Spring Break Shananigans

In Mexico, Spring Break is a nationally mandated vacation for schools–and every year all students in the entire country are out of school the same two weeks.  This is our first week of Semana Santa, or Holy Week.  For Ale and me, this is the fifth day that we have played Play-Doh, cleaned the kitchen, and picked up toys all before 9 a.m.  In between all of those activities, she goes on speed dates with whatever books are lying around.

Ale Reading2  Ale Reading

I am so enjoying my time with this little stinker.  She is really coming to life in the language department–although so much of what she says is so unclear.  (It is hard work learning two languages at the same time!)  I think I am hearing more right now because all she is hearing is English.  I can’t wait until this summer when everyone around her will speak English.  It will be interesting to see how she grows during that time!  Right now she is speaking Spanglish with the best of them!  “Mira a mi hand!” she will say.

While I am enjoying her liveliness during our time together, I find myself really short on patience by the end of the day.  It is really making me stop and salute all of the single moms and stay-at-home moms out there!  Whew!  I think I would need to take up exercising or drinking if my whole life consisted of cleaning and repeating myself fifty times a day.  On the other hand, I feel like I am missing so much of her growth when I only see her from 3:00 to bedtime.  I guess you just bloom where you are planted!  Every situation comes with a long list of advantages and disadvantages…

We bought one of those blow-up swimming pools this weekend.  Luckily, it is big enough for the three of us.  Even luckier, the back patio is walled-in, so our neighbors can’t see us “swimming” in a plastic pool with our daughter.  In our defense, it is quite relaxing to just lie there soaking in the sun.  It’s like an outside bathtub!  (Bathtubs aren’t a popular thing in Mexico, so it has literally been 8 months since I have had a bath instead of a shower.)  I told Victor that next time we have to empty the water, I am going to fill it up with hot water and go out to read a book by myself.

In the meantime, I’ve made a point to read my bible each morning as I am drinking my coffee.  Today is Day One of Proverbs–starting over is always really nice.  I read something new every month!  I remember that when I came to Mexico (three years ago!!!!) this is what I was doing.  I had started reading a proverb each day several months before I arrived, and there was so much comfort and encouragement in those chapters!  Being with Ale renews me with the knowledge that she sees everything I do–and wants to do the same.  I want her to see me doing the things that are beneficial, singing the songs that have sweet messages, and praying before bed and meals.  A mama’s work is never done…

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Sleep is for the Week(end)

When I was younger, I could sleep forever.  No, seriously.  Actually, Victor and I were just talking about how my sleep is very important, so I don’t know if that has changed.  Since the baby has come along, there have definitely been nights where I’ve had to say, “Victor, I am sorry, but you have to take care of her tonight–I’ve got to get to sleep!”  Or even in those early days, I would get up and pump, then he would get up and feed Ale later when she cried.  (A friend just told me the other day that I had a diamond…so true!)

When Ale was young, she slept a lot! I didn’t complain like other new mommies about sleep deprivation all the time (Seriously, people, that can mostly be avoided if your baby sleeps near or with you…)  Now she’s learned that she can fight the sleep–unless we time it just right.  (Most of the time, she just cuddles up next to me and breastfeeds–which makes Bedtime Mommy a lot friendlier.)  In the evening, she will hang out with us, playing and reading, then when she’s tired–she doesn’t fuss–she just attacks me.

When I came to Mexico, I thought I had learned to put work in its proper place.  It didn’t follow me home.  It didn’t sneak into my dreams.  And my weekends were work-free.  Then I got offered a promotion for next year.  I will be the literacy coach for the teachers at our school–and I am oh-so-very-excited.  I am also determined to prove myself.  Here is where the trouble lies.

The monstruo that is inside the heart of every working mom has reared his ugly head.  I have started feeling guilty and resentful for the time I spend at work.  I know it is good time for Ale and Papi, but doesn’t a girl need her mama?  My work can’t help but follow me home.  And when I get home, I really don’t mind cooking.  It actually makes me feel like a better wife and mama–because I know my family is eating healthier than if we go out to eat.  Ale crawls around my feet, and I avoid stepping on her by letting her play in the cabinets.  Then we leave the dirty dishes (most of the time), and we play.  But we play with the conscious effort on my part to put the overflowing in-box of work that is always in my head to the side for later.

This brings us to the present–where I sit typing this blog while drinking coffee at 5:30 in the morning.  This is when I do my work.  It is when Ale and Victor sleep.  This time is productive (usually)–and waking up at 4:00 isn’t nearly as outrageous as it once would have been.  Waking up at four is just what I do to keep Work Mommy and At-Home Mommy from becoming Guilty Mommy.

Sleep?  As my mamaw used to say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

A Day in the Life of This Mom

Dearest readers (Mom and Dad),

I’ve been struggling to find the time to write. The problem is (even though this isn’t a problem) that I am dedicating time after work to my family. I’ve been spending the early hours of the day doing what I used to do after school.

This is what a day looks like:
4:00-4:30. Wake up, make coffee and breakfast and eat, read my bible while eating
4:30-6:30 Work on School Business
6:30-6:45 Scramble around to get ready for work
7:30-2:30 Work
2:30-5:00 Tutor
5:30-8:30 Prepare supper, eat, hang out with Ale
9:00 Pass out

Yep. You read that right. I spend three hours a day with my daughter.
Sincerely,
Mom of the year