May 11, 2020

When my husband (Dylan Ennis) asked me to write about how it is being a mommy overseas, in a foreign country, I really didn’t know where to start.

There are so many things that I can talk about and share with you guys, but before I start, please know, I’m not trying to discredit any moms that don’t live overseas or any moms in any other circumstance.

I truly believe that being a mommy is the toughest job in the world no matter what walk of life you are doing it from.

We’re all just doing our best!

All I’m doing is giving you a glimpse into my life.

The life of being a professional athlete is one thing, but there are many other things that play a role in this lifestyle while being a mommy.

Things like, never having a place to call “home”. Or making amazing bonds with friends from each team, just to have to say goodbye to them 10 months later. Or not understand the language that is spoken in the country and struggling to communicate the most simple things.

All that is difficult in itself.

Now, add having and/or raising a baby overseas.

Well let’s not stop there if we are being totally transparent. Here are a few things that us wives overseas have to maneuver through on a daily basis:

  • No family to help you.
  • Only having a couple friends around you that you just met from time to time.
  • No organized groups to take your baby to for entertainment.
  • Having to buy food or formula for your baby, yet having no idea the ingredients in it. Therefore, Google Translator becomes your best friend.
  • Trying to make an appointment to see the doctor, yet the person on the phone or at the front desk speaks little to no English. Then getting to the doctor who may speak good English or speak very little (depending on where you are).
  • Trying to make your way around a city that you have no prior knowledge about.
  • Sometimes being a “single mommy” for weeks on end because your partner has a few road games on the schedule.

My journey as a mom overseas has been really good 98% of the time. However, being completely honest, there’s that 2% of time where I have struggled more than anyone would know.

I don’t like to show that side.

A real life experience of that came when we lived in Monaco last year. There was a whole month in which Amiyah, my daughter, was going through the 4 sleep month regression.

If you don’t know what that may be, it's when your baby's sleep patterns shift, they wake up often during the night, and they have a hard time going back to sleep. And if your baby is awake, so are you. And because of this, not only at night, but their entire day is thrown off and they become very irritable, because of the lack of routined sleep.

And of course, during this regression, my husband was away for the majority of that month at preseason training. He left for a week and a half, came home for 5 days, then had to leave again for another 2 weeks.

Her and I struggled everyday during that time.

She would cry, I would cry. She wouldn’t sleep, I wouldn’t sleep. It was a constant cycle. There would be days, in which I was so stressed out or burned out, that I would remember at night that I only ate a bag of chips all day.

I truly didn’t know if I was going to make it.

I didn’t have a single person to help me, not even for a thirty minute break. Just to regroup myself.

It was, by far, the hardest time of my life; so far.

There are so many factors to the challenges that overseas mommy’s face. For instance, whether your husband plays in 2 leagues or 1 league (this will mean they can play two games a week or one game a week). Another factor being whether they fly or bus to games or if they practice once or twice a day. There are just so many things that you have to factor in, while living this type of life, that will ultimately determine how much help you’ll get from your partner.

I’m very lucky that Dylan is such an amazing, hands on dad. He is willing to give me an hour here and there for “me” time. Whether that is getting my hair or my nails done. Or even just getting a coffee and recharging myself for thirty minutes. It feels good to be able to do that every once and awhile. It's necessary for all people, but especially moms!

I am aware that I may make it sound like motherhood overseas is the worst thing in the world. That is not the case and surely not what I want to it to come across as to you because it’s far from that let me tell you!

Although it’s extremely hard at times, it’s truly the best experience ever. The bond Amiyah and I have is next to none. Never have I left her side for more than 2 hours in her year of life. We know each other inside and out and we are truly best friends.

We’ve gone through so much together in such a small amount of time. It has only made our bond stronger. And I know as the years go by our mommy/daughter relationship will continue to build into an indestructible bond that nothing on this Earth can break.

I’m forever grateful to my husband for providing us with this life. Being able to travel the world with my two best friends, while being able to stay at home to spend as much time with my daughter as I want, is a privilege that I know, not everyone has.

It’s hard to explain how, in fine detail, how this type of life is, in just one short post. Yet, this is a general perspective of it.

Throughout my time overseas, I have spoken to so many different moms who live the same life as I do and the consensus statement is “unless you live this life you just won’t fully understand”. And please understand, that’s no shots at anyone at all, it’s just the plain truth.

I’m grateful to have formed such a tight connection with so many moms that I’ve never actually met, but that share these same experiences that I do. They are there for me, even if it's a simple pick me up when I need it.

All in all, I would like to leave you with a statement that I will always live by after becoming a mommy, which has helped me along the way and hope it can help you and/or somebody else.

“You never truly know what’s going on in someone’s life from the outside, so just remember to be kind to one another, especially if they're a mom. Uplift another mommy if you can, because you know what you’ve gone through or are going through yourself as a parent. We all are in this together. Let’s help each other out, anytime we can.”


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