I’m travelling alone again, having left hubby and the boys back in South Africa to sort out evicting our tenants. I hate being away from my family for so long, in fact in 14 years I’ve know my husband this is the longest we have spent apart. Up until we became expats it was him doing all the travelling, but the balance has shifted.
Most of my friends have young children and in the past, almost 3 years their children just see me as either Suzanne or Chickenruby who visits with gifts twice a year from a country far. They’ve forgotten I have children and have no concept of children being anything but like themselves and not teenagers and adults.
When I visit I do a lot of travelling and visiting, it’s easier on my own for family and friends to offer a spare room or let me sleep on their sofa. The concept of me having a husband and children seems to have disappeared and although people do ask about everyone, their relationship is now with just me and not my family as a whole.
I feel like everyone’s single friend, to children I am the ‘favourite’ aunty, for family I am their daughter, sister, mother and to strangers I must appear as a spinster.
I want t-shirts printed for different occasions.
When I’m out on my own it must read ‘married expat with kids, visiting the homeland’
When I’m out with parents ‘I’m not their carer, nor special needs’
When I’m out with friends ‘Don’t forget there is more to my life than just being able to travel’
Do other expats feel the same way? Do you have family and friends, even in the same country and feel this way when you visit?