Friday, March 25, 2011

Lessons Learned as a Mommy Abroad

One of the greatest things about moving around to different countries is learning. We learn about other cultures, parts of the world and other languages. We learn what it means to sacrifice, miss people you love, and to depend on each other. And the thing that I think is most fascinating is that we learn how small and tiny we really are.

I've noticed quite a few things about parenting from living in abroad that I have found interesting and I thought from time to time, I could share a few.

So here we go...

A few about Norway:
  • You can let your kids play in the rain and snow. A famous saying in Norway is: There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. And while teaching in Norway, I can now say I've been on recess duty in the cold rain and cold snow. They do have really neat weather gear to wear over their cute clothes though!!
  • Maternity leave can mean a YEAR! Even Daddy gets a great maternity leave, not quite as long though. Could you imagine?
  • Breastfeeding it is. Breastfeeding in public isn't weird and doesn't make people uncomfortable. And who needs a Hooter-Hider? I'll never forget going to lunch with a few of my teaching friends, who were all on their maternity leave. When I walked up to the restaurant I noticed the sidewalk was lined with empty prams (strollers). The place was filled with moms and babes! When the baby was hungry, up went the shirt and baby ate! Who knew?!
Side Note: Being the American that I am, didn't know what to do and where I could look! Ha ha! Send me back there now, I'd be a champ!

A tad about China:
  • After having a baby, mommy must stay in bed, without a shower and keep a hat on her hed for one whole month. Your mother-in-law feeds you tons of food. (This, however, was not my experience for having my child in China.)
  • They practice infant potty training. It is amazing! Our Housekeepers think I am crazy for constantly putting diapers on my child. One told me "You potty train your dog. Your baby is smarter than your dog. Diapers are very bad." Very true, point taken.
(I may post more on this later.)
  • Family is so important to Chinese people. Actually, many times, the Mother-in-Law will raise the child. (Only one child per family). I've been asked "How do you know how to raise a child?" That is a good question. Then I was suggested to hire someone who "knows what they are doing" to raise my kiddo.
They weren't being rude, by the way. Politeness can get lost in translation. They were trying to help a girl out!

Any who, if anything, I hope you know that when raising children, WE as mothers are in this together! All parents want the same for their children...a wonderful life.

A Big Picture Thought:

Our little family is preparing for our next big move. The only thing is, we don't know where it will be and don't know exactly when. What we do know is it will be by June 30th and it's not in our hands.

This used to be something that I would anticipate, worry about, and loose sleep over. However, one of the things I have learned on this journey is that when it is NOT in your hands, you do NOT stress over. Isn't that wonderful how it works like that!? I now see it as a huge relief to know that it is not up to me.

I'm sure, someone has told you before, to "Give it up to God!"

(HA! Easy for you to say!)

Usually, this is about something stressing and consuming that you physically can't make happen. But you want to be able to fix this problem so bad. Well, I feel like I can finally give it up to God and let him take control. It is much more reassuring to know He is in control of it anyway!! He will do a much better job than I any day!!

Here is what it says in the Bible about this:

1 Peter 5:7
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Let's be honest, this is a great gift as a parent. God is good, that is for sure!


  1. I am a mother of a 16 month old, living in the Philippines in a condo... i would love some suggestions/advice for helping my son not go crazy or drive me crazy with not being able to play outside everyday. There aren't parks here or grass for that matter and we go on walks in the subdivision but you can only do that so many times. would just love to hear what worked for you and your family. thanks

  2. Hi Shopper88! I'm so glad you found our blog. I can totally relate...what you are explaining sounds a lot like China to me. I know this may sound redundant, but if you browse through our blog a bit you will see some of the activities we have done along the way. My son is currently (July 2011) 18 months, so that should give you a reference.

    Check out the bottom of our blog where it says, labels, the second label is SENSORY. We have quite a few activities on there that are engaging, fun, meaningful (believe it or not) and maybe messy.

    We have just moved and are adjusting. But in China, it was just Carter and me, all day long. So I know what you are going through.

    I hope that helps!?

    Follow along and I'll try to get blogging a bit more!! We've been so busy settling into our new home!




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