The bright side of expat parenting.
Are you laughing already? Are there any advantages of bringing up kids in a land far, far away? All alone, with no grandpa to take kids to the zoo or grandma to pop over with a soup. With no kids-free weekend, no social life whenever you want. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is speechless when talking to friends back home complaining how tired they are after a weekend without leaving kids at grandparents for at least few hours?
But is it really all that bad and hard? Let’s look at the bright side, laugh a bit!
1. Independence, 100%. No nagging, no advising, no following, no looking over our shoulders. And no unannounced visits from all the grandparents, aunts and uncles.
2. Unwanted gifts? Well, we get less gifts in general because we don’t see each other that often. We can also easily recycle, give away, store in basement without a risk of a surprise visit from the donor. Or was it the postman/airport staff/big dog who destroyed that hideous toy?
3. Whether we want it or not, we will have to learn a new language – to exist in our child’s social life or help them with homework. Having to learn can’t be a bad thing, can it? Or you can ignore it and be called funny names by your child’s friends.
4. We actually really look forward to spending time with our relatives. We can easily enjoy every minute of reunion as we know it’s only for a bit. It’s so much easier to accept their flaws! Just don’t make me do it for more than 10 days, there is a limit to everything.
5. Each one of us is far from home because home didn’t offer what we needed no matter what it was: peace, love, money, healthcare, career. So stop grumping.
6. We get less advise from close and long distant relatives. Thanks to the distance we can distant from all that crap. Sorry, can’t hear you, the connection is poor!
7. We can blame everything on the fact we’re parenting alone without our natural village. Literally, everything. Breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, not dealing with tantrums, being exhausted, forgetting nappies and feeding our kids only chocolate for a week, not getting rid off the dummy at a certain age. You name it. You don’t do it in X? Oh, it must be cultural, totally accepted here!
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