Children living abroad, how do you deal with that as a mom? With 2 children abroad and number three getting ready to leave, my mom stays cool and follows the adventures of her children from a distance. She wrote a blog about her experiences especially for MireilleMali.com!
I love you mommy. You’re my superhero ♥ !
Mom passed on the travel virus
Traveling is amazing, it gives you a huge kick and most importantly… you get addicted to it.
What’s more beautiful than experiencing new cultures and indulging in gorgeous nature? My husband and I have a really busy life with our teaching jobs, campsite and farm. Going on holiday during the summer months is just not an option for us. But every winter, we leave everything behind, and go seek the sun for a week. We used to make those trips with our children. Now we enjoy our travels together. Just us two.
As our destinations became further and further away from Holland, our children got infected with the travel virus as well.
Someone once told me: “If you love your children, you learn them to travel!”
I think we quite succeeded in that.
Mom from a distance
“Mom, do you want to write a blogpost on ‘what it’s like to have children living abroad?”; Mireille asked a while ago.
Poeh… that had me thinking… what does it feel like as a mom to have children abroad?
My son Peter lived and worked in New Zealand for a year, and is now in Australia for a year. He was the first one to leave for a longer period of time. Mireille has been gone since August 2016.
I learned how to let go as a mom
“Wow, said a friend, that’s letting go!” Yes, it most certainly is.
In most families this is a step by step process, for us it was different. From one day to the next, they were just gone! I’m going to be honest here, that was not easy. But as a mom, I want what’s best for them. If that means living far away, then that’s that. I will be happy for them and support them in anyway I can.
The outside world reacts very sympathetic. They think I have it though as a mom, because my children are so far away. They can’t even imagine, not seeing their child for such a long period of time. I completely understand that, but don’t let them talk me out of my positive vibe about it.
You have to make piece with the fact that they’re gone. And to be honest, it’s also quite nice to have more time to myself now too!
No more laundry three times a day or someone who comes home late at night, trying to quietly walk up the stairs, while mom already heard them from the minute they put their key into the lock.
How does it feel as a mom to miss your children?
That’s a tough one, I’m not going to lie. Especially during Christmas or birthdays. The family is not complete anymore. You can sense it in a lot of things.
The most difficult part of missing them is in the small things. Like a lovely shopping day with my daughter, chitchatting over afternoon tea or seeing my son enjoy my homemade apple sauce dishes.
I highly value cuddles with my children, that’s what I miss the most! Their physical absence can sometimes really catch me off guard. I can feel it, deep inside of me.
Dutch Tv shows like ‘All you need is love’ or ‘Hello Goodbye’, are things I can’t really watch on tv right now, because I know for a fact that I will be crying after two minutes. Those feelings become too real, when watching stuff like that.
Mom follows her children on social media
After a silence of 2 weeks I get fuzzy and really have the urge to speak to them. Social media is of course fantastic! I try to think of it this way, I’m lucky, to be a mom with children far away in a time like this. That used to be very different back in the days!
And you know what the beauty of those conversations is?
We cut all the bullshit and tell each other stuff that actually matters! We don’t talk about what’s for dinner, we tell each other how much love there is for one another!
“Side by side or miles apart, my children are always close to the heart”
Mom couldn’t be more proud of her children
I couldn’t be more proud of my children, who choose to walk their own path, however different those paths may be.
Isn’t that amazing?!
And as for our youngest Thijs? He’s prepping to make his mark abroad.
He dreams about distant destinations as well. How else can it be though, with a brother and sister like he has, as examples?!
We’re going to try to get our family complete somewhere in this world for Christmas 2017.
I really hope that dream comes true!
Misunderstood: the impact of growing up overseas in the 21st century
Still in need of some additional info on how to deal with a familymember or loved one living abroad? Misunderstood: the impact of growing up overseas in the 21st century, will equip you with insights into the international experience, along with practical suggestions for how to offer meaningful care and support!