Are you normal? An expat’s sense of Normalcy

Are you normal? An expat’s sense of Normalcy

We were standing at the bus stop….

Mummy, what will I be when I grow up?

Anything you want to be dear

Like a Princess or a Builder (classed as very exciting by Missy M at this point in her life)? Or will I be normal?

What’s normal dear?

Like you Mummy


To be labelled as normal by my daughter is an unimaginable horror to say the least. Until a friend, over coffee, pointed out that it was the greatest compliment she could think of (rather than the greatest insult I could think of!). She said that Missy M was clearly very secure and very safe with me and our bizarre little life here in Switzerland.

Moving abroad, and taking children with you is wrenching in so many ways. Everything changes, and those changes can be confusing and stressful for the children (and you!). Children need a sense of normalcy; a sense of safety and security in their lives. Bringing familiar objects (otherwise known as toys!) and family furniture helps a great deal in resettling. But when it comes down to it, as parents, we are the normal; we are the safety and security. That’s an amazing honour.

So am I normal? I desperately hope not. But to my daughter, I always hope so.

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