I was not able to publish a post yesterday; my energy was dedicated to dealing with condo renovation frustrations back in the States after catching up on sleep and some quiet time in the mani/pedi chair. I wasn’t nearly as distressed about missing a day as I was the first time, but I’ve had bigger fish to fry. The kids returning to school will hopefully go a long way in helping them get back to their normal sleep routine. Until then, I am spending another night reacquainting myself with the life that takes place between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. while one of my children continues to live in Eastern Daylight Time – sprawled across my bed watching YouTube Kids no less.

When my husband and I purchased the condo at the center of our renovation frustrations, our children were approaching their first birthday. With childcare options carrying price tags similar to rents and mortgages, we hoped to find a better way that would still allow both of us to work and to save some money. Luckily, my employer at the time offered a discount for Cultural Care Au Pair. I had only ever known of one person who had an au pair for their children, but it seemed like an option that could work well for our family compared to hiring a nanny. Inviting an au pair into our home meant finding a larger space, with a third bedroom.

That plan ultimately fell through as my mother and grandmother graciously swept in to watch the girls while my husband and I worked. (The looks other parents would give us when we described our childcare schedule was priceless.) Purchasing a larger apartment in our building did move forward, however. With the first home purchase, there are so many visions of what the property will be; generally, a place where your family’s most cherished memories are made or a revenue generator. Either way, it’s considered an asset – and likely the most valuable one you’ve had to date.

Then there are times when your purchase does not match up with your elaborate visions. At no time does this become more apparent than when you are trying to manage it from thousands of miles away. Despite the inclination to hold on to assets like property when you go abroad, perhaps as a subconscious way to ensure that you will in fact return, sometimes it’s just better to let it all go. This is especially true if your asset is turning into a liability before your eyes.

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