So, I guess I’ll start by welcoming you to my blog. I’m sure it’s not going to get much traffic, nor very many readers, so let me just start by saying “Hi Mom”!
Quick introduction: hi – we’re a family of four from the Chicago suburbs, recently relocated to Tampico, Mexico for a three-year work assignment for my husband. Family unit consists of two daughters, ages 6 and 9, and me (age 39) and husband (age 38 – please, no comments about having a younger husband).
Making the decision to relocate our family from the United States to Mexico was hard (as in, lose-sleep-over-hard, call-my-mom-again-hard, eat-the-entire-bag-of-cookies-hard), for all the obvious reasons. We’re not different from any other family in all the issues and concerns we debated. I’ll not go into those details because, honestly, they probably aren’t all that interesting, and more importantly, they are all moot now. We’re here.
Before we left the U.S. my husband and I went through “cultural training” – which was very involved, and very interesting. We also started our language lessons because none of us speak Spanish. We talked, and talked and talked about the ramifications of the move – to the point where honestly, I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Here’s one of the biggest lessons I learned during all of these conversations and preparations to move our family from Illinois to Mexico: that in situations like ours, the non-working partner (usually the wife) – has the hardest time adjusting to a new culture.
Let me translate that for you: I am the weakest link in this entire scenario.
The biggest reason re-assignments to another culture do not work out for family units is because the accompanying partner is not happy. I can’t tell you how often people would look at me during our exit from the U.S., with wide eyes, and ask [in a hushed tone of voice] “what will you do”? My husband will be busy with work (wow, lucky him…) and my girls will be busy with school (amen!), but gosh, what will I do?
I won’t go into details on how I’m going to fill my days – suffice it to say I will be very busy trying not to completely ruin this entire, once-in-a-lifetime experience for my family – as again, if I don’t find all kinds of stuff to make myself happy – all the time every day – my husband’s career will be over and my kid’s childhood will be marred. So no pressure on me, or anything.
I was provided with suggestions of all kinds of coping mechanisms in situations like these: up to, and including: writing. I’ve actually always enjoyed writing, but am not very good at it. However, I figured I’d write a blog about our adventures of adjusting to our new life here in a new culture, share photos of the different sites we are seeing and experiencing – things that I would find interesting if someone I knew moved to a different country.
So, I’m going to write this blog. Please join me on this adventure. Because if you don’t, I’ll become very unhappy, and this entire endeavor will then come crashing down – and we don’t want that.
So no pressure or anything.