Taking Route: Finding Your Parenting Style In Between Cultures

Taking Route: Finding Your Parenting Style In Between Cultures

  The ladies (Denise and Alicia) at Taking Route have a great podcast up and running if you are looking for a new podcast to listen to about life abroad. When they approached me to chat about the Knocked Up Abroad series, I was super excited to share my story about how living in Sweden has had a profound influence on my approach to parenting. Denise has six (6!) children abroad (I don't know how she finds time to put together a podcast) and we connected right away. We both love allowing our kids to play unattended and our lives abroad have reduced our "nervousness" in our approaches to parenting. (We also both harbor an unnatural hatred for Pinterest, but that's another story.) Be sure to follow Taking Route on Instagram for more of their great content including Denise's awesome passport hack. Also, Alicia from Taking Route is knocked up abroad again herself—and she uses that term!—and I love it when women refer to themselves...
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Can it ever be enough?

Can it ever be enough?

  I've been there for every moment. Every smile, every laugh, every wobbly step—every everything—and yet it feels like I am still missing out on so much. How is it not enough? I look back at baby pictures taken years ago, and I see that squishy face. I can see hints of who you will become hidden around your smile wrinkles, arm folds, and fuzzy hair.     You and I were different back then. Through the long nights with multiple wake ups, the constant changing of sheets, and endless laundry, I was too mired in the hour-to-hour chaos to reflect on anything meaningful. Back then I couldn't see the sweet, crazy kid you would become. Back then your happy moments were constantly interrupted with fussy ones. Your smiles turned into cries, and I'd quickly have to intervene. It felt like we were on this emotional roller coaster together, but the ride was taking too long. I was tired, and the ride kept on going and...
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Is It Time For This Mother In France To Rentrer?

Is It Time For This Mother In France To Rentrer?

Five years ago, my husband and I packed up our Manhattan apartment and moved across the ocean to France. Our plan was to stay for two to three years and then hightail it back to the U.S. to start a family. There was no way I was going to have a baby in a foreign country! Except that I did. And we stayed. Despite my initial reticence—and bolstered by the experiences described in Bringing Up Bébé—I loved being pregnant in France. I have zero regrets, even though I only understood 60% of any doctor’s appointment throughout my pregnancy. During delivery, my husband stood by my shoulder translating, “Breathe…push…push again…okay, I’m not sure what the OB is saying but maybe push again?...Oh wait, no, don’t push! DON’T PUSH!!” Even though we had lived in France for a few years, we had difficulty making close friends. When my son was born, I realized that we couldn’t continue to operate in isolation. I needed a village....
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The Bag That Will Revolutionize Parenting

The Bag That Will Revolutionize Parenting

One of the best parts of entering into the crowdfunding community is that other creatives and inventors discover and connect with one another. I had the pleasure of running across Pricilla's amazing invention that is perfect for parents who are looking for a diaper bag that can do it all—The Division of Labor Dual Tote.     Designed by a busy mom who was tired of the mess that became her diaper bag, this bag is durable and stylish enough to last long after your baby is out of diapers. When I was pregnant, we purchased a black diaper bag that my husband wouldn't mind carrying. I was continually digging through it to try to find wipes and an extra clean onesie when diaper physics failed me yet again. I can't tell you how many times I would discover a lost pair of socks at the bottom of the bag. I would've given my right arm (the one that I use for world-domination) for a...
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To The Mom With The Bad Birth Experience

To The Mom With The Bad Birth Experience

BY THE KNOCKED UP ABROAD AGAIN CONTRIBUTORS To the mom with the bad birth experience, It doesn’t matter what happened. Whether you had an underlying condition or were treated badly by your doctor or midwife. Whether the baby wasn’t doing well or whether your providers caused you considerable unnecessary stress. Whether in other words it was caused by an inherent problem with your pregnancy or something external that was out of your control. Maybe, like us, you gave birth in a foreign country, not speaking the language and not familiar with the maternity system. Maybe giving birth traumatized you. Maybe the people you trusted most let you down. It doesn’t matter because all that matters is that you’re hurting. That’s why we wrote this post: we are here for you. We want to tell you that you are not alone. We know because we’ve been there. I think most of us had a traumatic birth experience—for a large variety of reasons. Olga, for example, felt...
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Struggling To Breastfeed in Bangkok: Why Expat Moms Need Support

Struggling To Breastfeed in Bangkok: Why Expat Moms Need Support

BY LAURA KENT-DAVIDSON I can still remember the feeling I had walking off the plane in Bangkok with my eight-month-old in arms. Thailand was going to be our home for the next two years, and I was both terrified and overwhelmed with excitement. While I was eager to connect with locals and absorb Thai culture, I knew that reaching out to the English-speaking community was going to be important in my adjustment to help prevent the feelings of isolation I was afraid of developing. I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into the unknown, and as a breastfeeding mother, I was curious about what the breastfeeding culture in Bangkok. Would there be other breastfeeding moms in my community for support? I hoped that I would be able to find a few. Within days of arriving, I became aware of a group called the Bangkok Breastfeeding Cafe. From what I could tell online, it was a casual meet-up at a local coffee shop for...
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Mother Tongue: An Ambitious Memoir About Multilingualism

Mother Tongue: An Ambitious Memoir About Multilingualism

I pre-ordered this book because Christine Gilbert was offering some awesome rewards for her fans before the book hit the shelves. Despite living in Sweden, it arrived only 20 days after its release and I devoured it while absorbing the intense Swedish summer sun on my front deck. Christine Gilbert is somewhat of my publishing and adventure-driven nomadic mentor. She regularly packs up her family and sets off to a different country (she's traveled to over 35 countries) as she and her husband have digital careers. She has self-published numerous books and traditionally published her memoir with Avery, Mother Tongue: My Family's Globe-Trotting Quest To Dream In Mandarin, Laugh In Arabic, And Sing In Spanish. Her online courses are super clear recipes for how to start and sustain a digital career that allows you to live anywhere in the world. She's been successful and definitely knows what she's talking about so if you're interested in furthering a creative digital career, Christine is someone to...
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Why do I do what I do? (Publish anthologies)

Why do I do what I do? (Publish anthologies)

I've been asked numerous times, "Why do you do what you do?" and the question they are really asking is, "Why do you publish anthologies for free?" This video has the deeper answer to my usual three-second answer, "Personal and professional fulfillment." I sat down and really thought about the why. Of course, the high-level answer is, "Personal and professional fulfillment" but there's more to it than that. We all need to push ourselves to grow, make connections with other people, variety in our daily lives, and create and contribute to something that is bigger than ourselves. Contribute today to support this amazing community of mothers around the world. ...
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35 Reasons Expat Moms Crave Coffee

35 Reasons Expat Moms Crave Coffee

  Today is International Coffee Day but for expat moms, every day is international coffee day. Here are some reasons why expat moms really crave coffee—the sweet nectar of sanity.   1. Because it took you 8 minutes to translate the "crucial" information posted on your children's whiteboard at preschool   2. Cause sometimes tea just won't cut it   3. Because it's early and your child is giggling and shouting a new local word she just learned and you're not sure if it's a swear word or not   4. Cause a local mom invited you to her child's birthday party and you think you accepted although you're not sure if parents are expected to stay, leave, bring presents, eat cake, or none or possibly all of the above   5. Cause baking a local recipe required 5 conversions, 2 substitutions, and 7 minutes of translation   6. Because you woke up early to catch a plane to get your child's passport   7. Cause you need caffeine to manage driving on the other side of the road...
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10 Reasons Why It’s Awesome Being Knocked Up Abroad

10 Reasons Why It’s Awesome Being Knocked Up Abroad

This article can also be found on The Huffington Post. You’re living in a foreign country, you don’t speak the language, and you’re faced with new cultural customs and traditions that make your head spin. Your period is late, and you realize, “Oh my goodness. I’m totally knocked up abroad!” Don’t fret, my pet, for this is great news! You’re officially part of the most badass club of women to ever exist and I’ll tell you why. Here are the top 10 reasons why it’s awesome being knocked up abroad: 1. Living in a language bubble is super relaxing So many things get lost (easily ignored) when you don’t speak the local language. Is someone asking when you are due? You don’t know. And frankly, you don’t care. Being pregnant in the language bubble is blissful—nothing but you and your thoughts in your head all day long. 2. You’re a rebel almost every day In Turkey, it is superstitious not to allow a pregnant woman’s feet...
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