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Living in a foreign country is stressful

by Peter
(Deventer, Holland)

I am English, and I find living in Holland stressful. The differences in the culture which at first were easy to accept now grate on my nerves, and there's no escaping from it. People act differently, ways of doing things are different - even something as simple as wanting to say "hello" to a passing face in the street becomes very stressful because the social 'rules' to do this are different to back at home.

I try to overcome it by seeing the positive side of living here - it's easier to take a day off work to spend with my young child. But then I stress about whether I can be a good father in a foreign country.

Comment from Kate
I have never lived abroad before and can imagine that it must be very difficult to learn all the new social rules etc. I was fascinated by what you said about the rules for saying hello to someone in the street was different. I would have loved to know what you meant as i can’t imagine that there are too many ways to say hello. Anyway.

As for stressing about being a good father in a foreign country again i do not understand what you mean. Being a good father has nothing to do with location. It is all about bringing your child up to feel secure, giving them good strong guidance on how to be a good human being and also how to plan for their future and helping with that as they grow up.

Stressing about it won’t help so why not try and get some solid help and advice from a local parenting group. Parenting skills are universal no matter where you live. You may find that there is a father and child group near you which will help provide you with a social support system to help you through your worries. Trying to go it alone can be daunting even with a partner, social groups of people in a similar position to your self are invaluable and should be exploited.

Remember children learn from us and watch what and how you behave. If you let stress take over then your child does not learn how to cope with life and all its pressures. Be a good example to your child and take care of yourself. This is a very important part of parenting often over looked i feel.

Check out my site for some ideas on how to take care of yourself better so that stress does not affect your health.

Best wishes kate

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