The Embarrassing Expat Mother

I am a mother. And an expat.

I’m also a wife, and a writer, I like to dabble in art, I’m a bookworm, and lately I’ve obsessively worked on my forehand in tennis, but those two – mother and expat – seem to define me more than anything else.

However, I’m not just an ... 


An Expat Kind of Holiday

There is a lot of literature out there about the expat child. How to make the transition easier for him or her, how to ease the pressures, how to make sure they don’t lose their identity with all those international moves. There are psychologists employed by companies who consult expat families, ... 


The Glory of Boredom

The following is another blog post I had started at the end of 2012 and inexplicably never finished, until coming across it in my drafts folder recently while cleaning up. Or perhaps not so inexplicably, considering that we were, well, in the midst of a move at the time.

A few days ago, the packers ... 


The Last Word

The Problem with you, Mom, is that you always have to have the last word.

Excuse me? A teenager was accusing ME of having the last word, when there isn’t a teenager in this family, or possibly the entire world, who doesn’t ALWAYS have the last word?

I was sitting at the dinner table, surrounded ... 


2013 By the Numbers

It’s late in the day on January 1st 2014, and I find myself with absolutely no New Year’s resolutions. Other than perhaps finishing this blog post in the next three hours so that it will actually appear on January 1st.

Instead of looking at the new year and setting all sorts of goals, I ... 


Ode to Teenagers

I KNOW FOR A FACT that you are only reading this because you saw the title and thought: She must have gone off her rocker. Singing an ode to teenagers is akin to praising the U.S. Congress for having accomplished something. Or liking the moles tunneling under your lawn. Or being particularly fond of bee stings. And it’s true. Teenagers are possibly the biggest catastrophe wrought upon us parents by nature. They are disagreeable, have mood swings defying any logic, and their rooms – well, we don’t know for sure, because we’ve stopped entering them for fear of alien forms of life attacking us from the morass of stuff littered around them. Not that this is purely a modern problem. Plato – or was it Socrates – bitterly complained about the youth of his day, calling them lazy, disrespectful, and reckless. Even then they almost certainly grew their hair in unconventional ways and tied their togas in a sloppy fashion. I’m sure there was the equivalent of the iPhone back then, diverting a teenager’s attention when she was supposed to answer her mother. And there’s no doubt that many a brand-new chariot was wrecked when the son took it out for a spin and did precisely what the father told him not to do.  Many, many parenting articles have been written about teenagers, listing their countless shortcomings and offering advice on how to survive (for both parties) the teenage years. But has anyone ever found anything praiseworthy about them? I realize I might be a pioneer in that particular field of study when I say you have to give credit where credit is due. Or perhaps I just like to swim against the tide. But I thought an article in praise of teenagers is in order. In fact, I thought up this article over a year ago and have made several attempts to publish it. But invariably I was stalled by certain events. Such as Zax forgetting to pack his hockey stuff in the morning and then blaming me for not getting it to him at the most convenient time and place. Or Impatience screaming at me that I was the worst parent ever for not getting her a better calculator so that she could enter mixed fractions without having to worry about how to convert them. Or Jabulani swearing to me all day that there was absolutely nothing more he could possibly do to prepare for his math exam tomorrow and that he was therefore justified in playing xBox all day, and then sending me an urgent text message from school the next morning to please bring his calculator and ruler which he’d forgotten to pack. Though on that instance my murderous thoughts all the way to school were instantly mollified when he gave me a big smile and even bigger hug in front of all 300 high school students as a thank you. So anyway, here are my =&0=&   

  1. If they have a question, they will Google it instead of asking tiresome “why” questions.
  2. They save you money on babysitting. Even though you might have to have the house steam-cleaned and disinfected