Expat family guilt
Expat life can be AMAZING, but there are times, when expat life can be tough. I think adding children into that mix can make the highs and lows even more extreme.
Without doubt we are really happy with our choice to have and live with our boys abroad; if you’re a regular reader of my blog I think that’s pretty obvious to see. We love the life that we have here.
We are lucky that we don’t really get external guilt put on to us by our families, its just the guilt we put on ourselves! I know that some people’s families don’t hide their displeasure or disapproval at the expat life!
But the days when it is hard, it really is hard. Well often it’s not even days, but moments, when the expat family guilt kicks in.
Moments where the difference in timezones mean I can’t just pick up the call for a chat.
Moments where our restricted internet means I can’t just video call if the boys are doing something fun!
Times where I’d love to send the boys off for an afternoon to spend time with their grandparents (and give me an afternoon off!!)
Times when I feel truly awful for how much our family is missing out on with the boys growing up so fast.
This month I’ve been feeling some serious expat guilt. I think it comes from Arthur getting older and being able to communicate more. I’m pretty sure that our upcoming trip to the UK this summer is having an impact on it too.
It hit me really badly the other day when after a Skype chat with my Mum. Arthur got really upset and said “see nana please mama.” I can’t express how awful I felt. I would have loved more than anything at that moment to be able to pop round to visit her so Arthur could see his Nana.
Arthur really likes planes and so I tell him whenever we send something to the UK or someone has sent something to us how it has been put on a plane.
I think he’s starting to comprehend that our family doesn’t live close by. That we can’t just go and see them whenever we want. When he asked to “see nana” the other day, it made me realise that his understanding is more than I had given him credit for.
The moments may be fleeting, often they are just thoughts that are coming to the forefront of my mind. But it’s undeniable. Expat family guilt is real. The best way I have found to deal with it is to take advantage of something that you couldn’t do at ‘home’. For us that can be something as simple as getting out in the garden and enjoying some sun for instant gratification, or take a walk to the beach or the pool. Even just looking at some pictures of the boys and appreciating what opportunities they get here that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
How do you do deal with your expat family guilt?