I like these colors. We buy spices fresh from a guy who only sells spices (and ropes for some reason) and they taste amazing. Nothing like what I could get in the states…fresher
saffron, cardamon, tumeric, cumin, cumin seed, bay leaves
When I got pregnant with Sufyan I knew I would stay home with him. I have never regretted this choice but the transition from full time teacher to full time mom was difficult. Friends dropped away to be “replaced” by mom groups. Mom group politics with their mompetitions, mompetitors, mommy cliques, mommy business cards, mommy and me classes, Mommy Holier Than Thou and Mommy More Natural Than Thou made me eventually decided these groups were not worth the effort. The isolation of being a SAHM (mom-solation?) is a fact, though, and women need to be aware of this pitfall when deciding to stay home so they can: A) demand more of their community and B) prepare emotionally and mentally.
Plus the demands on my body from my sleepless infant (thank you Dr. Sears and Mothering Magazine for the insane idea that bed sharing is for EVERY mother and child if only the mother is wholesome/patient/in-tune enough; I’ll be sending you my therapist’s bills) to birth recovery to nursing and not being able to maintain my yoga practice made the transition to SAHM challenging.
But here in Palestine my isolation is different.
All day most days my 2 kids and I see only each other until Baba comes home. We go to the parks and they’re empty. We go to the grocery store and its me and the employees and sometimes some single other people. No moms. No families. No opportunities to make mom-with-kids-friends. I wave at the mom who walks her 2 year old past our house every day and she just eyes me suspiciously. I’ve made 2 play dates with the mom across the street (not the one with the kid who tried to beat us up) and she hasn’t shown up.This weekend I went to a family get together and met a mom with 3 kids all older than mine and the first thing she asked me was, “Are you considering day care?” “No, but I was hoping that there would be other stay at home moms or mom groups or something here…?” I replied. “No,” she smiled, “there’s nothing.”
So day after day, most weeks, its just me and the kids and our voices and the wind and the view of the hills. Right now we have cousins visiting and it has been AMAZING to see my kids play with them. They LOVE each other. But they are leaving in a couple of weeks and then its back to our voices, the wind and the view.
I have had moments of losing my mind. I have had moments of despair and thrown the words “I WANT TO GO HOME” around. I get lonely and look at the clock: my friends back home are sleeping. I get lonely and reflexively turn on the radio to hear NPR in the car but of course every voice is in Arabic or Hebrew and it sounds like a
In conclusion, feeling lonely. No end in sight. Losing my mind.
On the bright side, all this time with my 2 kids has made me a better mom to 2 kids. I have honed my art, so to speak. Of course I maintain what I have always said is true, that motherhood cannot be done in a healthy, happy way in isolation. Its meant to be done in community with other families. But all things considered, we are doing ok. SOMEONE SEND ME A PIECE OF SOURDOUGH TOAST.
Here is Laila getting the gold medal for the cutest 15 month old on earth:
And here is a herd of goats crossing the road in front of us 2 nights ago. You might say I am fascinated with the goats but LOOK AT THEM!
Tonight I am a little nervous for Sufyan. I keep thinking about his cough. What if it gets worse or his fever higher? Where do we go? Someone explained to me once where the hospital is but it involved Arabic street names and, well, I haven’t gone to see it like I should have. I should have gone there but I’m afraid of what I will see…
We once took Laila to a drop in clinic here to get a urinalysis, and the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. The place was poorly kept and poorly lit. The waiting room chairs had holes and seemed exhausted from all the years of people sitting in them waiting and worrying. The actual patient examination room was so scary that we didn’t let any part of Laila’s body touch ANYTHING. Not one thing. Diaper change mid-air. The first thing I noticed was the used sharps bucket sitting on the floor. What if Sufyan had walked in ahead of us and reached in for some reason? Kicked it accidentally? It happens. Then I noticed a needle cover left on the examining table and a messily folded old cloth sheet. No disposable paper sheets here. No hand washing sink.
The best thing about medical care here so far is that it’s pay as you go (no insurance and its relatively affordable) and our doc makes
Faris and “the Doot” ready to go. The dress was a gift from Auntie Zeina.
world’s best, most patient big brother.
sick, but still action ready.
I see these guards every day. Guys like them are stationed literally all over the city to guard important persons or embassies.