The Expatriates’ Mother Network

I never thought that moving abroad would result in gaining more friends than I had before I left. I thought my journey as an expat would be lonely and that I would struggle to find like-minded people. Instead, I have met many soul mates and genuine connections from various backgrounds and cultures. When I became an expat, I became a part of a dynamic network that would grow even stronger and larger when I had a baby.

As an expatriate mother in Indonesia, my life support system is my fellow expatriate mothers. I connect with these women through WhatsApp messaging, Facebook and social meetings. The most surprising part of this friendship is that they do not necessarily live in Indonesia and I haven’t met most of them face to face, and probably never will. And yet, these women are behind me, and will undoubtedly cheer for me, offering round the clock support, 24/7, no matter where I am in the world. Wow! Continue reading

Is it all worth it?

Ok I’m going to be real now. Is it all worth it? I’m sitting at home alone and thinking. I’m missing all of my friends. I’m listening to songs that remind me of my friends back at home who I continue to love but unfortunately it’s been so long, I know they’ve moved on. I want to pick up the phone and call them or send an email to say how much I still love them, but time has passed and it’s probably just going to be awkward. Continue reading

Here I Go Again…

I want to share a common emotional roller coaster ride I’ve been on recently in Jakarta, as an expat mum. My beloved nanny of two years, suddenly quit her job and left immediately, even without saying goodbye to our kids.

She recently had two months off to get married and after returning to work for a couple of weeks, she resigned. (To add to the drama, she’s asked to return again after a few months of quitting!) 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.

Continue reading

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.