I don’t think either of us imagined our lives would be this way 12 years ago in High School. We were running around with friends in Orem, Utah without any clue that we would In our near future be raising our children overseas. Mairin is amazing, adventurous, hilarious and my dear friend. I love watching her parenting style as she loves her life in London. Nothing about parenting has slowed down her adventures! Find her @aglobetrot for amazing travel photos and everything beautiful. Read below about the steps she takes to enjoy parenting in a situation she never imagined!
Being a mommy abroad is all I have ever known, so as far as I know this is as good as it gets! While we miss our families far, far away, it has been pretty great to have a baby in London, from the birth itself (which scares a lot of Americans here) to the eight countries I have taken my eight-month-old to (which scares most people who might take a baby on a plane)! Here are the three most important things I have learned:
1. Build a community and make your new home HOME. I think that this is the first and most important step whenever you move somewhere. Going someplace new, especially to a new country, can feel so intimidating and lonely. Be as proactive about being social as you can, join a mommy group even if you don’t know anyone, and fill your apartment (flat, in my case!) with photos and personal touches. Decorating is easy, but being social has gotten harder for me as I have gotten older. It is always a lot easier to do my own thing, and sometimes you have to travel across town to meet someone for lunch (with a baby that wants to crawl all over the restaurant!), but making that effort and having friends that feel like family makes all the difference in the world.
2. Embrace what is different–it isn’t always worse. When things are done differently from what we are used to and have always been satisfied with, it is easy to immediately think that they are worse. A perfect example of this is healthcare in the UK. About half the people I told I was pregnant assumed I would come back to the US to have my baby. I always said that if London is good enough for Prince George, it is good enough for baby Hill! The whole process is definitely different here, but I just appreciated the efficiency, fewer appointments, and the fact that I never stepped on a scale! While I didn’t have a doctor that I knew and was close to (I don’t think I ever saw the same doctor twice), I decided from the beginning that all that mattered was a healthy and happy baby, and with that, I have been perfectly pleased with the care we have received.
3. Take advantage of where you are and don’t be afraid to travel with your baby! Wherever you are in the world, if you are living abroad or far away from home, chances are there is a lot to explore and see. Luckily for us, our playground is Europe! A one hour flight gets us to France, Germany, Amsterdam, Ireland, and in two hours we can see a dozen other countries. We loved traveling before we had Julian and we decided we wouldn’t stop because we had him. We took him to Portugal when he was five weeks old, and he has been to a new country every month since then. I think that because we were never scared, our experiences have been great and he is used to traveling (this especially helps with take off and landing!). I know he won’t remember these trips, but it is so much fun for our little family to share these memories together, and we will show him all of the pictures and videos when he is old enough to care!