From the diary of a bilingual mother, part 19

by | Aug 3, 2016 | Family life, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fom the diary of a bilingual mother, part 19

Extremely excited and somewhat worried – our bilingual mother’s feelings summed up this week. Real emotions in a fictional setting.


Anytime within the next two or three weeks our family member count will go up by one more son or daughter! We don’t know the gender and the predictions are 50/50. S wishes he will get a little brother and I think he might be right. D and hubby are convinced it is going to be a girl. I thought I’d better write in my diary this week as it might be a while before I will have time to put pen to paper next time. My mother arrived last night and I am so happy to have her help. Not only will she take care of many practical things and pay attention to S and D whom I have not had the energy to play with lately, she is also very good at distracting me when I am worried. For worried I am. I know the hormones do play a part in my state of mind, but the questions are still whizzing around in my head: How will the birth go (yes, I have had two kids already, but not in this country)? How will I cope when I am alone with all three? Will I be able to keep our language going? How will we ensure that hubby’s language does not get left behind?


Grandmothers are the saviours! S and D are overjoyed to have a grandma here, someone who has a patience like mum or dad could never muster up. She came with a stack of new books and the number of bedtime stories S and D get to hear seems to increase every evening. I am also so happy for the choice of books! My mother has learnt to always pick the “right ones”, the ones which are not translations, yay! She is overjoyed to be able to chat away with her beloved grandson and granddaughter, and seeing them huddled together around a book truly makes all the effort worth it. I have told her she can stay as long as she wants (or my father can cope without her) – and I will not say a word about her peculiarities when it comes to arranging kitchen cupboards and insisting to iron everything! (I am sure the latter will soon fade away anyway.)

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Dads worry too – perhaps not always about the same things, but they do! Hubby talked about how he feels that his language is losing ground with the kids and I do understand what he means. With my mother here, everything happens in my language as my mother does not speak his. Since we have decided that I will stay at home for at least a couple of years to take care of the kids, they will get a lot more exposure to my language during that time. For a moment, hubby was even contemplating if we should move back to his country so the balance could be restored. “Oh, no, not another move!” was my thought (I didn’t say it out loud) – I really couldn’t stomach another upheaval, just when I feel we have settled here. Thankfully it was only a fleeting thought, because he really likes his job, where we live and the fact that our kids get to grow up with three languages. But multilingualism is now precisely the challenge – I feel so bad for not having the strength to think about solutions right now. We do have to address this situation somehow, sooner rather than later.


I am repeating myself here but grandmothers truly are the saviours! My lovely mother-in-law – after the initial adjustments (on both sides) we have got on extremely well with each other, so when I say ‘lovely’ I do mean it – has promised to come and stay with us for a week or two at a time more often. What a difference this will make for S, D and the baby with regards to hearing more of hubby’s language. I know we need to come up with other ideas as well, but for now, my heavily pregnant brain is happy with this.

Want to know what happened to the family before? You can read previous entries via these links:
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part 15 Part 16 Part 17 Part 18

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