Please give a warm Mother Side welcome to another new contributor, Marissa.
‘I’m Marissa, an American who’s been living in the UK for ten years with my English husband and our three young boys: Keane is six, Søren is four and Breckon is two. Since moving to the UK, my life has changed so much. I was working as a speech language pathologist back in the states and, in 2008, we moved here. My husband became a teacher and I started working for the NHS. That first year was a culture clash and very eye opening to me on a number of levels. Adjusting to the weather was the first obstacle for me, with winters being gray and miserable with little sun. I also found it culturally hard to get to know people as the British are much more reserved than Americans. However, I loved the slower pace of life and the beautiful countryside outside my door. As I got to know people and lived in Britain for longer, I began to adjust to this new lifestyle. Then we became parents, and my whole world really changed forever! Living here without my family nearby as I entered motherhood was challenging and I found it hard to embark on this journey without my close family network nearby. I probably leaned on my husband for much more support than he could really give during that time but I also made some very good friends and learned to adapt to my new life as a mother.
Now, more than six years into motherhood, I am still finding my way and learning who I am as a human and a mother. I have enjoyed a year’s maternity leave with each of my children, with a chance to care for them for much longer than I would have gotten to do back in the USA. Back home, I would not have had the option of anything more than three months of maternity leave (unpaid or possibly some paid if I had saved up some holiday). I was lucky to be able to take my maternity leave and return to work part-time which is another luxury not afforded to my fellow Americans. Upon leaving my NHS job after my third boy, I was able to set up The Orchid Practice with my former NHS colleague. This way I could continue working as a speech therapist and work more flexibly around my family, which gives me the freedom to continue to pursue some of my other passions such as writing. When I heard about the opportunity to write for Tales from the Mother Side, I was very excited to begin exploring my thoughts and experiences once again. I started writing and blogging again shortly after my oldest son was born, but I haven’t written as much as I would like. I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences as a mother and my perspective as a health professional, lover of books, babywearing, breastfeeding and life with my three boys!’
Marissa, writing for The Mother Side x
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