Naming the struggles: transition to life with a new baby


(“Maternity” (1935) by José de Almada Negreiros via P. Ribeiro Simões, Flickr CC)

“You name our suffering, and that makes us want to come close to You.”

(Rev. Glenn Hoburg, Grace Presbyterian Church)

The second I heard those words, I put down my pen and slammed my journal shut.

Did I hear that right? I thought. How did he know? How was it possible that those words, preached in a church about the New Testament book of Romans, could have anything to do with my parenting a three-year old and a 10-month old baby?

Although uttered in the form of a prayer, referring to God’s relationship with His children, that sentence immediately reminded me of my three-year old daughter, E., life with a new baby (yes, still, 10 months later), and my ability to accept – and confront – all of E.’s feelings.

Let me explain. Continue reading

It all begins and ends with me: the heart of parenting


(Photo courtesy of Barbara W, Flickr Creative Commons)

Last Thursday I had to excuse myself from E.’s bedroom. “Necesito un descanso,” I told her. I need a break.

What I didn’t tell her was why.

But, I could feel the anger swirling in my stomach. My muscles were tight. I needed to step away. I needed to take a few deep breaths. I needed a time out.

“Was that okay?” I asked myself. 

Processing the situation later, I realized, “yes, of course! It’s always okay, when you sense you’re about to lose your temper, to take a break.” 

I also realized that there was more going on.  

Because in parenting there’s always more. So much more. Continue reading

Thoughts from my blogging hiatus

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(“The Sewing Lesson” by Jessie Wilcox Smith, Flickr Creative Commons)

¡Hola, amig@s!

It’s good to be back from blog vacation. Two weeks of rest was just what I needed, and in case you’re wondering why I stepped away from blogging, you can read about it here. These past few weeks have been full of reading, cooking, exploring our city, visits with friends, and hours spent hanging with little Miss E. at the park.

Today’s post, rather than being a summary of what I did during my “time-off,” is inspired by an unfortunate comment I received from someone who questioned why I’m “wasting my talent and skills” (from my time as a teacher) to be a stay-at-home-mom. After the initial shock of the comment wore off, I continued thinking about the underlying question: why quit my job to stay at home?

While I am not going to address the “should a mother stay at home?” argument (this is a blog on bilingual parenting, after all), I do want to share with you why I have made the very personal decision to take a hiatus from teaching to stay at home with our daughter, what it has meant for our family, and what it has meant for E.’s – and my – language development in this early stage of parenting in more than one language.

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Interview (Part 1) with Chévere Apparel + T-Shirt Giveaway

espanolita chevere apparel bilingual parenting bilingualism children clothes

¡Amig@s! Today I’m super excited to introduce you to Katherine (Kathy) de Lima, the creator of Chévere Apparel, a line of children’s clothes in Spanish. She has agreed to chat with us about her company and has graciously agreed to a giveaway for a chance to win one of her t-shirts (of your choice!). So, be sure to click on the link to the Rafflecopter website at the end of today’s interview (part one) for your chance to WIN (Sorry, but only for Domestic readers)! The giveaway will run from today (Wednesday) until this Friday at 12am.

And, be sure to check out Chévere Apparel’s store here!

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Five Recommendations for Choosing Bilingual Baby Books – Year One

bilingual baby books bilingualism espanolita reading literacy books

Photo via Monica Holli

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read;

there are only children who have not found the right book.” (Frank Serafini)

As a former English teacher, I couldn’t agree more with Serafini’s words. And, as a mother, it is my responsibility to help my daughter find the right books, at the right time. Today I’d like to share with you five characteristics that I looked for when selecting”the right book[s]” for my daughter in her first year.

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“Multilingual Parenting is about an Emotional Bond” (Family Fridays)

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Photo via Carissa Rogers

Welcome back, friends, for another edition of Family Fridays here on the blog. If you’re a first-time reader, Family Fridays is a weekly series that highlights the unique journey in multilingual parenting of families from around the globe. Today, Anna, from San Francisco, CA, by way of Russia, shares with us how she and her husband, a native of Spain, navigate through life with their lovely daughter in three languages. You can check out her blog on multicultural cooking here!

Be encouraged, friends. Continue reading