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On living in the sticks (with baby and little support)


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#1 kalamputi

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:07 AM

My wife (who hails from Cebu) and I started corresponding about 3.5 years ago, then travelled together in the Philippines on two occasions. Thanks to flawless advice received here on this forum, she got the fiance visa in spring of 2012, travelled here later in the summer and at the end of the 90 day period, we got married, in Oct/2012. I really don't want to sound matter-of-fact about it all because it's been anything but ordinary; given our nearly 10 year age difference, who knew it would work? But it has and it's still bizarre to me how little effect the difference has made.

 

We now have a nearly 6-month old daughter and I don't have to tell anyone here what that's like. My wife breastfeeds so there's not much to help with on the feeding side of things and she also gets the lion's share of diaper changes and mollycoddling. I water the garden, do the shopping, laundry and dishes when I can and bring home the bacon. I am also coping with a drastic drop in income-as I now work for myself, close to home, in order to be here for wife and child-and some stress around the issue has not made things any easier. I don't like having to worry about money because it sometimes makes me resent my wife's inability to help on the that front, certainly no fault of her own. 

 

I guess my wife is no different from any other stay-at-home mom except that there is very little support for her here. We're five hours from Boston but it might as well be five days. She has about half a dozen Pinay friends who live in the area, two within half an hours or so who are close to her age and a third who is quite a bit older with grown children. These gals both work/study a great deal and one of them has a kid so there's not much time to socialize outside of the monthly/bimonthly birthday party/potlucks. We ran into one of them at a store last night and it was hard to break them up and get out of there; I can tell she's starved for contact. 

 

It's tough at times. I know how important it is to my wife to be in contact with her family back home but at the same time, I want her to be paying more attention to things here. At least planning for ways to make our life in the States more rewarding. Possibly getting some more education, definitely getting a driving license, some mobility. I realize how hard it is for her to think of these things when the baby wants to be fed every two hours but I'm concerned that, in the absence of friends who are close, that in trying to find support, she can only turn to sisters and cousins 8000 miles away. We both agreed when she got here almost two years ago, that our focus would be on living here-with a view toward moving at least part-time to Cebu when it can be financially managed, still a decade or more off, I would think. 

 

Having a kid has really highlighted how "cold" an American neighborhood can be when compared with any street in the Philippines. In my wife's home neighborhood, you can literally leave your kid with any neighbor there and be comfortable with it. Here, yes, we've had some offers but it's hard for my wife to be comfortable with them. As for myself, I fall into the "I don't want to bother them" category so, in this sense, we're our own worst enemies. Wanting help but not really capable of accepting it. We are both opposed to daycare (and lucky that we are in a position to not need it at present) for similar reasons. We're also in the oldest state in the country and there just aren't a lot of young mothers around. Many many lolas and lolos. The monthly La Leche meetings here have all been cancelled due to lack of interest. A driver's license would help but that's really a small part of the problem. How could she visit with friends who are in school or working all the time? Who would she shop with?

 

Her aunt, uncle and cousin arrive in 3 weeks from the LA area. It's going to be nice for her to have family to connect with. And to get some perspective on the Filipino community at large, here in the States. I'm learning that the Filipinos have been in this country since the 1500s, having made trips over aboard the Spanish galleons. Quite a substantial history here in this country and amazing to think about. And it makes me a little sad that my wife is so removed from it all, in our little house in the big woods. Perhaps when the kid's a bit bigger, we can get out and about and see some of those communities but for now, we've just got to tough it out and hope that my wife will find some lasting connections here so as to make our life here something to live for-and not feel as if we are biding time until we can afford a move overseas.

 

 

 

 


Edited by kalamputi, 21 June 2014 - 11:09 AM.


#2 rbacon

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 07:25 PM

Kalampui,

 

Your description of a Fil-Am family living in the U.S. away from urban areas, is a fairly common report that we hear quite a bit.

 

My PInay babe has been with me for 23+ years in Sacramento, California, with more Filipinos within shouting distance than you would care to imagine.  While working with recent immigrants here and in other parts of the U.S. for the last 15 years or so, as well as doing income tax returns for about 50 Filipino families, we have observed problems and successes of every kind among these immigrants.

 

Some things stand out as "guarantors" of success with immigrants, especially Filipino women:

 

1.  Ability to drive, especially with her own car;

2.  Getting out of the house at least half a day, most days of the week (perhaps excepting weekends).  A part-time job or school can provide this experience.

3.  Some income of her own, to enable her to enjoy some independence and self-sufficiency, whether from a real job, babysitting, telephone sales, or even beauty products sales.

 

Being around other Filipinos, or even Asians, is nice, but doesn't seem to be a "long-term" necessity. If anything, daily immersion in the family affairs of other Filipinos in one's area can be a drawback, as it tends to delay complete English competency and contribute to relying on the nonsense advice and hearsay they get from other FiIiipinos about every subject under the sun (immigration, money handling, marital advice).

 

Hang in there.

 

--Ray B

 

 

 

 

My wife (who hails from Cebu) and I started corresponding about 3.5 years ago, then travelled together in the Philippines on two occasions. Thanks to flawless advice received here on this forum, she got the fiance visa in spring of 2012, travelled here later in the summer and at the end of the 90 day period, we got married, in Oct/2012. I really don't want to sound matter-of-fact about it all because it's been anything but ordinary; given our nearly 10 year age difference, who knew it would work? But it has and it's still bizarre to me how little effect the difference has made.

 

We now have a nearly 6-month old daughter and I don't have to tell anyone here what that's like. My wife breastfeeds so there's not much to help with on the feeding side of things and she also gets the lion's share of diaper changes and mollycoddling. I water the garden, do the shopping, laundry and dishes when I can and bring home the bacon. I am also coping with a drastic drop in income-as I now work for myself, close to home, in order to be here for wife and child-and some stress around the issue has not made things any easier. I don't like having to worry about money because it sometimes makes me resent my wife's inability to help on the that front, certainly no fault of her own. 

 

I guess my wife is no different from any other stay-at-home mom except that there is very little support for her here. We're five hours from Boston but it might as well be five days. She has about half a dozen Pinay friends who live in the area, two within half an hours or so who are close to her age and a third who is quite a bit older with grown children. These gals both work/study a great deal and one of them has a kid so there's not much time to socialize outside of the monthly/bimonthly birthday party/potlucks. We ran into one of them at a store last night and it was hard to break them up and get out of there; I can tell she's starved for contact. 

 

It's tough at times. I know how important it is to my wife to be in contact with her family back home but at the same time, I want her to be paying more attention to things here. At least planning for ways to make our life in the States more rewarding. Possibly getting some more education, definitely getting a driving license, some mobility. I realize how hard it is for her to think of these things when the baby wants to be fed every two hours but I'm concerned that, in the absence of friends who are close, that in trying to find support, she can only turn to sisters and cousins 8000 miles away. We both agreed when she got here almost two years ago, that our focus would be on living here-with a view toward moving at least part-time to Cebu when it can be financially managed, still a decade or more off, I would think. 

 

Having a kid has really highlighted how "cold" an American neighborhood can be when compared with any street in the Philippines. In my wife's home neighborhood, you can literally leave your kid with any neighbor there and be comfortable with it. Here, yes, we've had some offers but it's hard for my wife to be comfortable with them. As for myself, I fall into the "I don't want to bother them" category so, in this sense, we're our own worst enemies. Wanting help but not really capable of accepting it. We are both opposed to daycare (and lucky that we are in a position to not need it at present) for similar reasons. We're also in the oldest state in the country and there just aren't a lot of young mothers around. Many many lolas and lolos. The monthly La Leche meetings here have all been cancelled due to lack of interest. A driver's license would help but that's really a small part of the problem. How could she visit with friends who are in school or working all the time? Who would she shop with?

 

Her aunt, uncle and cousin arrive in 3 weeks from the LA area. It's going to be nice for her to have family to connect with. And to get some perspective on the Filipino community at large, here in the States. I'm learning that the Filipinos have been in this country since the 1500s, having made trips over aboard the Spanish galleons. Quite a substantial history here in this country and amazing to think about. And it makes me a little sad that my wife is so removed from it all, in our little house in the big woods. Perhaps when the kid's a bit bigger, we can get out and about and see some of those communities but for now, we've just got to tough it out and hope that my wife will find some lasting connections here so as to make our life here something to live for-and not feel as if we are biding time until we can afford a move overseas.

 

 

 

 



#3 Keith Johnson

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 06:12 PM

My new Filipina is expected this summer.

 

Your last (bigger) paragraph about a Filipina's contact is very interesting. I was thinking to introduce her to many Filipinas in the Bay Area but making friends with all groups I can see is important. Thanks.

 

Keith Johnson

Concord, CA



#4 MrkGrismer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

It depends on the Filipina, Cleo has never really experienced any difficulty with the issue, and has frankly sometimes avoided seeing friends because she would rather just stay home sometimes. That being said we have good internet and she has facebook and can communicate with friends and family very well using the computer and the internet. Her friends come over sometimes and she goes and spends an afternoon with her frineds sometimes, but it isn't even really once a week. Sometimes it is multiple times a week and sometimes maybe once a month. But it really did help once we moved into a house big enough that she could throw 'dinner parties' and have friends over for bbq, or lunch or whatever. She has also been very much enjoying gardening now that we have a large yard. YMMV I guess is the bottom line.


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#5 melody

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:03 PM

As what Sir Mark said,it depends on the Filipina. How she reacts on her new stage of life,depend on her personalities and point of view.

 

Filipina is known to be adapatable in any situation but we are all difference. Others have their own strength and weaknesses to face whatever changement a life would bring. You best known your pinay and i am sure she can handle such situation with your natural support. If she loves to go outing and hate to stay all the time at home,then that could be a problem.

 

Best thing in life that we should learn not to depend on anybody else even to our close family/friends or neighbours.

 

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