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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Happy birthday to blog!

July is a special month for us. Klara’s birthday is in July. My own birthday is in July. And, this blog’s birthday is in July, too. This is no coincidence. Because behind every blog, there is a story, and this is mine.

I started the European Mama blog last year, as a birthday gift to myself. I had been playing around with the idea of starting a blog for a while, but I had never found the time, or hadn’t thought of anything to write about. But then, something happened. Something that has shaken me to the core. Something that I still think about.

To make a long story short, a lady (or should I say, a witch?) once saw me struggling to put a crying, fighting Klara into her stroller. In her overzealous desire to save all children from their evil mothers, she flew down on her broom to confront me. When she heard that I am a foreigner, she called the police on me. Yes, the same police that is supposed to deal with real crimes, like stealing or murder. Luckily, nothing happened. They came, listen to our stories, and left. So did the Witch.

But I was shaken for two reasons. First, this was the first time I’ve ever seen a full-blown temper tantrum. Second, having the police called on you is a traumatic experience for anybody. I knew I needed a platform to express my thoughts and share my stories.

Two months later, on July 8th, two days after my birthday, The European Mama Blog was born. This blog started as trilingual (in Polish, English and German), and attempted to cover a variety of topics. Not a very successful strategy, I must say. But along the way, I found that somebody somewhere was listening to this little voice. Yes, that’s you, dear readers! And so I tried to adapt to your needs, and started writing more about multilingualism, and being an expat. But I also wanted to write about being a parent. I translated my German posts into English, and deleted the ones that didn’t fit the topics of being an expat and parenting. Now, it seems that this blog has a name to match.

Did you ever wonder why I called this blog “The European Mama”? For many reasons. The first one was that I was trying to find a name for someone who comes from one country, is married to someone from another country, and lives in a third country. Someone who speaks many languages and was exposed to many cultures. I think “European” is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of somebody like that. At least, it was for me. Poland, Germany and the Netherlands are European countries. And it doesn’t matter whether they belong to the European Union or not.

I have given Europe a lot of thought. Apart from being Polish, I feel European. The European Union has made so many things easy for me (getting married, travelling, formalities, etc.) but with the uncertain future of this construct it is hard to feel attached to it. Also, not all Europe is EU. However I feel European. Maybe a post  on this would be in order?

I’ve come to love this thing called blogging. I am excited that you are reading this and commenting, and sharing some of the posts. All the time, I think about new topics, new articles, new stories to tell you. If I am not writing my posts, I think about writing my posts. I sometimes find myself in a given situation, and think: “Would this make a good blog post?” or “Can I blog about this?”, or, most importantly: “Will my readers like it?”

I hope you have as much fun reading my posts as I have writing them. You make this so enjoyable. But also, you make me think about quality. I’ve already started working on this, on making this blog “bigger, better, bloggier”. I am trying to come up with a nice logo, and to make this blog look better. From you, I have received nothing but support and encouragement. Thank you so much!

Please let me know what you think of the European Mama blog. Maybe you have ideas for more blog post topics and design. Please, share them! Maybe you do or do not like a certain feature. Please, tell me! Maybe you would like to express your general opinion about this blog. Please, do! You can comment, write on my Facebook wall, or tweet me. Or, if you don’t like going public, please email me at olencja.ba@gmail.com.

Besides, I think it is high time for my first give-away. Stay tuned for tomorrow! 

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  1. Happy birthday!
    I can't believe someone called the police on you! Some people are unbelieveable.

  2. Hi, Annabelle!
    Thank you very much for your wishes and support. Yes, that lady was really something. I sometimes think that people who claim that their children never did this or that (as she did) either forgot how it felt to have little children or they still have to wait for this or that to appeared. Although I must say that while I would have preferred to not have met her, it's people like her who give me topics to write about!

  3. Hi! I found your blog via an expat group I belong to on Etsy. So sorry to hear of your traumatic experience! Once when we had just moved into our house in America(I'm Scottish with an American husband) I was changing my daughter's diaper. She had a really bad rash and was screaming her little head off and a neighbor called the police. Amazing, but I guess she thought it was justified...

    Being an expat is tough enough without people thinking you're abusing your kids! Your blog is a great idea as I'm sure there are a lot of people in similar situations that will recognize themselves in your observations. Good luck! :D

    1. Shril/Artophile, welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind comment. I see your experience was very similar to mine- and I totally know what you mean.I suppose people forget so quickly how it is with a little baby, and those who don't have children will never understand. Oh, and of course they always think it is justified! I am so sorry for what happened to you! I have just checked your Etsy shop. Your designs are beautiful!

  4. I just found your blog (from a comment you left:) and I think it is fascinating! I am exploring a lot of the articles about multilingualism. As a bilingual mom, with multicultural kids, and as a teacher of English to immigrants, they are very interesting!:)

  5. Dear Becky, welcome and thank you for your kind words. I see you are in a similar situation to mine, and It's for readers like you I'm sharing my multilingual journey. Maybe you can provide some insights from the perspective of an English teacher?I'd be very grateful!


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