The journey of becoming an expat mom hasn’t been the easiest or even ideal, but what would a journey be without a few obstacles along the way?
Growing up, we all have our ideas of what motherhood will be like. Husband. Wife. 3 kids. Dog. Big house. But life doesn’t always end up how you imagined it as a child.
Because I got married later in life and didn’t start trying to have kids until my early 40’s, my road to becoming a mom was filled with a few potholes. And believe me, I know a thing or two about potholes, hailing from the state of Michigan.
Fertility issues. Age issues. Travel issues. They all played a role in delaying motherhood for me, but thanks to modern medicine and lots of prayers, I was finally blessed with my own little miracle. A baby girl.
I can still remember bringing my little bundle of girl home that first day. I guess I didn’t have any expectations, because I had never experienced having a baby before, but there was a subtle tinge of “foreignness” that poked me as I walked in the door.
It was just my husband and I. No mom. No dad. And no brothers and sisters to welcome us home. Just us. And I think that was the first moment that I realized what it was to be an expat mom.
From then on, it was the little things that poked me. Like my family not seeing my daughter until she was 3 months old. And not having “built-in” grandparent babysitters for a night off. Oh, and not being able to just run to Target to get anything you might need for your baby.
All the little things that reminded me that I was now an expat mom.
And it unavoidable at this point. I had to come to the acceptance that I wasn’t going to be able to just drop the kids off at nana & papa’s for a sleepover. I live in Israel. They live in the States. I’m an expat mom!
I had lived overseas and away from my family for the past 20 years. But for some reason when I became a mom, I envisioned my situation changing. It was at some point during the first 6 months of my daughters life that I finally came to terms with my reality. And I started seeing some of the benefits of being an expat mom.
One amazing part of expat life is the travel. I’ve always been a travel fanatic, but having family across the world guarantees that you’ll at least go see them once a year. If you’re like me.
We’re also crazy close to Europe, so weekend getaways to places like the Greek islands and Cyprus are just a 45 minute flight away. Not too shabby for this Mediterranean Mommy.
Another benefit is that Mia will grow up bilingual, with both Hebrew and English as her mother tongues. And I’m sure at some point she will learn another language or two as well.
And have I mentioned humus? It was seriously the first “real food” she ate, and she hasn’t stopped since. We have a Friday lunch humus tradition, and it never fails. Every Friday when we pick her up from nursery school, the first word out of her month is “humus?”
So, yes. I guess I’m learning to embrace the term, “expat mom”. The good, the bad and the humus too.
Are you an expat mom (mum)? Join our Facebook group, Expat Moms & Mums! We’re a community of moms, raising a family away from our “home” countries, sharing the joys and challenges with other expats around the world.