Making decisions is hard. Sometimes deciding what to make for dinner can be hard. On at least a weekly basis this conversation can be overheard in our home:
R: “What do you want for dinner?”
M: “I don’t care. What do you want for dinner?”
R: “I don’t know. Anything sound good to you?”
M: “Not really, just something quick and easy.”
R: “Ok, like what?”
M: “I don’t know”
This can potentially continue on for a ridiculous amount of time. If it is that hard for us to decide what to eat, imagine us making a decision as big as what country should we live in next year.
Being a part of the international community means that every year a huge portion of our friends, and ourselves, are making the decision: stay for another year, move to another country, or go back home. We signed a two year contract when we came to Kuwait, so we knew that this was the year of the big decision for us, and we struggled with that decision….for months!
We ended up discussing the pros and cons of each scenario, at extreme length, and what it boiled down to was each option was wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Hear me out:
Staying in Kuwait:
Pro: We have awesome friends here, and we know a bunch of wonderful nannies that we feel comfortable with that we could easily leave Hayden with next year. Staying here would also be super easy (moving is a crap ton of work!) and travel options from the Middle East are wonderful! You can take a quick trip and be in Europe, Africa, or Southeast Asia very easily.
Con: Our family doesn’t live here, it is brown…very brown, and we miss grass. The driving is crazy (seriously, every time I put Hayden in the car I say a quick little prayer before we take off) and we spend far too much time commuting back-and-forth to work every day. I would like that hour (minimum) of my life back each day.
Moving to a new Country:
Pro: New places to explore, great professional opportunities to grow our careers, better pay, and keep are awesome teacher schedule = more family time (summers off, three weeks off at Christmas, fall break, spring break, etc.)
Con: Our family doesn’t live there, fear of the unknown, and finding Hayden a nanny will be a bigger challenge
Pro: Our family lives there!
Con: Less pay, no more adventure for us, and Mitch would probably go back to his old career, which means working a lot more hours and cutting into our family time. Life back home is also a lot busier (we like the slow pace of life that we have as expats). Also, traveling abroad would go back to one trip a year.
Each option that we had would lead to so much happiness and yet, so much sadness all at the same time. I love living overseas and I love the lifestyle my little family has. We work, travel, and have fantastic time off to spend together, but all of that comes at a cost; unfortunately each decision does have a cost. We stewed about our decision from the day we got back to Kuwait last August until the day we had to inform the school of our decision in December.
As hard as it was, we made a decision, one we are both happy with and extremely sad because of.
More info on what our next life plan is coming soon.