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Life Update – I’m Moving to Canada from Jamaica

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a family life update. What better time to do it than now, since I’m moving to Canada. Family life has been especially tough these past few years with imposed restrictions courtesy of the pandemic. Blessedly though, we seem to be on the mend as vaccination rates rise and case loads lower. *Knock on wood* We’ve recently been able to visit some family members and close friends, though we’re still keeping our ‘regular’ circle to a minimum.

The world may have come to a grinding halt, but a lot has been happening. Slowly, but happening. In fact, quite oddly, at the micro level, it seems the days, weeks and months are running by. Especially in my family.

Incredibly Supportive Marriage

My husband and I have been together for over ten years. During that time, we’ve been through a number of seasons. It’s natural and in my opinion, part of the whole idea of marriage and having a life partner. You go through things together. We’ve been broke college students together, we’ve been a young couple figuring out our next step, we’ve been newlyweds, we’ve been new parents and I’d like to think we’re entering a more mature phase currently.

We’ve also always supported each other’s paths and dreams. Luckily for us, we have always been able to do that together, as in physically together as a couple. Well, for the most part. (I’ll tell you what I mean in a second). In fact, up until this point, we have both actively refused and avoided career opportunities that would require that our young family that be separated.

We’ve Split Before

We’ve managed to stay together successfully for several years, if at a cost. One premise that we have operated on was that home was my domain while Boobles went through his four years of postgraduate studies. As a young family with no support in Kingston, we decided I would be the homemaker for that time. I was comfortable taking on that role, even if it meant I felt my brain was idle. As you can imagine, I found things to do, that is, this blog and more. Great opportunities came up, but the disruption they would have caused my family meant that I had to pass on them to keep my family life stable. The same for hubby too. He had job offers that would have been great for his own professional development, but not so much for our family life. Those opportunities too were refused.

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Nonetheless, if it’s one thing adulthood never fails to throw us, it’s curveballs.

The First Split

In 2019, my husband needed to do an elective for his program. It wasn’t mandatory, but it was best for him to do one. We talked and talked about it to death but in the end, decided we could make it work for a few weeks and the benefit to his career was worth it. So we did.

He spend close to two months in the UK while Sio and I waited out the time by visiting family in the US. It was hard being in separate countries, but success requires sacrifice. Before that, we hadn’t spent more than three weeks apart (that was very early in our relationship when he did a rotation in another parish) and a couple of times for a few days if I went to visit my family or his for a few days. That’s it. Anyway, it was done and we all went home, happy to be together again.

Moving to Canada – Alone

The Second Split

Two years later, in 2021, we’re doing it again. Same reasons, different spouse, for much longer than two months and much differently than before. Earlier this year in a blog, I mentioned I was going back to school. I did. I started back in September. What I didn’t mention at the time was that said school is a couple of thousand miles from my home city. While I was able to study remotely for a time as a result of the pandemic, if I am to reap all the benefits of my studies, that allowance has ended (That was extended just days after I left but, that’s for another day.) and I’m moving to Canada for the rest of my studies.

Thus, the Reid family is now two households strong. My husband is supporting the family at home with our daughter while I build a career.

Team Work Makes The Dream Work

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard me mention before that marriage is rarely 50-50. Rather, it’s a collection of rotating seasons. Some seasons require 50-50, others require 80-20, 100-0, 100-100. The balance is in rotating the load during seasons so no one spouse carries the load every season. I have been blessed in life to have married a partner who is extremely supportive, trustworthy and stands on his word. Because of this, I can focus on what I need to do.

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This Will Be Very Hard for Me

It’s already harder than I care for it to be. It’s not as if I was under any illusion that it would be easy, but what to do? To surrender my role as the primary caregiver to my family is no small thing, personally. I love taking care of my family. I love being a mother. I love taking care of and supporting my husband. I love that they could depend on me. I love that we were always together.

Additionally, I am terrified. I have never lived on my own (except for dorms). I went from home to college life to being married and living with hubby by the time I finished studying. I have always been independent, however, I have always known that my Dad and my husband were at the other end of a phone call if I needed them. Living in my own in a foreign country is new. This level of adulthood is entirely new to me.

This level of adulthood is entirely new to me.

Though I am scared about moving to Canada and sad to be away from my family, I’m also excited for the new chapter and narrow-mindedness in my focus. I could never survive this if I didn’t hold on to the belief that this sacrifice is for the betterment of myself and my family. Still, it’s hard. My husband has been my partner in crime for a decade, and by now, anyone who knows us knows that he has spoiled me rotten. (P.S. As a strong, independent-minded millennial woman, I say this with grace.) I know I will find my way, but I’ve always known that he is at my back in whatever I do. He still is, but with much more distance.

Silver Linings of Moving to Canada

So, I have decided to find the silver linings in this opportunity.

  • I’ll be adding to my family’s stability at the end of the journey.
  • I’ll work on my books (with what time allows)
  • I can work on my blog (Blogmas starts on December 1st!)
  • I can work on my YouTube channels

Between school, work and everything I’ve listed here, I should have no trouble staying occupied. Nonetheless, please pray for me as I continue to pray for myself.

Has your family life update ever included two households? Any advice? Share in the comments.

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Xo, Shandean

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Shandean Reid

Hi, there! I’m Shan, a heavily caffeinated Jamaican millennial content creator and communications professional in Canada. An effectual storyteller at heart, this blog is my transparent narration of life as a physician’s wife, mom, communications professional, author and anything else I need to be on a given day. I hope you like my sharing space and subscribe!

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4 COMMENTS

  • Vaibhavi.

    Wish you all the very best and stay strong girl!! 🤞🏻❤️

  • Adrea Ann

    Shan you are a strong woman – I admire your tenacity. I know you will get through this. Of course there will those days, but never forget that this sacrifice will ultimately lead to a brighter future for you and the family.

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