Mama, You’re Not Alone

The reason I started this blog is because I want women who are relocating to Istanbul to be able to find all the information they’ll need for moving in one location. I want other women to be able to easily find resources for connecting with other moms, information on how to find a doctor for their kids, and to know which grocery stores carry the products they’re looking for. More than that, I want women to find community and to connect with others who share the same fears and joys of living in a foreign country with kiddos. As someone who is three days away from moving to Istanbul with my family, I wanted to share with you how I’m feeling and I hope I’m a source of encouragement in that you can realize you are not alone in what you may be feeling as you get ready to embark on a great adventure.

One thing I know, there are going to be hard days. I have now lived overseas for two years and my romantic blindness is no longer fueling my love and excitement for being overseas. Don’t get me wrong- there are definitely exciting days, but I didn’t imagine some of the hardships that I’d encounter while living in Budapest. I’ve worked tediously at learning to navigate the fruit and vegetable markets, to interact in Hungarian which is one of the world’s hardest languages, to learn all of the transportation systems, and to figure out and go through with giving birth here. Now, what I dread, is learning all that all over again! Oh the frustrating language days, or the times I’m sure to get lost, or the fear when my baby gets sick and I can’t read the labels on the bottles of medicine. I know these hardships are to come, and I dread them.

Oh, but I do delight in the days to come when I can look back and feel that I’ve truly accomplished something. I will be able to say going to the market is a breeze, I could do it blindfolded in my sleep. Or what’s the big deal about transportation? I could tell you three different ways to get to that store! That’s how I feel now after two years in Budapest, and I long for that feeling in Istanbul. But, you can’t have the roses without the thorns. The hard days produce the fruit of confidence and joy at the end. Without them, isolated in a bubble, we have nothing to dread but nothing accomplished!

So, as you and your family get ready to step onto Turkish soil, and you may be full of fear, remember you are not alone. There are mamas out here who know how you feel and are here to encourage you on the days you are ready to give up. Remember what Gail Sheehy once said, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”





About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

View all posts by Melissa

Comments are closed.