‘I wrote the list a couple years back and have gotten enough chuckles from other expats that at least some of them seem to reflect life for many of us over here!
You know you’re raising kids overseas when…
1. When you say, “We’re going home,” your kids ask, “Which one?”
2. It’s 27 C outside but your kids want a jacket.
3. Hundreds of total strangers have photos of your children on their mobile phone.
4. Your children don’t remember your brothers or sisters, but they have at least 20 “Uncles” and “Aunts” who are no relation to them at all.
5. Your kids can translate between American, British, and Australian English.
6. When you’re in a restaurant and the server DOESN’T try to pick up your toddler and carry him back to the kitchen, you’re surprised.
7. Your kids flew before they could walk.
8. Your kids can greet strangers appropriately in multiple languages and cultures, but they’re not sure how to relate to their cousins.
9. You’ve wished strollers came in 4-wheel drive models.
10. You know that the best toys are twigs, rocks, and cardboard boxes.
11. Finding your children in a crowd is easy: they’re at the center of it.
12. Your kids think change is normal and normal is boring.
13. The thought of sending your children on an unescorted plane trip doesn’t scare you nearly as badly as the idea of putting them back into your home country’s public school system.
14. You buy your toddler a motorbike helmet before you buy him a bicycle helmet
15. You realize one day that your definition of “home” isn’t even on the same continent as your children’s definition.
16. Your kids have more stamps in their passport than most backpackers.
17. Your kids think another plane ride or border crossing is routine, but the sight of a park with real grass makes them ecstatic.
18. You put your children to bed at 8:30 and your neighbors marvel at how early they go to sleep. (“And they go to sleep all by themselves????”)
19. Your teenagers know how to drive anywhere but in their home country.
20. Your kids can speak English, the national language, and broken English with a bad accent.
by Jeff Jaquith