How many of you have moved from country to country (or even within a country) or have kids that moved from place to place growing up? Do you have parents that were born outside of your home country or a spouse from a different community or background? As evidenced by an ongoing survey we are conducting of cross-cultural teens and parents, experiencing moves, transition, different cultures, languages and religions can be challenging for kids and adults. Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore’s recently published book the This Messy Mobile Life is a welcome guide for multilingual, multicultural mobile families.
Pakistan-born Mariam is a writer, blogger and economist who grew up and lived in 9 countries. She and her German/Italian husband have raised their two children around the world including in Singapore and Denmark and are currently based in Ghana. Mariam refers to our global lives using the metaphor of a ‘mola’ or a colourful Panamanian hand-woven shirt. The mola has many beautiful, intricate layers yet a quick look at the backside reveals a lining and many stitches. According to Marian, “Sometimes, it is painful to show certain parts of your story: some layers hide beneath others and resurface when you least expect it.”
In This Messy Mobile Life, Mariam explores practical ways to understand and use the mola acronym which stands for Mix, Order, Layers and Adventure with case studies, expert opinions, and family tips. I highly recommend reading this very personal, engaging and well researched book to add clarity and perspective to the many issues global families are experiencing!