Essential Resources for Expat Mums in 2021Mar 29, 2021
Life as an expat mum can be so rewarding, but it can also be really, really challenging. We are the go-to person for everything family related, and it doesn’t end there. Trying to stay on top of it all can be exhausting, let alone sometimes really lonely too. So today I’m sharing my essential resources to ensure survival as an expat mum.
1. Find Your Tribe
How does the saying go… I didn’t know I was lost until I was found. Something like that? Attending the FIGT Conference in 2019 was a total epiphany for me. I had been following people on social media, and finally meeting them in person, well it felt like I was coming home.
If you’re not already a member of FIGT, I strongly suggest that you check it out, as an expat mum there is so much information and research being done on Third Culture Kid’s and the impact moving abroad can have on families.
2. Create Space
Creating space in your emotions and your mindset is essential as an expat mum. And while mindfulness is so important, and it should be a part of our lives, sometimes we need a little deliberate practice and support.
I will happily admit, this is a space I am still learning, exploring and discovering, but my go-to for support is Jodi Harris (World Tree Coaching). Jodi has a fabulous Facebook group which is a brilliant space for learning more and exploring what mindfulness means to you.
3. Find Your Purpose
As an expat mum, we so often lose a sense of self when we move abroad. We stop investing in ourselves and focus primarily on the needs and worries of our family.
That’s where Expats on Purpose comes in. Sundae Bean has a brilliant podcast, Expat Happy Hour and if you’re not already subscribed, do it now - it’s a necessity in expat life. But with her FB Group, Expats on Purpose, Sundae adds a different dimension and provides a safe space to share and connect.
It’s through the support of the people in Expats on Purpose that I have developed a true sense of who I want to be, as a mother, a spouse, and a business owner.
4. Understand the Impact on Your Kid
Knowing and understanding the research behind what happens to your kid when you move abroad is so important, and the amazing people at The Expat Kids Club are phenomenal in this space! Subscribe to their newsletter and each month the team discuss their research and provide resources around a different theme, from bullying to anxiety, from gratitude to grief. I am always blown away by the quality of the resources and content shared, you won't be disappointed either.
5. Build A Portable Business
If like me, you move often, with little notice and you never know how long you will stay, then maybe you need to liberate yourself and start your own portable business.
Doing the Business Idea Accelerator program with Amel and Sundae not only helped me to understand myself (my strengths and my passions) but provided me the roadmap I needed to test and launch my own business, et voila… Expat Parenting Abroad.
I shared my reflections during an interview with Amel, where I shared how starting my business has not only helped me but made me a better mum in the process.
Amel from Tandem Nomads is such an amazing source of inspiration, her experience is second to none and she brings it every week with a podcast and her amazing FB Group where you will quickly discover no question is too big or too small!
Check it out, maybe starting a business is the solution you’re looking for?
6. Follow Your Favourite Bloggers
It is so important that you find at least one person who is talking your language, someone who articulates perfectly all the stuff that’s going on in your own head. Not only so you know you’re not alone, but often these people have that little nugget of wisdom that can literally change your life.
For me, that blog is Expitterpattica. Lucille has a beautiful writing style that I have always been able to relate to, and I credit her with changing my life!
When you find that one (or two) who become your favourite, don’t just read the one post you’ve stumbled across. Subscribe or follow them so you get updates every time they post new content, you don’t want to miss out!
7. Memories and Personalised Gifts
One of the hardest parts of living away from family and friends is knowing what to give them as a gift.
The good news is there are some amazingly creative people producing personalised gifts. Check out Cath Brew’s Drawn To A Story, where Cath creates personalised drawings and cartoons especially to meet your needs. Melanie Ocal is a very talented artist and she is able to turn her beautiful designs into the perfect gift, check out Sun Hobo for more ideas and inspiration. And my dear friend Hazel is now producing beautiful water colours, they make great cards, gift tags or she can custom a piece for you.
8. Get Your Kids Involved & Play Together
Me And My Big Move is a fun, creative and mindful guide for little movers. This fun and interactive workbook is full of awesome activities and colorful journal pages to prepare kids (age 5-12) for their big adventure: A Big Move! This workbook is designed by experts all around the world to help create a positive mindset and build resilience in every stage of the relocation process; before, during, and long after settling in!
Merge insightful questions and chance of dice to create extraordinary stories—every time you play! CircleTales the Adventure Storytelling Game is a tabletop game that celebrates the imagination of every player, while encouraging active listening, confident speaking, and imaginative storytelling.
Theatre 4 Kids provides theatre workshops for kids by qualified educators focusing on the 4 C’s: Communication, Confidence, Concentration and Creativity.
Help your kids to learn about different cultures with interactive games. Culture Buff Games are interactive games that use visual storytelling to develop culture awareness and competency.
If I want to keep the girls interested when out walking and exploring, then my go to is GeoCaching, aka treasure hunting! It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, at home or on holidays, there are always one or two treasures to find!
10. Fill Your Bookshelf
There are so many incredibly talented people writing amazing books on women’s issues, expat life and raising kids abroad.
My favourites include:
- Mariam Navaid Ottimohiore’s This Messy Mobile Life
- Dr Sarah McKay Demystifying The Female Brain
- Ruth Van Reken’s Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among Worlds
- Rhoda Bangerter’s Holding the Fort: Solo Parenting (order your copy now, I was lucky enough to get an early copy!)
- Lisa Ferland’s Knocked Up Abroad
- Tanya Crossman’s Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas
- Dr Anisha Abraham Raising Global Teens
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