I realize I haven't blogged much lately. I am still attempting to make sense of our new life. So much has changed, and I am trying to figure out my role.
I know it sounds crazy. How could so much change with a simple geographical move? But nevertheless, it has. Allow me to try to explain…
When I became a stay at home mom, I was out of sorts. I had been used to a very structured, productive day. I received professional feedback, had regular paychecks, and enjoyed lovely dinners with my husband. Then we had our first baby, moved across the country, and I decided to stay home. Of course, my world was turned upside down. It took me a long time to feel "normal" again. I actually felt better after our second baby was born 18 months later. I found my routines. I felt useful.
And here I am again. Only this time, we moved across the world. My roles and routines, so clearly defined after having four children, are all askew again. Many of my daily responsibilities have disappeared. I still buy the food, give the baths, help with homework, wipe the tushes, cut the hair, but my other jobs have been outsourced.
In Singapore, they call live-in domestic employees "helpers." Fairly Godmother would be a more apt title. I haven't written about the experience much for two reasons. One is that I want to respect her privacy. The other is that I still feel uncomfortable on some level about having help.
I am unworthy of this gift. I wish I could somehow share this blessing with all of my hard-working friends and family back home. I just feel weird, like a First Lady who was simply a wife/mother/employee one day, and the next, someone's washing her underwear. Weird!
Another reason I haven't written much is that we have been traveling a lot. I am torn. I don't want to brag. I feel like if I put travel blog post or pictures on Facebook, I would be tempted to feel prideful about them. At the same time, I really want to record these experiences.
For years our "family vacations" consisted of camping out. We loved it! Some of our best memories were made watching babies crawl around muddy campsites and roasting marshmallows. These days, vacations are very different. Aaron's work allows us one paid trip home per year. If we choose to spend those dollars on other trips, that's okay. It's not that we don't want to come home. We have four children ages 7 and under. A 23 hour travel day is not something we wish to endure right now. So, instead, we've been exploring closer Asian islands.
I want to share those experiences, but I don't want folks to get the wrong impression. We're still the Rausch's. We buy our appliances at the secondhand store here, and I love to find a deal at the Japanese dollar (well $2) store. We have half a reindeer minivan. (Jack rolled down his window and we lost an antler on the expressway and we're too cheap to replace it.) I ask visitors to pack items in their suitcases I refuse to buy here (cosmetics, sunscreen, etc.) because they are so over-priced.
This is our life right now. It's wonderful and weird. It's still messy (since many Asian bathrooms don't have changing tables and the cuisine doesn't always agree with Caleb's tummy). I hope you'll still come along for the ride. I hope you'll enjoy the stories about our travels and know that I wish you were right here beside me the whole time.