Posts

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala, I have not had much time to sit and try to explain how it has been for me as a mom to get through life in a rural village in Guatemala. Just to explain a little about me, I am Guatemalan, maybe not the typical Guatemalan, not from the city not from the country, which rather leaves me in a place where I do not know where I belong, even though I feel so Guatemalan. The town I live in is one of the most isolated towns in all of Lake Atitlan.

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

I guess that was part of why I moved here when I first decided to get a piece of land and start a family. Maybe the order of things was not exactly that, I first got pregnant and after I had to get myself a little piece of land to nest. Well picking a place in the middle of nowhere can be a mistake if you are trying to raise a little one, but it also has its benefits and its beauty. However, I guess we all do our best when we are embarking on this unknown journey.

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

The years have gone by so fast it is incredible. The hormones are settling in, I am recovering some sleep. Although many people say, you never recover lost sleep.

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Living far away from my family has been difficult. Especially in the first months after having a baby and now more than anything because I want her to have that special connection with her grandparents and how I feel she is missing it. But I can’t live in the city, I couldn’t raise her there.

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

It took me a little while to understand that asking for help is not a bad thing at all, that it shows that you are strong as well.  For some reason I was taught that I needed to be independent and that I could do most of the things I wanted on my own, this was in my engineering career. Nevertheless, of course, I did not know anything about babies.

 

The experience that people here seem to have is so much more than the one I saw when I grew up in different places. It is as if they emanate this love towards kids something I never see in people in the north. Here every kid is a bundle of joy and they just seem to be happy, in between the sisters, aunts, uncles, brother’s grandparents, and the neighbors.

 

It is just like they are one big community when it comes to watching over each other’s kids. Now I have a group of people that are my friends, they watch over my daughter, they enjoy watching her play with the other kids and love talking to her in kakchiquel their language.

 

The funniest thing of all is that I see how happy she is here. It just took me around two years to realize that this sense of community does not happen in other places. We do not always talk about the same things with the women here.

 

I tend to complain much more than they do about everything they are more positive in many ways. We understand each other because it doesn’t matter how we were raised we are all just moms, we all work and we all want to support each other in the way we can. I do not feel judged, and I do not judge them.

 

I still miss my family bond though, even if I made myself an adoptive family here, or several adoptive families, I guess it is never just the same. I’m glad I get to be here, I work doing massages sometimes and come home to my little one, not always easy to come home after a long day of working dealing with other people’s issues.

My Life as a mom in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

There are the other days when we get to have fun doing our herbal products that she seems to enjoy doing with me too. Moreover, since she still does not go to school seems to be a fun education at the moment for her. Those are my most joyful days when I can be at home, in the middle of nowhere, in this little bubble I made for ourselves that we call home for now…

I hate the term “Empowering Women.”

I hate the term “Empowering Women.” Empowering Women has become the term used when you offer a woman a job or an opportunity. In many cases more of a marketing term to place on a website or in blog posts or Facebook rant. What were we doing before this term now overused and without meaning grabbed the spotlight?

Women’s Empowerment Principles:

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families, and communities.

How does this work if you are attempting to Empowering Women, where do you start?

In Guatemala, I have a great friend, supporter of Boston Newborn Care and our work. In turn, I admire James Dillon’s work in Guatemala, he never uses the term Empowering Women, and Enabling is his preferred means to express his work with Ethical Fashion Guatemala.

 

Empowering Women

Empowering Women

James works mostly Mayan Women Weaving Artisans, in the remote Highlands of Guatemala. The textiles are all handmade dyed from plant seeds, natural cotton, and handspun into works of textile art. The weavers lacked access to technology; he enabled the women to have access to websites, banking, and shipping.

Resulting in economic improvement, products sold internationally and sustainability for the weavers and other forms of Artisan works. Prior local Tourists were the customers, often bartering for a $20 scarf that took a week to weaver.

 

Empowering Women

Empowering Women

James stresses the fact that Ethical Fashion Guatemala is a business, not a None Profit seeking donations or a project. Artisans need work and sales, not donations.

Two years ago, James life in Guatemala changed, Fashionista wrote an article about how from Guatemala James forced ETSY, the on-line handcraft portal to remove thousands of Copyright works of Artisans from their website. The story went Viral.

Think about James story next time you see a sign or website about Empowering Women. I am today thinking how can I Enable more women??

My Babies Bum and Diaper Rash

Diaper Rash, Newborn parents find the first few weeks challenging, being accustomed to your baby, sleepless nights, breast-feeding and for some Diaper Rash. Seeing your Babies bottom ablaze in fiery color and pain all a mother seeks it to find relief for your Newborns suffering.

There are seven home remedies for diaper rash from diarrhea, yeast infection and other common triggers. Breast milk helps, if you are breastfeeding, if not the remedies include apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cornstarch, and browned flour.

I prefer to stay away from chemical based creams and lotion; one never knows what the hidden ingredients on the label may hold, many natural products may have side effects. The fact Microplastics found in almost everything we put on our body, including toothpaste.

Remember our skin is the largest organ on our body and what we put on it and our Babies bum will be absorbed.

 

I found in of all places Guatemala a natural product for Diaper Rash called “Baby Butter.”

Diaper Rash

 

On the shores of Lake Atitlan Guatemala, I found Geno Veva is a 35-year-old Guatemalan who gave up her career as an engineer five years ago to start a family and to take a break from the high tech world.

Her focus develop pure natural products based on Coconut, Coffee, Cacao, Avocado, Macadamia, and the vast supply of local herbs the Mayan culture have used for hundreds of years for natural medicines.

 

Diaper Rash

Geno working at home

Geno has real world experience with Diaper rash, stretch marks, her five-year-old daughter Love proves her products work as many of her products based on her experience as a mother. Geno continues to develop new products, natural deodorant for woman prone to breath cancer, soaps oil and lotions.

 

Diaper Rash

Geno Creams

I like the idea of supporting Geno through the blogs I write and my interest in natural products. Each products is handmade, extracting natural oils from plants. You can find her on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Atitlanherbals/. She ships her products worldwide, offers workshops and classes.

 

Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today

Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

The Fashion-

1990- Maternity fashion was ugly, but totally OK. It was almost expected to wear huge billowy, flowery dresses and giant blowsy tops paired with black maternity stirrup pants. If the bump showed, it was too tight, moms had to find bigger clothes. Bathing suits were like dresses, also ugly. On the weekends we sported overalls and jumpsuits. Also very très chic.

Today pregnant moms look so fashionable. Lululemon clothes are a staple, stretchy tops and knit dresses outlining the baby bump is everywhere. Bikinis and bare bellies are on every beach and pool deck.

Having a baby in 1990 vs. today.

Having a baby in 1990 vs. today.

Information- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- The 1984 book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting was on every coffee table of any pregnant woman in America with updated versions sold every year. A month to month guide on what the baby looked like, how mom should be feeling; new aches and pains and what was normal.

Today, internet blogs, Facebook groups and classes are how today’s modern mom learn every detail of what’s going on with them. There is a lot more information shared today than 20+ years ago.

Boy or Girl- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- The only way to know the gender of the baby was if moms had an amniocentesis. Typically a bad AFP (Alfa-Fetoprotein Test) indicating either Downs Syndrome or spinal bifida would prompt many to risk the scary test for diagnostic proof, which would also indicate the sex of the baby.

Today non-invasive prenatal baby gender test on maternal blood can detect the Y-chromosome. So at 10 weeks gestation and for $300, parents can have the test done and in a week they know if it’s a boy or girl.

Bring on the layer cakes and balloons!

Boston Newborn Care Course for Parents

Boston Newborn Care Course for Parents

Maternity Leave – Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- Everyone would get a note from the Dr. about 2 weeks before the due date that orders moms to leave work within in a few days. That’s it!! Moms would just abruptly leave. Although, everyone would expect it and all male bosses would be relieved since they would be so uncomfortable around pregnant moms and their bellies. Moms would be put on short-term disability, not losing any of their vacation days, sick days or maternity leave; meanwhile they were home decorating the baby’s room and, albeit, lumbering around, but still having a leisurely vacation close to home.

Nowadays there are restrictions with insurance plans and more so the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, (although was not implemented until 1998) FMLA was intended “to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families.” If eligible, employees could take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for pregnancy (among other things) and to care for a newborn child. So, no more unnecessary bogus doctors notes to leave for no reason.

Moms now work up until the day they deliver. NO more “free” days off. But, now dads get time off which didn’t exist before. Most dads just took vacation time.

Delivery- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

1990- Moms would be permitted to go up to 3 weeks beyond the due date. I did with one of my kids and I was home for 5 weeks on short term disability. Awesome for me! Moms would have to pay extra to have a private room on the maternity floor. Only 1 hospital had all private rooms in my area. Moms would give birth in one room then move to the maternity floor, usually a few floors down.

Today- 1 week late is the limit. At the 39-week visit at the doctor, the plans will be made for an induction or scheduled C- section. Now, all hospitals have private rooms. Most moms also deliver in the room they will stay in for the 3 days if vaginal delivery or 5 if Caesarian section.

Baby Pictures- Having a Baby in 1990 vs. Today.

Boston Newborn Care Frequently Asked Questions

Boston Newborn Care Frequently Asked Questions

1990- The maternity photos were hideous. It was a mug shot for the file at the hospital. The fluorescent lighting in a small room with a camera on the ceiling made for a great shot. Parents did get the option of buying it, which for the most part, they did and they were all so ugly. Babes were in a hospital undershirt wrapped in a hospital blanket, goop in their eyes looking unrelated to anyone in their family, (or anyone’s family.)

Today, photographers are waiting for those that choose to have a photo session of the baby. The use of softer lighting, cute baby outfits, natural positions that are scheduled make for much better pics. Some with parents, some solo, all are precious. Not to mention that the IPhone cameras are better than anything moms of yesteryear had in their to-go bags.

Call us for more Information (617) 299-0374.

Boston Newborn Care

Welcome to Boston Newborn Care a trusted name in childcare for families.
We offer placement service of Nannies, Night Nannies, Newborn Care Specialists, Au pair and Doulas.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save