Paradise and Parenting: No Time for a Hobby

I like to tell people that one of the many reasons we chose to raise our kids in Mexico instead of Canada is that we have much more time to enjoy life. We are living in a culture where you are meant to slow down and taste the salt on your margarita glass, especially when you live in a town where most people’s entire careers involve helping people relax and have a good time.

That being said, I must be honest and tell you I just ate a dinner of exactly six Ritz crackers with Swiss cheese. My nod to proper meal preparation was to melt the cheese onto the cracker for seven seconds in the microwave.

I was late home because I had to drive my daughter across town to the ear, nose and throat doctor. Which actually turned out really well, because she and I suffer from the same cold, so now I can skip visiting the doctor myself and just take some of the same decongestants the doctor prescribed for her.

I haven’t really been coming home that early anyway these days, because my son is a mentor in a game club, takes German twice a week and is in the school musical. My daughter has math tutoring, takes singing classes and just had a recital. They are busy, so I am busy.

Their father WOULD pitch in, but his work schedule begins approximately fifteen minutes after we finish school, and ends about two hours after we go to bed. His current involvement is largely limited to apologizing as I complain about his kids on WhatsApp. I have to admit that he’s pretty good at it, because I always feel better after sending the angry red face emoji and he sends the smiley heart face emoji.

Sometimes well-meaning folks tell me that everyone needs to have their own interests, and that a mom who takes care of herself is a better parent. They always say I should have my own hobbies, and then I calmly reply that I do. Here you have some of my favorites:

  • Going to the chiropractor once I am unable to lift my arm above my waist OR turn my head to see things on my right side
  • Reading ironic commentary on Twitter at 10pm so I won’t fall asleep while making sure my kids aren’t trying to grab their phones for a late night chat with a classmate

I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I mean, mostly not. But having a hobby, like, all to myself, seems extravagant at this time of the year. So I’m starting to wonder if we might have been mistaken about the whole lifestyle portion of our decision to raise our children in Mexico. Either that, or we ARE living a chill lifestyle in comparison to what it would have been had we moved to Winnipeg to have kids. In which case, might I say: whew, y’all need a vacation in Mexico.

And, I have to admit that, just when I’m pretty sure I am most definitely not going to make it, a lovely Mexican holiday comes up and I can lay around an extra day, like I did last weekend on Benito Juarez’s birthday (what a great guy he is to be born in March). I can take my family off to a beautiful place like San Blas and refuse to get out of my beach chair for forty-eight hours straight.

And I look around and realize that the sun is shining down and the waves are rolling in. My husband’s band is at a great little bar, playing some tunes that might get me dancing if I stop by for awhile after my kid’s play rehearsal.

I guess it could be worse. And I guess, if I have to be too busy to get a real hobby just yet, I sure might as well be right here in paradise.