8 Truths About Expat Parenting in Shanghai
It's seriously not that serious. Examine life as an expat parent from a lighthearted perspective in this post written for the Essential Learning Group.
1. The weather is measured in AQI, not sun or clouds. This number determines your daily plans and how you dress your kids. Sunblock, raincoat, or mask? “Of course you can play outside, it’s only 97.”
2. You’ve applied the 5 Second Rule outside of your home. You never, ever thought you would eat anything that fell and had China Sidewalk on it, but that was a RMB20 bagel that your 3 year old just dropped. Kids are resilient, right?
3. Hunting and gathering now means going online to order Sherpa’s or scheduling a Kate & Kimi delivery. Sometimes, the thought of cooking or dragging your children through the wet market and then the supermarket and then the butcher to source ingredients for one meal is just too much. Order Sherpa’s tonight and have the groceries delivered in the morning. Voila!
4. You know the brunch spots with free flow drinks AND a playground. It’s the best of both worlds. You have a glass of bubbly while your kids play on the slide.
5. Your child speaks Mandarin like a local and handles all negotiations. This comes in handy when you are buying a new piece of furniture or looking to have a suit made. Not so handy when your child now uses those same negotiating skills to delay their bedtime.
6. You’ve started a story with “So, after 7 hours on the plane…” and your friends nod in agreement. You know how to pack for a long haul flight and not only have snacks, but have activities in Ziploc baggies, ready to go when your child wakes up at 4 am three days in a row.
7. When returning from your home country, your family brings 1 suitcase of clothing and 5 suitcases filled with food, toiletries and medicine. Because Honey Nut Cheerios, Maple Syrup, and vitamins aren’t luxury items at home.
8. When your child screamed that it was unfair, you responded with “Mei Ban Fa.” And, they get it.