Tag Archives: expatmom

From Trailing spouse to Expat mother 

6 May

Being an expat is an adventure! It is an amazing journey of highs and lows, laughter and tears, goals and fears and most of adventure! 

My love of the USA started back in 2005 when I came over to be a councilor for summer camp. California was like no where I had been. The food, people, sights was like nothing else. 

We then returned in 2008 and spent 8 years on and off in the States. We were expats. When we returned to the states in 2013, I knew we would have children abroad. My husband and I always wanted children and I knew it would happen in California. 

With that said we had two beautiful children Grace and William. This is when the transition of trailing spouse to expat mother occurred. Being a expat is one thing, being a expat mother is another. 

As a expat you are constantly navigating daily life- banking, working, insurance, housing. Having a baby in a foreign country takes on a whole new world. From navigating the medical system, to citizenship, to health insurance to then taking on parenthood. 

What I have realized is when you change from a trailing spouse to a expat mother something inside of you changes. Yes you have had a baby but something else. It is as if it makes you more independent, resourceful and resilient. 

Being a mother is no easy task no matter where you live but living away from family and friends adds a further challenge. Now for me, I have lived away from family a long time. I haven’t lived in the same country or place as my parents for over 10 years. But it is when you have children you wish you lived that little bit closer. 

As a expat you constantly have to put yourself out there, to make friends, try new things to take on new adventures. Being a expat Mom has a whole set of new challenge. A fellow reader asked me about my motherhood experiences recently And what are my top tips for surviving motherhood as a expat. This was the inspiration for this blog, so now to share my tips! 

Well here are my top tips! 

Support– reenforcements, family, friends, mother helper 

Mothers groups- find/ meet other mothers, find people you click with, have something in common with. 

Date night- find time to have some adult time and enjoy a date night with your partner.

Hobbies– continue or find a hobby just for you! Tennis, going to the gym, language class, choir. Something for just you! 

Intellectual outlet– find something that simulates your mind- work, study, writing a blog, keeping up with the news. 

Wine– if all else fails wine! Everything also seems clear upon a nice glass of wine. 

Motherhood is an amazing gift, journey and adventure. It is powered by love, fueled by coffee and sustained by wine! 


Our “Amazing” Grace…

7 Oct

I always wanted to be a mother, it was something I have always dreamed of. So when the day came that we decided the have a family it was a easy choice and a few months later we were pregnant. 

The moment I peed on the test and then it went positive and my heart skipped a beat. It was as if time stood still and I was overcome with joy.  

Pregnancy was nothing like I thought it would be. I had dreams of cute belly pics, baby showers and prepping the nursery. Little did I know that I would have endless morning sickness, pregnancy complications and delivery 8 weeks early. 

This week our baby girl turned one. It was a milestone that we have aimed for since the day she was born. 

The journey of Grace was not a easy one. With mutilple scans, blood test, blood pressure check, stress checks, numerous hospitalizations, early contractions and in the end a emergency classical c section 8 weeks early. 

If you had told me it was going to be like it was, at the time I got my positive test, I wouldn’t of believe you but it was. 

Looking back it felt almost like a dream. Like I went through the journey but parts I can’t recall and others are so vivid. 

Having a baby girl, 8 weeks early, at 1 pound 13 oz who was in the NICU for 49 days has changed me. It was the most scary, emotional experience of my life. 

I get asked all the time to this day, how did I get through it? How did I cope through the pregnancy with the unknown? How did I see the light at the the end of the tunnel? And you know what,I don’t know. I always had faith that she was ok and that everything would work out. I never doubted it for a second. 

When Grace was born, my first thought was I hope she can breath. Then she took her first breath and then she cried for the first time, I just burst into tears. I asked the nurse and my husband multiple time if she is ok, tell me she is ok. Once they checked her and she seemed ok she then was taken straight to the NICU. This was when our journey really began. 

The NICU is hard to describe it is a place where babies are cared and treated. The first time I walked in, I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t sure how to handle the experience. But as time went on it became familiar and like a second home. It went from the scary unknown to a familiar home. 

The nurses and doctors were simply amazing, but the experience is like nothing I have ever faced. It was an emotional rollar coaster of not being able to take our baby home, worrying if she was gaining weight, eating enough, her test come back ok, each day was a challenge, each day was emotional. 

I keep making myself goals- get to 2 pounds, 4 pounds, home from the NICU, drink so much milk, 10 pounds and 1 year old. As each milestone was met, I could breath a bit easier. But what I discovered this week is that Grace is a premmie and her premmie journey will never be over. I, as a mother will always be worried and wants what is best for her. 

As Grace turned 1, I have reflected on the past year and are just pleased we got through it and that she is doing so well. It is hard to explain the experience, hard for others to imagine but all that really matters is when you look at Grace you forget it all. When you look into her eyes and see her smile it makes everything worth it. 

Grace is the most amazing baby girl. She fought ever day to gain weight, improve her health and to thrive. I look back on the photos and I can’t believe how small she was and how far she has come.

What I now realise is that we needed this experience to realise just how thankful we are to have her. She is simply our ” Amazing” Grace and I am thankful every day to have her in my arms and call her my daughter. 

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