Still ForeignMom

It is only fitting that I write this post on Mother’s Day week as I reflect on why I started this blog eight years ago this month (yeah! Eight years, friends).

It all began as a place to pour out all the ideas, questions, thoughts and words floating around my mind. All of them related to motherhood and to my experiences as a woman not only learning how to be a mom, but how to do so in a country other than her own.

As a new mom who had decided to stay at home with her baby, I found myself living on an island where my only adult interactions consisted of the conversations with clerks at stores, my monologues with my husband at the end of the work day, and the time spent with the occasional friend who’d pop in for a visit.

The isolation and silence were driving me crazy when a dear friend told me about the baby story times at the public libraries and how to connect with local groups of moms. The pursuit of the interaction with other new moms initiated an endless adventure on how to maneuver through the cultural nuances plus the learning curve that implicated to be a mom for the first time.

Motherhood became my reason to exist. All I read about, all I did through the day, all the new friends I made were to support this wonderful new stage. This blog was born alongside to help me dissect my feelings, to bounce off ideas, and as a place where I could write things that I could not otherwise explain.

As you may have noticed, I don’t edit my writing before I post and though that may seem a bit lazy, trust me, is not because of lack of interest. If you have stayed at home taking care of children, you’d know that is more for the lack of time. So please read knowing that if I did not edit before pressing “Publish” is because, otherwise, I would never find any post good-enough to end up on the blog.

Now, you may wonder if after three kids and having lived in the U.S. for close to two decades, I’m still feeling like a foreigner. The answer is yes, always yes. Every stage of motherhood with each of my children keeps bringing me new lands to explore, new places where I still feel very much like a foreign mom trying to make sense of the situations.  The name of this blog is something that I definitely identify with, and that it is very much applicable to my current situation. Living in a new state has definitely made me feel extremely foreign lately.

Luckily, and as a result of this blog, I have found answers to many questions related to motherhood. It has not been the blog per se but rather, the situations that I have experienced and later reflected on before they end up as a story over here. Many of the posts end up being great conversations with friends and what’s even better, they have brought many people closer to me.

I have had a great time reading back through many post prior to writing this one. Reliving wonderful and painful moments alike. Realizing how lucky I have been making a network of moms just like me, growing our families together.

From all the people in my network, my first mom friend keeps popping up in the sweetest memories. I love knowing that we have been friends from the beginning of this wonderful journey called motherhood.

She has been my shoulder to cry on, the one pouring me a glass of wine and coffee alike in so many of the bad times. The one who trusted me with her daughter to start a summer tradition with my oldest daughter. The one whose family grew almost (I have my limits, S!) at the same rate than mine. My companion from the very beginning. Thank you for being a topic of conversation in so many of my posts! I love you!

After reading back so much, I realized of how lucky I have been to be surrounded by a great mom-support group from the beginning. I have breastfeed and changed diapers alongside them; I have jumped into cold lakes with them to play “lifeguard” as we have let our children show their newly-acquired swimming abilities; I have carved time to go out for adult time with them; We have cried a river of tears and laughed so much together that our sisterhood is undeniable. Now spread out across the country, the unbreakable bond remains.

Reading through this, I have also noticed how the years that have come and gone have left their mark on me and how today, I am definitely a much more comfortable writer than when I started this. It’s pretty funny to read about the things that used to worry me so much (i.e. breastfeed at the circus) and that now seem so silly.

I hope to keep this up for many years to come. Thank you for reading me. Thank you for your input. And a very special thank you to all of the people who are the source of so many stories being told here.

Happy Mother’s Day to my tribe.


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