Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mobile Mama

It's not easy to maintain a routine in a mobile lifestyle. If it's just you and another reasonably flexible adult, you can  make a  routine fit no matter where you are and what you're doing,  but babies and dogs require more stability.

Of our two dogs, Julie, the Vizsla, is having the hardest time re-patriating. Poor Julie, in Manila she was walked three times a day by her friend Tony, who's official title was Driver, but he spent more time with the dogs than he did driving. Since we've been back, Julie has had a hard time adjusting to her American lifestyle. When we brought Kyle home from the US, Julie and Grace barely noticed. They had their aso yaya and Tony, and we were an afterthought. Here, attention is spread very thin. The baby of course absorbs 90% of household energy, leaving a very small amount to be portioned across self-care, relationship care, and dog care, not to mention laundry. 

Julie's not the only one adjusting to our household reducing by 3/5. Kyle has never been an easy sleeper, but since I had a mama's helper in Manila, I never felt the pressure of being on the job 24 hours a day. This is the hardest job I've ever had. Of course I love taking care of my baby-but a lunch break (or a bathroom break) would be nice once in a while.

As we adjust to living in the US, and I adjust to the American model of motherhood--all me, all the time, except on weekends or if a grandparent is visiting--I am trying to maintain a routine despite moving, traveling, home leave, and a million other routine saboteurs. Kyle is a flexible baby, but he is not a low maitenance baby. I am a devoted mama, but I need a little time to be something other than a mama. In the US, those opportunities are few, especially when baby has quit taking naps in his crib because he became accustomed to being held while we were on the move.

Now if you'll excuse me, I see that Kyle is learning how to work doorknobs.

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