Mummy Confession: I miss my American friends and family all the time. And occasionally a few other things about my “home” country.
I was a teenager when I first visited what I now call home. I had no clue that the metric system would be an integral part of my future. I scoffed at science and math problems that had me calculate train collisions using meters per second speeds. Though, let me be honest, no one actually thinks in metres (yes, spelling!) per second here (or no one I have met thus far).
My story of how I came to live here is a tad long and filled with the a mushy story about how my man transversed oceans for my love- what a guy! So, we will skip that for now and just suffice to say, it wasn’t expected. And now, I find myself living a good 20,000 miles or so from my closest friends and half of my family, in a totally different world.
I can’t say that it’s been easy, but here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to help cope with missing people and places you know and love. I’m sure these can be used for any mum, as I know well, motherhood can sometimes feel like a lonely place.
Whether it’s your local church, mother’s group, or community events, try to connect with people. The road may be difficult, but it is well worth it in the long run to have a good shoulder to lean on and feel needed by others in return. Volunteer to help in different organisations and events to meet other people who love to help. You can find some great and lovely people. What also helps me when I can’t get out of the house to connect is to jump onto the Pregnancy and Parenting Forums or Social Media.
2. Keep in Touch
Write old fashioned letters and cards to far away people. Connect on social media. Make a phone call or Skype your family. Sometimes it can be discouraging to keep reaching out and feel like it’s a one-sided ordeal, but keep trying. I’ve actually kept in touch with friends from high school days, and surprising to me is the fact that it includes some people I hadn’t connected with a ton IN high school. Having kids creates a great base of connection it seems! 🙂
3. Get Out
While you do need to foster old relationships, this goes hand-in-hand with connecting. Spend some time with your new mummy friends. Reach out and have a coffee with someone from your workplace. Set up an evening out with close friends who are nearby, or a date with your husband.
4. Time Out
Take time to yourself. I know maybe this sounds anti-social, but the key here is balance. Pray for your friends and family. Read a good book and have a nice bath. Journal your thoughts. Crank up the radio and dance your heart out. Let someone else watch the kids for a while.
5. Ask for Help
If you are like me, sometimes it can get overwhelming. I mean, going for around a decade of being far from a world you miss having only been back once, sometimes I need a good cry. I am so blessed to have a husband who is there for me when I’m down. Find someone you can confide in and reach out. Call a helpline if necessary. You can find a list of websites and numbers here for you reference. If you don’t communicate your needs, people won’t know what you are feeling all the time. No one can read minds.
These have all been essential in my life for helping me cope with being so far away from some of my loved ones, and enjoying being where I am. I hope this will help you, too!