I am an expatriate (expat) parent.
My name is LaAisha. I am the mother of 4 children, all of which were born in the United Arab of Emirates (UAE). My husband and I both are from Columbia, South Carolina, USA so we are very far away from home to say the least. This desert, however, has been our home for the last 5 years and we plan to be here for another couple of years or so.
Our moving here was an adventure in it of itself! We decided that we wanted to live abroad while we were still relatively young and before we had any children. Then, current residents of Atlanta, Georgia, we decided that the city had become too small for us and that we wanted to explore different and larger terrains. So we applied for teaching positions in the UAE in March of 2010 and received hiring notifications the following April.
The months to come felt like someone was trying to skip to the juicy, more compelling events in our lives as things moved very quickly: we were engaged that June, married in July, and moved to the UAE in August.
Once moving here our lives didn’t slow down like we had planned. We were pregnant with our first child by January 2011 and birthed her the following October. We had our second child in April 2013, our third in August 2014, and our fourth child in December 2015. I am assuming that there are still some more juicy things in store for us as the fast forward button still seems to be in full effect.
As a wife, mother, and educator I can assure you that my life is busy at its best and all out chaotic at its worst. Most days I’m surprised that I have made it out of my house clean and suitably dressed. I will also admit that I have been in constant state of tiredness since 2011 and that my social life, and possibly skills, have diminished with every breast pumping cycle and new and improved twist on sleep training that I have attempted. Even with all of this, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity in raising and being in the lives of my children. Especially since I am doing all of this with one of my best friends.
Raising a family in a culture different from my own and away from family has its challenges, for sure, but I wouldn’t change a thing–honestly. Well, depending on what day you ask naturally. Some days I do wish that I could clone myself.
Thank you for joining us on this journey as we continue to create and live in our home away from home.