Monday, January 30, 2012

Then vs. now. There vs. here.

Dez is almost 9 months old.

I moved to Guate when E was 6 1/2 months old. Once Dez hit that mark, Russ and I exhaled a little bit. We've done this before! Experience in parenting removes a lot of the scary stuff.

I will say that being a mom in the states is a whole lot different than being one in Guate. My only responsibility with Eliot at this stage was Eliot. I didn't cook, clean, do laundry, attend meetings, take care of pets, volunteer, etc. I used to even spread out my grocery shopping over multiple days just so I'd have a reason to leave the house. The pressure to respond to emails from friends was pretty lenient since, ya know, I was in a foreign country and all.

Not having much of a to-do list lent itself to spending oodles of time with E. Which is huge in setting up healthy bonding. I find myself struggling to balance set-apart time with Dez and all my stuff day-to-day. Friends are more easily offended when I don't respond quickly, volunteer opportunities abound that all seem pretty important, the house and food distribution need my attention, and it just keeps going.

This time around I find myself going through spurts of locking down/staying in and then over committing myself. In the chaos that Guatemala-living lent itself to, I don't think I realized how healthy the situation actually was for Eliot and I. I honestly think our culture expects too much from moms of young kids. But on the flip side, that shouldn't be my default when trying to skirt responsibilities.

Gah. Balance and whatnot, right?

7 comments:

amy said...

it's a never ending tug-of-war...

heather said...

It's not just you being removed from "normal" the first time and back to being immersed in our world this second time around... it's also that there's another kid this time around! Being home with your first baby is WAY different than being home with your second (or third or fourth or so on...). That was the hardest thing for me to adjust to with the second; I was used to having TIME. Time to just sit and enjoy, soak up, experience the first baby. With the second I found I really missed that time, yet when I'd find myself just soaking up baby time I almost felt guilty because I also had a toddler to tend to plus house stuff, feeding everybody and church stuff. It only magnifies when you throw in other activities and/or a school aged kid in there!
Juggling. Balancing. I feel like I didn't know what that really meant until having more than one kid.

Chrissy said...

It is quite a challenge isn't it? I have a feeling, though, that you are doing a great job and that both of your boys know how loved they are. You are a great Mama.

.Kate. said...

I apologize for not having had a chance to give you my Congratulations yet!!! :-)

Balance is sooooo hard to maintain! I used to think it would be really hard from one particular side, but honestly, it's difficult on all sides! However, I am sure you are doing an excellent job :-).

noisycolorfullively said...

balance shmalance. Take time off. Ditch the laundry. Love your babies. And if you were in my 'hood, I'd bring you a meal to take the night off.

It is a strange balancing act we're expected to maintain and demand of ourselves. It seems especially so when we didn't actually birth the kids ourselves.

Trina said...

Totally right there with you! Life from 1 to 2 for me was definitely a blindside, one that I wouldn't trade by whew, a heads up blinker or honk would have been nice. :)

Trina said...

Totally right there with you! Life from 1 to 2 for me was definitely a blindside, one that I wouldn't trade by whew, a heads up blinker or honk would have been nice. :)