The dilemma of expat parenting
"The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones
that look like they cannot be done." - Arnold Jean Palmer
I have the honour of being both an expat child, and an expat parent. I say this with mixed feelings because I know the good and the not-so-good side of both experiences. As a child, I definitely had a better life than my parents would have been able to provide me with back home. I guess that is why they had moved in the first place. But growing up, I always missed having an extended family around. We would only see aunts, uncles, and cousins every two or three years, They showered me with love each time I visited, but there was always the gap created by not being around for a long time.
I saw how hard my mom worked - first out of home, and then at home, raising us three. When we moved back to India when I had finished school, it never crossed my mind that I would ever become an expat again. And yet, that;s what fate had decided for me, I moved to the UAE for a second stint, and soon after, my older son was born.
It was then that my mind was filled with a dilemma - my son would most likely have the kind of childhood I had. Did I want that for him? Could I raise a child all alone, without the support of family and close friends? It seemed extremely difficult to my mind.
Six years later, I now have two children being raised as expats. Somehow, I survived. I even let go of the regret that my son is away from extended family. I have made very good friends here, and so has my son. We do miss family, but we visit them every year, and keep in touch as much as we can.
What once seemed like an insurmountable task is something I find rewarding today. I'm happy my son is experiencing all the joys of growing up in a multicultural environment. Dubai is a much more exciting place than it was three decades ago when I was a child.
Life is unpredictable, and we rarely know the path it will take. But that is also the best thing about it. Our experiences and challenges not only make us stronger and wiser, they make us richer in ways we would never have imagined.
This post is part of the 'Quote for Thought' Blog Hop hosted by UAE Mom Bloggers.
See how other bloggers have been inspired by this quote:
How my study abroad experience helped me - Stars In The Desert
Embracing the woman I am today - Cuddles and Crumbs