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the life of an expat parent

March 14th, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

Rachel Pieh Jones has an excellent piece at The Other Journal on what it’s like to be a parent living abroad. She’s got it worse than me — her kids are older and go to school in another country! — but the feeling is the same:

I hate this choice. It reminds me that I’m not whole and that I will never be whole again. It’s my own fault for giving birth to children, each one a split down my middle. It’s my own fault for deciding to live abroad and away from extended family, my home culture, and the religious scaffolding of my Baptist childhood. These choices leave me drawn and quartered; they mean I’ve abandoned shreds of my self all over the globe, the way an umbilical cord, once absolutely essential, gets discarded.

I wrote a similar post recently about my son’s recent emergency admission:

making the little things available for little people

Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at