Introducing Me: A mom figuring it out as she goes along…

I realized I haven’t really introduced myself to, well, you the internet. My name is Michelle. Ethnically I’m Cuban/Spanish/Lebanese/American. I’m a 24 year old mom to a one year old girl, wife to an up and coming artist, and needless to say our story is a little unconventional.

I grew up in Miami, FL.  Went to college in Gainesville, FL (Go Gators!). Had a few jobs out of college, nothing really worth talking about because let’s be honest who is really excited to be someones office assistant? My husband and I dated for four years (three of which were long distance) before we got married and we’ve been married for three totaling seven (almost eight) years of topsy turvy.

Since this blog is called “Momma in Uruguay” I guess I should talk more about the whole “mom” aspect of my life. When my kid was born I wanted the whole shebang: breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and organic food. I desperately wanted to be a “crunchy” mom. Like all things parenting, didn’t really turn out that way. My milk supply didn’t come in abundantly so I was forced to supplement. At first I thought my world would come crashing down but hey wouldn’t you know my kid is fine and healthy and damn near perfect. The cloth diapering was great for awhile but living in a foreign country with a little bit of a language barrier can screw it up in the winter when you’re without a dryer. So in the winter we stuck with disposables but now that we’re back to dry and hot we’re back to big butts (what I like to call her cloth diapers). Organic food is hard to come by here because there is no actual regulation or government definition for organic. Once it was time for solids we did the best we could and hey wouldn’t you know my kid is completely healthy and pretty damn near perfect!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with wanting those things for your kids. I WISH I could have exclusively breastfed and cloth diapered and given my kid organic food but life happened and I did the best I could. However I will say I hate co-sleeping and that’s that we co-sleep. Not by choice but out of obligation due to our living situation. What I would give to be able to make noise after 7:00pm again…Now let me reiterate, if you’re into co-sleeping then great but seriously HOW DO YOU DO IT? And I’m not even talking about bed sharing.

Getting back to the whole “life happened” thing, I quickly but begrudgingly realized that life happens when it comes to kids and I can’t always plan it out. No matter how much I’d like to, I just can’t. Does it make me a crappy mom when I’m too frazzled to really worry about whether or not that apple is organic? I don’t think so. I think I’m a great mom for remembering to feed my kid when I have piles of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else I have on my plate to do.

I don’t always get it right but I try my hardest to. We all do. Being a mother is hard work. People will always sit there and judge you, telling you you’re doing it wrong or whatever. Listen, if you managed to get out of bed in the morning with shoes on your feet and clothes on your back after dealing with five to seven feeding wake-up calls then you deserve a gold medal. We’ll always be our own worst critics. I remember when we went on vacation to Miami to visit my husbands family, I beat myself up daily for not making Paloma a home cooked meal every day. Poor kid lived off of bananas, milk, water, and chicken breast. But hey it was the best I could do at the time.

The point of this entry is just to say, “Hey I’m a mom and I’m trying my hardest. All I can is that I love my kid with every fiber of my being and every day is an adventure. Some days I make it, some days I need A TON of help, and some days I just fail at either being a wife, a mom, a homemaker, and a daughter all at once. And I know it’s okay.”


Keeping up with _____: Long distance friendships

Keeping up with friends is hard when you live in the same city. Imagine how hard it is when you live 4,000+ miles and a different time zone away from each other.

I don’t know about you, but I come from a culture that puts a lot of value on friendships so I spent a lot of time the first few months here in Uruguay talking to my friends as much as I possibly could. Sure, I hadn’t delivered Paloma yet meaning I had tons of free time on my hands. A lot of my friendships were already long distance. My best friend Lauren lives in Gainesville, FL (about 5 hours away from Miami), my sorority twin lived in Philadelphia at the time going to law school, and even though my great friend Rachel lived in Miami she was still about an hours drive away from where I lived.

There’s nothing like moving to a different country to see who you’re true friends are. I’m blessed enough to know that I chose my friends right because almost a year and a half after moving, those girls are still the ones I talk to most. But it’s hard. Normally I’d be there for the BIG events like promotion-at-work dinners, figuring-out-what-to-do-with-life drinks, i-hate-my-boyfriend couch nights, or just hey-i-miss-you brunches. However, I’m not there now and they’re not here. The big moments are when you feel the void the most.

I remember giving birth to Paloma at the hospital–a story for another day–and seeing the other mothers getting showered with gifts and flowers to welcome their bundle of joy. While we were blessed enough to have my family in the country with us, we didn’t have anyone else to celebrate with. But I remember coming home to messages from my friends begging me to Skype so they could see Paloma. It was so nice to see friendly faces excited about my baby. Those tiny moments meant more to me than the short “Congratulations!” I got from Facebook friends who were at one time “real” friends.

There will be other big moments that we’ll miss in each others lives, but knowing that someone somewhere has your back when they could have easily faded out of your life is a nice thought to hold on to.