|Photo Credit: AD- Passion (http://blog.ad-passion.com)|
Parenting in an unfamiliar environment is hard - and it doesn't just have to be unknown for the children. The children may have known nothing else but when the parent has to make decisions and make the right choice for their children unfamiliar cultures, systems and processes can be real show stoppers. Take education as an example. The Dutch system is different to the British system and is unfamiliar to me, even though my husband went through the system himself and can help explain up to a point. To make choices for my children based on a system I went through decades ago is hard enough, let alone having to fathom out and truly understand how a different system works before you can make the right choice for your kids. And that's just one topic.
The lack of support network is also something I identify with. If couples have two sets of parents they can call on to help out when the going gets tough then they are extremely lucky. Most people don't have that luxury for one reason or another but do have at least one set of family to call upon. Expats generally don't have that. They have to make a new network and create support around them and that can take a long time.
And my children growing up without the close geographical proximity of their grandparents is also an issue I can relate to. Of course expats make the best of it, but it's not always the ideal situation.
In any case, take a read and let me know what you think.
UN Special - Expatmothers
What other issues do "expatmothers" face?