For those of you who don’t know me, I have been an expat for many years now and all my kids were also born outside of Germany and have actually never lived here. So every summer I go to Germany for the school break and stay here with the kids for about two months. My husband just joins for a little bit so that means I am a single mom for many weeks over the summer. And wow, I bow down in front of every single mom! You are amazing!
I flew to the US without my kids not so long ago and this irrational fear of something happening to me and not making it back to my kids came up again…
My daughter decided the other day in London that she had enough of walking and just sat down. The rest of us didn’t notice and continued walking. When we noticed and turned around and she wasn’t there my heart stopped. Horrible thoughts, scenarios and things I could do rushed into my brain in seconds. I think it was only a minute until I spotted her pink sweater on the park bench but it felt like a very long minute…
I am afraid of someone or something hurting my kids, I am afraid of kidnapping, I am afraid of fast cars in our neighborhood, I am afraid of my kids falling of a tree, I am afraid of doing the wrong thing, I am afraid of raising them the wrong way, I am afraid of bees flying into into their mouth, I am afraid of flying without my kids, I am afraid of …..
Why do we loose this easy going, light-heartedness once we have kids? Why do we see danger around every corner? Why is there all this fear suddenly?
I guess it comes as a package with becoming a mom….
I am posting this today, to show you that you are not alone. I have fears all the time, I fear death all the time, I cry about things that don’t make sense - I am a mom just like you.
I wrote this post a few months ago and something made me share it today…
I was never a fast runner or a long-distance runner. In fact, I remember one very long run in particular. It was with my school and I was about 17 years old. We had to run through the countryside and even now I can still see myself doing it. I can still feel the pain. It was that hard for me. I played a lot of hockey and tennis at that time, so I considered myself quite fit. However, many of the other girls, who had not trained and even stopped for a smoke on the way, were faster than I was. Some of them sprinted down the finish line and I really struggled. The next few days I could hardly walk down the stairs. Long distance running always felt hard for me. Conditioning training with my field hockey team was also always the hardest part of hockey practice. Even so, when I grew up, I kept on running to stay fit, but I was never fast nor did I even consider doing any races, let alone a half marathon.
Well, it came different than I - or anybody else - expected.. Let me tell you how I actually completed two Half Ironman races many years later.
I know ‘Just do it’ sort of belongs to Nike and when we say or see this statement, we can almost see Nike’s logo with it. I can at least ;-)
It is such a great phrase though and embodies so much for me. Not only for sport, for everything in life.
For most of us there are so many things that seem unbelievable hard or just impossible. Life is not easy, life is not fair, life is not just fun, but life can be so, so great. We ‘just’ have to step out of our comfort zones and so many magical things will happen!
And at the end of the day it comes down to just doing it.
As an expat having lived in America and currently living in Dubai, plus we like to travel as much as we can with our four young kids, we have collected a lot of air miles for our family. And I feel the one thing I really know a lot about is actually how to fly with kids.
As I get asked quite often if I have any tips for flying with kids, I thought why not do a blog post about how to fly with small children and my 9 essential tips of flying with small kids.
Guilt - I am assuming all of us moms we have all felt it at some point. Some moms feel it more than others. But I am sure - if you are a mom - you know what I am talking about.
This creepy feeling that is in your stomach and in the back of your head and sometimes brings tears into your eyes. This feeling you should do something that you don’t want to do. Or that you actually want to do but you can’t right now. The feeling of not doing the right thing. This feeling of not knowing what is right. The feeling of being torn in two directions, by others, by our kids but also by ourselves. The feeling of not knowing what to change or how to change it. The feeling of helplessness. This feeling of not being enough. The feeling of not having enough time.
I am writing this letter to you, 25 years into the future. As I am sitting here and still remember very clearly what it was like as a teenager. I wish I could save you some of the worries that you are having and will have. I wish I could make this time easier and more enjoyable.
So with this letter I would like to tell you that you don’t need to worry, whatever you do know, you will grow up to be a confident, successful and happy woman.
I recently turned 40… And to be honest I was a bit scared. I did not want to celebrate as I thought it was nothing to celebrate... My initial idea was to just go away with my husband and kids. That did not work out unfortunately and as the big day came closer I realized I would like to have a party and celebrate together with all my friends. It did not matter that it was a round birthday, I just wanted to celebrate - celebrate life. So I planned a party at home in Germany with all my ‘old’ friends who are - although so far away and although I don’t see them regularly - so important to me and so close to my heart.
When I went on my girls trip to Sri Lanka with Akemi - a present from her which was just amazing - I started writing down my thoughts on turning 40. And I turned them into a speech for my friends. Today I want to share them with you and with my kids, my thoughts about aging and turning 40.
Oh, and by the way, the big day came and it was not so scary at all and actually nothing has changed ;-)
If you are an expat or have grown up in different places around the world, you might feel the same and some of you will understand me better :-)
As I am sitting on the plane, flying back to Dubai from a long summer holiday in Germany, I am thinking back of the great time we had, of the great memories I created with my kids, of the quality time we have spent together. I am sitting here with one laughing eye because I am flying home and with one crying eye because I am leaving home...
This blog will be about my journey. My journey as a woman, a wife and a mom, a daughter, a sister, an entrepreneur and also as an expat. I am writing this blog for myself and for my four children.
I am writing for myself as a diary and to keep track of my ongoing thoughts and learnings. But most importantly I am writing for my four children. I want them to be able to understand me, my beliefs and my dreams and where I come from, what drives me and why I do what I do.