009: An Intensely Rewarding Year Abroad with Rachael Mogan – McIntosh

26th January, 2019 Posted under Impressive

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This is Impressive on its ninth week. Here, Doctor Kimberley gets to chat with Rachael Mogan-McIntosh, a mother of three, as the latter shares her family’s story of spending a year full of adventures in the south of France.

Listen up as we explore:

  • What to expect if you’re considering an international school transition
  • The challenges children may encounter and how to help them cope at school
  • What are the benefits of moving your family outside of their comfort zone

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About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.

In an approachable on-air consultation style, she listens to some of the smartest, kindest parents share their latest parenting challenge with their incredible kids. Together they brainstorm solutions and Kimberley offer handy tips and valuable resources to help bring out the best in toddlers, teens and in-betweens. Drawing mostly on two decades of experience as a child psychologist, Kimberley also shares her personal insights as a mother of two and entrepreneur with a passion for problem-solving.


[00:00:08 – 00:02:19] In the first part, Doctor Kimberley gives a spiel about Rachael Mogan-McIntosh, the guest for the ninth episode. Shortly after that, Rachael tells the listeners a bit about herself, her family, and the recent travel she had with her family.

Doctor Kimberley: Hello, I’m Doctor Kimberley O’Brien — a child psychologist, entrepreneur, and mom with a passion for problem-solving in family adventures. Join me each week for practical tips and on-air consultations with the smartest, kindest parents and their incredible kids. Find answers faster, do things differently, and take your family further. This is Impressive.

[00:00:30 – 00:00:33]: This episode is sponsored by BriteChild.com. Now, let’s get started.

Doctor Kimberley: This is episode nine of Impressive. I’m your host, Kimberley O’Brien. Thank you for joining us.

Have you ever thought of moving overseas for a year with you r family? Have you thought about the cultural experience, the intellectual stimulation, the new friends that you’d make, the challenges you’d face, and whether that would be worth all the effort? Well, this week we speak to Rachael Mogan-McIntosh, who is an author. She has a blog, mogantosh.com, which is worth definitely checking out. She is a very established journalist here in Australia, and she’s also a comedian–she’s hilarious. When you read some of those of journal articles, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Now, today, Rach is going to join us to talk about transitioning the family from the comfort of a seaside town to the challenges of a very colorful, French, medieval kind of village, and have her three children–aged 10, 12, and 7—adjusted. And also, there came some pretty big challenges, then we hear of that coming back together as a family, and what that was like coming home.

So, without further ado, please welcome Rachael Mogan-McIntosh. Rach, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and your family, and your most recent adventure?

Rachael: Sure. Well, my name is Rachael and I live in Wollongong, just south of Sydney with my husband, Keith, and our three kids who are aged 12, 10, and 7. We got back a few months ago from spending a year in the south of France, and we’ve just been spending the last couple of months readjusting to being home in Australia, and starting to process what the experience was all about really.

[00:02:20 – 00:02:58] Rachael reveals that after they’ve come back from France, they’ve learned to appreciate the life they have here in Australia.

Doctor Kimberley: And what have you come off with? Have you had any epiphanies, or are you like, so happy to be back? What’re you up to?

Rachael: We are really happy to be back. Luckily, where we live is beautiful and very cruisy, and we have great friends here. So, the kids are really happy to be home.

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: They had a great time, but they, it was pretty hard for them and they are very appreciative of their friends at school and the ace of life at school in Australia. Yeah, I have definitely have a heightened appreciation for a lot of their stuff at home that it all feels a little bit like we have dreamed, to be honest.

Doctor Kimberley: Uh-huh.

Rachael: Yeah.

[00:02:59 – 00:05:33] Here, Rachael tells in general how the whole family had adjusted living outside Wollongong. Then, she shares in detail how big of a difference it was for her kids, who barely knew how to speak French, to interact with other kids in a French school.

Doctor Kimberley: Do you want to focus a little bit on life at school? So, how was that? I’m thinking for listeners that are, you know, imagining the dream of traveling for a year and maybe settling in to another school and a whole new community—

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: –learning lots of things, being at your comfort zone?

Rachael: Yes.

Doctor Kimberley: How would you, how was that for you?

Rachael: We were definitely out of our comfort zone. It was pretty intense in a lot of ways. So, the children didn’t speak any French before we left. My husband, Keith, his French is pretty good because he spend a year in Paris when he was a kid, which was where the whole idea had sort of been discussed doing, and then both of us are portable for work, so this possibility for us to think, well, we could just, we both work from home, the kids were all in primary school, so the possibilities for us to move the whole catastrophe, you know, geographically from one location to another. And then, it was just a matter of the logistics. The logistics of doing it were really intense. I definitely had a lot of friends who said that would have not turn out at the beginning because the paperwork, the admin, the process was really bureaucratic and kind of crazy making. You sort of get to it dealing with what the phases and things like that for a year; dealing with the enrolling the children in school from another country, and renting a house, and buying a car, and that stuff, that was really an experience. But we just sort of tried to treat it all as comedy and it mostly, it mostly it was [comedy].

So then, the children started school at the beginning of the European school year in 2017, which is the very start of September. And, yeah, they just got thrown in the deep end, really. So, we were living in a small town in the south of France, sort of halfway between Montpellier and Nimes, which are quite big cities. But the town that we lived in was just a very small, medieval, cobblestoned village, just as you kind of, you know, might picture in your fairytale fantasies. It was totally different from, from where we live here in Wollongong, and it was quite an economically-depressed place and a really culturally-diverse place, and the school was very small, which we had one to a small school.

So, the kids went to school with, you know, a real range of kids from different backgrounds and obviously nobody spoke English. There was a couple of the teachers that spoke English. There was one kid whose English was okay, but almost none of the kids at school spoke in English. So, yeah, then they had a year with a, had to sort of sink or swim.

[00:05:34 – 00:09:57] Rachael continues sharing about her kids adjusting in their new school environment. Then, she discloses the difference between the schools in France and in Australia. According to her, the administration in each French school was very strict with their students, and only teachers can guide the kids while they are within the school’s premises. This makes it different from the schools in Australia, where even parents are allowed to help in the classrooms.

Doctor Kimberley: And tell us about that part when, so letting the kids go into this new zone. Like, how did you feel about it? And then, how did they adjust? What did they do? Were you observing from a distance, or did you just go home and hope for the best?

Rachael: Well, one of the real differences between school in France and school here in Australia was that there are gates at French school and they are shut and locked, and parents just don’t [venture] behind them unless you have a very specific reason to be there. Where is he? At our school, anyway, in Wollongong, there’s the parents constantly wondering, and then out, there’s a lot of parents helping in the classroom. You know the kids pretty well; you know the teachers well. There’s a lot of interaction, so, you know, especially when the kids are small like primary school, there’s just a lot of, you know, walking them in and out to the classrooms first. In France, you leave them at their gate and behind their gate. It’s none of your business.

In a lot of ways, Keith and I came to understand that it’s more like a school, a generation ago, like when we were at school that the teachers were really strict–they really yell at the kids. The expectation of how the kids behave, you know, in the classroom and stuff like that is very high. But their expectation of the kind of emotional ways that the children might cope, or the ways that they might relate to each other are really, in our experience, was just not something that was of much value. So, the kids would be strikingly mature often in the way that they related to other adults and, you know, and very charming in those ways. But the ways that they understood relating to each other in terms of the way they spoke to each other and bullying, and all of that kind of stuff was quite different. How it is here is almost, I almost feel like we have, we have low expectations of how we, what we expect children to be able to handle. They shouldn’t be bored. They shouldn’t be, you know, they shouldn’t have to sit at a table and, you know, speak politely to adults. So, they shouldn’t, you know, our children don’t have to do that stuff because they don’t. But we, in France, the opposite. They put a lot of children in this kind of, in these ways of their interaction in the adult world. But the expectation that we have of children in terms of what your, how your words might affect another person and how you relate to your friends emotionally, and what’s going on for somebody else behind the scenes, and this kind of conversations were not something that was part of our experiences. So, that was, that was another layup in which the children had to adjust to a very different cultural atmosphere as well as the language difference, of course.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah, it sounds like so many years.

Rachael: We have a really, we have really asked a lot of the children and they’ve—

Doctor Kimberley: Okay.

Rachael: –it was very, you know, kind of painful for Keith and I, sort of to look at what have we done. Have we asked too much? And is this too tough? And, yeah, it was…

Doctor Kimberley: Tricky–

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: –conundrum. I’m thinking, now in Australia, if you weren’t so happy with the way things are going in the playground or even in the classroom, were you always encouraged, you know, like parent-teacher communication? Did you step forward and do that in France? Or were you feeling like this is part of the cultural experience? I won’t say anything. What did you do?

Rachael: We did. No, we did to some degree especially when one of the kids was really getting bullied. But in that very complicated frenemy sort of way, you know, like somebody, you know, friend one day, and then being really mean the next day, and that very complicated stuff were here at home, in my experience, for schools are very similar sizes. Well, you probably would be dealing with the other parent yourself as well as trying to kind of navigate your way through and you’re really helping, you’re helping to facilitate the resolving of that issue whereas in France, it was like, supporting her at home, and just being like, well, “Off you go. You know, you really got to sort this out yourself,” which she did, and that was, I think it was quite profoundly good for her in these ways of learning how to manage difficult situations and, you know, resilience towards stuff.
But, you know, there was a level to which you could talk to the teachers and you would try and resolve this stuff, but mostly like, it’s just a little bit of the flaws in the playground anywhere and—

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: There’s not a lot that you can do.

[00:10:03 – 00:10:49] Here, Doctor O’Brien introduces to listeners, the Best of Friends program, a tool for making and keeping friends, which kids can use.

Doctor Kimberley: Hey, I’m just popping in to see if you’ve heard about the Best of Friends program. If you haven’t, we offer it for school holidays and term-long programs. That’s one hour per week over 10 weeks, or at two hours school holiday program. If you’d like a tester, the Best of Friends program is for children aged 7-11 years, and we have between 3 and 6 kids per group in the clinic setting, but it’s also adaptable for the classroom setting. It’s based around an interactive craft book and five stories about making and keeping friends.

If you’d like to find out more, go to QuirkyKid.com.au and look into Programs. That’s QuirkyKid.com.au/Programs.

[00:10:50 – 00:12:52] Rachael still considers her children’s struggles in school as a positive experience that the whole family shared during their stay in France. Furthermore, it can’t be denied that the kids learnt new skills the hard way.

Rachael: Yeah, that was really quite tough stuff as a parent because we would, we have to go to school around four times a day because they would come home for two hours at lunch. So, we would take the three kids at school every morning, but usually somebody would be in tears because they were, they didn’t want to go, and sort of swap off between us, which kid would, you know, most needing the peptalk, and then we get them behind the gate, and then we can pick them up again at lunch and we take them home for two hours, and we kind of repair them emotionally and try and kind of , you know, sort everybody out to go back again in the afternoon and talk to whoever was in tears and—

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah.

Rachael: –and then, you know. And so there was just this, it really took over the rhythm of life, that schedule of managing the kids at school like so.

Doctor Kimberley: I’m kind of thinking, well, was it worth it? Like, do you feel like, after all that… I mean, I’m sure it brought your family together, and then taught the kids resilience.

Rachael: Look, it was very worth it in that sense of a family, of that kind of intensive bonding and memory-making that you have of being all again together in this weird world that you are trying to make a sense of and figure out. We had a great experience in that way. There were times definitely, you know, halfway through, or three quarters at the way through even where I was really questioning whether it was worth the pain that the children of going to school. But then, things really did turn around and they came through, I mean, there’s no visible scars.

Doctor Kimberley: Great.

Rachael: But they came through, the girls particularly, they have a second language. They, their French is lovely.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah.

Rachael: They really kind of had to challenge themselves to, to find ways to manage some difficult situations and they, and they did that. And they learnt a lot of skills I think in just doing that that will play out in some kind of unknown way in, in–

Doctor Kimberley: In the future.

Rachael: –adolescence.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah.

Rachael: And, you know, they definitely remember it as a good time. So…

[00:12:53 – 00:15:05] Rachael adds that even if she and Keith were focused on their children’s transition in school, they still were able to build meaningful relationships with other families along the way.

Doctor Kimberley: So good. There were more upsides. In the end, after the adjustments, it was just all systems go. And then, tell me about coming back and saying goodbye, was that like, then hard to pull away from the world that you’d created?

Rachael: Look, yeah. It was very intense because I think partly because in order to try and make that year and that process for the kids, they’re as positive and healthy as possible. That felt really important to me and Keith to, to put those roots down and to make those connections and to help the kids to find friends and to nurture those friendships, and—

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: –and also, we just connected with some beautiful families at the school, could really kind of open their hearts to us and looked after us. And then I was studying French as well at this beautiful sort of community migrant volunteer organization and I made a lot of really close friends there. And because it was, yeah, it was a lot of hard, emotional work that year, that it was our roots to the place felt very strong. By the time we got to the end of that year, we just had a lot of really meaningful relationships, and because most of the people that we were friends with that we knew were just, you know, they didn’t have any money, and Australia’s just on the absolute other side of the world, so, it’s just, you’re not just going to see each other like, and we’ve got three kids, so that our idea of sort of being able to pop over to Europe again is just crazy. It’s not, it’s not something that is reasonable for us to think about doing, you know, for another, at minimum, for five years or something if that, if that. So, here, we really are saying, you know, a pretty permanent goodbye, and so that winding up and leaving was, and I mean, of course, it was also just really exhaustingly easy to kind of pack up a whole house again and, and, and do all those stuff while you’re still running a normal life with three small children, and we’re both working. So, yeah, it was pretty tiring.

Doctor Kimberley: Intense of thinking emotionally, and then—

Rachael: Yeah, it was. Yeah, it was.

Doctor Kimberley: –socially, there’s so many—

Rachael: Yeah.

[00:15:06 – 00:23:39] Despite a rough year for the family, especially their children, Rachael reiterates that at least all members were safe, and the kids would remember this experience as an interesting one, like living in an alternative world for a short time.

Doctor Kimberley: –beautiful aspects of putting some activity, and then getting so much in return. And so, did you feel like, you had some epiphanies for you like, “This is what I’ve learned from my Europe [tour],” or what were your breakthrough, take away points?

Rachael: Gosh. I mean, I don’t know, I think that one of things that we really wanted for the children was just to broaden their horizons. So, even though there were times when that school year, in so many ways, was really rough and there were things, there were violent things that happened, not to our children, but there were violent things that happened in the town, and that happened around us, and things that happened in relationships that I just not, it’s something that they had ever encountered before and they’re very safe, very wide, very middle class, sort of beach town that we live in. And that was something that I really did, I wanted for the kids. I wanted them to have this picture of the world that was a little bigger and a little less entitled and, and safe than their whole childhood has been.

Well, still kind of, you know, holding them in that safe family, and that, and I think that really did happen. And then, there’s sort of the want them having that experience in the year of their childhood will may not, I think this is just going to be really interesting to watch because I don’t know, it’s going to, it’s going to mean something different to each of them because they each have a different, a totally different experience and that’s going to be something I think that they will tell me about when they’re adults that this is how I’ve been changed or then thought about things as I, as I got older, their story.

Doctor Kimberley: Rach, can you tell me, I’m thinking of if you’re standing in the shoes of one of your children, can you think of one example of one event that might stand out, and then kind of explain that in detail from a child’s point-of-view? So, you kind of picture it and imagine what that might be like?

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: You may describe it as a wake-up call. And I’m thinking, “Wow, what happened? What would I be seeing and feeling as a young person in a new space like that?” It sounds super diverse and different, but I just want to kind of know exactly what they would be seeing maybe from one example.

Rachael: Well, I don’t know. I mean, I guess like, in terms of trying to paint a picture about would sort of describe what the different world that the children inhabited in would maybe be just that walk to school that we took four times a day where we would walk down in the middle of the town through this little cobblestoned, medieval town where it’s just full of like little flaps with sort of lots of people living in them and everyday we just became very close to the people that ran little shops and all the neighbors because we were just constantly doing that loop. And so, everybody, you know, you’re just very accepted as being one of the, one their residents, one of the town’s people. We really stood out because most people hadn’t really met any Australians before.

So, yeah, there was that. And so, then everyday, the kids would be walking past the people. There’s quite a lot of gypsies in the town and there was quite a lot of kids that didn’t go to school, some of the families. And so, there was, you know, there was a drug house we walked past everyday where talks quite a few months to work out why everybody was just hanging around outside this one particular kind of stone stairwell where everybody wasn’t who the guys that was hanging around outside at the back and where the guy in the bookshop, and then the old, old burlesque dancer that ran like the junk shop that love the children and orient them, and stuff like that, and she would always love these things. And then of course, every person that you meet, you have to kiss them three times.

Yeah, and so, It was just an utterly every part of that walk was novel. Every sound, every smell, everything that you say was like this polar opposite on the other side of the world to their normal life in this little surfy–

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: –that they live in. And so, but to them, it was just completely normal because they, you know, like a year is a long time. They would sort of just, they would ride the scooter’s town, and often, Georgie would be riding sort of on the back of our neighbor’s bike. He’s like, he would just tinker down, and they’ve sort of swing around. All the old ladies with their market baskets and they just knew, yeah, they all knew all the shortcuts to capture the alleyways to get everywhere, and that crazy world is just buried somewhere in their psyche as–

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah.

Rachael: –their alternative universe that they inhabited for a while and is now gone. I don’t know if that…

Doctor Kimberley: It’s hopeful.

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: So many different characters and such like a, it feels like a live theatre, like you’re always walking through a movie set.

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: I was hoping that a matter of the sockets, and then all of them, the kids just settle in their own [place] like any other day.

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: You know, different setting. It’s just maybe it’s quite surreal, isn’t it?

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: When you kind of process to that.

Rachael: Totally, and then just to think that through that whole process of everyday, we were all having to speak French. We were having to speak this other language all day long.

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: You know, to varying degrees of good and bad and especially towards the end and especially the girls would just, you know, fluent. And so, just kind of like cruising through this world at this weird, you know, magical backwoods land. It now sings because now, of course, we don’t speak any French ever like it’s, it’s, every once in a while or something, we’ll come up and we’d come up, you know, what’s that word or whatever we remember because there’ll be stuff in the back of our mind of, yeah, something.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah, somewhere stored there in your memory and I’m sure that we of use later and just [with] the girls traveling back to France, and at all coming back to that at some point.

Rachael: Yeah, that’s what I hope. I hope that’s just, it’s some gift to them and at some point in their, in their future and in their adult lives, and I’ll be like, “Okay, now, make use of this.”

Doctor Kimberley: Did that happen to Keith? Your partner, you said that he’d been when he was a child, and now, going back as an adult, did he have this kind of I don’t know, like a different perspective on things or this whole new world?

Rachael: Yeah, absolutely.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah, tell me about that.

Rachael: Well, I think, that was always part of the conversations that we would have about, about our plans was that his memories of it were really, just it was, it was quite profound. It was a profound year for him. It was really difficult, and it was really transformative as well. And he didn’t, he didn’t go on to study more French.

Doctor Kimberley: Was that when he was a child, it was really profound? But that was…

Rachael: Yeah, he was nine.

Doctor Kimberley: Okay.

Rachael: He was the same age as my son. And, yeah, so he, and then he went on to study, and then he did go on to travel and live in France again on and off at different times. But he mainly, his ability to speak the language came from that year.

Doctor Kimberley: And then, as an adult now, living there for a year with his children, and then more memories flooding from when he was a child? Or was it more caution or like, how did he tackle that experience?

Rachael: I think that it definitely was, there would have been a greater degree of understanding of what it was like for his parents than being in the other position. But it was just a very jam-packed year in that sense for Keith and I like, there was just a lot of heightened managing of everything, every aspect of life including the children’s emotional health and everything, and always some level of anxiety for me around. What if something goes wrong, or something happens? And I always felt like I was just skating on, keeping all my balls in the air.

Luckily, nothing have a deep, you know, nobody ever did get really sick or on a car accident. or any of those things. But there was always that slight fear for me about like it’s all fine day to day, but if the shit really hits the fan, I’m in trouble.

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: Yeah.

[00:23:40 – 00:28:12] Rachael tells how it is now that the whole family is back home. There was shock at first, which is quite normal. But now, everything’s back the way it is before they left Wollongong. The kids are now happy, and they were able to reconnect with their relatives and friends. On a side note, Rachael would now want to consider her happiness as she does for her husband and her kids.

Doctor Kimberley: So, has there been evasive like, sense of relief coming home now? Like, you feel like you’ve just going to laid back and like, what’s the shift been like? And you said the kids are happy to connect with their friends.

Rachael: Yeah, the kids are very happy to be back and at school. And I’m really happy to be back now, too. I’m feeling more like I have my feet on the ground. I’ve really struggled for a couple of months; I found that adjustment to being home much harder than I would have expected just because one of the main reasons is because we were just walking everywhere in France and I would sort of be in the car a couple of times a week to do the supermarket really, and that was really, that was not, it was just walking around and doing all that piece of shit. And they even know like, we still have this kind of division of labor where I did all the cooking and ran all the house stuff and things like that because that wasn’t really different. It was just a different sense of it being a shared, you know, system. And when I came home and I had this shock of like, being back in Mom’s taxi, you know, just running the kids. And of course, because in France, we had no family and we had no friends, really. We had friends, we had , we made beautiful friends in France, but you could always be like, unavailable to people.

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: It didn’t have responsibilities of family and friends like you do at home. And so, that was like, really relaxing.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah, it was.

Rachael: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You do, and of course, there’s no extra-curricular stuff for the kids. And our play date has happened today at our house because most of the time, I just didn’t know. It was all a bit wild, and bully. A lot of the other families and a lot of the other houses, and the kids just couldn’t speak the language well enough, just sort of being that comfortable about them–

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: –them playing on other people’s houses. So, kids would come and play at our place, or it would just be us. So, coming back home and it was like, that’s why I’m in the car all the time, running, running everybody around, running this really full mental load, schedule of life. And I’m sort of readjusted now to how to do that in a way that doesn’t drive me nuts.

Doctor Kimberley: Yeah.

Rachael: But it was shock.

Doctor Kimberley: Good job. It’s kind of like it pulls other things that are not your preference.

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: And you juggle it sort of having to drive so much, having after-school activities or…

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: So…

Rachael: Yeah. I need to start recalibrating how it is that you live happily, and what’s the most, you know, what’s the most functional kind of system, and then do that. And then, when we first came home, that was all, you know, that Mom thing where we you kind of just like, okay, you know, just in service to all the other members of the family and making sure that everybody else, you know, settles back in and is okay, and then you get to some point where you’re like, “What about me?” Like, what is this? And then, I had to go. I need to [start] writing, and like, my own stuff. Yeah, and so, it’s all starting to, I feel much more settled now.

Doctor Kimberley: And now, this one, a couple of quick questions. One, is just around family and you mentioned family commitments and Christmas is coming. So, I’m imaging everyone’s coming together, how does that feel to have, you know, all of that intense support around again? Had so many…

Rachael: Oh, it’s lovely.

Doctor Kimberley: It’s lovely?

Rachael: Right. That was part of what I think was very overwhelming when we got home because then of course, you know, we’ve been gone for a year and we both have big families, too. And so, and friends, you know, and so, there was a lot of trying to do a lot of catching up and a lot of dinners, and a lot of reconnecting with people that we hadn’t seen. So, there was just, it was very, very intense.

Doctor Kimberley: Yes.

Rachael: The kids are, the kids are connecting out with all their friends again and we’re, you know, Keith and I have gotten all these things booked in to, to reconnect with people, and then the family are all wanting to see some and do things. So, that’s now just kind of calm down into the normal zone of life. Yeah, that we’re not having to sort of do a lot of socializing, which I don’t like. I’m a hermit, you know. I don’t like doing, I find it really draining to do too much social stuff. So, yeah, so it’s good for me that I’m just a bit more on top of now, where, you know, where our limits are.

[00:28:13 – 00:29:15] Here, Rachael takes the opportunity to promote her personal website, which is mogantosh.com, where the listeners could learn more about her writing. She also encourages them to read her upcoming memoir about motherhood.

Doctor Kimberley: Love it. And, Rach, just lastly, you mentioned you’re back into writing and I know you’ve written a couple of really good blog articles during that experience with lots of comedy. Where can people find more, find out more about your writing? And what are you currently working on?

Rachael: Well, I’m currently working on a final draft of a book actually that I’ve been writing for a few years. It’s a memoir about motherhood that I have to try and sell next month.

Doctor Kimberley: Right.

Rachael: Sort of right at this kind of exciting point of trying to put the last touches on this final draft, so I can send it out into the world a bit, and then turn to writing a book about a year in France, which is my next project. Yeah, but I wrote quite a lot of sort of magazines and online stuff when we were in France, and some blog posts as well. And all of that’s on my blog, which is www.mogantosh.com, M-O-G-A-N-T-O-S-H, if anybody wanted to have a look.

[00:29:15 – 00:30:45] To wrap up the episode, Dr. O’Brien and Rachael said their takeaways. And the bottomline would be, as Rachael puts it, “So much of parenthood can be great work, and then great reward.”

Doctor Kimberley: I’d love to. Thanks so much for your time today, Rach. I just really enjoyed hearing those details, and kind of it’s timely with you reconnecting with family as Christmas is coming. And also, probably thinking about new things to do in the new year to keep things interesting.

Rachael: Yeah.

Doctor Kimberley: I feel like my takeaway’s from that would just that there maybe some emotional struggles and some new skills, coping skills for kids about in the long run. It’s going to be an intense positive experience, and you make him come home and feel like things need to change, and that of course could be a good thing.

Rachael: Yeah, I think for me, the main point around the whole thing for me was like it’s really like so much of parenthood where there can be great work, and then great reward. So, it was really, really hard work, a lot of it, and very intense, but the rewards were just enormous.

Doctor Kimberley: Love it.

That was very interesting. Thank you so much to Rachael Mogan-McIntosh for joining us this week on Impressive. If you liked that episode and you know someone who might be thinking of traveling for a year, who might benefit from some of those stories that Rachael, please do share on your podcast app. And if you like listening to Impressive, I’d love it if you’d click ‘Subscribe’ and join us every week. But for now, it’s goodbye. Have a great week, and I’ll see you next week. I’m Kimberley, and this was Impressive.

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