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
I have noticed that working and non-working parents in Jakarta usually have their children cared for by nannies at home in the early months following birth, and then send them into more formal educational programs such as preschools at the age of around six months. Continue reading
I find that being an expat couple introduces an entire range of complexities into our marriage. The lifestyle encourages certain issues that are quite unique to this situation and the positive aspects can quickly become detrimental…
Expat marriage crisis no.1: The honeymoon stage is over
My enjoyment and excitement for being a happy, unemployed expat housewife quickly died when I realised that managing all household duties for our family was extremely difficult and boring! Although back at home I was completely happy to cook and clean while working, doing it full time was entirely different. I found that becoming the ‘Trailing Spouse” placed an unspoken pressure on me to lift my game in order to compensate for all of my free time. Continue reading
My son finished drinking his milk and yelled out to his nanny, “Finished!” I have tirelessly taught him to take his cup to the kitchen when he has finished his drink, so as soon as I heard this I walked into the toy room to address the issue. I asked him why he expected his nanny to get his cup. “It’s the nanny’s job!” he replied. This kind of attitude is not healthy and I felt guilty as a parent.
What is a healthy expat child? For me, it’s a child that is well-rounded, grounded, independent, emotionally secure and physically healthy. This is not easy to achieve in Indonesia. My children are living in constant contradiction to what I think is healthy. The “expat bubble” cushions them, and they are never truly a part of the real world in which I grew up. I feel like everything and everyone is working against me on this issue. Each time I try to push my children toward a certain lifestyle, their surroundings pull them back. Continue reading
Reflecting on 2017 and my whole time in Jakarta so far, this year was a great year! I feel like I’m genuinely at home and will try to make 2018 an even better one!
The first year in Jakarta was a blur because I arrived with a 20 month old and newborn baby from Singapore. It would have sucked no matter where I was, because I had two babies and quickly fell pregnant again! I hardly had a chance to sleep, let alone get to know my new home. Continue reading
I’ve had a very busy social calendar lately. As a mum of three young kids, none of it would have been possible without living in Jakarta; having the support from my household staff, or husband.
I haven’t always been this social. Continue reading
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
Once upon a time, in a land, lush, and green; there lived a princess. Like many princesses of her time, this princess didn’t believe in sitting in her tower and waiting for her Prince Charming to appear. So instead, she worked hard, studied, and built her own castle. She embraced her freedom and traveled the world. She danced with frogs on table tops, jumped into the sky and swam with creatures of the ocean.
Today I celebrated my Little Baby Wombat, my youngest child, turning one. I had a very simple Aussie birthday party. Very, very, simple. Just three close childhood friends and their kids. Cake, pizza, chips, lollies and balloons. No party games organized, no MC, clown, or arts and craft table. No jumping castle or Choo-Choo train ride along my mum’s back yard. No bar man or catering. The party was very un-Indonesian (I love BIG FAT INDONESIAN Birthday Parties!) I just wanted my best friends to be around for one of my children’s birthdays and share the milestone event with (all of my children’s birthday parties have been overseas.) Continue reading