Wednesday, March 31, 2010

English Mommy

Recently Issac and I have decided I'm going to take another year off and stay with the girls. At that point we will reevaluate our financial situation again and my need to work feelings again. Anyway Iv been feeling more and more that the 10yrs I put in with the nursing field was great and fulfilled many dreams I had but that maybe that time in my life has passed, at least for now anyway. (I will never let my lic expire but I'm not sure about what will happen with my future in it as a career) I have decided to stay home with my girls for many reasons. The most dear to me is that I want myself and my girls hold on to the US side of ourselves. There really is no way to explain the fear I have sometimes when I feel like we are speaking Spanish to often in the home, or eating meatloaf and spaghetti enough. Or when someone tells one of my daughters how "those Americans" are. And I'm not talking about rude, mean or ill meaning people I'm talking about family. And I don't want you all to get to offended by that because if you truly examine yourselves you'll find you have a lot of ideas about "those Mexicans". I only add that disclaimer because the longer I'm here the more I find that some are truer than I thought and others are dead wrong. But it seems that the longer Im around his family they are not changing their view of Americans. They seriously think everyone lives perfect like in TV. Its so frustrating sometimes. Anyway once the girls (Alana in September) get into school they will be having Spanish forced on them outside the house. At the schools here they are almost forbidden to speak English outside of English class. I can see why as the teachers don't know what they are saying and it could be bad. I pray that they hold a dear place in themselves for English and that we will always speak English in the house as a family. Again as hard as I try I'm not sure I can explain how I feel about this. Alana brought both of these things together for me very well the other day. She has a very bad rope burn on her arm from the brinkoline at the party. The other day I forced her to let me clean it up and bandage it. A lot of times when something like this happens I tell her I'm being her nurse and that I know what needs to be done. Today after the ordeal, and yes it was an ordeal she is so dramatic, she helped me to realize we have made the right decisions in me staying home with them. She said mommy you are not a nurse you are my mommy and I love you. I told her I loved her to and could I be a nurse and a mommy. She said no mommy your not a nurse your my English mommy. She said this with such serious love and conviction that I melted and told her she was right. And I meant it and I know it is the truth. I think her calling me her English mommy stems from the fact that Issacs mom has stayed the night the last couple nights and lots of family were here. When family or anyone who doesn't speak English is in the house we speak in Spanish as much as my vocabulary will allow. I think she was ready for me to speak to her in English again because we are better able to communicate our feelings and such. Anyway this just blessed me so much and I wanted to share. I hope I was able to get this across with out being confusing. I love that I am her English mommy.


  1. First of all, that is just too cute! Alana is such a sweet little girl.

    Now about not working. Sure, there isn't as much money as one would like, but being able to spend these important years with your children is priceless. Nothing comes close. If you and Isaac can afford you staying home, then by all means go for it. You, Isaac and the girls will always cherish these years.

    Hubby and I have always talked about me teaching once the kids are older and in school. But as they get older, we've noticed that they need even more attention, so I'm still staying home! And I have absolutely no problem with that! :)

    I've got more to say, but I'll save it for an email!

  2. How sweet! (your daughter). And your honesty about your feelings makes your struggles transparent. I haven't lived your situation but it's clear you are doing the best you can to figure things out. I've found that a calm approach to change in life makes the unknown less intimidating.

  3. Too cute :)

    I'm sure you made the right decision, and enjoy this time you get to spend with your kids!!! They will always remember that!!!

  4. What a great post Amanda! Thank you for sharing that story! It is great that you and your daughter have that special bond in English. My daughter is almost two and not really speaking much yet, but sometimes I feel like I have the opposite problem - I am her "Spanish" mommy but since Spanish isn't my native language I find myself frequently changing to English to really express myself naturally with her - but then I feel like I'm failing her on the Spanish side of things - we recently came back from Mexico and her papa is still there, so it's my responsibility to speak Spanish with her since she hears English everywhere else.
    Anyways I think it's great that you will continue to stay at home with your daughters - it is not an easy job by any means but great that you can do it. And I know it is so hard to adjust to being in Mexico, but now that I'm in the US I feel jealous when I read your blog :)
    Thanks again for sharing.

  5. Amanda, I am a 1st generation American, so in a way you are in my parent's position. Do you assimilate or do you try to keep your culture alive at home? Because diversity was not a concept when I was young and because my parents wanted us to blend, they stopped speaking Spanish to us when I was five. I think it was a mistake, because my parents spoke English. You don't want to have a seven year old doing all your translating like it happens in some migrant families, but that isn't the case for you.
    Oh, your daughter may go through a phase when she won't want to speak English, but it's just a phase. You kids will be so much better off for being bi-lingual and bi-cultural.

  6. I am so glad you are going to be home with the girls. I am super equal rights, but raising your kids is something best done by their parents. People who don't do it never realize what they are missing. It is the best, hard job in the world. To be honest when I read your early posts, I was sad that you were trying so hard to get back to work. I went back to work with two and stayed home (or worked jobs with them there) with two. I was a little slower than you. I didn't realize until the third one that being a mom was a job and one I really wanted to do.

    As for American culture vs. Mexican Culture, let's face it, some things are better there than here. And vice versa. I hate the way no one here puts their child in a carseat or even makes them sit down in the car, and what is the deal with driving with them in your lap. I hate seeing whole families speeding down the shoulder, four or more, no helmets, on a motorcycle. I hate seeing the men drinking then putting their (sober) wife and kids in the car and driving home drunk because they are the "man." I hate that even at children's parties there is always drinking. I want some grass at my house and less concrete, and less trash, and fewer loose dogs. I want a washer and dryer and a sink in the kitchen. I want to put the paper in the toilet and I want there to be a seat on it too.

    I love that everywhere I go most people greet each other. I love that everyone is so hospitable. I love that I can walk to the store in 1 minute. I love that if you show up in the middle of a party, they act like they were dying to have you there, even if you weren't invited and only one person there knows you. I love that my neighbors mostly mind their own business, unless you need them, then they all come over to help you. I love that if I don't know how to do something I have 10 neighbors willing to help me learn and usually feed me while they are helping.

    And keep talking to them in English. My grandkids are half Mexican and speak no Spanish, because their dad speaks English at home because it is easier. Don't let it get "easier" for you. Bilingual is a great skill.

  7. So I first put this post on my family site because it means so much to me and I wanted to be sure that I was getting my feelings across appropriately. Like my family you all have shown me that I did.
    Leslie-I think you will be right but my overactive workaholic self is saying we should reevaluate in a year and I hope that every year we can make the same decision and that the prospect of looking into it again will keep me happy. ;)
    Leah you are so right and nothing Iv been through in life has taught me this better than living in Mexico.
    Mexican time-Im am enjoying it most days. ;) But I know for sure they are.
    Laura-I wouldn't give anything in the world to be back in your situation it is a very difficult one and I have said a prayer for you. Although sometimes it is tough i have been happier and healthier since I have rejoined my family under one roof. God bless you during this time in your life, he will see you through.
    Theresa- Im thankfull right now all she wants to do is speak English but I know some day it may change but we have decided to be strict in the house about English even then.
    Karen- I have to secound all your likes and dislikes. I still put both my girls in car seats and the few times I dont Alana has to wear a seat belt. People think Im nuts but I dont care. I do a lot of things different than most parents but thats ok with me, I just tell them how it is and sometimes why I do it and I go on with my business.
    Thanks again everyone for your comments it really does help me to know my writing is doing a good job expressing my feelings.

  8. Aww.. she is so cute!
    If you are able to stay at home- go for it. I would love to be able to stay at home. I feel like I do not have a life with my kids because I always feel like I am working.
    My daughter spoke Spanish 1st and then when she started day care she learned English and did not want to speak Spanish.
    Now she speaks Spanish to people who speak Spanish and she speaks English to me and English Speakers.
    Unless she wants to tell me something.. then she will say "ma habla me en español" It is so cute how she has her own little secrets.

  9. that's beautiful. i am all for change and influence from the outside, but even if we are in another country, we shouldn't have to let go of who we are and what we believe in. When the kiddos go to school, it will get harder.... but stay strong and enjoy english with your kids.... that's your little special connection with your kids... no one else will know what you are plotting!