Expat life has its ups and downs, yet motherhood and the woman stay the same.
Karolina and I roam through discussions of motherhood and being an expat and the energy it takes to uproot, when considering where we want to be on the planet and where home really is. As well, how life as a woman and working person has to adjust when littles come along.
It’s a funny thing. On one hand, being an expat is exotic, an adventure and most people see it as a life of privilege. That can be the case when you move to a place with your home country’s salary and the country you move to has a lower cost of living. Yet, for most of us, it is just living our usual life, somewhere else. And, in the end, it is minimum 1-2 years to settle in, find things in another language, style and figuring out the culture and mentality around things that we otherwise took for granted before. I guess, really, in many ways, moving anywhere beyond your home zone can feel the same way. I remember moving to Marin from Sonoma county and the culture, mentality and expectations of the community and area around as well as where things were was an adjustment and that was only a short distance. Many countries are very different even one side to the other. So, of course, it’s a level up to add another dimension of learning and understanding when you move further. This adds to our mom stress as we already have so much on our plate. Yet, a good sense of humor, sleep and finding the things that ground you and bring you joy can certainly make a world of difference.
The truth is, no matter where you are in the world, you are still a mom. A mom searching for space for herself. Wondering how to fit your world, passions, needs and hopes into the life of motherhood that consumes a lot of space, air and energy. And, without finding our joys and peace moments, we will be crazy from it, anywhere on the planet.
Thinking about becoming an expat?
If you are considering moving to another culture/continent/country, even temporarily, be ready to move toward the “minimalist approach”. If you are coming back eventually to your home, you can get storage or ask friends or family, yet certainly there will be some big “letting go” in the process. If moving long term, then it’s a mountain to trek up and the way can feel fuzzy and stressy, in moments. Heck! Just organizing what we have on a normal day at home, is tricky! Karolina describes her long distance process of downsizing that I have to say, sounded painful and a big “letting go of attachment” process. Can you imagine your family just taking photos of every part of your apartment and without knowing what was all there, making decisions that will be forever?! Could you imagine doing what she did?! Not me. It is a big process for me to go through the emotions of going through memories and things I saved for future projects, family and the home we will own and create, some day. Really, it’s about control. And, maybe coming from a long line of pack rats!
Motherhood and clutter
No matter if we are moving long distance, short distance or staying home and traveling in dreams, books or movies, we have to deal with the realities of motherhood. Though it is not always easy to let go of things, the madness that clutter creates is not something I want to hang onto. When I am tired, it is super difficult to sort where everything goes. Doing things in small steps is better than nothing. Every time I want to another part of the house, I move things closer to their destination. Eventually, things go in their places. Yet, when in the midst of a mad week, the house often gets in a state that really stresses me. 1. We have to make that weekly/monthly list for our partners where they can know the best way to support us, as the one at home more, and as well help us! 2. Kids of all ages can help in different ways, especially if we make it a fun game.. like we do with laundry sock matching or with putting Ella’s special dishes, cups and spoons etc away in their special place. She puts they how she likes them and wants access to them. She also loves the hand vac. So, what do your kids like to do? We all have things we like and dislike when it comes to organization. Mix both fun and less fun things into the mix. Life needs more fun and laughter, what if we could transform the next generation’s view of organization’s ease and simplicity. And, of course, lightening our load. Stop doing it all! No, really. It’s sometimes easier to do things quickly, yet .. remember from Holly and Chris
You up for the minimalist game?
Find a friend or family member or someone at your work that has an annoying amount of things on their desk! Maybe the ultimate game, would be played with your kids.. hmm, that could be a great game to play each summer! Preparing for the next school year when more crap piles up. Maybe we could try it household to household. That could be great fun! We would love to hear about any of you who try it, in comments, below.
New ideas for mom’s dreams….
Next week, in part 2, Karolina dives into this more deeply, inspiring creative ways to do the work that sometimes otherwise might feel impossible with expat, mom and family realities. We just have to think beyond what seems possible. We simply cannot let go of what matters to us. For our kids.. we have to show them that they too can be parents and find the way through the fog of tired motherhood and reach back to dreams and joyous moments for not only for her littles, but for her!
Would you like to connect with Karolina (Dobrovska) Kvas and all she is doing out in the world?
Podcast: http://www.karolinadobrovska.cz/podcast/ (Podcast (in Czech only)
Tarot Playground for beginners e-course:
Tarot Readings: http://www.karolinadobrovska.com/audio-tarot-reading/
Have a beautifully imperfect minimalist day.