Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? I’ve always felt a bit on the outside looking in. Strangely enough, I actually felt more like myself when I was living in Japan because it was obvious that I was different from everyone else, simply by the colour of my skin. Here in the UK, no one knows I’m a foreigner until I talk and they hear my accent.
There isn’t a HUGE difference between the UK and Canada in a lot of ways, but there are small differences, especially in my area. Since having children, some of the reasons I feel like a square peg have expanded. I wonder if this is the same for everyone? Does it have anything to do with being an ex-pat or is it just ‘normal’?
Before you have children you think you know what kind of parent you’ll be, but then circumstances change and you find yourself a foreigner living a breastfeeding, baby-wearing, home-educating, attachment parenting life in the country with the lowest breastfeeding rates in the western world, and the youngest mandatory school age in the world.
I thought I might share today some of the reasons I feel a bit out of place in the Mommy world.
I make the vast majority of our meals ‘from scratch’. Not only is this much healthier and tastier, but it also helps the children learn about healthy eating in addition to learning the important skill of cooking.
I don’t want my children to eat candy or ‘junk food’. I don’t want them to think it’s a normal part of everyday life, because they shouldn’t be. The sugar isn’t good for growing teeth or keeping an even blood sugar and mood.
I like my children to have ‘pure’ fruit juice. From concentrate is fine, but I don’t want them to have squash, fizzy/soda/pops, powders, or other drinks. And definitely not the ‘non-sugar’ varieties that instead have carcinogenic (cancer-causing) artificial sweeteners in them. And please don’t tell us it’s ‘juice’ if it isn’t.
We don’t buy our children clothing with ‘cute’ sayings on them. Phrases like “I’m Mommy’s little monster”, or “I’m cute and I know it”, aren’t actually cute. Why would you want to advertise an unflattering quality to the world. And after so many people then ask your child if it’s true – and well it must be if you’re wearing it on your shirt – I don’t want my children to ‘live up’ to low expectations.
I don’t want my children to dress older than they are. They’re young children, they don’t need to look like teens or twenty-somethings. Appropriate clothing to their age and weather is just fine. They don’t need to be full of ruffles (though that’s lovely when they want it), but they shouldn’t be trying to dress just to fit in with what the clothing manufacturers and magazines say they should wear.
My children don’t own mobile/cell phones, nor do they need to. They also don’t watch TV on a regular basis (with the exception of one movie night a week with Daddy while I’m at a meeting). The TV is usually reserved for really bad days when someone is ill. They will save their eyesight and it gives them more time to play and have fun with each other.
Books and board games are great for interaction as well! Never mind those electronic toys – old-fashioned blocks and pretend food are used for hours and hours. Using imagination is where it’s at! Things that can be used in multiple ways are fantastic! You’re never bored when you have an imagination.
There are other things as well that make me feel ‘different’, but I’ll stop for today. I know everyone has different opinions, and that’s okay by me, it’s what makes this world such an interesting place.
Maybe I might just be old-fashioned, or frugal, or maybe I’m not alone. Please let me know if you have the same ideas, and if you are also an ex-pat or not.