Quick link: 5 Ways Living Abroad Changed My Parenting

I think I’m a different mother than I would have been had we stayed in Minnesota. Of course, I can’t be certain, of my 15 years+ spent parenting, 13 of them have been in Africa. But I have some strong suspicions that many things about me have changed because of these years abroad and because of where, specifically, they have been spent.

Sometimes I think I’m a worse mother than I might have been. I struggle to communicate with teachers, I misunderstood homework for years, I’m always hot and tired and crabby, I don’t have access to loads of things I’d like to introduce my kids to or do with them.

Maybe all that is for another essay, a more discouraging essay.

At the very least, no matter where I’ve parented, I’m eternally grateful that these are the three I’ve parented and this is the one I’ve parented with. The who is way more important to me than the where.


This one, over at Brain Child, is about how I’ve changed, I think, for the better.

…Once on the most epic-fail airplane journey we’ve ever experienced (endless airplane delays meant it took us five days to get back to Africa), my son said, upon arrival, “That was exhausting and awful. But we made some really great memories and I’m thankful we are finally home.”

When I realize that ‘home’ for us essentially means family, and anywhere that we are all together, I also realized that his words pretty much sum up my attitude about parenting.

Let’s make some good memories. Let’s be thankful to be home…

Click here to read about how I’ve changed in areas from gratitude to fear to the topics of conversation that we engage in around the dinner table to more.

5 Ways Living Abroad Changed My Parenting