SWITZERLAND: Transitioning Children

SWITZERLAND: Transitioning Children

After five moves in five and a half years, I have been accustomed to gear up for change. The excitement of something new; the sadness of leaving what we have grown accustomed to; the packing and the unpacking; the curiosity of a new place; missing the last place.

But what I wasn’t prepared for when we started this journey was my role as a mother and wife, which  leaves me not only to anticipate my own transition but that of each family member.

Our family recently made the move from Switzerland back to the U.S. It was a move we were very much looking forward to, but it didn’t occur without the ever-flowing mix of emotions that comes with moving.

We hated leaving behind our dear friends, whom we had made so many wonderful memories with, not to mention the cheese and chocolates! But, we also eagerly waited for the time when we would return to a more familiar life in the United States, where we would be near family and friends.

Over the past few months, we have ridden the roller coaster of transition. Although we are not out of the woods yet, I thought I would pass on a few things that helped my kids, in particular, with this transition. (more…)

Kristen

Kristen is a stay-at-home to two little boys, Jackson (4 yrs) and Owen (nearly 2 yrs). She was born in New York, but eventually made her way down to Texas. She and her husband, Seth, met in Dallas and were married in December 2005. Nine months into their marriage Seth received a call that he had landed his dream job, one catch, it involved world wide assignment. The adventure took them from Texas to Washington, D.C., on to Bogotá, Colombia and then back to Washington, D.C before bringing them to Bern, Switzerland! Kristen and her family have currently lived in Bern for more than 1 year, where her husband works for the US Department of State. Four moves and 2 children in nearly 6 years of marriage have made for quite the adventure in motherhood! Kristen finds motherhood to be one of the most humbling and character building things she has ever experienced. The responsibility of raising boys with integrity and respect at times feels daunting, but she couldn’t imagine doing anything else! Kristen is a Speech Language Pathologist but has taken time away from working to focus on her family. Although she enjoys the travel and adventure involved in her husband’s career, she often finds herself feeling far from home and working to make the most of time abroad! On her blog, Seasons Worth Savoring, Kristen writes about daily life with two little boys, including her experiences as she navigates a foreign culture and walks by faith. In her free time, or rather in her busy time with two boys attached to her legs, Kristen enjoys cooking, photography, antique and thrift store shopping, working on crafts, and blogging.

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MEXICO: The Perspective Within

The cliche that becoming a parent changes your world view in a profound way gets kind of old, but it is so true. My outward view of the world and how my children’s lives will be affected by their environment is at once richer and more complex.

The breadth of information and experience I desire for them to know is infinite; the protection I want for them emotionally and physically is visceral – all pretty predictable stuff in the cliche. What has surprised me, however, is the inward reflection on myself, particularly my memories, the way they have shaped who I am today. It makes me wonder how my children’s own memories will shape who they become.

Do you have memories from your early childhood which make you wonder if they actually happened the way you remember them? How did you feel at the time and how has that feeling stayed with you? Real or not, your memories exist and how you feel about those memories has probably impacted certain decisions or actions in your adult life. They have certainly impacted mine…in significant ways. (more…)

Dee Harlow (Laos)

One of Dee’s earliest memories was flying on a trans-Pacific flight from her birthplace in Bangkok, Thailand, to the United States when she was six years old. Ever since then, it has always felt natural for her to criss-cross the globe. So after growing up in the northeast of the US, her life, her work and her curiosity have taken her to over 32 countries. And it was in the 30th country while serving in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan that she met her husband. Together they embarked on a career in international humanitarian aid working in refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan, and the tsunami torn coast of Aceh, Indonesia. Dee is now a full-time mother of three-year old twins and continues to criss-cross the globe every two years with her husband who is in the US Foreign Service. They currently live in Vientiane, Laos, and are loving it! You can read about their adventures at Wanderlustress.

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