Mothering away from the Motherland


By Tatyana Fertelmeyster, MA, LCPC, Connecting Differences LLC, and Thorunn Bjarnadottir, MA, Dancing with Differences LLC

Abstract:  This exploration of the interplay between being a mother and living in cultural in-betweenness is based on our conversations with 22 diverse women united by the experience of parenting their children away from their cultures of origin. We add our own lived experiences to the mix as well. Acknowledging how complex of a process any motherhood is, we focus on dilemmas, judgments, and choices that are uniquely attributed to cultural transitions and adaptations. We employ the Acculturation Strategies Model (Berry, 1992) and concepts of Constructive and Encapsulated Marginality (Bennett, J.M.,1993) to illuminate the complexities of cultural adjustments. We then incorporate the notion of attachment vs. authenticity (Maté, 2022) to explore the psychological dynamics of finding one’s way through cultural liminality. 

Keywords: Integration, Parenting, Cultural Transitions, Acculturation Strategies


The idea of writing this article came to us a few years ago. We realized that mothering our children away from our very different motherlands has been a part of our conversations for the 25 years we have been friends. Tatyana came to the U.S. as a refugee from the Soviet Union with her 6-year-old daughter, her 2-year-old son, and their father. Thorunn was a graduate student from Iceland when she met her future husband, a graduate student from the Ivory Coast. At the time we met, their son was 15 months old. Very different paths led us to the same point – we were mothers trying to do our best while living between different cultural realities and far away from the cultures that raised us. 

We asked ourselves: what makes mothering in conjunction with cultural transitions different and worthy of exploration? After all, being a mother comes with challenges, dilemmas, mistakes, and discoveries, no matter the circumstances. 

To ponder this and many other questions, we invited a few women we knew through our intercultural work to join the conversation. The circle grew as we started getting suggestions from our friends and colleagues. They all said: “You really have to talk to so and so.” Their life stories and the lessons learned were fascinating. 

The thing we would’ve wanted to do again and again is to continue interviewing and asking more women about their experience of mothering away from their motherlands. We realized that many realities are not in our inquiry. None of the women we interviewed has a child with severe special needs. None of them is in a same-sex relationships. None can be described as lacking education. In other words, there are lots of angles that could’ve taken us in very different directions. And one day, we might take another turn in our exploration.

The 22 women we interviewed can all be described as middle-class, educated, and fluent in at least two languages. Among them were professional interculturalists and those with intercultural lived experience who had no formal training or education in the intercultural field. 

Some moved from one country to another as adults, others as children or teenagers. Their reasons for moving vary greatly. Some moved for work (their own or their partners’), others were foreign students. Some came as immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, while others planned a short visit that turned into a lifetime. We talked to women who became mothers before they changed cultures and women whose children were born in different cultures. A few women became mothers for the first time, already away from their motherlands. Some moved for love, some to get away from bad relationships.  

We talked to women who grew up as Third Culture Kids, moving with their parents from one culture to another, and to women who were mothering TCKs not only away from the motherland but also changing their home base multiple times. We interviewed women who, as children, were left behind and had to wait for their parents to bring them into a new country a few years later. 

There were various cultural realities between mothers and fathers. Some shared the same cultural background (going through the cultural transition as a couple or becoming a couple at a later point). Others came from different cultures (living in his, her, or a culture that was neither his nor hers). Several women are mothers of bi-racial children, which would have been very unlikely had they stayed in their home country. 

Some women were married to the fathers of their children, others were in their second marriages, and some were single mothers. Children’s ages at the moment of interviewing spread from 7 to 45, and there were many grandchildren to chat about. 

We’ll share only a few specific details in this article to protect women’s privacy and respect their openness and vulnerability. Depending on their preference, some are acknowledged by their first names (real or chosen by them), while others by initials. The tendencies we identify and conclusions we offer are based on the rich tapestry of our (all of us) collective experience of mothering away from our motherlands.

We are grateful to all of them for letting us in on their stories and lived experiences. We also want to acknowledge that we got a lot of gratitude from the women we talked to. In the words of one of them (and many of them): “Nobody ever asked me about that.”  

Defining Culture 

In her critically acclaimed book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Anne Fadiman shares the story of a doctor who was the doctor of choice for women of the Hmong refugee community resettling in California. He respected the Hmong tradition that requires the placenta to be buried under the tree next to one’s house, giving a very different meaning to and connection with the place of birth. This doctor would give women their placenta to take home. All other doctors saw it as ridiculous and against all kinds of rules and regulations. 

Giving birth is a universal experience. And yet, Universal vs. Cultural vs. Individual tensions start right there. Mothering cannot be fully understood and appreciated without consideration of the cultural complexities involved in pregnancy, prenatal care, childbirth practices, and all the steps and realities of motherhood that follow. 

There are many different ways to define culture. The anthropological perspective emphasizes shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that characterize a group of people. It encompasses the way individuals within a society perceive and interpret their surroundings, shaping their social interactions and daily practices. The sociological approach focuses more on patterns of interactions, societal norms, and ways to maintain social order. Cultural studies emphasize how power dynamics, identity, and social structures are embedded in cultural expressions.

Psychology looks at culture as the learned and shared patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving transmitted from generation to generation. It focuses on cognitive frameworks, emotional responses, and behavioral scripts that individuals acquire through socialization within a specific community or group.

Our working definition of culture is intentionally simple: culture is “this is how we do things around here.” How do we do things when our “around here” changes? How do we transmit our learned and shared cultural patterns from one generation to the next when we come to new places whose patterns we don’t know?

Cultural In-betweenness 

How does motherhood operate in cultural in-betweenness? How do we ensure our children have a sense of home, security, and belonging while navigating multiple cultural identities? What price – in our relationships, belonging, and sense of identity – do we pay for mothering away from our motherland? 

According to Dr. John Berry, how we acculturate depends on the environment we find ourselves in and our approach to change. The Acculturation Strategies Model (Berry, 1992) outlines individual adaptation strategies across two dimensions, which are expressed in the following questions:

  • “Is it considered to be of value to maintain one’s identity and characteristics?”
  • “Is it considered to be of value to maintain relationships with the larger society?”

The first dimension revolves around preserving or abandoning one’s native culture, considering the degree of maintaining one’s identity and characteristics. The second dimension pertains to embracing or rejecting the host culture, considering the importance of establishing ties with the broader society.

Berry identifies four strategies that emerge depending on how these two questions are answered. Those willing to shed their own culture and merge with the host culture choose Assimilation. The opposite choice of holding on to one’s own cultural ways while minimizing or avoiding interactions with other cultures means a preference for Separation. The most problematic strategy is Marginalization. It is defined by the inability to maintain a sense of connection to one’s cultural identity and little interest in engaging with the new one. Integration is the strategy that supports the most successful adaptation to a new culture. That strategy combines one’s interest in staying connected to one’s cultural roots while being interested and willing to engage with the new cultural environment.

Tatyana recalls a conversation with a young woman from Somalia. “In my culture, men are not supposed to put their foot in the kitchen,” she said. “When I have a son, I will put both of his feet in the kitchen!” Tatyana remembers thinking: “I wonder what your mother-in-law will think about that?”

Some of our interviewees faced these choices for the first time as adults, while others lived through cultural transitions as children, thus being impacted by their parents’ acculturation strategies and by their own experiences. At the time we interviewed them, mothers in our small sample could definitely be described as being in integration. Their stories of getting there give multiple examples of what helps and hinders the process. Their narratives show that having certain privileges (higher education, the ability to speak a local language, having a supportive community, and the voluntary nature of their move to a new culture) supports one’s ability to integrate. Some of the stories show that experience of discrimination, uncertainty of immigration status, and absence of their own supportive “village” contributed to their adaptation stress.

It is important to acknowledge that cultural adjustment of family systems brings additional complexity as different family members may have different acculturation strategies. Their genders, generations, professional backgrounds, language proficiency, mental health, and personalities can significantly impact their different ways of navigating cultural adjustments.

In our work with refugees, expatriates, foreign students, and scholars, we’ve observed how differences in acculturation approaches can strain familial relationships.

Dr. Janet Bennett identified two distinct trajectories of living in cultural liminality: constructive marginality and encapsulated marginality (Bennett, 1993). The former is defined as one’s ability to navigate different cultural contexts and feel at home enough in any of them. The latter refers to experiencing profound dissonance and isolation within one’s own and host cultures. 

Being a constructive marginal (or, in Berry’s terms, a fully integrated bi-cultural person) requires creating, constructing, and sustaining something that was not there before – the third culture.

Roxanne came to the U.S. from Guyana when she was eight and is a highly educated, professional woman of color, passionate about social justice, women’s rights, and psychological well-being. Reflecting on her marriage to a white U.S.-American man, equally educated and focused on his work, she shared: “I think part of the challenge is that we are raising our children in very different ways from either of our cultures. We are in a very different marriage from either of our cultures. In many ways, we’ve flipped how traditional gendered relationships look. Still, because we don’t have a model for this, everything is up for negotiation.” 

Deepika shared that one of her sons, a shy 13-year-old, struggles with being different. While she embraces a mixture of cultures – Indian, South African, Spanish – that make her who she is, she appreciates the importance of respecting his challenges with navigating his complicated identity.

Children, although not initiators of cultural transitions are profoundly impacted by them. Thorunn recalls how her son, about 4 years old at the time, came to her in deep thought: “We are kinda messed up family, aren’t we? You from Iceland, pabbi from Africa, and what am I, an American?” A few days later, out of nowhere, he said, “I’m an African chief, an Icelandic Viking, and an American soldier.”  He had figured out his identity. 

It Takes a Village

A well-known proverb originating from the Nigerian Igbo culture says: “It takes a village to raise a child!”  This concept resonates across diverse African cultures and languages: the Swahili proverb “One hand does not nurse a child,” the Sudanese saying “A child is a child of everyone,” or the Tanzanian expression “One knee does not bring up a child.” What exactly makes that proverbial village can mean different things to different people? As an insider of any culture, one knows what to expect and what to count on. When mothering happens away from the motherland, women must navigate the intersection between their cultural and familial expectations and realities. They often have to create their own new “village.” It came easily for some of our interviewees and with a lot of pain and difficulties for others.

A.M.’s first daughter was born in her motherland, Bulgaria, where it is traditional that grandmothers help a lot with child care. Her twins were born after the family moved to the United States. She recalled: “The twins were about nine months old when my mom could come for the first time, and this gave me some breathing opportunities. Then, when they were around three years old, my mother-in-law came for a few months. So this was all the help I got from my family in the beginning.”

Samra, who moved to the U.S. from Egypt as a child, became a big part of her mother’s support system. There were no maids anymore. Her mother, a prominent doctor invited to work at one of the Texas hospitals, had to adjust her own way of life rapidly. Samra, now a mother of three and a grandmother herself, remembers that time as challenging but rewarding as she and her mom grew closer together through that experience.

Christine, the daughter of a Taiwanese mother and a US-American father, remembers her mother being completely disconnected from her native culture, homesick, and not having her own “village.” The family moved a lot during Christine’s childhood, and as a classic TCK, she had to learn how to feel at home in different new places. That knowledge proved valuable as she married a Dutchman, with whom she has been raising two children, first in the Netherlands and later in Canada. 

Thorunn and her husband, who have no extended family in the U.S., had to create one. An old trusted friend with no family of his own became the grandfather; a girlfriend became his aunt; and an African American family they knew practically “adopted” them into their large family, where Thorunn’s son gained numerous cousins. He did not know they were not his “real” cousins until he was in high school.  Yet, the bond continues. 

When a woman becomes a mother away from her cultural roots, her need to have her partner’s family as a part of her “village” is quite significant. Analyzing cross-cultural relationships with in-laws deserves its own time and place. At this point, we want to emphasize the depth of vulnerability women experience being away from their own people and not being accepted by their partners’ families. The stories we heard ran the gamut from a deep sense of support and belonging to a lack of interest and even rejection. 

Mothering as Cultural Transmission

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tradition as “the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction” or as “cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions.” In every one of our conversations, we heard about the challenging choices mothers had to make being away from their cultural roots and societal/familial structures that support predictable ways of celebrations, rituals, and practices. Sometimes, it was about getting creative about figuring out what could replace a Christmas tree while living in India or how to introduce Thanksgiving to people who never celebrated it and make it meaningful. 

And often, it was about standing their ground or letting go of something familiar and important. Women shared stories of pressure they were getting from their in-laws or their own families. They talked about being judged, blamed, and shamed. Their loyalties, motives, and even clarity of their minds were questioned. Many dealt with self-judgment and guilt while deciding whether to keep their cultural practices and traditions, transform them into different versions, or let them go altogether.   

F.P. shared that she wanted her U.S.-born children to have what she was homesick for. For her, it was the food and the music from back home, especially people singing in many different languages, which was one of her joyful experiences growing up in Kenya.

Deepika grew up as a part of the Indian diaspora in South Africa. She now lives in Spain with her Catalonian husband and their two children. Being a vegetarian her whole life, it was hard for her to decide that her children could eat meat. After all the support from her more open-minded parents, she was finally able to let go and accept this idea. 

She also significantly simplified some and completely let go of other celebrations she grew up with. She talked about FaceTiming with her extended family back home during traditional Indian holidays and experiencing emotional void.

Lena talked about the challenges she faced navigating three different cultures. She is from Russia, married to an Indian man, and bringing up their children in the United States. She sees important similarities between Russian and Indian cultures in the importance of family. And she struggles with very different cultural expectations of how her children are expected to relate to their grandparents.

All kinds of traditions and beliefs govern the process of naming children. For women, having their children away from home and mothering between cultures, deciding what to call their kids often comes with all kinds of pressure and relational tensions. Some mothers had to engage in true cross-cultural explorations and negotiations with their partners to find creative solutions.

As the oldest daughter, Thorunn was expected to give her son her father’s first name. Unfortunately, that name would’ve been practically unpronounceable for English speakers. She and her husband went with his late father’s first name but spelled it the Icelandic way.  

Masami, originally from Japan, gave her son a traditional Japanese name that came to her in a dream shortly before his birth. F.P. and her husband chose to have their children’s first names be from her culture and religious tradition because, as she explained, “Their last name would be a white American name.” 

Some women were intentional about choosing names that would easily work between cultures. Others, whose children were born and named before their cultural transitions, had a different dilemma: keeping or changing their kids’ names as a part of adjusting to a new place and a new language. 

In his book “The Silent Language,” Edward T. Hall noted, “Culture hides much more than it reveals, and strangely enough, what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.” 

When Tatyana’s son was around seven years old, she took him to a swimming pool, where he obediently sat waiting for her under a sign stating that an adult must accompany children younger than 12. Watching him, Tatyana grappled with a cross-cultural moment of her own conflicting perspectives. While her son was following the rules dictated by the new culture, Tatyana, accustomed to a culture where the approach to rules was situational rather than universal, questioned the practicality of his behavior. After all, who in the pool would know which adult that child belonged to? And then she made an intentional point of thanking him for waiting. 

Similarly, Thorunn experienced a profound realization of her cultural programming when her husband challenged her automatic habit of using sarcasm and humor to toughen up their son. This clash of cultural approaches brought to light the hidden influences of her upbringing, prompting her to reconsider how she engaged with her son.

The Highway Queen, a pseudonym adopted by our interviewee from the Philippines, recounted a time when she decided to take her teenage daughter to the Planned Parenthood clinic to learn about contraception. “I felt guilty and not guilty at the same time. Guilty toward my culture. But I needed to make sure my daughter would be safe.” 

What in the World Are You Doing?

Mothers are always judged on whether they are keeping their children safe, teaching them the right things, or whether we bring them up to be well-adjusted and respectful humans. However, when we mother away from our motherland, trying to find our way between dos and don’ts of multiple cultures, it becomes more complicated. 

Many narratives in our collection capture moments when women come face-to-face with their own cultures, as their normative practices being judged inappropriate and their ability to parent questioned. Examples included a Japanese tradition of parents and children bathing together, an Icelandic and Russian practice of letting little children nap in their strollers outside in the winter, or a Kenyan celebration that involves shaving a baby’s head. The reactions driven by the lack of cultural knowledge varied from threats of calling the authorities to long-lasting expressions of disgust.

At times, judgments of doing wrong by their children came from insiders of women’s cultures of origin, their families, or friends. Eva, who moved to the U.S. from Slovakia and had three children with her U.S.-born husband of Slovakian descent, was criticized by her mother for choosing to homeschool her children. Taruni, who became an international educator to give her four sons a quality education and richness of experience, was judged by many for taking her children from the safety of Australia to the dangers of India, Tanzania, and Yemen. Dianne and her husband’s decision to move from the U.S. to Mexico to expand their son’s cultural horizons raised many eyebrows. 

They Call It Mother Tongue for a Reason

Mothering between cultures most often means mothering between languages. What language do we use? How intentional or subconscious are our choices? What impact does it have on our children growing up surrounded by accents? 

Almendra grew up between the U.S. and Spain. She is fully bi-cultural and equally fluent in English and Spanish. She is married to a Spaniard, and they are parenting their two children in Spain. She told us about when her son was born: “When he came out and they placed him on my belly, I spoke to him in English. He was born in Madrid, Spain, and my relationship with my husband was in Spanish. And I went, ‘Whoa, okay, so I’m gonna have a relationship with him in English. And it’s been the case ever since. And it’s been the case with my daughter as well. I speak to them in English, even though they are growing up in Spain.”

Kate, who lived in multiple cultures and has a real talent for learning languages, looked back at the time when her now adult daughter was in kindergarten: “I respected her choice, when her peers were around, to be mothered in the language that she wished for.”

Suzanne, a U.S.-American woman, who lived and worked Israel for a number of years, shared that her children used to say to her: “You and dad must be talking about money right now. You are speaking Turkish.” In their early 20s, Suzanne and her husband were in Peace Corps in Turkey. That’s how they got their secret parental language. 

Christine regrets that she never learned Chinese from her mother. “I never had a conversation with my grandmother. I haven’t had conversations with most of my cousins because I don’t speak Chinese,” she shared. “And that wasn’t going to happen to my kids. Period. End of story.” Parenting her children in the Netherlands, she made sure not to respond to them in Dutch, which was tricky as her kids figured out their mother could understand them in Dutch. So why should they put extra effort into speaking English? “It was extremely important to me that they be able to speak English,” said Christine, “mainly because I wanted them to be able to speak to their families. “

One of Tatyana’s favorite memories of her attempts to ensure that her children keep their Russian language goes back 30+ years. At that time, the message at home was, “We don’t speak English. Only speak Russian to us.” One night, she was grocery shopping with her 4-year-old son. Sitting in a shopping cart, he was engaging the world in conversation. In English. “This is my mom,” he said to a nearby woman. “And she is a pain in the a..” The woman said, “WHAT?” He replied, “Don’t worry, she does not understand English.”

Thorunn finds the Icelandic diaspora in the United States to be comparative regarding children’s ability to speak the language. Spending summers with his grandparents helped her son to learn Icelandic and saved Thorunn from being judged by her compatriots.

Besides English, the women in our group spoke Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Gujarati, Hindu, Icelandic, Japanese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Turkish, and several other languages. Almost all of them acknowledge using English to say “I love you” to their children. As for other emotions and topics, there were various ways of choosing the language.

F.P., who speaks six different languages, prefers to mix them. Her cooking, however, is “always in Swahili.”

Roxanne, a native of Guyana, a former British colony and the only English-speaking country in Latin America talked about years of communication difficulties in her marital and co-parenting relationships. Then, one day, her friend invited her to attend her presentation on cultural differences. “And she brought up high context/low context. And It was like, oh, the clouds opened up. I was like, Yeah, I’m high context. Yeah, my people are high context!” 

Before We Were Mothers, We Were Daughters

P.B. was 3 years old when her father left Brazil. Her mother followed him three days later. She reunited with her parents, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. when she was ten. It took a few more years before the family “got documents.” Her mother ran a very Brazilian home. In part because of her own preference and in part because being undocumented supports Separation rather than Integration. Coming from a Brazilian favela to America gave her a feeling that everything was possible. Needing to hide her family’s circumstances contradicted that sense of freedom. Now she is married to a Brazilian man who, experiencing racism and xenophobia, at some point wanted to turn around and go back home. He wants their three children to assimilate as much as possible. She wants them to keep their Brazilian culture and be a part of the broader American culture. From her perspective, the cultural divide that is the hardest for her children to navigate is the socio-economic one.

Julia, also ten at the time her family moved to the States, tells a very different story. Her family was a part of the Jewish refugee wave coming from the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1980s. She did not have any sense of cultural belonging to the country they had to leave because of anti-Semitism. She remembers feeling very different as she entered American school. She had a strong wish to blend in and be like everybody else. Her story is of figuring out her own identity while her parents were figuring out theirs. As an adult, Julia has a rather diverse group of friends. She believes that her parents are more integrated into the American culture compared to her friends’ parents. One can say that integration runs in her family. “The difference between my mom and her friends’ mom was enormous compared to the difference between me and my mom,” she said. “And the difference between my kids and me, I think is even less.”

In our interviews, we encountered a range of maternal relationships, from profoundly nurturing to troubled and dysfunctional. Some women talked about mothers who were frequent travelers or made their own one-way journeys away from their motherlands. Others seldom ventured beyond their homeland except for brief visits to their daughters. Among them were successful career women and those wholly devoted to domestic life.

Several interviewees shared stories of their mothers’ battles with mental illness, which often rendered them emotionally distant and unpredictable. There were narratives of prolonged separations and stories of real closeness. There were examples of very communal upbringing, almost having multiple mothers. There were very strict mothers and the ones with a rather relaxed approach to discipline.

Notably absent were stories about mothers who left no mark.

“We’re born with a need for attachment and a need for authenticity,” writes Hungarian-born Canadian psychiatrist Gabor Maté in his book The Myth of Normal. “Most people abandon their true selves (authenticity) to please others and keep the relationships (attachments), even if they are ones that are toxic and destructive.”

It definitely warrants further investigation to gain insights into how the quality of our early-life attachments, especially the ones we develop in relationships with our mothers, impacts our ability to integrate into new cultures and establish a sense of belonging in new environments. Going back to Dr. John Berry’s acculturation strategies questions “Is it considered to be of value to maintain one’s identity and characteristics?” and “Is it considered to be of value to maintain relationships with the larger society?”, we can rephrase them as

  • Is it considered to be of value to maintain attachments?
  • Is it considered to be of value to maintain one’s authenticity?

While our interviews couldn’t capture the entirety of the women’s early life experiences, it became evident that individuals’ navigation of cultural adjustment and adaptation largely hinges on their internal attachment-autonomy balance. Without exception, the women in our study displayed remarkable autonomy. For some, this autonomy propelled them towards different cultures, while for others, it spurred a journey of self-discovery and self-definition. Furthermore, our discussions underscored how mothering away from their motherland heightened their awareness of their multifaceted identities and the profound role these identities played in their parenting journeys.

We can fully embrace our genuine selves only by experiencing a profound sense of belonging. 

The Gift Basket

Mothering from the perspective of integration and constructive marginality is about learning to be at home in cultural in-betweenness and transmitting this new sense of “how we do things around here” to our children. The balancing act of rearranging and reestablishing attachments while leaning into one’s authenticity is complicated and tiring. Day to day, we succeed and fail and then try again. 

Talking to women, we asked them to contribute to a “Gift Basket” – to add their thoughts to collective wisdom that can be shared with others mothering away from their motherlands. They talked about the importance of supporting their children’s ability to form and embrace their own identities, bringing them up as responsible global citizens, and instilling a habit of reflective inquiry into their complex experiences of cultural liminality. 

Saumya, a mother of two, whom we have not introduced yet, was born in India and grew up between India and Germany following her father’s international work travels. Her husband is from a different part of India. They met in the U.S. Sharing with us her diverse list of interests and passions, she gave us the words that we would never forget: “Motherhood is not the only hood!” 

She offered this for the gift basket: “The first is self-care and compassion. Love yourself, be kind, and take care of yourself. And if you made a mistake, you should be able to say “Sorry” and get over it, to forgive yourself and move on. Let’s be honest: you will not be a superwoman; you don’t need to be a superwoman, (from Saumya ).

“Mothers must learn to trust themselves because everything else will change. And they have to learn that when your body and your heart tell you something, you ask, is this right or wrong for my child or my family? You have to trust that, and maybe it’ll play out wrong, but you are the only constant you have. You take from cultures what works for you, your family, and your children’s needs because they will all be different.” (from Christine)

“Be gentle with yourself. I think we tend to beat ourselves up, which doesn’t help anybody. It doesn’t help your kids, that’s for sure. It doesn’t help you” (from  Almendra). 

“There is a way of being in the world that helps navigate the transitions and the tensions that are inherent in all mothering, so a heavy dose of compassion for yourself and for the little ones you’re raising and if you have a partner in the mix compassion for your partner as well. Embrace the messiness that is the human condition and give yourself space for grace” (from Roxanne).

Reference List 

Bennett, J. M. (1993). Cultural marginality: Identity issues in intercultural training. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (pp. 109–135). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Berry, J.W. (1992). Acculturation and adaptation in a new society. International Migration, 30, 69-85.

Maté, G., & Maté, D. (2022). The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture. Garden City, NY: Avery Publishing.