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?