Four months ago, we moved to Amman, Jordan. Originally from Canada, I have been moving around the globe for more than twenty years as my husband works for UNICEF.
What language(s) do you speak?
I speak English and French. Learning Arabic is a big goal for our time here.
When did you first become a mother?
We were a carefree couple in Uganda, Lesotho, and Bangladesh. In 2000, while living in Myanmar, Meghan joined our family. In 2005, while we were posted in India, Charlie arrived. Since then, we have lived in Mozambique and New York.
Is your work stay-at-home mom, other work at home, or do you work outside the home?
I am an educator and have been incredibly fortunate to have found rewarding jobs in international schools wherever we have been posted. Most recently, I was the Elementary School Principal at the United Nations International School in Manhattan.
Since arriving in Jordan, I have been a stay-at-home Mum. I’ve been busy exploring, photographing and learning about the incredible history of the region and the issues facing not only the Jordan population, but the incredible number of Syrian refugees currently residing in the country.
My commitment to raising children who believe in peace and feel responsible for creating a better world is at the core of everything I do.
Why do you blog/write?
I write to record and process this incredible journey we are on as a family. Time passes so incredibly quickly. Without recording it, it’s hard to remember the small moments and wonderings from each posting.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
Being a mother in this transient lifestyle means being the key cheerleader for our family. It means setting up and taking down a house with six weeks’ notice. It means creating close friendships, and then saying goodbye. All this, while telling myself that giving my children this incredible opportunity makes the goodbyes and new hellos worthwhile.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
Raising a child in this lifestyle has incredible challenges and rewards. The challenges include culture shock every single time–even when I think the move will be easy. It means coaching myself, in my dark moments, to be present and supportive to my children. I remind myself that they have not chosen to move, but are trusting me to show them the meaningfulness of the lifestyle we have committed to as a UNICEF family.
The upsides to this lifestyle are incredible: our children interact and learn about cultures, languages, food, and religions firsthand; they are developing tolerance and empathy through relationships with many types of different people and the travel; and, before age ten, they have seen more of the world than some people manage in a lifetime!
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I learned about World Moms Blog when I was searching for women leading similar lives, facing similar issues, and who possessed the same strong desire to create a better world for our children and our children’s children. I feel blessed to be a part of this incredible community.
[Editor’s Note: A warm welcome, Jackie! We look forward to reading your posts as you settle in to your new role!]
Photo credit: Jacqueline Jenkins
This is an exclusive, World Moms Blog interview with our new writer and mother of two in Jordan, Jacqueline Jenkins. Welcome!