New year, new start

Happy New Year, everybody! It’s taken me a little bit to get back into the swing of life here in Shanghai. I admit, I was not super excited about coming back home after our month in the States. Yes, I wanted our routine again, and I was tired of living out of a suitcase, but I wasn’t dying to get back to China like I have been in the past. I’m not 100% sure what the reason was, but I think it has something to do with being pregnant and not feeling totally in control of life circumstances right now.

When we had our first son (yes, we are having a second boy in early June!) we had just moved into a house in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but I had several months to set up the house and, most importantly as a first-time mom, the nursery.

This time around, we’re living in a furnished apartment and we’re never 100% sure how long we’ll be staying here. On top of that, we are waiting to hear if we can move to a new apartment building and the unknowns are eating at me. I don’t feel like I can put my stamp on anything at the moment, and if you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that the need to organize, plan, and decorate takes top priority during this time of your life.

Being an expat usually means you must deal with a lot of uncertainty in your life. After a year and a half, I should be used to it by now. But somehow it always surprises me.

In order not to focus too much on the unknowns, I resolved to focus on one of the biggest benefits of living here: travel! I have an updated travel list a mile long, and several of the places are the out-of-the-way locations that you don’t think about when you first arrive but can tackle once you’re a veteran of the big-ticket locations.

Traveling with two will be “interesting,” and of course there’s the whole giving-birth-in-China experience, which I will be writing about later this year. In the coming months I want to interview more awesome women, including a few who are expats in other countries. And most importantly, I want to focus on savoring this time in our lives, since it’s not every American woman who can stay at home while pregnant and not worry about maternity leave in any way. And for that I am very thankful!

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