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Mama Monday - Melissa

Everyone meet Melissa! Melissa is a NE Ohio native and mama of two sweet boys, who has been living in the UK for 5 years! HOW FREAKIN' COOL RIGHT?!

If being a mama isn't hard enough, how about doing it with an ocean separating you from all of your "people". You know, the people you can all in a moments notice to help out or be there for you? Melissa is going to help shed some light on raising buns abroad and what she has found to be the best and worst things about it. Enjoy!

"Hello!! I’m Mel and my story really started 7 years ago when I met my husband Rob rock climbing! He hooked me line and sinker with his cute British accent. Yes, my husband is British!!! I never thought in a million years that I would ever live in a different country let alone raise children in one. I have lived in Derby, UK for the past 5 years now, and recently became a citizen.

There are still times where I feel like I really don’t belong here. I am a loud, obnoxiously patriotic American and nothing will ever change that, which has made it hard to make connections. It has taken quite a while for me to make any connections, but I finally did after having my oldest son when I was invited to join a ‘mummy’ group. You know the saying it takes a village to raise children. Never has that statement been more true. My ‘village’ has been amazing. We have met so many amazing people in our lives and we all take care of each other.

I think sometimes people feel pity for me due to my parents being in Ohio/Florida, and my husband’s parents are always on holiday (British for vacation). It’s really hard raising kids when you feel like you are utterly alone, and going on a date night is extremely rare; however we literally have an entire village who love us and support us, and help us out whenever they can.

I now have two children 3 and 1! I may be a little insane going to Derby University to study diagnostic radiography, but if not now then when? By the way I absolutely love this insane, crazy, busy life I have created for myself!"

1. What is your favorite thing about being a mama?

My favorite thing about being a mom is seeing the look of wonder in my boys’ eyes when they see something new for the first time and their curiosity. You know how their eyes just twinkle. Melts my heart every single time!

2. What surprised you most about being a mama?

The crazy array of emotions you can feel in one day. From the most intense feeling of love you have ever felt to the point you want to cry because it’s so beautiful to wanting to scream, to ‘I can’t wait for you to take a nap’ to going right back to the most intense love when they wrap their little arms around you for a cuddle. I mean seriously; nothing can prepare you for that.

3. What is the most difficult thing about being a mama?

The most difficult thing I find, is trying to be everything for everybody ALL THE TIME, and rarely having a second to myself to take a breather. I’m crazy enough to think hey lets go back to university for another degree, so there is the pressures of school and my internship at a high trauma hospital to do as well. After a long shift, or a long day of lectures I don’t get to come home and just relax. I still have to be a mom and a wife.

4. The best advice you’ve ever gotten as a mama?

Best advice I’ve ever gotten is to always follow through on what I tell my children. I always keep my promises to the boys, and the one who can talk makes sure I don’t forget. When I say they are going on the naughty step or time out, they know that if they don’t knock whatever they are doing off they will go sit on the naughty step; even the 1 year old gets put on the naughty step now that he’s starting to test the waters of what he can get away with. They know that this mama rules the roost!!!

5. Favorite mama products?

I can’t go a day without my Nivea chapstick. I have one in just about every room of the house, backpack, car, purse, etc!! Sounds silly but I love Accuradio, I always got some country on so I can feel a little bit of home here, and I usually don’t go a day without having my Scentsy going. My favorite wax scents are Luna and By the Sea.

6. Favorite bun products?

Ooooh I love MooGoo products. Their lotion line has really helped my boys & their dry skin. I also love Teetha teething granules, I always have those babies on hand, and I don’t go anywhere without a Hot Wheels car or two…or six…with two little boys a couple cars in your pocket can keep them occupied for quite a while!

7. Favorite mom hack?

Because my dining room has carpet in it, my favorite mom hack is having a wipeable table cloth underneath the high chair so when my little cheeky monkey throws his food it is much easier to wipe up! I also put both the boys in the bath together and because my shower is a completely separate unit, I take my shower while they play. I can keep an eye on them, and it saves me so much time as well as being able to actually get a shower!

"My advice to whoever may move abroad or is living abroad; make those connections. There will be people out there that share your uniqueness (I constantly get asked questions about the states). There are people who will want to see you thrive. I really love living abroad, it’s a far cry from Hubbard, Ohio but what an eye opener. The culture is amazing, we can walk down the street to a stately home. A short drive down the road is a castle, so many cool places to visit & that’s the plus! The downside is missing home, and missing those comforts you just can’t get abroad. If you’re wondering, yes, I miss my family but I really miss the food back home; what I would give for a JibJab or a chipotle or some good Mexican (Mexican food here is absolutely horrible!!!!!). I still hate driving on the wrong side of the road, and I will never, ever like black current flavored anything. For now this is our life, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Cheers!"

For more of Melissa & her family's oversea adventure, you can find her on facebook! And please feel free to reach out to either of us with questions or comments! My contact info is on the FIND ME tab at the top of the page. Thanks for reading along and we'll see you next week for the Mama with a same sex partner!

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