You might be a mom if…

You might be a mom if…

  Leave a comment on Facebook with the crazy things you've started doing now that you're definitely a mom.   Transcript of the video You might be a mom if you've redefined what crazy means after you've since checked off all of the boxes from the list you created before you had kids. You might be a mom if you instantly become suspicious that your children are secretly strangling each other in their room because it is too quiet in your house and there's no such thing as a quiet house anymore. You might be a mom if you've ever used baby wipes instead of makeup removing wipes because hello! They do the same thing, and one is way cheaper than the other. You might be a mom if you haven't thought twice about sticking your hand into a clogged sink to pull out random bits of food because your hands have already seen way worse than anything in a kitchen sink. You might be a mom if...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
Top 10 Ways To Be An A+ Expat Host

Top 10 Ways To Be An A+ Expat Host

  Last month I published the Top 10 Ways To Be An A+ International House Guest and fellow expats around the world cheered with delight. Well, the knife cuts both ways and I'm here to share some tips on how to be an excellent expat host. As nice as it is to have respectful, thoughtful guests, it is equally important to be a considerate host when your family and friends are traveling hours to visit you. If you want to guarantee that friends and family will ever repeat their long and expensive trek to see your scrubby faces, here are the top 10 ways to be an A+ expat host. 1. Meet them at the airport A+: "Welcome to our new country! We have nice cold waters waiting for you in the car and you can relax the rest of the way to our place." Pass: "I ordered a taxi for you at the airport. The driver will bring you straight to our house." Fail: "Sorry, I forgot you were...
Read More
When You See Those Bizarre Behavioral Traits In Your Expat Kids

When You See Those Bizarre Behavioral Traits In Your Expat Kids

When you live far from family, genetics and certain familial behaviors, become quite apparent. In particular, there is one behavior that is so odd, so unique, that it cannot be explained—only seen to be believed. The women on my mother's side of the family display an uncommon behavior that I have only ever seen them do. Most people call them "armpits" but I like to call them "hand pockets" because my grandmother and aunts all tuck their hands into their armpits/hand pockets in a most unusual way—a default resting position. It's almost as if they don't have anything else to do with their hands, and they naturally find their way into their armpits, I mean, hand pockets. (My mom denies ever doing this herself, but I secretly think she also finds it a comfortable position.) While others may fold their hands in their lap or place their hands into their pants pockets, you'll find the women in my family standing around the kitchen,...
Read More
The Ridiculous Lies We Tell Our Children

The Ridiculous Lies We Tell Our Children

One of the negatives of not understanding 100% of the local language is that I often miss exchanges on the playground between the parents and their children. However, depending on the age of the children, my basic Swedish language skills are enough to help me limp along and follow most conversations. Yesterday, while at the playground, my son was playing with his classmate from preschool. Her mother was standing nearby when both kids started to climb the tree. That's when I heard it—a ridiculous lie. It was in Swedish, but there was no error in my translation. Both kids climbed and laughed in the tree when the other mother said in Swedish, "Don't climb that tree. There may be snakes." Now, to her credit, perhaps she had seen snakes in that tree before but it is highly unlikely due to two reasons: 1) there are only two kinds of snakes in Sweden, and neither one is particularly dangerous and 2) I have never...
Read More
5 Reasons to Not Learn the Local Language

5 Reasons to Not Learn the Local Language

We all know the numerous benefits to speaking the local language—being able to clearly communicate your needs and wants is kind of a priority in your daily expat life, no? However, there are some benefits, albeit minor ones, to not knowing the local language. Yeah sure, you'll miss out on the countless benefits of being multilingual, but this is just a fun post anyway, so let's roll with it. 1. Foreign languages sound like white noise White noise is so calming. We spent $35 on a white noise lamb sleep machine for our son when he was an infant. When you don't understand the local language, your entire world becomes blanketed with this white noise effect. It gives your brain a rest from trying to listen to, process, and understand all of the language around you when you just give up. It is shocking to realize just how much unknown language you can grow accustomed to tuning out. When I re-immersed myself back...
Read More
Book review: Dutched Up!: Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style

Book review: Dutched Up!: Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style

  I recently read Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style by Expat Women Bloggers, and enjoyed reading about life in the Netherlands. The book is an anthology of short stories by female writers and topics address the many cultural differences experienced while living abroad. I laughed aloud when the issue of stolen bicycles came up as I know how important it is when your primary mode of transportation goes missing. The infuriating feeling of someone stealing your bike is akin to stealing someone's horse in the 1800s in the US. Best solved with a duel at high noon! The writer's journey to retrieve her stolen bike, once she found it again, made me laugh! I could relate to many of the commonly experienced expat things like feeling lost, gaining/losing friends, and finally feeling at home in your adopted country that the book addresses. The chapters are short and entertaining, so the book is easy to put down and pick back up...
Read More