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Mums raising kids in a country different from where you grew up? - Page 3

post #41 of 73
I am from Switzerland living Canada for the past 14 years. I did not grow up in Switzerland as my dad was employed by the foreign department and we moved from embassy to embassy every3-4 years. Still, my parents managed to instill the Swiss culture in me. And my grandparents' village in Swizerland is "home".

I think the hardest part for me is that my kids are thoroughly Canadian. The have dual citizenship, but not a big connection to my home country. We have only been able to go back to visit a couple of time, and not nearly enough due to financial reasons. They don't speak Swiss German, as my dh doesn't and I do home daycare, the English just sort of happened. I have put them in a French Immersion school, so they will at least be able to speak one official language of Switzerland.
On the other hand Switzerland has changed a lot in the past 14 years, and I don't think I could live there permanently anymore and feel at home.
I mostly miss my family, I have always been very close to my mom, and not having her around is the hardest part.
post #42 of 73
howdy.

I'm an American living in the Middle East (Israel) with my Israeli husband. Our kids are dual citizens, and we speak two languages in the home, though I am homeschooling (kids are only 2.5 and 4.5 years old, though) so the primary environment is English/American.

Ds seems to be much more Israeli, in attitude, language, taste in foods, etc than dd, who is really the opposite in that way. Today they were fighting and dd was yelling at ds in English and he was shooting right back at her in Hebrew.

Either way they both ended up totally insulted. So I guess that bilingual thing is working, eh?

I miss the USA every day. I could go back and live there and be very happy. DH would not be so happy. I would miss Israel though. There are some great things about this country. Those great things do NOT include the constant threat of war, the sirens, the lack of customer service, the inability of the local population to drive (this goes for both Arab and Jew, btw...), the constant drama and pressure to conform, the beauacracy (which we would have to deal with in the inverse due to dh's immigrant status), the meddling nature of the society, the small size of houses, land, the expensive price of, well, EVERYTHING, my in laws, etc.. etc... etc...

But, the people can be warm and caring on day to day interactions. They genuinely love children and children definately feel that love. We have socialized health care, which is mixed blessings, but at least it's always an option for those of us that choose to use it. We are a pioneering culture, so it's a neat attitude. Jewish holidays and culture reign supreme, which is really special to live according to our religious calendar, which doesn't exist anywhere in the world. My "big" nose is considered "tiny" here in Israel...lol...

It's hard. I miss my family. I miss my friends, culture, songs and sights and smells of my youth, WATER, reasonable weather...

But I know if I lived there, I wouldn't fit in any longer and I know that if I stay here I will never fit in either...

post #43 of 73
Thread Starter 
Im feeling pretty good about it lately, living in a foreign country. My girls are starting secondary school next year and we visited the school this week which gave me a better idea of how the system runs, like I mentioned Im learning as I go. We had heard some bad stuff about the school but it was completely unfounded. The secondary school, this one anyway, is more set up like a community college, which in a way is cool but children start there at the age of 11. Its all kind of solidified the fact that, as much as Id love to have gone back previously, we are most likely starting a whole new legacy for this leg of our family over in the UK. Thats kind of how I feel about it. I feel better about visiting. I think if I had visited earlier I may not have ever come back, I was so homesick. In fact I had a rare phone call from my mom on a very difficult day, which usually has me all set up for massive homesickness and somehow... it magically happens that my mum will ring on those days when I want to speak to them the least, bc of the homesickness. This phone call was different. We were both down, missing each other, but I didnt feel that yearning to go back. Sort of more like a resigned sort of feeling, I was sad, missing my family but ... I dont know... the silliest way to put it, but the only way I can describe it was ( please forgive me for sounding like a wet noodle) like 'Im a big girl now, I have my own children and well Im all grown up'. Doesnt that sound silly, but thats how it was. I mean Im 32 yk? But in a way maybe Ive just grown up about it. Sigh.

Im still american, my kids are just SO british. They are very american in their way of thinking, I think, or more like they are just a little bit different from the other kids; for a number of reasons actually, our faith kind of makes us different, altho its a very common faith, actually taking it seriously and attempting to live it in the world we live in, for real, makes us different.

anyway, dh just brewed a lovely cup of tea for me, so Im off to enjoy my afternoon tea break.

have a great day guys!
gen
post #44 of 73
Wow I´m so glad I found this post! We moved from the US to Venezuela, where my husband is from, 3 months ago. It has suprised me how much it bothers me that my child(ren) won´t experience American culture and traditions. Mostly stupid stuff like trick or treating or prom. I try to keep it in perspective that our Venezuelan American son would have to miss out on a lot of the Venezuelan traditions if we lived in the US and my husband would feel like I do now. I lived abroad in college and enjoyed living completely different but having my kid in tow has changed it. Because I don´t totally understand how everything works here I worry about it all, from his schooling to how I´ll have another baby in a country with elective csections.
post #45 of 73
Thread Starter 
Oh MummyDearest, I can completely relate. I did really stupid things like get up at the crack of dawn so they could watch seseme street, lol, during the first few months after arriving here. And I wouldnt let them watch some of the british childrens programming. I was so homesick and so eager for them to have a taste of American culture (even at 10 months, it was more for me then them I guess) that Id go out of my way to do so! Sigh. It does get easier. My kids are really british tho, they've never been back to live any kind of american culture but they are a little bit different bc of me. I think I started this thread bc I was feeling like the odd one out at the time. So I go thru waves of it. There are most days when I dont ever think about it. I do think that after 10 years tho, I have begun to really accept it. The only thing I yearn for tho is to visit my family. We really need a big family reunion and some reconciliation for us. I didnt leave on the best of terms and some things have slid even further down into what seems like hopelessness for my parents and siblings. I know my mom and dad misses us a great deal and would be very blessed to see us again. I think to have visited any sooner would have been too traumatic so I can see the wisdom on us not having been to visit yet. Also, Im not sure I would have come back and my dh wouldnt have wanted to move over there. Now, I dont think I want to go back forever. I love England now, well I love Plymouth, where we are now.

anyway, there's my ramble...

post #46 of 73
Hi guys. I've been lurking and reading and enjoying your posts.

Genifer, I went through a phase where I made my parents send me NZ children's books and books in Maori so I could teach kid some Maori. Kinda lame, especially as she never gets to hear Maori IRL the way she might there, HA. It was totally for me - she enjoys the books but I feel validated by them in a weird way. I get what you mean about feeling like the odd one out at times. Right now I'm feeling better because at my new job, everyone is an immigrant, so we're all coming from a similar place. It's nice.

I"m into year 7.5 and for the first time ever I've started thinking that I might never leave Vancouver and that this is really 'home' now.
post #47 of 73
American in Norway here with two kids that were born here. It's going on 8 years now and I'm pretty firmly into feeling like I'm going to be a little bit of a stranger no matter where I live now. Somewhere around the 5 year mark I think I started feeling like I had lost touch with what it meant to be a "normal" American. It becomes very difficult to relate to people living simple single culture lives either here or there.

I'm pretty well used to life here, but homesickness does come in waves even now. And like others have mentioned it's more of a general longing for a feeling of home, like the way it "feels" in the NE US during the fall. Not missing my favorite brand of potato chip or 4 physical walls somewhere. It's hard knowing my kids won't see a real halloween or things like that that I grew up with. On the other hand I know there are things I like that they are getting here that they wouldn't get back in the US.

No easy solutions for us long term expats I don't think.
post #48 of 73
Yep, after about 6 months of scortching hot summer here in Israel, I'm starting to daydream about the pacific north west. Or even the Northeastern states....or mountain towns with lots of trees, changing leaves. And pumpkins (no pumpkins in Israel...only large speghetti squash...or butternut or acorn). And my family.

Very much thinking of moving back. I've heard the magic 5 year time frame as well. We are at 4 years now.
post #49 of 73
I'm from germany but dh is british, we decided to live in england because homeschooling is illegal in germany. ( even though i must admit that the beach & the lovely countryside were big points,too.)
i find it hard to keep up traditions, but luckily we have a german playgroup we share celebrations with.

<3
post #50 of 73
Hi all! I'm British married t an Ameican now living in the USA. I hated it until we moved here. I think mst of the time dh frgets that I am from another culture which i so different to his.
post #51 of 73


Im American, raising (or soon to be) son in Austria (europe).

and now, I go back to lurking.
post #52 of 73
I just came across this thread and I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only one who feels "lost" in another culture.

I'm Australian and married to a British/American, and we live in the US. He grew up in London, so it's still foreign for him, too. We've been here for almost 6.5 years now, and I still don't feel like I fit anywhere. Granted, the first 2 years were in Hawaii and that is another culture entirely, but still. I feel like an imposter (especially during holidays) and don't get me started on education. We're leaning towards homeschooling and I will be learning US history along with my LO's.

DH wants to move to London, I want to move back to Australia (I want my kids to grow up the way I did... on the beach!)... so meanwhile, this is the middle ground.
post #53 of 73
My husband is American, (I'm assuming DH means husband right? pardon my ignorance) and I'm Portuguese/Spaniard but I spent most of my childhood in Spain. And I'm totally the opposite to most of you, I left my country for a reason and I don't plan to go back. Even though I've been living in the US for 9 years now and I'm pretty used to everything and I feel very at "home". I miss listening to Spanish or Portuguese when I walk down the streets though.
That's what I miss the most, but other than that I'm fine here.

I guess I'm a weirdo
post #54 of 73
Not quite a different country, but I was born and raised in cosmopolitan Toronto, but moved to the francophone province of Quebec 12 years ago and married a Quebeker .

The language and cultural issues are *very* different here. We see my family occasionally, but the Chinese community here is quite small compared with Toronto.
post #55 of 73
Hi!
Dh and I are moving with our two boys to New Zealand (from the US) in just a couple of months. I'm not really sure what to expect as far as differences. We'll be homeschooling so we won't be getting used to a new school system or anything. I'm sure we'll feel sort of like outsiders at least for a little while, but I feel that we aren't that close to many people here anyway. Also, my family lives across the country from us right now, so we aren't used to having family close. We are really excited to get out of the city! (we're in Chicago right now) and be able to get our family into some nature!
post #56 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMS View Post
Tamara, from what I know about Sao Paulo I think I would have a really hard time there, too. I've never been, but that's where my husband's family is from. Can't help with the pollution, crime, traffic..but at least here in Salvador, a lot of locals use cloth diapers. My nanny says you can buy them in the drugstore. Don't know about the quality or price, though. We got some as a hand-me-down from another American family.

HI Tamara and Ellie !!! Welcome to Brazil !
I am an American livng in the Northeast of Brasil {Ellie we have spoken through your blog before} And I have some great, useful info on cloth diapering here in Brazil. I exclusively cloth diapered my 11 month dd since birth with a mix of dipes from here and the US {strangely I like the dipes here better} and I am going to write a post on cloth diapering 101 in Brazil on my blog tomorrow. I have been thinking about doing this for awhile now and seeing this thread and your curiosities about it has pushed me into action .. the address to my blog is in my siggy .. if you have a chance check it out tomorrow. And as always if you have any questions .. feel free to email me or pm me through here !
Tanya
post #57 of 73
I belong here, we're not a multicultural family as we're both British, but we live in the US, have done for 3 years and are likely to do so for the forseeable future. Our youngest was born here and our other kids were 1 and 3 when we moved, so only the oldest remembers home and only then only just. We also lived in Korea for a while when we just had one.

I'm desparately lonely at the moment, it was an awful lot better when I didn't have a baby as I was involved in several activities that have gone on a back burner since she was born.

The lifestyle between where I live in the US and where I lived in the UK is very different, particularly with children. I feel like the odd one out here a lot, we live in a very multicultural area and the neighbourhoods are so varied that I feel like I don't really fit in where we live, but also don't fit in other places because of where we live.

Rather randomly it seems like amongst our friends, which is basically from our church, that we never really fit into any group simply because of the age or sex of our kids. There are lots of newborn babies, but I'm almost the only one that has school age kids too, but with the age of our other kids I'm almost the only one that doesn't also have a 10 year old girl! I'm also a lot younger than most of the mums at church.

I feel very unstable and unsettled right now, we've lived here long enough that there are very many things about living here that I would really miss if we moved back to the UK and that it's changed me enough that I'd be the odd one out there too.

We didn't live close to family back in the UK, but a few hours drive is still a lot different from an 11 hour flight. Since we moved, my parents have moved out of the house I grew up in, but only moved about a mile away, which I think will be very odd when we eventually do go and visit.
post #58 of 73
Quote:
I feel very unstable and unsettled right now, we've lived here long enough that there are very many things about living here that I would really miss if we moved back to the UK and that it's changed me enough that I'd be the odd one out there too.

We didn't live close to family back in the UK, but a few hours drive is still a lot different from an 11 hour flight. Since we moved, my parents have moved out of the house I grew up in, but only moved about a mile away, which I think will be very odd when we eventually do go and visit.
I fit this whole part as well Its not easy to feel like you're not home there or here. my family is a 19 hour flight away, and the family we do live close to might as well be strangers.. and I know if we moved closer/back near my family, I would miss a lot about this place but at the same time being here, I miss a lot about there (mostly people, the food etc)..



Also, I dont know what part of the US you live, but if you are anywhere near a city, I always found a ton of different types of playgroups available
post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefulT View Post
HI Tamara and Ellie !!! Welcome to Brazil !
I am an American livng in the Northeast of Brasil {Ellie we have spoken through your blog before} And I have some great, useful info on cloth diapering here in Brazil. I exclusively cloth diapered my 11 month dd since birth with a mix of dipes from here and the US {strangely I like the dipes here better} and I am going to write a post on cloth diapering 101 in Brazil on my blog tomorrow. I have been thinking about doing this for awhile now and seeing this thread and your curiosities about it has pushed me into action .. the address to my blog is in my siggy .. if you have a chance check it out tomorrow. And as always if you have any questions .. feel free to email me or pm me through here !
Tanya
I will totally check out your blog! Have found the local prefolds, and they are wonderfully absorbent, but I haven't found covers yet. Made some, but the velcro quickly wore-out on them, so need to find some better-quality stuff. Ordering a few diapers from the US for the newborn...
post #60 of 73
DH and I both come from different countries in Europe. We live in Canada. I make a conscious effort to teach my DS Dutch. It is not easy, because I don't speak it very often any more! I am so very glad that there is internet radio these days. We have begun to consistently listen to Dutch radio stations just so that DS is exposed to other voices speaking Dutch other than just mine. It also helps me to be more in touch with current affairs/linguistic expressions. They change so rapidly! At 19 months, he is definitely bilingual.

I sometimes miss Europe. I miss the variety that exists there as opposed to where we live in Canada (sorry, no offense, I hope). What I mean with this is that you have to travel only a few hours to be immersed into a totally culturally different environment. I don't miss my country or Europe that much that I want to holiday in Europe anytime soon though.

There is a lot to be said for Canada, especially for its acceptance of people of all ethnic backgrounds and multiculturalism. I treasure that. As well, I am glad that I have a choice here to either put my kid through the school system, or not (leaning towards 'not').

I intent to travel for an extended time period in the future and wish to show DS all the things I treasure in Western Europe. We're saving up for this. In the meantime, we try to associate with the few Dutch kids we know here. DH is not as concerned as I am to transmit his cultural past to DS and that is fine, of course. I just think that the more diverse DS's exposure to cultures/languages is, the better in the long run.
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