Motherhood Around the World

Last summer, we did a series called Motherhood Around the World, which was easily one of my favorite blogging experiences of the past seven years. We featured an interview every week with an American mother living in a different country around the world. Their stories and observations about parenting abroad were fascinating, insightful, funny and surprising. Thank you so much to all the incredible mothers who shared their stories. The conversations in the comments sections were equally compelling—I loved hearing about everyone’s thoughts and experiences.

We talked to mothers living in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi and India.

Now I’m thrilled to say we’re doing another Motherhood Around the World series this summer—starting today!

As I mentioned last summer, we decided to speak to American mothers abroad–versus mothers who were born and raised in those countries—because we wanted to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. It can be surprisingly hard to realize what’s unique about your own country (“don’t all kids eat snails?”), and it tends to be easier to identify differences as an outsider.

Also, we wanted to hear from these individual mothers about their particular experiences, but of course everyone’s impressions, circumstances, socioeconomic levels and lifestyles are different, so these interviews are in no way meant to describe or reduce entire cultures. (I can’t imagine if someone tried to explain America as a whole!) These interviews are more about women’s personal stories and observations. We also chose women who were more or less from the same demographic so we could see what it was like within that similar demographic around the world. I’m curious to hear from people born and bred in each country as well, in terms of what you think rings true and what surprises you.

Plus, a few more Cup of Jo series if you’re in the mood:
* Guide to New York
* Motherhood Mondays
* Beauty Uniforms
* What We’re Reading
* House Tours
* Hair Tutorials

Anyway, we’re excited to share these interviews every Monday and discuss parenting customs with you, and a huge thank you to Caroline for helping put it together. Hope you enjoy it. xoxoxo

(Top photo of my parents with us in France; bottom photo of a boy in Madrid by The Sartorialist)

  1. Great series! I am an American mom living in Hungary. I would be happy to write a post from my perspective!

  2. I am so happy you brought this series back! It was my favorite thing to read last summer and I have been enjoying the interviews so far.

  3. I am living in Turkey and I love these series.

    After coming home from the hospital I have no idea about how to taking care of a baby.Bath time was the worst.I was 30 , a pharmacist but even diapers were a problem for me:)

    I owe to my mother and mother in law.

    For being a pharmacist I went to university for four years but for being a mother no one teach me anything.

    We don’t have baby sitters for a few hours ,we use grandparents instead :)A few hours baby sitting system don’t even exist.

    Lots of love.

  4. Love this idea and really looking forward to reading! I’m a brand new mom and just loving all of the support and positive communities out there to connect with. Really enjoy your blog – thank you!

  5. I agree with Lake that it would be interesting to read about mothers from other countries parenting in the United States. Thank you for this series!

  6. By far my favourite series on Cup of Jo. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  7. I’m so excited you’ve brought this series back! Thanks for all of your hard work to produce it – can’t wait to read it.

  8. Its nice.. I love this.

  9. I’m so excited that you are bringing back Motherhood Around the World! I’ve been reading Cup of Jo for years, and this is one of my favorite series that you’ve done!

  10. I loved this series last summer, thanks for doing another round! I am curious to see if your roster includes any American mamas living in Canada?

  11. YAY! I loved this series and I’m so excited and appreciative that you brought it back! It will make me look forward to Mondays. :)

  12. I loved this series last time – I found it so interesting to read about the different experiences of motherhood for American women living in other countries, even though I’m Australian. Thanks for bringing it back!

  13. It would be interesting to find mothers from other countries who live in America for the series!

  14. Oh so looking forward to reading these, I would love to take part, Irish mummy,London born daughter,and now back in Southern Ireland!!xx

  15. Love this series, beyond thrilled you have brought it back. so thoughtful and candid. Thanks Jo!

  16. Yay!!! So happy this is back. It’s one of my favorite series I’ve ever read online. So excited!

  17. This post seriously made my Monday!! I loved the first series and have passed (forced) it along to many friends and family! So excited to see what you have in store next.

    xo Donna

  18. I hope there will be one today!

  19. Agreed! Love, love, LOVE this series. I think it’s so beneficial to learn how parents in different cultures raise their children — there’s no absolute right way, no absolute wrong way, but so many variations in between. Thanks for expanding our outlook on parenting with these posts!!

  20. Yessss! I loved this series and can’t wait for more!

  21. Yippee! Around this time last summer, I had just returned to work after my son was born and I was getting the hang of pumping at work. I actually looked forward to my Monday pump sessions because I knew a Motherhood Around the World post would be published that day =) So glad it is returning for a 2nd installment!

  22. Can’t wait – loved the last series you did!

    Rikke from Copenhagen

  23. Love this series! I’m hoping you interview a mother living in France.

  24. I love this series! They are wonderful, and I look forward to reading the posts!

  25. Hooray! This is my favorite series that you do! Looking forward to it.

  26. What an absolutely wonderful series! Being the most familiar to me, the Northern Irish insights really made me laugh!

  27. Pick me! I have been living with my three sons (last one born there) in the Philippines for eight years! And I myself grew up abroad – the Philippines is my seventh country. I love your blog! :)

  28. Wow, you guys look so much like Toby in that second picture!

    And congratulations to your mother for looking so polished with you guys in the top pic. I didn’t look look that chic when my twins were infants. (I’m better now that they are toddlers. More dresses and fewer yoga pants!)

    Thanks for bringing back the Motherhood Around the World posts. I loved them last time around!

  29. This is absolutely one of my favorite series! My husband grew up in SE Asia as an expat and our childhoods were SO DIFFERENT. Seriously, monkeys and machetes were a normal part of his life. I lived in the same house in Memphis, TN for 18 years, and threading my keys through my knuckles when walking to my apartment as an adult felt normal for me.
    So cool to see how it can all be so different.

  30. I’m so excited! These were my absolute favourite posts from last year.

  31. Im from Turkey and I really cannot wait to read the post! x

  32. I so enjoyed your first look at Motherhood around the world, looking forward to the next go around!!

  33. I’m excited! This is my favorite series of yours. Perhaps because I have an unhealthy obsession with daydreaming about living abroad myself!

  34. I really love this series and am so happy that you are doing it again! Can’t wait to read the posts!