Today Expat Parenting Abroad turns one! Wow! I feel an amazing sense of achievement as I take a moment to reflect and write this post. I think about how far I have come in myself and how much I have achieved in my business.
I have talked before about the importance of finding your purpose, and as an expat it is so important. Everywhere we have lived I have been happy, and I have definitely kept myself busy. When we moved to Taipei however I made a decision to do things differently.
I didn’t say ‘yes’ to everything I was asked to do, and I searched for ideas and inspiration of what it was I would do. I even looked into returning to my HR career. But then I read a post by Lucille, Expitterpattica why as an expat you have the skills you need to be an entrepreneur. What!?! I had never thought of my life that way.
Then I found Amel, at Tandem Nomads and enrolled in the Business Idea Accelerator with Amel and Sundae Bean. I think the first questions Sundae asked – what are your interests? What are your passions? – were the questions that challenged me the most.
While being very happy, and as I mentioned busy, in my expat life I had lost a sense of who I am and what I want from life. It seems that many people confuse happiness with purpose, I don’t think the two are the same. I was happy, but I wasn’t satisfied.
You don’t have to come from a place of isolation, depression or sadness to want to change something in your life. You just have to recognise that you want something different. That you want more. That you are capable of more. And let’s face it, we are all capable of more.
Well I wanted more. I wanted something for me. I wanted to be able to show my girls, that as a woman in this world they can do anything.
One year later, I am definitely celebrating Expat Parenting Abroad’s birthday. Although I started writing my blog in September 2018, I don’t really feel that EPA was born until that first support group started.
So, what I have learned in the past year?
- That parenting is tough. Whether you’re an expat or not, it’s just hard work. There’s no guidebook or rulebook. But there is an overwhelming amount of information available, you just have to know where to look.
- That as a mum, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do everything, to be everything… but it’s OK to tell someone when you’re having a bad day (or week). We need to look after ourselves first to have anything in reserve to give to our family.
- That you need your sisterhood, the family that you create for yourself when you’re living abroad.
I think these learnings are also the key to why the Support Groups are so successful. Because it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’ve come from, we all face the same challenges. When we share that load, we are all the better for it.
So one year later…
I feel proud. I feel proud of what I have achieved.
I feel a wonderful connection with you, my readers, and with the mums that I support through coaching and the support groups.
I feel utterly grateful the support Amel and Sundae have given and continue to give me.
I feel a sense of belonging, attending the FIGT Conference in Bangkok this year was an incredible experience for me and connecting with my tribe just priceless! To have these people reaching out to me now, checking on me and how I’m coping with my own transition… wow! I found a new sisterhood!
I feel a drive to do more, I want to be able to impact and improve the lives of more expat mums.
I feel a huge sense of satisfaction, especially as my business is portable and I have been able to continue it seamlessly through the past few months of transition.
I feel overwhelmed by the impact my business has had on my girls, they often tell me how proud they are of me. Or as Miss J pointed out the other day, I was cheekily checking an email and she caught me… “you love Expat Parenting Abroad don’t you!”. And yes, I do! But that she can recognise that in me – wow!
So wherever you are, please raise a toast with me and together let’s celebrate this crazy expat life and the incredible opportunities it presents us!