Hello, fellow readers! Welcome to our very first post on The Listen Blog. Here you will find highlights from some of the best interviews on The Listen Podcast, hosted by Kate Jetmore from our studios in Cuenca, Spain.
Season One focused on the topic of motherhood in another land. What are the benefits and challenges of raising a child abroad? What advice can our guests give to mothers in similar situations?
You’ll have to listen to our first season to find out! But if you haven’t yet, don’t worry! You can start here, where you will also find the link to each interview. Let’s get started!
Dealing with Cultural Clashes
The season kicks off with Agnieszka, a Polish mother who is raising her two young daughters in Cuenca, a small city in the heart of Spain. As a mother living in a foreign country, there were some topics that Agnieszka had to look at from a fresh point of view.
“We have a cultural clash, let’s talk about that”
For instance, it is a common and widely accepted tradition in Spain that parents pierce the ears of newborns if they are girls. This idea shook Agnieszka to her core! It took a shift in power as she stepped into her new role as Mother, making her voice heard and choosing not to pierce her daughter’s ears.
After all, it’s hard to fight old traditions, especially if they are as deeply-rooted as toros(bullfights) in Spain. No one knows better about this than our guest from episode two: Sue, a British animal-lover raising her children in Spain.
Needless to say, she is completely against bullfighting and sometimes struggles when transmitting these values to her children. After all, they are half-Spanish and live in a country where toros are perceived as a cultural asset, not as torture.
“As a mum, I just say to them
why we believe what we believe”
The Silver Lining
When mothering abroad, it isn’t only about getting one’s point across and getting things done one’s own way. Our guests also learned to appreciate certain Spanish ways of life, especially when it comes to their children.
For Agnieszka, having a specific time for lunch (namely, from 2p to 4p) and a consistent structure around meals provided her and her children with some helpful guidance. Raising children abroad also has the obvious benefit that they will grow up bilingual and will learn that there is more than one option when it comes to living a fulfilling life.
For our third guest, Michele, it was more than just bilingualism. In her interview, she shares with us some interesting insights on how bilingual (and bicultural) children are better at focusing, at recognizing the values and manners of each culture, and are more open minded and tolerant.
“[Being] bilingual is praised now”
What did you think of the season? Are you also a mother living and raising your children abroad? Do you have some insights to share with us? We’d love to hear from you, so go ahead and leave us a comment below.
What did you think of the season? Are you also a mother living and raising your children abroad? Do you have some insights to share with us? We’d love to hear from you, so please reach out to us on social media. And be sure to look for more insightful interviews, by tuning in to The Listen Podcast on your favorite podcasting platform.