Friday, September 28, 2012

Raising Global Nomads

David and Victoria Beckham Underwear Ad

I was panting away on an exercise bike the other day reading an article in Glamour with Victoria Beckham . No, I don't mean Vicky was pedaling away beside me, she was actually in Glamour talking about her kids.

She was like "Me and Becks are so proud of being British but the kids are American. They're always telling us 'oh you're so British.'"

And my jaw literally hit the floor!

I mean God, yes, of course this resonated with me. Vicky and I are both global nomads, raising our children in foreign lands and doing our best not to culturally confuse them. But the difference is I don't think my kids feel American, so that's where me and Vicks differ.

Not a lot of people know this and I don't like to brag, but Vicky and I go waaay back and even went to tap dancing classes together* before she became famous, moved to LA and basically wouldn't return my calls.

It's a shame that we lost touch as the parallels in our lives are simply staggering:

Vicky creates clothes for her fashion line, while I create crocheted rabbits

Vicky is a size 0 and I was once a size 0 (okay I was nine years old at the time)

Vicky has a blog and I have a blog

Vicky is married to a man with a high pitched Minnie Mouse voice, and husband once sucked on helium and did a funny voice.

Sorry. Where was I?

I was going to talk about whether I think my kids (born in USA) are hopelessly confused about their cultural identity or not.

Well unlike Vicky I actually have relatives - or rather my husband does - in the USA so we celebrate all the holidays just like Americans. So that's that cultural box ticked off. Vicky probably has to have her Thanksgiving catered and that's just not the same.

One other thing - my kids don't see themselves as British, American or Irish (husband is Irish) they just see themselves as a 'bit of everything.' Also they only have a slight American accent which is somewhat odd but there you are.

The other thing to note is - and here's a tip for Vicky - maybe you need to employ a cultural translator for the family as I had problems initially in getting my kids to understand what I was on about.

For example when I first told my daughter to 'put a sock in it' she got a sock and said, 'okay mum where do I put it?'

It was hard for the kids to understand that when I said, 'stop farting around' or 'stop pricking about' I wasn't really talking about farting or pricking.

But as I explained the intricacies of English slang to my progeny I found they ultimately embraced many of my phrases while acknowledging that stuff like 'now you're as clean as a whistle' didn't make any logical sense.

So, there you have it. I feel that Vicky and I have now branched off into difference directions: her kids are American while mine are hybrids, but I still respect her and would gladly model something off her clothing line on this blog as long as it had an elasticated waist.

But enough about Posh. What about you? If you are bringing up kids abroad do you think they are culturally confused or do you think it is broadening their horizons?

*This is a bald faced lie

Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at



Expat mum said...

You are so bloody funny!
So - my three kids were all born and bred in Chicago and are VERY American. However, they say "sodding" and "bloody" with the best of 'em and feel quite at home in England as we go every year for a long time. They are very proud of their British half but I would say for the most part they are American and don't hesitate to take the piss out of me whenever they can.

OK, now the word verif is taking the piss. I am onto my 5th try to match the characters. said...

Oh you do make me hoot! Much as I would love it to be bringing up baby abroad, I am bringing up my British daughter in good ole Blighty. But I have been teaching her French since she was 18 months old, as I think it is really important to have a second language and I also think it broadens a child's horizons to understand there is more than the British way of doing things in this world. So, I love the way you are doing things, hybrids are good!!

Emma Kaufmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmmaK said... for you for teaching your daughter French. I am teaching my kids German but I am not terribly consistent at it I'm afraid!

Carole @ said...

My daughter has very little clue about being British as she's been overseas for six of her eleven years.

She uses American words, phrases her sentences in a slightly bizarre way due to speaking with other kids who don't have English as their first language.

Generally she has no clue at all about British culture.

I try, but apart from liking Marmite, she's a true global child.

Katriina said...

Hilarious! I enjoyed this post so much :)

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

Feels good to be back over hear reading your posts. Very funny - 'my husband just sucked on helium'.

Not quite the same thing, but my husband is Scottish, I'm from Newcastle but our son was born and lives here in Lincolnshire. We make sure he has some ridiculous Scottish/Geordie phrases in his vocabulary so he can embarrass himself in front of his pals.

(agree with Expat Mum - your captcha thing is the worst I've seen!)

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

*back over here*

(that means I have to do your captcha again...bum!)

Anonymous said...

I just posted a blog a few days ago about regional differences in language, also done with humor. We must be on the same wavelength. Here from the blog hop! Stop by and read my version!

Vicki Psarias said...

Great post and tres funny! My child speaks Greek as well as English and seems to understand both sides of his cultural identity.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Cool post.

Do I have to bow or something as you are obviously such a close friend and boon companion of the sleten known as Posh?

My Beloved comes from China, I'm from Glasgow and we live in New Zealand. Our's isn't so much a cultural mix as a cutlural frappé.

See this expatriate's blog for some other parallels

Michelloui said...

Oh very good!! My daughter loves being 'part American' although I don't know what part she think she is. She doesn't sound American, having been born and raised in the UK, and she is very proud to be British but as soon as any of her friends at school start talking about their visit to the States, or wanting to do a research project on something American she becomes the local expert. It's kind of cute/funny, except that of course she isn't an expert. But I still like that she has such an identity (imagined or otherwise) with my home country.

EmmaK said...

Michelloui....yeah it is the same for me. My daughters seem to think Britain is 'insanely cool' maybe from watching the Spice World video? I suppose they also get the cool factor because all their pals love my accent. My daughters have not been back to UK for many years so still have rose tinted specs about it. I keep telling them it is bloody freezing and people over boil their veg but they're not having any of it!

Mikki said...

You are too funny! This post was a pleasure to read :)

Thanks for joining Flock Together last week. I'm now off to follow you.

Metropolitan Mum said...

The kid's an utterly confused hybrid - but that might as well be purely down to the fact that I am her mother.
Btw, I don't think that VB has her Thanksgiving catered. Or any food, for that matter...

EmmaK said...

Metropolitan Mum.....oh I'm sure Posh 'eats whatever I like' as long as that is wheatgrass, hemp or raw fish!!

Living in Heels said...

What a wonderful blog! I love your thoughts and sense of humour! I found you from the blog hop and am excited to read more!
Hoping you'll stop by sometime:

Lillian Connelly said...

You make me wish I was British.

I don't think Posh has anything on you. Your blog is much funnier than hers. Also, size 0? That just makes me feel hungry!

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I do wonder when my boy will consider himself more Catalan than English, I doubt it will be long.

At least they are two very different language and cultures so he's unlikely to get the two mixed up anyway.

I'm sure you and Daddy Has A Headache have a greased-up photo like the Beckhams, dontcha, dontcha?

And... please get rid of the sodding capture! *jumps on bandwagon*

sugarplums andlollipops said...

Hi there! I'm a new follower from the Wednesday Blog Hop! I'd love a follow back at and Pinterest! I follow back all of my Pinterest followers :)

EmmaK said...

Very Bored From Catalunya......My kids will probably move over to the dark side at puberty and start talking with a loud american twang. My younger daughter already has an american brace and headbrace at night!
No I don't have a greased pole in the bedroom I think I'd probably strain my back hanging upside down!

amy lucinda said...

What an awesome blog you have! Love the 'I was a size 0 at age 9' comment. Literal 'lol' right there.

Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk said...

Newest follower. Enjoy what I've seen so far. Hope you follow me back!
Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

vegemitevix said...

You are so funny MsMommy! Well I am hoping my kids see themselves as global nomads even though they are Kiwis (by birthright) they have also lived in Australia and in England. I was sad to hear their Kiwi accent diminish though. I missing hearing Fush n Chups !

London City (Mum) said...

My kids are just confused.
I blame the wetsuit. It's much easier.


About Last Weekend said...

I was a Kiwi who then lived in London for 15 years so when I say something embarrassing the kids say: "Oh Mum we're not in New Zealand any more." Like all Kiwi are dorky! Ha!

Anonymous said...

My 3 children were born here in Gran Canaria, I’m Welsh and my fellas Danish, and like your children, mine too feel like they’re ‘a bit of everything’. They are certainly not full-on Canarian, they go to bed far too early and eat sandwiches for lunch (shocking behavior for the Spanish locals).

Although sometimes my British sayings are lost on them, recently my daughter was waffling on about something or other and I said “Come on Victoria, spit it out mun”, and she actually spat on the living room floor then carried on talking!

mika jones said...

lol,your really perfect just like victoria!

New follower here! From Expat Round-up !Follow my green news!

erica @ to the sea said...

My daughter is too young for cultural confusion. But I was born and raised in America by a British mum... She told me I used to scold her for calling French fries chips! Hah.

Little Spoon said...

Great post! I find you through the expat link up and I think I'll stick around. It ticked me!

lost in travels said...

i try to explain idioms to my korean students and they get so confused because they take it so literally! it keeps class interesting though : ) thanks for linking up with us!

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