In search for good coffee in Jakarta – Beau Review

One of the first things I did when I moved to Jakarta was start a coffee meet up group for Mums and Bubs. In search of good coffee and new friendships, I thought it would be a great way to discover my new city. The group was very simple to start. I just created a Facebook group and posted it on the FB page ”Jakarta Moms Support Group.”

It’s one of the best things I’ve done since moving to Jakarta! I’ve made so many new friends from all different parts of the world, and have discovered so many great coffee venues!

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Gaining my confidence 

I was talking to my mother in law today and she thought that having two live in nannies and a full time live out maid was excessive for our household and I had to agree with her!
Then why don’t I just fire some of them or shuffle things things around so that I have less staff? I told her it’s definitely something that I’ve been striving to do, especially in the new year when I move back but it’s not an easy decision for me.

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My Expat Paradox

You want to know my biggest fear about being an expat is? That the longer I stay away from Australia, the more difficult it is to move back home.

I am endlessly torn between whether our kids are better off as expat children, being born and raised across different parts of the world, or if they should be raised back at home, living the simple Aussie life. Either side seems to have so many negatives and positives, and I still haven’t decided which is better for us. Continue reading

Searching for a nanny before you move to Jakarta

I was recently contacted by a reader who is moving to Jakarta at the end of the year with her young family from the USA. As you can understand, she is slightly nervous for the move. Jakarta can be intimidating for an outsider coming in. Especially if you are a mother and have never been to Asia! There are many concerns raised by newcomers and the most common themes are around health, safety, schooling and, nannies, of course!

Today I wanted to answer a common question about searching for a nanny and pembantu (maid) before arriving in Jakarta. When I was planning our move from Singapore to Jakarta, I had a 20 month old toddler and a newborn baby. Being used to having a live in helper (nanny) in Singapore, I was very eager to find another one before I arrived! But I waited and I’m glad I did.

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Leaving our old selves behind…


Finally my website is up and running! I plan on posting lots of useful information on this website; such as interviewing questions and contract templates for household staff, daily tasks for maids etc, and eventually open up a forum to members for private discussions.

My dear friend who writes eloquent posts on The Tuna Chronicles came over yesterday to help me with my webpage. We were introduced by a mutual friend from Singapore, where we both previous lived. With two young babies herself, it is one of those invaluable friendships created from the shared bond of motherhood and expathood.

You should have seen us yesterday! Although we had three nannies between us, only we could calm our two younger ones, both 10 and 11 months old. While we were bouncing, rocking, breastfeeding and distracting our babies, we were also trying to figure out how to create a webpage! Our mummy brains were working overtime and eventually we fumbled our way into finding the answers!

That’s the thing with becoming an expat housewife. Most of us came from very successful careers and educated backgrounds, however we decided to leave that old life behind to follow our husbands in pursuit of their career and oversea endeavors.

We put our own careers on hold to stay at home and raise our young families, because in most cases, we are restricted to work in the country we reside in. It’s not easy. Not only are we suddenly thrown into a new country with no family or friends, we are also facing our own private identity crisis with no job and newly parenthood. And on top of that, we are simultaneously expected to transform into perfect housewives with the capable skills of managing household staff!

It’s all a lot to take in at once and that’s why we usually find ourselves gravitating towards other expat woman. At least in their presence, they understand and don’t judge your lack of brain cells or forgetfulness, because they too are sleep deprived and trying their hardest to adjust.

PS – I also have lots of working mummy friends, who, on top of working full time, have their own struggles as an expat housewife.

Please share your struggles and experiences with your new role as an expat housewife.

Giving new life and hope from trash

I just met this amazing woman Retno, who is the Founder of a non for profit organization here in Jakarta. XSProject collects non recyclable waste such as soap refill bags, posters and banners, car seat upholstery rice bags; and turns them into useful items like shopping bags, toy boxes, make up bags, laptop covers, lunch cooler bags etc.

She employs people from the trash picking community and all of the profits go back into supporting the community through long term prosperity such as putting children into school, healthcare, farming and employment.

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Escaping my bubble

I’ve had a very busy calendar this week (long boozy lunch, House of Diamonds exhibition sale, clothes shopping, date night at the pub and High Tea this afternoon!) I have also completely filled up my calendar next week (manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, coffee with my girlfriends) because it’s the final week before I leave this fabulous expat lifestyle temporarily and will fly back to Australia with the family for an extended vacation.

Its funny…every time I tell my friends here that I am going to Australia with all three of my kids for a long time, their immediate response is “How will you survive that long without a nanny!” This is how reliant we’ve all become on our nannies! As expat mothers in Jakarta, we can’t even imagine going on an extended family vacation without one! Continue reading