During one of the earlier months of Leila’s life I was on a Skype date with a friend that lives in Kurdistan. She was asking me questions about life, and after listening to a few of my answers she paused and said something like this, “So basically it’s like you’re an expat.” And I paused and said, “Yes.”
Here are just some of the ways parenthood parallels the expat life.
- Culture shock. The culture of birth, the culture of babies, the culture of other parents, the culture of the playground, the culture of education…
- Language is an issue. And not just between you and your little. You have to learn enough of the new parenting dialect to function in your new day-to-day activities.
- Your sleep schedule is different than that of your friends and family.
- You have to redefine your concept of a productive day (e.g. getting one thing done is an accomplishment, spending the whole day trying to get one thing done is reality).
- You see your old friends 1-2 times a year.
- You have to make new friends.
- You take an obnoxiously large number of photographs.
- You want to chronicle every detail.
- Bizarre illnesses (Thrush and mastitis, I’m looking squarely in your direction).
- Normal is completely redefined. And it is wonderful.