I live in the Big Durian, formally known as Jakarta Indonesia. I am not from here although I’ve been living in South East Asia for the past three years. I was born and raised in Mexico. After doing some of my studies in Europe, I moved to the US where I met my now husband and embarked on the ride of a lifetime as we country-hop every two to three years for his job. I have trouble defining where home is but my soul and my beloved family is in Mexico and my heart in the USA.
What language(s) do you speak?
I grew up speaking Spanish and going to school in English. Sometimes I go back and forth with the two as I speak to my boys although I’m striving to speak strictly in Spanish to them. I studied part of my college education in France so I am fluent in French even when it comes down to technical wording and lingo regarding the French labor law. I studied Mandarin for a few years and became somewhat fluent but I forgot most of it when I learned a bit of Thai due to their similar structure. I speak some German and Italian and I’m working hard on learning Bahasa Indonesia.
When did you first become a mother?
I gave birth to my eldest, Evan Alexander, on February 6, 2010 at 9:22 pm in Bangkok, Thailand. He came kicking and screaming and pushing the doctor’s and nurses’ arms away from his face as they tried to measure him. I became a mother about 6 minutes later when I held him in my arms for the first time and he stared right at me and we both fell in love. On December 6, 2011, God gave us the privilege to become parents again and Joshua David was born with the sweetest smile and wisest look I’ve ever seen in a baby’s face.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home?
I am a stay-at-home mom, but I never stay put. I do volunteer work at two associations that support different orphanages and charities throughout Indonesia. Due to our dynamic lifestyle, we decided it was best for me to stay at home until they start their formal education. We believe it vital for the boys to have consistency at home to help them thrive on their way to become global citizens. It is very important for us that they grow up following the same beliefs, values, and customs we pursue despite being “away from home” and we want them to become at least bilingual so we are starting them young. We keep busy organizing playgroups, going on small cultural outings and going to different early development classes.
Why do you blog/write?
I am very new to the blogging scene. I started blogging in January 2012 mainly to keep our family and friends informed about our lives in Indonesia. I write about the little things in life that we are thankful for and I try to document our life abroad for the boys to go back to when they are old enough and want to read about their adventures and misadventures. I’m also collecting precious material that cold potentially embarrass them when they are teenagers or when I give a toast at their wedding.
Since then it has also become a great creative outlet for me and it has opened many opportunities for me to meet some incredible people (in person and virtually) and to even do some freelance writing for some websites and publications.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I would say that I’m uniquely me. Every mother is different; we have different backgrounds and experiences but we all love our children and strive to be the best mothers for them. I’m different because I’ve learned that I need to apply different mothering skills according to the situation and circumstances. With a lifestyle like ours I can’t expect the boys to respond to their environment the same way here or in the US, or Europe so I just ask God for wisdom and try to do my best.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a mother is that flexibility and patience is key to a happy mommy and a happy baby. I used to be very stern and obsessive about the way I wanted to raise the boys but I’ve learned that they are each individuals with different needs and wants and that I need to learn to read each one of them and act accordingly.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
The biggest challenge for any parent, whether now, or 200 years ago or 20 years from now, is that we are the biggest example for our children. Our sons and daughters will grow up to be very similar to us, even if with our words we are asking them to do differently. Children take so much in by just observing our acts that it is a huge responsibility we have to live with.
The biggest challenge for me is teaching them to be individuals that value their own culture and the cultures surrounding them. I want them to appreciate where they come from and to live by the values and beliefs we follow despite our surroundings. We want to raise our boys to be the best at anything they do without feeling pressured by any outside force.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
You know how you start clicking and browsing, clicking and browsing, I clicked and got to WMB somehow and stopped clicking. I found a community where I could relate to amazing women in so many levels, from the challenges of parenting to the satisfactions our children bring. I was so blessed to find a “home” online to go to when the day had been hard and where moms like me faced similar situations and dealt with them with wisdom and elegance. I am so honored to be part of this amazing community and look forward to sharing and learning every step of the way.
Photo credit to the author.
This is an original first post to World Moms Blog by Ana Gaby from Indonesia. She can be found writing at Stumble Abroad.