A Day in the Life of an Expat Mom

ExpatMomMy family recently moved overseas for work after six years of interviewing, searching and researching more about where in the world that would be best for my family. I have been writing for seven years, and this move is exposing me to new things and also learning how to write in a foreign setting. I have a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, who attend the local national school because homeschooling is illegal in Montenegro. I have been married to my husband, Real Geek Dad, for 14 years, and we are learning life as he works from home. Pray for me! 😉

6:45AM My kids wake up. I usually hear laughter in the other room, or they come into mine. Oh, where’s my coffee? They come into the big room whining that they are still tired and don’t want to go to school. I pick up my iPhone to see what pictures have been posted on Instagram, what is happening on the other side of the world on Facebook and if there are any news that I may be missing on Twitter.

7AM My husband starts making eggs for them, but everyone wants something different, so sometimes it is just cereal or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Mental note: We need bread. When they’re done, I clean up the floor, the table and the dishes. Wash my face and brush my hair. Throw on a pair of jeans and clean shirt. Check outside to see if there will be rain – if so, wear my wellies – and if not, then wear a pair of my flats.

7:20AM Kids get dressed. I take my first sip of coffee. Yes, I can conquer the day. Wait, is that the kids playing in their room instead of getting ready?

7:30AM Kids begin to pack their bags and get their uniform jacket and shoes on.

7:50AM Walk to school. Pray with the kids about their day. Give hugs and money for snack at Veliki Odmor (break a.k.a. recess).

8AM Pray by myself. Take a deep breath. Kids are in school. Hmmmm, should I start checking e-mails, study my language books before lesson or go sit down for a coffee at a cafe?

8:30AM Sitting in a cafe with my husband sipping a Veliko Macchiato (large macchiato a.k.a. average US-sized cup of coffee).

9:15AM Begin my language homework. Usually writing sentences about my life or filling in blanks for conjugated verbs or declined nouns.

10AM Language tutor prepares me tea. My language lesson begin.

11:15AM Walk to local prodavnica (local market) to pick up some fresh fruits, vegetables and bread. Treat myself to a Schweppes Bitter Lemon.

11:30AM Pick up kids from school. “Talk” with a few moms as we wait. I try my best to speak in the language, but some of the moms know English and will complete my sentences in English.

11:40AM We get home, and the kids go to the their room to play while I figure out lunch.

12:30PM Sit down at my laptop and start to work. Attend to various e-mails first.

1PM Work on creating this month’s e-newsletter. Also, jot down some future articles to write about life, food, fashion and travel. I really love doing this work.

1:50pm Realize that I am hungry. I tear off a piece of bread and make me another Nescafe instant coffee (strong, of course, with two scoops of sugar). I grab some kikiriki (peanuts) and head back to my laptop.

2PM Husband takes kids to their language lesson while I skype with my company mentor or people from the states.

3:15PM Start to read the local news online. Ugh! Maybe I should be studying my language books some more. Wait, there is Google Translate. 😉 Now, it is time to see where we should travel this weekend.

4PM Motivate the kids to begin their homework. This usually means that I will be sitting along beside them helping them out with their math or their language assignment. Oh, how my head is starting to hurt.

5PM Time to get dinner started. Remind my son to go in his backpack to look for a notebook that might have his homework inside of it. Strongly encourage him to get his homework done before dinner if he wants to eat.

6PM We set the table and get drinks ready. Then, we sit down to eat. *sigh* Oh, this is nice.

6:30PM The kids use some of their “screen time” and watch TV.

7:30PM Kids start taking showers. Then begins the question, “Who goes first?”

8:15PM PJs are on, hair brushed, teeth brushed, hugs given, books read and lights out, take one. I finally go to sit down when my daughter comes into the living room whining because she can’t go to sleep. I give her a drink and send her back to bed – lights out, take two. I sit with my husband and talk about our day, and then he heads to bed.

9PM Pick up books and papers that the kids left lying around and throw a load of laundry in the washer. Clean up the kitchen by loading the dishwasher, setting the time for 2 hours (since electricity is cheaper after 11PM) and wiping down counters. Check e-mail one last time.

10PM Collapse on the couch and place my laptop on my stomach to watch something on Netflix. Oh, how I am grateful for VPN. Fall asleep half way through a show. Shutdown my laptop and stumble into bed.


  1. Bob Hendershot says

    Kewl! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! Need more pictures of your new environment!


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