Sunday, May 25, 2014

Families Without Borders: Living in Indiana, USA | Guestpost by Mummy Theresa

Sakura Haruka is a blog sharing parenting experiences and inspiration for the parents we are, to become the parents we want to be. In 2013, I featured the joys of parenting from different families in Singapore.

However, it's a great big world out there and now, I want to broaden this idea to find out the wisdom and experiences from families in other countries and cultures :) Families Without Borders is thus a bi-monthly series where mums & dads around the world can introduce what's a "typical" childhood to them, family traditions, parenting tips, challenges growing up, and fun things to do in their country. It's always fascinating to get a fresh perspective on parenting and see where our similarities / differences lie. I'm sure there are some interesting lessons to be learnt from those raising families in different societies as well.

Much appreciation to all those who took the time to guest post for me, and for being open about their parenting ups and downs. If you have a story to share, please email me at sakuraharuka {at} live {dot} com.

No matter where you live, I think most parents face many of the same challenges of raising children. We all have the same goal of raising happy, healthy, and productive children, and hoping we've done a great job parenting them when all is said and done.

Living in the U.S.A. has afforded my children many privileges that they may not have received living in other countries. I think we are blessed to have so many options in how we are able to raise our children- from education, healthcare, and entertainment, the biggest challenge is making sure we are choosing the right path we want our children to go down.

For my family, we have opted for the public school system. While they may benefit more academic wise from private education, in their current school system there is such a diverse group of individuals, they get to experience many different ethnicities and share in some of their cultures too, which I think is equally as important as some of the academics they learn through the daily curriculum.

When it comes to our family life, we take the fun approach. Here in the U.S.A., there is always something fun to do, and we are actively seeking out things to do together as a family. We love amusement parks, live theater, sporting events, or just spending time lazing on the beach. One of the main challenges though, has been finding free things to do where the family can be active together.

However, with the obesity epidemic in our country, more and more cities are stepping up, installing bike trails, sprucing up the parks, and offering low cost memberships to the community center where the family can exercise together. My community center has been a blessing in giving us options on keeping fit together. We like to take the girls to their pool, art and music lessons are provided for a small fee, and the Zumba classes we take weekly spill over into our home life too. The girls like to come home after learning a new routine, practice until it's perfected, then show their dad their new moves.

Travel as a family is our absolute favorite thing to do. The U.S.A. offers so many wonderful options on family travel. The Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, sporting stadiums, amusement parks, theater houses, beaches, and of course, Disney World are some of the family friendly options our country offers, but most cities offer up many family friendly activities throughout the year where costly travel isn't required.

I don't find too many challenges raising my children here in the U.S. Of course, like with most kids their age, my children experience the feeling of wanting to fit in with their peers, excel in their schooling, and lead satisfying lives, helping them to reach those goals is the one challenge we face daily. When the day comes for them to leave the nest, if we feel we've helped them do those things to the best of our abilities, we'll know we've done the job of parenting right.

Theresa blogs at Theresa's Mixed Nuts. She and her husband have been happily married for 10 years, and are the parents to two girls, ages 10 and 14. In her spare time without the family, she likes shopping {which girl doesn't???}, catching up on missed shows on the tivo, DIY projects, and especially reading.

I don't think we have an obesity epidemic in Singapore but I'm glad we have our fair bit of neighbourhood community centres. Growing up, I never used them much but after getting married and moving to a new home where we are just minutes away from one, I've certainly found much benefit from joining one! Our whole family takes classes there - the boy learns Akido, I'm doing Yogilates while Lil Pumpkin joins in a Speech and Drama class. The lessons are all so affordable and we get to mingle more with our neighbours.

I'd like to check if they have something we can do as a whole family, like what Theresa has in her centre too :) 



Unknown said...

I love, love, love hearing more about my favourite bloggers and what family life is life for them in their country. It's so interesting and fun to read about!! Theresa is so awesome...great guest post! :)

Theresa Mahoney said...

Thanks for having me join in on the series Ai! So fun!

Yikes, on the pics I gave you though. I am looking pudgy, right!? hahaha. I've lost 10 pounds since then. Funny how much one can change in 6 months lol.

DEZMOND said...

thanks for the lovely post, Theresa! I love it how you show appreciation for the fact that you are raising your kids in a financially stable country throughout the post! That should not be taken for granted.

mail4rosey said...

I love finding low-cost or free things to do with the family too! And this was an excellent guest post! :)

An Apel a Day said...

She's a great blogger friend! Obesity is a problem in the US. I think it's because they put sugar in so many of our products. Gym and recess are not high on the radar so to speak. They should be.

Feral Turtle said...

A great post ladies! Cheers.

Rina said...

I looooove to read your story in here Theresa! :) Can I participate??