Last year, I moved from Brooklyn to India with 2 babies. Rumi was 7 months old and Leela was 2. This was quite a thing – I was finding my groove as a mom of two, going through my new mom identity crisis, and moving across the world on top of it. I think I handled it pretty well, but I have some regrets.
My biggest regret about the move: When we moved, it was very important to me to keep working. I’m a nutritionist and I have a business based in the US (now in India too, but at the time it was only in the US). I set my own hours, and I could have given myself a few weeks off. But I had a very ego-driven need to prove to myself that I wasn’t “just” a housewife. I needed to prove that I wasn’t giving up my career for this move and becoming a “trailing spouse.” Looking back, it was silly. If I had an external boss, I would have asked for a few weeks off, but since I’m my own boss, I set impossible standards. Dealing with jet lag for my kids and running a business in a different time zone made things more exhausting than they needed to be. I should have been completely present for my family and my girls through this big transition rather than trying to juggle so many things. I don’t think they are scarred, but it was an unrealistic pressure to put on myself. I should have been focused lower down on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — finding healthy food for us, security, safety, love and belonging for the girls. Not the esteem and self actualization that comes from career success. When we’re moving at warp speed, it’s harder to find joy, laughter, grace.
Now I see the experience as a blessing. I can better recognize when I’m in that shrill state, where small things seem difficult and make me panicked. It’s not a good place to create from. It’s certainly not a good place from which I can help other people on their healing journey. I’m learning to slow down and be more patient with these seasons of life. I’ve learned that when you have an international move, it doesn’t take 1 month to “settle in.” It takes at least 6 months. When I accomplish less, but accomplish it with grace … the benefits radiate outward from me to my family to the rest of the world.