How to Deal with Homesickness Abroad as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Living abroad and missing your loved ones back home? On top of that if you are a SAHM, dealing with homesickness won’t be easy but it is not impossible.
Becoming a stay-at-home mom was my personal choice. I gave up my career for my family and I had no regrets. I wanted to spend time with my boys and I loved every second of it.
There is no other feeling greater than seeing your kids grow, witnessing their milestones and cherishing their achievements. For this life in the US with my husband and kids, I sacrificed a lot. However, I prioritized family over my career and became a stay-at-home mom.
Every once in a while, in between these perfect moments, I feel a void. I think about my family back home. The people who were part of my life, the ones I loved immensely and still do. I miss the home I grew up in, my parents, friends, workplaces and my country that I left behind 6 years ago.
Feeling homesick is a natural for people living abroad, away from their homes. However, the feeling intensifies if you are a stay-at-home mom. Here is how I deal homesickness abroad so far.
Write down Your Feelings
I never planned to write until I became a stay-at-home mom. Actually, I never wanted to write. I created this blog with an intention to share my feelings and experiences. I started liking it as I found a way to keep myself busy.
Whether you have a blog or not, whenever you feel homesick, write about it. Write about the things you love and the things you miss. It will help you create a connection with your past and decrease the nostalgia.
When starting a new life in a new country, we the women, often forget about ourselves. We get busy in creating this new home and then in the middle of everything nostalgia hits. Flashbacks make us realize what we have left behind.
A great way to deal homesickness abroad is by reclaiming the “me time”. Do something for yourself; pamper yourself with a spa session, buy yourself some favorites like shoes or dresses or whatever pleases you.
I found essential oils to be very therapeutic. I started my essential oil journey after my dear husband offered me a late Christmas gift last year of my choice. Essential oils are great for reducing stress, boosting mood and getting a good sleep. So, if you feel down with homesickness, treat yourself with essential oils and see a difference in your mood.
Learn Something New
Dealing with homesickness while living abroad can be very tricky. Especially if you are a stay-at-home mom, the feeling can take a toll on your mental health. You surely don’t want to go there. Monotony and boredom play a major role in nostalgia.
To deal with homesickness abroad, learn something new. Be it painting, dancing, cooking or may be a new language. It is better if the activity is native to the new country. It will help you make this new country your new home and get over your nostalgia.
Unlike other 9 to 5 jobs, stay-at-home mom is a 24/7 job. You have to wear so many hats at the same time without stumbling. Feeling homesick is natural while living abroad and especially as a SAHM. While it is difficult to maintain a routine, it is absolutely necessary that you follow a time table.
If you are starting to get spells of homesickness, it is better to deal with it ASAP. Exercise is a great way to combat homesickness. Running, jogging, yoga and gym will not only keep you in shape but positive as well. This healthy routine will also give you a break from the routine life.
Start a Hobby
Homesickness is the sadness we experience when we are away from our home and loved ones. It is not possible to get rid of this feeling altogether. However, you can reduce it or can make it go away for a while by indulging in a hobby. It can be something you stopped doing or wanted to do in your life.
Quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, candle-making, calligraphy, and gardening are great hobbies to spend some productive time away from nostalgia. The sense of accomplishment is unparalleled and these hobbies will help you move on in life.
Send Gifts Back Home
Living abroad is very fascinating but it has some drawbacks as well. You cannot join your family on birthdays and weddings.
Homesickness intensifies on important occasions. You visualize your family members sitting around the dinner table, having food and laughing on family jokes. No matter how badly you want, you cannot be part of any family gathering.
But you can stay connected by sending gifts back home. It can either be a souvenir or something you hand made. A gift has an ability to connect people no matter how far they are from each other. You can share your travel stories with your family through these gifts. As a stay-at-home mom you can involve your kids and hand paint cards for your family back home.
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Bring Your Country in Your New Home
When you move abroad, the first thing you do is find a new home and decorate it. You can turn a small corner of your home into your country. Decorate this corner with your cultural things; rugs, decorative plates, vases, and wall hangings.
Whenever you feel homesick, turn to that corner of the house and find solace in things that remind you of home. You can make a habit of sitting in that area for half an hour and do what you love to do. Read, listen to native music or just relax. This corner will soon become a home inside home. A place you can visit when you feel homesick.
Make New Friends
You feel homesick because you miss your friends and family. To deal the feeling of homesickness abroad, you can start with making new friends.
As a SAHM, you can connect with stay-at-home moms in your area and plan meet-ups. You can share your experiences and parenting stories. Getting in touch with people visibly reduces stress and boosts the mood.
Homesickness or nostalgia is a normal phenomenon. You should not let it get over your nerves. Try and engage yourself in productive activities. You can either opt for one the ways discussed here or come up with your own coping mechanism. Share how you dealt with homesickness and what worked best for you. Remember, it is ok to miss home once in a while.