pockets of language learning

In a way being a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom is easier than I thought it would be.

Also, though, being a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom is harder than I thought it would be.

Some days it feels like the livin' is good because I'm playing man-to-man defense over here: one mom to one baby. The other thing is, we are in a routine. Everyone always says each baby stage gets more fun, and it's true! My 9 month old loves to play independently, takes good naps, and she is pretty fun to hang out with. (#biased)

The difficulty is that it's super easy to fall into the trap of laziness. Even as a disciplined old soul, when you live in a small apartment that takes approximately one hour total to clean, and you are stuck inside due to winter, it's tempting to turn on the television or get lost in abyss of the internet. Loneliness plays a role, too. When you are craving an adult conversation, the background noise of a tv program, or reading about others in the same situation as you on the internet can seem like an appropriate solution, even though it's really just a bandaid. I would rather use my time to pursue my passion and talent, not waste away hours of my life in a mindless stupor.

So what's a girl to do? Personal improvement really isn't going to take place when Pippa is awake. Because of the very nature of a baby, when she is awake, it's mostly all hands on deck. She needs a lot of my attention most of the time as she is now crawling and motoring about, hell bent on putting every fuzz and dog bone in her mouth. I have even started putting her in a laundry basket with a blanket and toys in it while I try to do my makeup or get dressed. The point is, no matter if your job is taking care of kids, police officer, or office worker, it's useful to use those small pockets of your day to pursue your hobby, passion, or talent.

I use my small pockets of time to study and improve my Spanish - and use mindless distractions like the internet and tv to my advantage! We don't have "the cable", but somehow we get Univision. While she's napping, and I'm doing chores, I have it on in the background, and I write down words I don't know in a notebook. I get caught up in telenovelas (I'm pretty sure someone murdered their kidnapper last episode?) I watch Despierta America and look up the hashtags they talk about. (Side note: I'm very inspired by how put together the ladies on Univision always look).

Sometimes when I am changing or feeding the baby, I listen to my new favorite podcast - Nuevos Pasos. I listen to the same one over and over. I'll put it on in the car. I'll write down more words I don't know, then look them up on WordReference.com

I recently discovered Buzzfeed en Español.

I label items in my house with post-it notes, which subsequently fall off and Pippa will try to eat. I may have to start using tape.

Keeping busy and working my brain help stave off some of the loneliness of staying at home with a child. It takes some discipline, but I find when I push myself to do these things, I am in a much better mood. Much like working out.

As I am now rereading this post, it sounds a lot like what I tell myself I would do if I were in prison. (Study Spanish, read a lot, and get super buff.) So...staying at home with a baby in Minnesota in winter is equivalent to prison. The end.

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