Kids Living In Hong Kong

Being an expat mum: Pros and cons

Being a mum is tough, that’s for sure. So, what happens when you move thousands of miles away from your home and become a mum in a foreign country?  We asked a group of expat mums to share their experiences of being a mum abroad. They generously shared reflections, both positive and negative, of being an expat mum.

The pros

Life as an expat mum is great because …

“… my children can see different cultures and ways of life. One of the best payoffs about expat life is gaining a larger empathy for others, and expanding our world views. ” – Shimaali

“… we can make travel an integral part of our children’s lives.” – Typhaine

“… we have friends from all over the world, and my kids are exposed to different cultures, languages and foods. We also get to share our love of travel with them. Personally, another plus point of being an expat mother is having a helper; this has been a game-changer for me. Not only has it allowed me to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it has probably also preserved my sanity as an individual!” – Joanna

Expat mum in Hong Kong on tram

“… we get to have so many experiences, not just as a family but also as individuals. These include travelling around the region and learning all about the different cultures, celebrations and traditions. I love seeing my children grow up in a multicultural environment; they learn to accept everyone for who they are, and get to try an amazing variety of foods from around the world.” – Gail

“… my children are exposed to so many different cultures here. We make new and amazing friends from all over the world, which means they will grow up with a more global view and a special connection to our adopted city.” – Caroline

“… we are all exceptionally lucky. While it can be difficult being away from family, we are so privileged to live the lives we do. Most of us have the luxury of good jobs, good earning potential, help with our children and the opportunity to travel, eat well and launch businesses.” –  Rebecca

“… we can expose our children to this wonderful world of multiculturalism.” – Sarah

The cons

But it also has its challenges, including …

“… not having our family around. We use Facetime a lot!” –  Typhaine

“… having to say goodbye to international friends, which is always sad. It’s also difficult when there are no family members around to see the children grow up or celebrate special moments together. Sometimes we miss certain foods from our home countries, too.” – Gail

Expat mum in Hong kong

“… making close friends in a new country, which can be difficult; and, honestly, sometimes you can feel like you don’t really belong here.” – Joanna

“… you have to work hard to keep the children grounded and focused on family values.” – Sarah

“… not having family close by while your little people are growing up. I feel sad every day that my children don’t get to spend more time with their grandparents, aunties, uncles and especially cousins.” – Caroline

“… the feeling of being alone. It takes a while to find your village. And, with a husband who is eternally travelling or busy, it feels a lot lonelier as the comfort of family and close friends isn’t as accessible as it once was. While I’m glad to be an expat in this century, with all its conveniences of being able to Facetime and WhatsApp, it’s still not the same as being back home.” – Shimaali


Like this? See more in our
Kids section