Living as an expat wife is not all about drinking cocktails during the day, champagne and caviars at night, or chatting with another expat wife at your favorite cafe or restaurant, or spending hundreds of dollars doing your hair and nails. Living surrounded with luxury and glamour every minute of your life.
That kind of life might be true for other people out there, which leads to the creation of these “exaggerated” image or a stereotype about the expat wives. However (i am not sure whether to use unfortunately or fortunately here) it is not for me.
Sure, I enjoy pampering myself for once in a while. Not that it was a bad thing to have a manicure/pedicure, or going to a salon and sip a nice cup of tea at my favorite café, but I wouldn’t call it a lifestyle. I certainly pampered myself more when I was single and independent than now when I am married and living abroad as an expat wive.
One of the downsides of living in Singapore is that it is an expensive country, everything is expensive. Coming from Indonesia, where everything is “considered” cheaper than many other countries, makes me cringe every time I have to purchase something or to pay for a service that would cost more than half (most of the time a third of the price) in Indonesia.
So, What I would do to get that nice Manicure/Pedicure, or to change my hairstyle, or to get that much-needed massage, or to drink “the cocktail” in the middle of the day? Is either to get creative or to wait until it’s time for me to go back home.
Many times I had to bear with an overgrown fringe or unbalanced glasses on my nose until I was able to go to the hair salon or to buy a pair of new glasses in Indonesia just so I don’t feel that I wasted money (maybe I have an unidentified psychological problem, hmmm).
Sometimes when things are too unbearable, or my next trip home is too far along, I would search for DIY ideas. Many times we pay for something that is actually easy and simple. For example, a Manicure/Pedicure, Waxing and cutting fringe in which we can do ourselves.
Due to the “unidentified psychological problem” mentioned above, I am now able to do my own Manicure/Pedicure at home. Even sometimes, (when I am feeling super generous) I gave my husband some good “express” pedicure.
I do admit that DIY manicure/pedicure is not as satisfactory as the professional one, but it’s an acceptable quick fix until the time I am able to have a proper one.
The most Luxurious thing I enjoy most as an expat wife (currently not working) is TIME. It is a great blessing yet it also came with a huge responsibility. I have seen people who had been destroyed by having too much time. If not handled with care, it can become destructive.
I realized that I am blessed with it because I secretly wished for it for a long time before. I always made an excuse that I couldn’t find my passion and my purpose in life because I didn’t have time to find and pursue it. So now I tried to be responsible with it.
I am trying my best not to allow myself to fall into laziness. I am constantly trying to fill my time doing something to improve myself. Either to create healthy habits, to find a way to be independent, to find a job, and to learn something new. Check out my other posts if you are interested in how I do those things.
As an unemployment, with no kids (yet) I am quite busy most of the time. If I am not doing house chores (oh yeah, not sophisticated at all), you’ll find me either in front of my laptop writing, watch Youtube (learning) videos, do DIY projects, or go to Italian language course.
In some not so proud moments, where my husband (unfortunately) never failed to witnessed was me playing games on my smartphone. (which leads him to believe that it is all I do every hour of my life, which OBVIOUSLY exaggerated).. in my defense though, it was only 10-15 minutes every couple of hours, those are my “me time”.
Sometimes I think it’s a good thing that I am an introvert person. Because I am used to being alone and able to entertain myself. I almost never feel lonely or bored. I know, that I should have explored Singapore, befriend the locals and other expat wives. But I don’t feel quite ready to open up my life that way yet.
There are still posts I want to write, many things I need to learn. About blogging and about watercolor, not to mention my yoga practice. But, it was my introvert side making excuses not to do what we had to do. So in the spirit of continuously making an improvement, I have set a goal. To make friends, find a new community, volunteering on some cause as one of the resolutions for 2018.
Do let me know, your struggles as a stay at home wife or mom (not necessarily an expat wives). What you do on your spare time (if any, for many of moms out there). Thank you so much for reading my posts and as always God Bless us.