Mums raising kids in a country different from where you grew up? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im just wondering if there are any mums/moms here who are raising their kids in their dh's country (which is different from their own? Am I being clear?) Ive been married ten years, have 10yo twin girls and an 8yo boy. My dh is british/jamaican, but british thru and thru. Im american. Ive lived in the uk for 10 years. I love my family but I feel like Im a minority. Im learning the education system as I go, its so different from the US system. My kids have never been to my home country and I still 'feel' american, even tho if I went back, I know Id stick out like a sore thumb. Im just wondering if anyone else is in this situation. How do you get on? do you feel homesick? Do you miss that your kids wont know the country you grew up in?
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#2 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Hi Genifer -- I am also an American living in the UK!
I am in Norfolk; where are you? Do you use any of the British parenting websites (don't know if I am allowed to link to them?)

I have lived here almost 18 years and I still get culture shock moments (sigh).
It's funny, but somethings I want to blame on cultural differences and it turns out that things have changed back in the States, too, in the same way, I am just out of touch both ways.

DC have been back to California a few times, but not for almost 3 years; we are going next Easter.

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#3 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by genifer View Post
Im just wondering if there are any mums/moms here who are raising their kids in their dh's country (which is different from their own? Am I being clear?) Ive been married ten years, have 10yo twin girls and an 8yo boy. My dh is british/jamaican, but british thru and thru. Im american. Ive lived in the uk for 10 years. I love my family but I feel like Im a minority. Im learning the education system as I go, its so different from the US system. My kids have never been to my home country and I still 'feel' american, even tho if I went back, I know Id stick out like a sore thumb. Im just wondering if anyone else is in this situation. How do you get on? do you feel homesick? Do you miss that your kids wont know the country you grew up in?
yes, me. I'm supah glad you started this thread because these are things that are regularly on my mind. DH is Canadian, I am a Kiwi (New Zealander) and we live in Canada, which I *mostly* like. However, I find there are a lot of cultural differences. I am often homesick for my culture, though I include British culture in that because NZ is heavily UK-influenced and my mother is English. There are certain things - a sense of humour being one - that haven't translated so well to Canada. Even though we supposedly speak the same language it's not the same language. Even now people misunderstand me sometimes. I miss people just 'getting' me, y'know? I find the education system very different here to NZ.

I want us to spend a year in NZ (or the UK) so kid will get to know that side of her background. I have mixed feelings about the schooling system here too. There are things about the NZ system, in particular in high school, that I'd prefer. Like, uniforms, for instance. I'm frankly a bit scared about high school here because it's sooooo different to what I grew up with and not all of the difference I"m okay with
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#4 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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I wish I could find some more antipodean mums to hang out with. Either they're not around or they're shy, but I have yet to meet a fellow Kiwi in the same situation and place as me.
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#5 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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Im an English girl in Az, married to my US husband who is in the airforce. My son was born in England on the NHS which I loved through and through. I had a wonderful hospital birth with him. Thankfully they have a birthing center here which is cool as im not sure id like to deliver in a US hospital.

I find it hard frequently. I miss England terribly-just dumb things really like church fetes its hard being so far away from anyone I know too, I have to lean solely on DH who works 12hr shifts (frequently at night).

I have a hard time also thinking that my son is half american, when people ask I always say 'we're English' and then I think 'wow...he's actually half and half' it's taking time to get used to the different systems here, but at least we speak the same language (kind of at least )

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#6 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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OP i am assuming you havent been back home either.

for me its like being caught in the twilight zone.

i realised i dont have a home.

everywhere is my home.

i am from asia living in the US coparenting my dd after my american husband asked for a divorce.

i have been able to go back - however not as often as possible.

when i am in the US i miss asia. when i am in asia i miss the US.

what would be perfect for me is to be able to go back every year. but sadly cant afford it.

i struggle with my passport, because i feel i have become a world citizen. i have been away for 12 years now. even 'asia home' kinda seems strange to me.

i feel an alien everywhere

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#7 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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I'm American living in Holland with my Dutch DH. Although I mostly think Holland is a better place to raise kids than the US is (for a variety of reasons) I do miss a lot of things myself, and miss that my DS won't really know many American childhood things.

We spent a semester there this past Spring for my job, we are back in the US about once a year, and have a lot of contact with my family. Still . .. .it's not the same thing.

I'm getting used to the educational system here, but I'm always an outsider.

Anyway, I know how you feel . ... it's tough raising a kid in another country and culture. My Dutch is pretty good and I'm well-integrated, but it's still just not the same as "getting" what's going on in your kids' lives in the same way you would in your own county.
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#8 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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I'm from the Caribbean but have lived in the US for 13 years. My DH is American born and raised. I haven't been able to visit home in four years and it might be a few more years before I get to visit again. I've been thinking about how I will expose my DS to my country's culture as he grows up. I don't have any relatives in the city where I live right now and to be perfectly honest, my life is very American, culturally, right now.
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#9 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Im an American raising 2 of my boys in Mexico, my biggest draw back with living outside the US...is all the things that the US has to offer families and children. Here in Mexico..we pretty much stay at home 24/7....it gets so boring...however i too dont feel like i have a home anymore....we have a house in NC that we are renting out....i kind of like our home here in Mexico..but it's not the same as NC....oh! I feel bad that my kids will not be able to exp. the same childhood that i was exposed to. Church activities, the park, easter egg hunts....sports. It's just different.

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#10 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bajamergrrl View Post
I'm from the Caribbean but have lived in the US for 13 years. My DH is American born and raised. I haven't been able to visit home in four years and it might be a few more years before I get to visit again. I've been thinking about how I will expose my DS to my country's culture as he grows up. I don't have any relatives in the city where I live right now and to be perfectly honest, my life is very American, culturally, right now.
That, except it's Hungary and not the Carribean, and I haven't been able to go back in almost ten years. : I'm very, VERY very very very homesick on a daily basis.

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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#11 of 73 Old 08-22-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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I was born in the US, moved to Europe when I was 12, moved back to the US in my late 20s, married to a Middle Eastern man. I don't know where to answer when asked where I come from. I guess I just am where I am. I do want my kids to think of the US as home, unlike when I was a kid and my father emphasised that though we were born here, we were eventually going "home" to Europe. I don't want my kids to have that same sense of fitting in nowhere that I often feel. Yet I do want them to feel connected to my family and my DH's family on other continents. It's hard...
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#12 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamato3wild ponnie View Post
Im an American raising 2 of my boys in Mexico, my biggest draw back with living outside the US...is all the things that the US has to offer families and children. Here in Mexico..we pretty much stay at home 24/7....it gets so boring...however i too dont feel like i have a home anymore....we have a house in NC that we are renting out....i kind of like our home here in Mexico..but it's not the same as NC....oh! I feel bad that my kids will not be able to exp. the same childhood that i was exposed to. Church activities, the park, easter egg hunts....sports. It's just different.
I grew up in Mexico with an American mom and I can't imagine where you live that you feel this way! All the things that you mention were a regular part of my life and more! Of course,I grew up in the DF, so maybe that's the difference?

Anyway, living in the US I'm sad that my kids will miss out on so many of the experiences that I had growing up... bartering in open-air markets, the food, the culture (ruins, pyramids, amazing cathedrals, folkloric dance!). Now that DS1 is 7, I've been yearning to take him to Mexico and show him everything. But it'll have to wait a few years so that all three if my kids will be old enough to travel more easily and understand it all.

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#13 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. I honestly thought no one would reply!

Quote:
OP i am assuming you havent been back home either.
No, I havent been back in 10 years and I almost cant believe it. I really really miss my family very much. Ive seen my mom, she's been over here twice. I miss my dad, brother and sister and her daughter very much.

I can relate SO much to so much of what everyone's said. Its very strange to me that my kids have NO experience of american life apart from what they see on tv. I mean, tbh, I love britain, I love the different tiny cultural differences, but its still a culture shock, just like someone else said. As my kids get older, also, I am feeling more and more like I dont fit in. We never intended to stay in the UK, we were planning on going back to the states within 3 years of me getting over here. Long story. So, I never intended to settle in. Infact, it wasnt until about 2 or 3 years ago, that I decided to completely shelve the idea of ever going back to live.

Quote:
Hi Genifer -- I am also an American living in the UK!
I am in Norfolk; where are you? Do you use any of the British parenting websites (don't know if I am allowed to link to them?)
I have lived here almost 18 years and I still get culture shock moments (sigh).
It's funny, but somethings I want to blame on cultural differences and it turns out that things have changed back in the States, too, in the same way, I am just out of touch both ways.
We lived up north for 8 years, including in Manchester for five years. We're now living in Plymouth, just outside of Cornwall. Plymouth is awesome. We are in the center of the most beautiful part of the country (Imho). I LOVE it. I love visiting Plymouth seafront and walking on the Mayflower steps and the history of this part of the country. I said to dh that I could settle and grow old here. We only moved to plymouth a year ago, but dh grew up here and had quietly been pining to come back to this part of the country the whole 20 yrs he'd been away.


Oh yeah, Ive never found any british parenting sites, Im sure its ok to post them or just pm me with them. thatd be cool. In a lot of ways I cant relate to some people. Or they dont get me, whatever. There is this council estate culture, where a lot of people are on benefits for ages, which we were but never intended to stay on them. There are different attitudes to growing up over here then in the States. I dont always get those. I guess it stems from kids finishing up with formal education when they are 16. That scares me!!!! Really. Im at a stage where Ive got to change. (welling up...)... Ive got to accept that Im not going back and at this point even if I did, everything'd be different. ID be different! My family back home. My brother called me Mary Poppins the last time spoke to him (which was a good three years ago). It really really gets me sometimes. Now the reasons why I havent spoke to him in that long are... well its another long story. Id been estranged from my family for ..oooh about 6 years... just not on very good terms. All they wanted to know from me when I spoke to them was when we were coming 'home'. My dh and I eloped and they really never accepted it (homelife was ... challenging. Not horrid, but strained). I eloped with my dh after knowing each other for less then 5 months. It was a total shock to them, I think.

Anyway. Im glad I started this thread too. So surprised to see so many posts when i logged on. Im glad there are some I can relate to.
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#14 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 03:36 AM
 
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I'm here. An American living in France. We spent a year in the US, hoping to move back, but the economy collapsed right when we arrived. So we are back in France.

It's hard. Right now, DS is very American, because he's little, he was just in the US for a year, etc. But I know all that will start to change in a couple of weeks when he starts school. It's really hard. I struggle a lot with feeling grief that he won't really "know" what it is to grow up in America, no matter how often we go back to visit. To make matters worse, my DH is from the Middle East. I know he feels the same way I do, to an even greater degree, maybe.

It's the silly things that are the hardest. DS is very athletically gifted, and I was playing baseball with him at the park the other day, realizing that he will never have the chance to play on a Little League team.
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#15 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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i was born and raised in eastern europe and have travelled back and forth between my home and the usa for work and school for years, and have permanently resided in the states for 2 years with my american husband.
our son is 6 mo now and he hasnt had a chance to go back yet. last time i was home was when i was about 5 mo pregnant with him.
i do miss home a lot, but if i think about it, its my family and friends that i really miss, not the place itself... we are trying to integrate some cultural things so my son could get to know his "roots" and he will definetely grow up bilingual...
it is hard sometimes, but i try to concentrate to good things, the wonderful little family we have, and how loving my husband's family is to me, and try to just ignore the negative...
i would say the biggest stress and concern is not knowing when we'll get to go back home again... and then my sister has a baby just two mo after i did and now being able to be present for it was kinda crushing, too... but oh well, my choice was conscious, so i guess i shouldnt complain
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#16 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 05:25 AM
 
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I'm also living as an expat (in Slovenia), but one difference for me is that both dh and I are culturally Americans. (He's also got citizenship here due to his Slovenian grandmother; the kids are also dual American/Slovenian citizens.)

In our case we don't feel as estranged from our "home" culture as many of you; probably because we're both from there and we do visit fairly often (every 2 years or so), plus we have many friends and family from the States visit us here. Our home is full of American children's literature and other bits of Americana and we maintain contact pretty well.

I enjoy the challenge of navigating the educational system here (the kids are in a regular Slovenian school) and it's wonderful having fully bilingual kids. They both find certain aspects of American culture peculiar when we visit (they hate fast food and American salad dressings, for instance), but we're there often enough that they fit in really well. I'm hoping to do exchanges with their cousins during high school so that kids on both sides of the family can broaden their horizons.

It helps that we're integrated and that we like the country we're living in, too. I really don't miss very much about home besides my family.

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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#17 of 73 Old 08-23-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I think part of the problem is I haven't fully accepted I may never live anywhere but here. There is a side of me that wonders if I'll go home one day, or back to Europe (which is where Dh & I met). I think if I did that I could firmly close the door on the past, but right now there's a part of me holding on.

It all seemed like such an easy decision 8 years ago. I wasn't happy for various reasons where I was, I was in love, I was in my 20's, I emigrated to Canada. I didn't realise what that really meant for me, for my future kids, at the time.

I do really like Canada. I just wish I fit in more, that I had my old friends here, etc. Like another poster said I feel kinda split between the two. For sure if I went home I'd miss Canada - in fact last time I went home I was quite ready to leave after a month!
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#18 of 73 Old 08-25-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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I think part of the problem is I haven't fully accepted I may never live anywhere but here. There is a side of me that wonders if I'll go home one day, or back to Europe (which is where Dh & I met). I think if I did that I could firmly close the door on the past, but right now there's a part of me holding on.

It all seemed like such an easy decision 8 years ago. I wasn't happy for various reasons where I was, I was in love, I was in my 20's, I emigrated to Canada. I didn't realise what that really meant for me, for my future kids, at the time.

I do really like Canada. I just wish I fit in more, that I had my old friends here, etc. Like another poster said I feel kinda split between the two. For sure if I went home I'd miss Canada - in fact last time I went home I was quite ready to leave after a month!
I can relate to this. I'm an American expat living in Beijing, China. My husband is Chinese and we have an almost 2 year old son who was born here. Although there is a very real possibility we might live in China forever, I don't think I'm really ready to give up on the idea of one day living in America again. I've only been back to the States once in the past 6 years, and that time I went back I missed China terribly, and I know that were we to move there now it would be pretty hard to cope. My son would probably get along fine, he's only 2 afterall, but I've been living outside of my country for so long that I'm not sure I'd really know what to do with myself there. It sounds backwards, but I'm also used to a certain lifestyle that would just not be realistic for us in America. So I don't know. I have days where I think definitely, we need to spend at least a few years in America at some point, and days where I think that I just need to suck it up and make the most of life here.

: Mom to DS (10/29/07) and DD (12/1/09). Visit my blog in my profile to read about our lives in Beijing!
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#19 of 73 Old 08-26-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I am an American living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We've been here six months so far, and I had never been to Brazil before we moved here. I have an eight-year-old from a previous marriage who is staying in the States with her dad now (which tears my heart into pieces, but, I expect she'll be here with us eventually). Together, my Brazilian husband and I have a two-year-old daughter who, after only six months, is now speaking Portuguese almost exclusively. We also have another baby on the way, due six months from now.

Ugghhh, Brazil. Brazil has great beauty (mostly outside of Sao Paulo!) and very friendly people, but also huge crime, pollution, traffic, corruption, disorganization... I MISS my home country every day. I didn't know how good I had it! Was working full-time there, but, here, I am finding it very difficult to pick up the language, and now I'm pregnant, so it looks like it will be quite a while before I am working again!

There are good and great things about being here, but then there are things like I can't go outside of my neighborhood by myself yet. Bizarre feeling. I feel like a kid again. Not even a kid--a cooped-up teenager!

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#20 of 73 Old 08-26-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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I am a french canadian and have been living with my american husband in the U.S for 3 years now. I like it here but I really wish I would fit in more. I miss my friends and family, but I wouldn't want to go back to Canada. The weather is WAY too nice here in California and I always hated winters growing up.

We are trying to raise our DS in both french and english but I'm scared he will stop speaking french to me when he starts school ( he is only 15 months old). I think it's good for him to be able to benefit from 2 different cultures.
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#21 of 73 Old 08-26-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bajamergrrl View Post
I'm from the Caribbean but have lived in the US for 13 years. My DH is American born and raised. I haven't been able to visit home in four years and it might be a few more years before I get to visit again. I've been thinking about how I will expose my DS to my country's culture as he grows up. I don't have any relatives in the city where I live right now and to be perfectly honest, my life is very American, culturally, right now.
same here and DH is from trini. We are thinking in a few years to move to my island.
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#22 of 73 Old 08-26-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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I was born and raised in the US, but I'm first generation American. I know live in the country where my parents came from, the Czech Republic. DH is Czech. Since I'm bicultural and bilingual Czech/American, it doesn't feel like I'm living in a foreign country, I like it here. But my DS has a different life growing up here than he would in the States.

He's 4 and will start pre-school soon. If we stay here he will most likely go to a Czech school. That is an experience I never had and it will certainly be interesting for me. I'm looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

What I miss most are newspapers, record stores, clubs, and a general sense of civil liberties. Here it's so bureaucratic, restrictive compared to the US:

We go back the US on average every 2 years, we'll probably go sometime next year.
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#23 of 73 Old 08-27-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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Me too. My dh and I were both born & raised in Montreal, Canada, and we are now living in the U.S. There are pluses and minuses to both places, to say the least. I do miss "home" sometimes... NAK

Shannon, mum to ds1 (8/03), ds2 (6/05), dd (5/07), and ds3 (7/09)
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#24 of 73 Old 08-28-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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I'm Euro-American and I live in Hong Kong w/ my Hong Kong Chinese husband. I've been living here almost 17 years (came for a job & met DH here).

I love it here - love my job, love the place, love my colleagues. I feel like I "fit in" about as much as a so-so Cantonese speaking westerner can fit in. There's lots of other foreigners here too.

My kids are 13 and 11 and after having tried the local Cantonese medium schools early on, we switched them to English medium schools. I feel rooted here and I think the kids do too. After all, some of their friends and classmates are neighbors that they've known since they were toddlers.

I go back to the USA about once a year and bring the kids. Yes, their lives are very different in some ways than mine at the same age - but not a whole lot. I too grew up in a city and lived in a fairly small space and was able to take buses to places by the time I was eleven or twelve.

In some ways HK is quite different from where I grew up, but then where I grew up is also a lot different now than it was in the 1970s. And HK is VERY different now than it was in the 1970s, so in some ways our kids are having very different childhoods from us both.
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#25 of 73 Old 08-28-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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I was born and raised in Dominican Republic and I now live in a suburban town in PA. All my family and friends are back there and I miss everyone so much. I sometimes feel sad that my daughter wont be able to experience the island living, but I dont think I ever want to move back. What makes me the most sad is that I come from a very loving, close family and DP's family isnt like that and they're the ones that are here and I just wish my family was closer so she could have more love in her life.

Also is very important to me that she learns Spanish, but it seems so hard when Im the only one that speaks it! I mean she's just 16 weeks, but I eventually want her to learn it.
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#26 of 73 Old 09-05-2009, 04:43 AM
 
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yes, me. I'm supah glad you started this thread because these are things that are regularly on my mind. DH is Canadian, I am a Kiwi (New Zealander) and we live in Canada, which I *mostly* like. However, I find there are a lot of cultural differences. I am often homesick for my culture, though I include British culture in that because NZ is heavily UK-influenced and my mother is English. There are certain things - a sense of humour being one - that haven't translated so well to Canada. Even though we supposedly speak the same language it's not the same language. Even now people misunderstand me sometimes. I miss people just 'getting' me, y'know? I find the education system very different here to NZ.

I want us to spend a year in NZ (or the UK) so kid will get to know that side of her background. I have mixed feelings about the schooling system here too. There are things about the NZ system, in particular in high school, that I'd prefer. Like, uniforms, for instance. I'm frankly a bit scared about high school here because it's sooooo different to what I grew up with and not all of the difference I"m okay with
Sorta your opposite - Canadians in Australia...which I know is very different to NZ too. We've loved our time here. The kids adjusted well to the different school systems, which is great since they don't qualify for any special ed. gifted programs since they are not citizens (even though we pay taxes and $4500 per year per child for the "public" school - but that's another rant). They didn't balk at wearing uniforms. I like the brainless ease of knowing what they will wear every morning, but I'm less happy when the laundry doesn't get done and ds tries to fish a school shirt out of the dirty pile.

What I can't get used to is the heavy emphasis on government standardized testing and ranking - on the students and the schools. It seems so unhealthy - all that pressure on the kids. It makes me long for the Ontario school system - and sad when I see Ontario moving to more external, standardized testing.

I kind of like being a stranger in town. I feel free to try new things, stuff I may not have done before. We've met lots of other Canadians here, as well as ex-pats from other places, and the Aussies all travel so much they are very understanding. It's been a great move.

There are things I've missed - snow and skating and decent hockey and Pacific Salmon come to mind.

Loved hokey-pokey ice cream and chocolate fish when we visited NZ!

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I wish I could find some more antipodean mums to hang out with. Either they're not around or they're shy, but I have yet to meet a fellow Kiwi in the same situation and place as me.
Have you tried Whistler? Lots of Kiwis and Aussies hanging out there - probably not too many moms though.
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#27 of 73 Old 09-05-2009, 05:40 AM
 
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I'm scottish married to an Algerian (who hasn't been back for 22 years except for about 2 weeks at a time) and we live in France, it's taken a long time for me to accept things here, the thought that I may never return to scotland to live breaks my heart, my kids love it there too, life is different, freer, but then I have french and expat friends here too whom I would miss if we did return to scotland, dh loves it here and I know is happy to be here for ever and ever, me I'd go back to scotland in a shot.

'my heart's in the highlands my heart is not here,
my heart's in the highlands chasing the deer,
chasing the wild deer and following the roe,
my heart's in the highlands wherever I go.'

That really says it all for me

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#28 of 73 Old 09-05-2009, 09:18 AM
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Hi! So glad I found this thread. I am just embarking on this journey now, having moved to Brazil a month and a half ago (hi Tamara!).
Right now I am still in the honeymoon phase, I think--everything is new, and even when it's frustrating (bureaucracy, language and cultural issues, etc.), it feels exciting.
I think a lot about what it means to raise my kids in a place that is so different from where I grew up, and away from my family, which whom I'm close.
My husband is Brazilian and American, and we'll be here for at least two years, quite possibly longer.
So far, at least, I think the benefits they'll reap from being bicultural and bilingual outweigh the struggles.
Thanks for sharing all of your varied experiences.

www.thegoldenpapaya.com
Raising Three Boys in Brazil ::
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#29 of 73 Old 09-05-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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You know, I completely agree that having bi/tri lingual children is a wonderful thing and the opportunity of experiencing different cultures, but it's the more personal problem of homesickness that I struggle with - it's so strong, its a longing I have and although I have accepted and am trying to make the best of where I am - thanks to a wonderful book called, Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran, I wish I had found the book earlier, I still struggle with the everyday stuff, such as being surrounded by buildings and streets and the lighting rather than the open-ness, green-ness, mountains, the sea, it's actually important to me to see the countryside and be able to just sit and 'ahhhhhh' at the view, even if it is here in France or Algeria or Scotland, does any of that make sense?

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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#30 of 73 Old 09-05-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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You know, I completely agree that having bi/tri lingual children is a wonderful thing and the opportunity of experiencing different cultures, but it's the more personal problem of homesickness that I struggle with - it's so strong, its a longing I have and although I have accepted and am trying to make the best of where I am - thanks to a wonderful book called, Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran, I wish I had found the book earlier, I still struggle with the everyday stuff, such as being surrounded by buildings and streets and the lighting rather than the open-ness, green-ness, mountains, the sea, it's actually important to me to see the countryside and be able to just sit and 'ahhhhhh' at the view, even if it is here in France or Algeria or Scotland, does any of that make sense?
Yes.

I don't even think I can explain my homesickness at times because it's not logical, it just IS. I miss New Zealandness - certain plants and smells and accents and even types of faces, at times it can be quite intense.

I also get what EMS said about the honeymoon phase...def. been there too, and can recognise it in other expats

It's interesting because we've just come back home to BC from being in the Yukon for 2 months. Well, what a difference time elsewhere makes to your perspective. I was SO happy to be back home in Van. And I realised that I do have some real friends here, people that actually MISSED me when I was away. I love so much about Vancouver, really, it would be v. hard for me to live in NZ again, I suspect. I do really like the school system here in the elementary years - DD is in a great small fine arts elmentary that's public, a few minutes walk from our house- schools are great in nz too, but specialized ones like ours don't exist there yet, so I"m glad to be in BC for her sakes.

MS Apricot, I spent some time in Australia. Glad you're enjoying it. I know what you mean about standardized testing. I keep in touch with Oz news and seems like everyone's obsessed with school rankings and tafe scores, it's sad. I'd kill for their uniforms though
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