Wednesday, February 11, 2015

If I had one wish...

If I had a fairy godmother and she gave me one wish you know what I would wish for?

I will give you a hint, it wouldn't be to be rich or successful. And believe it or not, it wouldn't be to look like a supermodel or to wear my skinny jeans again. My wish would be to have total confidence in myself when it comes to being a mother in a different culture.

If my fairy godmother asked me what I would wish for, I would say, to be one of those mothers like I see in the school yard, strong and confident who is not afraid of making mistakes and confident enough to know lessons are learned from mistakes.

I  wish to have the confidence to raise my kids in a foreign culture and fit in with the other mothers. Maybe even make a friend or two along the way. I wish that my son's teacher wouldn't attack me in a language that is not my mother tongue and I wish for the confidence not to leave the school crying and upset.

My wish would give me the ability to laugh at such people and not them them hurt me. Maybe people would be more kind if I were more confident and could speak Dutch better.

The power of my wish could possibly change the world of my two children. They would have a mother like the other mother's in class. A Mother who knows exactly what to do and when to do it. A Mother who could help them with their homework and could be the class parent or volunteer to read on Fridays. Not a helpless mother, one who can't read much faster than a seven year old just learning the skill.

My wish would change my world too. I would have coffee dates, dinners to attend and friends. There would be laughs and stories exchanged about the craziness of raising our kids. There would be shoulders to cry on and tissues to be shared. My support group would form and I would finally be a part of something here.  I would no longer feel out of place walking my kids into school. I would have the confidence to fit in, whether they liked it or not.

It's hard being an outsider here, I often feel like I have one foot on one side of the Dutch river and the other foot on the expat side of the river. I am constantly straddling, not fitting into either side. Maybe my wish would allow me to be on one side of the river.

Who knows if it would help and anyway, tomorrow will bring another wish. This is just my wish for today.

Too bad fairy godmothers don't exist but that doesn't mean my wishes can't come true. I still have the stars...


  1. This is beautiful, a heartfelt account of your inner life and struggles raising kids in a foreign country. Thanks for sharing, it makes me feel like I'm not alone!

    1. Thanks so much Catarina for your kind words. It feels so good to share and find out I am not alone. Sometimes I really think I am the only who experiences these things, so thanks.

  2. I feel you... you are not alone. Everything you see is a show to promote positivity. "Alles is goed, want wat niet goed is zou goed komen. Altijd blij kijken." the unrealistic optimistic dutch thinking.

    Teachers are not always right. People lie. the fact that you ask yourself if you are a good parent, makes you a good one. Lousy parents wouldn't even bother.

    Your household is just like any other in your neighboorhood. Only you know what happens behind your own doors and not behind theirs. :)

    1. Thanks, soooo true! My household is no different from the rest, and people lie...a lot!

  3. Hi Catina,

    Apologies for writing here but I hope you will respond to my message.
    I am a Lecturer/PhD candidate at University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University and I would like to invite you to participate in my research project on female expats in the Netherlands. My research investigates how female expats carve out spaces of home and a sense of belonging in their lived spaces and the role that digital media (especially blogs) plays in this process. My research aims at providing a better understanding of the migration experience of female expats and the construction of migrant identities.

    I can send you a more detailed message from my university email account if you send me your email address.

    I hope you will read my message and will be interested in my research.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best wishes,

    1. Please contact me at catina.tanner@gmail with the details. Thanks

  4. I think you are great mom who is raising her children in a wonderful place! good luck sister :)

    1. Thanks so much, I need all the luck i can get : ))


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