The idea of travel and living in other countries is fun when you're unattached, or if you partner is a photographer or writer who dreams of exotic locales brimming with mystery. When your camera bag is replaced with a diaper bag, the need for planning beats the need for romance, and companies moving experienced employees overseas have to account for the well-being of the entire family.
In addition to checklists, work schedules, and tax policy, a company needs to do their best to prepare families with resources and information that make the transition a smooth one.
Mandy Haakenson on Expat Child discusses the challenge her toddlers had when relocating. They saw vacation as relocation, even at a young age.
Our 3-year-old felt happy as long as Mommy, Daddy and Big Sis were by her side. She walked through unfamiliar surroundings feeling safe holding a familiar hand. She was comforted in knowing that she could still eat Cheerios for breakfast and that her favorite songs were still sung to her at bedtime. Then, just as she began to equate Denmark as the new-normal in her life, we switched things up on her and took her to Spain. Not thinking it was necessary, we hadn’t explained that this was a vacation and not another move.
.Most global mobility professionals are looking at the cost and the paperwork - but the partner will be looking at the reaction of the kids - the more you prepare, the less likely a top performer calls late at night (for you) and asks about relocation home after 3 months.
It's not all tears and bunkbeds - Real Posh Mom is a fun blog that was originally started in Dallas before her family went overseas. The pictures from her Instagram show a lot of fun to go as her children experience something most kids only read about. Of course, it's always a challenge to show someone's private life as an expat - one homesick post might be all it takes to lose the assignment, but with the explosion of social media around expatriates in recent years, there's plenty to search and provide to your global employees - and their kin.