Lately I’ve read so many articles regarding the so-called “mommy-wars”. They are all over the news, on magazine articles on blogs and even on TV. Every time I read a new article I’m surprised to find that alongside fulfilling the always challenging role of being a mom the expectations and pressures we put on ourselves to be perfect in everything we do are not only unattainable but exhausting.
When I think of these things, I’m just so glad to be in someway sheltered from it. I live in a completely different world. I live in South East Asia, and I’m not a local, so the expectations put upon me are quite bearable and, in fact, easy to fulfill.
From the day I became a mother and gave birth to my first son in Thailand (where the nurses pampered me with massages and asked me if I would prefer the Thai, Japanese or Western menu!) to the day I came to Jakarta with a big pregnant belly and was rushed thru the express lane in the airport, being a foreign mom in South East Asia has been a fun and eye-opening experience from day one. (more…)
I have been blessed with two sons. My oldest is almost three years old and my baby just turned one. My pregnancies went as expected, bloating, swelling, nausea and horrible morning sickness, you know, the usual. However, the first breaths of life of each of my boys have been completely different.
Evan, my oldest came out of the womb kicking and screaming. Two nurses had to hold him down in order to be able to aspirate his nose. He was loud and restless from the first second, and he still is.
Joshua, my baby, came out with the calmest demeanor and the wisest look I’ve seen on a baby’s face. From his first minutes of life he seemed to be taking everything in and seemed at peace with his new environment.
When Josh was born, I thought to myself, “I’ve made it.” I already have a toddler and I know exactly what to do. I thought that all the things that worked with Evan would immediately work with Josh and that the things Evan enjoyed, Josh would, too.
Boy, was I wrong. (more…)
I wish I knew the kind of mom I want to be. Sometimes I want to be Mamá Estupenda; other times I would rather be the Fab Mommy.
I never thought I would struggle finding or rather redefining who I was until I had kids.
Sure, being a teenager and later on a college student you try different fashion styles, change majors, travel and backpack and find what you are really into. Once you join the workforce, you’re lucky if you are able to work on what you love and find what makes your heart ignite with passion, or your mind wander. You strive to succeed. This is what it was like for me: I knew what I wanted to do with my life, how I wanted it to look on paper and what I wanted to say about myself when I introduced myself.
But then, I had Evan, my firstborn. And my perspective radically changed. My priorities shifted in a way I never thought possible, and what used to matter to me (or I thought mattered to me) didn’t even fit into my “spit-up-and-diaper” filled schedule. My resume, my fab “pick-a-new-friend line ” that I had mastered at the many wine and martini filled soirees I’d attended pre-kids: These were no longer on the menu. (more…)
Ana Gaby’s son, Evan, climbing yet another tall structure.
“Boys will be boys” people say when they see my two-year-old run around wild and try to jump off the steps or throw sand on his head or when he decides the restaurant table is the perfect race track. Yes, “boys will be boys” I’ve realized, the problem is I don’t really know what boys are like. I learn a new lesson on boyhood everyday as I breeze or trudge through the journey of motherhood.
I grew up surrounded by estrogen. I was an only child until the age of seven and before that I attended an all-girls school and visited with my female cousins often. When my sister was born, my mom, my sister and I created a very special bond that keeps getting tighter despite the distance and space between us. My sister and I grew up in a fluffy, pink bubble where the worst tragedy that could happen in our eyes was related to ice-cream staining our dresses, or our best friend not being allowed to come over for a sleepover.
I was not used to the dirt, rowdiness, sounds and smells that little boys bring into the picture. Nobody told me about the bleeding noses they would give me (product of accidental head butts), or the sore toes (victims of Tonka road accidents), and the fact that I might find dirt and sand in the most bizarre places in my boy’s anatomy. I was not aware of the physicality that entails chasing mothering a very energetic little boy and the taxing toll it would take on my back let alone my manicure. (more…)
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in the Big Durian, formally known as Jakarta Indonesia. I am not from here although I’ve been living in South East Asia for the past three years. I was born and raised in Mexico. After doing some of my studies in Europe, I moved to the US where I met my now husband and embarked on the ride of a lifetime as we country-hop every two to three years for his job. I have trouble defining where home is but my soul and my beloved family is in Mexico and my heart in the USA.
What language(s) do you speak?
I grew up speaking Spanish and going to school in English. Sometimes I go back and forth with the two as I speak to my boys although I’m striving to speak strictly in Spanish to them. I studied part of my college education in France so I am fluent in French even when it comes down to technical wording and lingo regarding the French labor law. I studied Mandarin for a few years and became somewhat fluent but I forgot most of it when I learned a bit of Thai due to their similar structure. I speak some German and Italian and I’m working hard on learning Bahasa Indonesia. (more…)