04 August 2014

Settling In

Many days here in Mexico are everything I've ever dreamed they would be. Many days when I wake up, my kids are in a good mood, we spend some time at the beach or the park, we have a good dinner, we all go to bed happy. I can get all of my job search stuff done in a reasonable manner, the kids aren't fighting, and I can hope that I can sit beneath a palm while the sun sets.
Sandy toes = happy life

However, many days here in Mexico feel more like a nightmare. I can't afford gas or any extra food, so we have pancakes, beans and rice, and top ramen. I can't shower or wash my clothes because of the water. There are bugs everywhere. My kids spend most of their day screaming, or in Cecilia's case, back-talking.

The trolley is my preferred mode of transport around San Diego
On the worst days, I have to cross into the US to look for a job. The line is long and nasty, and lately it has been even worse. I've heard of 5-hour wait times to get across. The most I've waited is 3, and that was the night I was so sick. After I cross the line, everything changes for me. I am in the US. I am a different person. Everything is in dollars. I usually have to go into very weathly areas on my job search; it amazes me how many people have yards. My phone becomes my lifeline as I can actually use it away from my house. I realize how much I do not fit in with a lot of the people on the bus or trolley because they are all going to work, and I still don't have a job. I'm not living a laid-back life in Mexico when I cross the line, I am living a fast-paced circus of a life in San Diego.

Crossing eats up your entire day, and it is hard for me because I'm exhausted by the end of it. When I get home, I do feel relieved that I don't have to be going anywhere else. Then there is all of the home matters to deal with: cooking, laundry, cleaning, and dealing with the kids who can't seem to get along anymore. By the time I get home, Hector is horribly swamped and needs a break, so I try to help him. However it is hard for me to remember to do this, because we have to re-learn how to be married.

After being separated for so long, we've forgotten what it is like to live together. I used to come home from work and my kids would just play and I'd make them dinner eventually and I could unwind. Here, I am not working, so there is nothing to unwind from. I have to take into account Hector's parenting style and wishes for our children after three years of doing it all by myself. I have to make partnered decisions rather than solitary decisions. I have to re-learn how to be a wife. I have to get used to making dinners other than macaroni or spaghetti. It's very frustrating and very hard to get to know someone I already know. When Hector was deported, I was very-much dependent on him for decision making and guidance. In the last three years, I've had to learn to do all of those things by myself and it is not fun to have to share that responsibility. I love Hector more than anything else, but that doesn't change the fact that I have to give up some of the control I had and learn to compromise on a lot of our issues. It leads to a lot of arguments and a lot of strife between us. It's like we're newlyweds again, learning to live with each other, but there is no "honeymoon" feeling, because we already know eachother's quirks and hate them.

Many days are a dream, where we function as a 'normal' family unit. But most are not. Most days here are real life, and I am just figuring out how to maneuver this reality codependently with my husband that I missed so much for those three long years.


  1. We still work through a lot of the same issues because we have his, mine, and ours. I was a single mom for so many years and it's hard to not take charge 24/7 and let him share the responsibility of raising our blended family. We still have our petty arguments but in the end, we love each other dearly, just need to work in the communication link.

  2. Ridiculously bad parenting. Bringing kids to a dangerous filthy shit hole. You don't deserve kids