As an American living abroad, I get asked all the time when I am going to move back to the States. And people are always shocked by my answer: Never. There will be no America for my kids.

There seems to be this global misconception that living in America is the greatest thing that can happen to someone. But you know what, it isn’t. Or at least it isn’t anymore.

As an almost outsider looking in, I can only stare and wonder what the hell is going on over there. How can women be up in arms over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to eliminate telecommuting (which has NO direct or likely even indirect impact on their lives), be so angry that they write books and blog posts and go on tv and the radio, but sit back in silence as the US government shuts down and attempts to derail the US and world economy in the process?

How can US parents not see that all of this fighting, this tearing the country into two parts, is going to have a drastic impact on the very children they seek to protect in every other area?

How can we adults continue to promote and reward volatile rhetoric among our nation’s leaders and then ask ourselves why there is so much public bullying and shaming in our schools? HELLO – are we stupid? How can we not see that this is connected?

How can we expect our country to lead the world when its population is making decisions based on a platform that is closer to fan fiction than the truth? From birthers to anti-climate change to the anti-evolutionists – why are we letting these complete  morons shape the policies that will not only govern, but also influence and educate our children?

So I’ve left and I am not planning to come back. I don’t want my personal next generation to be a bunch of bigoted idiots running around yelling at everyone and refusing to take the blame or responsibility for the messes they made. I’m not saying that things are perfect where I am, but when people disagree they still find some way to keep the government doors open and keep the discourse productive.

So fellow Americans, you are on notice. Until I see you out in the streets demanding that the government get its collective shit together, I don’t want to hear one more discussion about breast vs. bottle, SAHM vs. WAHM vs. working mom, is North West a dumb name, should Miley wear more clothes or will Lindsay Lohan ever work again. That shit does not matter. And until you clue into that, you and your kids are not going to matter to the rest of the world.


Lynn Morrison is a smart-ass American raising two prim princesses with her obnoxiously skinny Italian husband in Oxford, England. If you've ever hidden pizza boxes at the bottom of the trash or worn maternity pants when not pregnant, chances are you'll like the Nomad Mom Diary. Catch up with her daily on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. You’re right that it is bizarre how much attention things like Miley Cyrus’ tongue gets vs a government shutdown. I wonder if it’s because people feel like they know how to solve the trivial problems, but the big stuff is too daunting. You’ve raised an interesting point.

  2. It must be nice to be able to make that choice… Living abroad, but the salary my family receives doesn’t actually pay for our cost of living. So when we’re finished with this particular assignment…back to America we go. We don’t get the benefits of being citizens while living abroad…so living has become quite the financial shithole. We started out here with zero debt…and in 2 years have managed nearly $19k of debt. I can’t wait to see what year 3 brings us. Part of the problem is that being American makes people think we have a lot of money. So paying rent, we are charged 3-4 times the rent a local would pay. Our American vehicle needs repairs? Three times the cost b/c of parts needing to be shipped. We need products & safety items (like a car seat) for our children – those items are notoriously expensive here b/c the government provides money for families to purchase them, so the family doesn’t really pay those costs. But we aren’t citizens…so we have to pay the outrageous prices without the family benefits.

    They also seem to have something against 100% cotton here…and we have to pay €30 for a single Tshirt that would cost $6 in the US. (So…we end up not paying for the clothes here, and instead, split the difference and just pay the extra for shopping it here from online retailers.)

    Enjoy your time abroad and your never-going-back-to-America. B/c you have the luxury of making that choice…not everyone does.

  3. I grew up in the UK, was taught that America’s politics was corrupt, their health care system the worst in the westernized world, the education system so far below standard as to be a joke. But I fell in love, and I forgot all of these things when I married my sweet husband, and we started raising out children here. I don’t enjoy relocating, but I pray we can soon. The longer I live here, the worse the US’s problems seem and the more un fixable. It blows my mind how much they waste in the military when their health and education system are in such a mess. And how people don’t complain or put up a fight when medical bills for sub standard care cripple them. I was politically active in the UK, but over here my head is reeling from the enormity of the problem, I just don’t know where to start. And I’m scared to open my mouth and say what I really think because I hear such stupid uneducated opinions coming from the people around me.

  4. Very interesting. I myself am a Canadian and see basically the same as the US in terms of media and governmental power struggle. I might have missed this in the article & comment but my question to you and to SilverXeno is: what country are you in?

    • I live in the UK. I also found SilverXeno’s comment to be really interesting. I am in a completely different situation. Neither my husband nor I are here on expat packages or as part of a short term expat role. We have regular, everyday jobs and live a very regular, everyday life. Perhaps this has allowed us to be insulated from the hardships of a temporary expat life. Or perhaps that is simply the difference in the countries where we now live.

      I do want to emphasize that I didn’t write this post coming from any sort of ivory tower abroad. I literally have the exact same job as I had in the States in the exact same industry (different companies though). Ditto for my spouse. This has really enabled us to see just how bad things are in the US.

  5. I have to take a respectful disagreeing position with this article. It cites a lot of social issues that I completely abhor within the States, but these are not reasons for me to displace my family (or choose overseas assignments, as I have that possibility). These items are great points to start with EDUCATION and addressing what is just ridiculous about it all with my children.

    The political items you mentioned need to be addressed head-on, by educated people who actually give a care about what happens beyond the entertainment fluff. The social crap needs to be overlooked and not fostered (we don’t watch much TV, and no commercials, and really avoid the tabloid aisle at the grocery store).

    The other thing is that these things that get publicity in the States because people will pay for it (magazines featuring all of this bologna). But your article is also getting promoted on FB right now — for the catchiness and edginess. It’s a double-edged sword.

    I still greatly value the opportunities I have been given, and even moreso those that I have outright earned, because I am an American, and living here. And I do not want to ever miss passing that on to the next generation, along with a sound education in what some of these fools are doing that my peers and children will need to fix. ASAP.

  6. I made my decision not to raise my kids in the US after my younger cousin told me she felt sick if she didn’t buy anything. The rampant consumerism, the importance of appearance over substance, the “I got mine, F-u” attitude, always trying “to keep up with the Jones” which leads to perpetual unhappiness. The rot extends beyond the political class and viewers of Fox News.

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