Guest Blogger: MARYAM DE GROEF (Integrative Nutrition Health Coach - Canada)
Some might call us crazy for moving to a new country, to a city we'd never visited before, with no accommodation lined up and no jobs at the other end either - All that with two young kids (7 and 4) in tow, all while studying for my certificate as an integrative nutrition health coach! In hindsight, I might have called us that too.
Do I regret it? The jury's still out on that, but I've learned valuable lessons, mostly from my eldest daughter, along the way. You see, she's not like other kids her age - she's a hyper sensitive girl with multiple food, contact and environmental allergies and an immune system that's not as strong as the average 7 year old.
She's taught me about resilience, courage, bravery, sadness, struggle, trust and honesty - most of these lessons have been welcome and have taught me a lot and some I'd be happy to never experience again!!!
In the 6 months we've been here, first moving to Quebec and then to Ontario, I've mostly learnt these lessons through observing her and watching her tackle one thing after the other, and like a champ I might add.
She's taught me the true nature of resilience and how to spring back from difficult situations not only emotionally, but also physically, taking responsibility for how she feels.
She's shown me what bravery and courage can look like when starting school, not once but twice, in two different languages, with no friends and lagging behind her peers in the national curriculum.
I've witnessed her opening up even if that made her feel vulnerable and sad, and how to be honest about feelings when life seems to sucks and all you want are your old, creature comforts!
She's smiled (and sometimes cried) in the face of scary things like walking into a school playground with 800+ kids, when her last school playground only had around 40+.
Living with someone who has challenging health conditions can be difficult under normal circumstances and here we are, at other end of the world, starting from scratch, in a new country, environment, culture, language, climate etc, and she's taken to it like a duck to water. I truly am in awe of this girl I get to call my daughter and the lessons she's teaching me along the way. If you'd like to follow our move across the ocean from Belgium to Canada, some amazing allergy-friendly recipes, some lifestyle and nutrition tips, and most of all mum life, you can find us over on Instagram at @maryam.degroef or use #degroefssayeh
Maryam De Groef
Integrated Nutrition Health Coach