journey we expected nor was it a easy road but is was worth every single emotion and challenge because the result was truly amazing!

      At Thankagiving it reminds you of what is important and the goals ahead of you.

      I am no longer a expat but rather a mother and to define that more a expat mother.

      So let the next chapter begin on my Expat journey as a mother!

      At this time I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and thank you for the support of my blog. I am truly thankful for the encouragement, feedback and enthusiasm that my readers bring me.

      I am signing off on Thanksgiving eve wishing each and everyone of you a Happy Holidays!

      Arriving as a expat and becoming a local

      15 Nov


      So the decision is made that you are moving, not to a near by town or suburb but across the world to the USA! You are excited, nervous anxious and so much more!

      You clean out your house, pack up and ship your items, have a going away party, eat all your favorite foods at your favorite restaurants and then the day comes that you leave on a jet plane. Good bye home, hello America.

      As you land into your new town, you take your first steps in the USA, you think to your self ok I am here, now what? What do I do next?

      Well here are my top 10 tips for expats arriving into the USA. Each week I will expand on my tips and provide you with more information in relation to being a expat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

      1- Discover– get to know the city you live in. Take a hop on/ off bus and discover all the different neighborhoods and areas.

      2- Research– website hunt, read expat blogs, websites and get tips from those that know.

      3- Network– the best pieces of expat advice I have been given is from word of mouth. Join meet up groups and expat groups.

      4- Credit History– open up a bank account, start a credit card, lease a car but most of all start your credit history.

      5- Create a home– live as though you are not leaving! Buy furniture, rent an apartment, set up your house the way you want it and make it a home.

      6- Embrace American and your homeland traditions– celebrate Thanksgiving, Super Bowl, 4th July! Share your celebrations with your expat and American friends.

      7- Insurance– make sure you have health insurance

      8- Join a club– what ever your interest are join a club or group. Be it Aussie Rules Football, Netball, Amateur Theatre or Pool.

      9- Get involved in your community– do a local fun run, attend a trivia night or a restaurant opening.

      10- Get your California Driving license- by law you are required to get your license within a certain timeframe of arriving in the USA.

      Now set off and enjoy your expat journey!

      The Expat Loop is back!

      11 Nov

      It has been a few months since my last post and due to popular demand I am back.

      The reason for my absence was a complicated pregnancy and an 8 week early arrival of our beautiful daughter Grace.

      Our gorgeous daughter was born October 3rd at 1 pound 13 oz and has spent the last 6 weeks in the nicu. She is doing well and will be home in the coming weeks.

      Over the past few months I have had countless requests for advice, information, resources and my experience in moving to the usa.

      So with that in mind I am going to concentrate my upcoming posts on providing information and knowledge to expats moving to the Bay Area.

      Being a expat is an experience that should be embraced and enjoyed. Sometime it can be frustrating to find the information you are looking for.

      So let me guide your expat journey! It is about the journey not the destination!

      The Top Moments of Life

      18 Jun


      If you could sum up the top moments of your life to date, what would they be?

      Today I am celebrating our 4th Wedding Anniversary and it got me thinking of my top moments to date.

      There are so many it is hard to choice just 10.

      Is it a significant moments?
      Is it a destination you travelled to?
      A job ?
      Buying your first house?
      Reaching independence?
      Finding love?
      Achieving your goals?

      My top 10 moments to date. In no particular order

      1. Engagement and marriage to my amazing husband.

      2. Living and working abroad in California.

      3. Becoming an Auntie to our 3 nephews, 2 nieces, god parent to our nephew and god parents to my dear friends daughter.

      4. Graduating from high school and then college.

      5. Purchasing our first house.

      6. Traveling to amazing destinations around the world.

      7. Sharing incredible moments with our families and friends. Especially girl time with my best friend my Mum.

      8. Adopting our puppy Matilda.

      9. Career success, including starting my own business

      10. Enjoying each moment and opportunity as they present themselves.

      Every week, month and year more moments are added. I could list a hundred.

      So I ask you what are your top moments to date ?!


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