Becoming a mom in a foreign country wasn’t in my plans when I first moved to Indy from Mexico in August 2019. I had no idea what the future held for me. With nothing much to do and wanting to meet people in the city, I downloaded a dating app and a month after getting here, I met who would become my husband. At first, I said I just wanted to be friends before eventually admitting I liked him.
The pandemic rushed everything for us. I moved in with him when the world was shutting down, and we didn’t want to be alone. He proposed eight months later. We got married the following summer and had our son that winter.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but I guess I never pictured where or how that would happen. Becoming a mom in a foreign country has been a big adjustment, to say the least. Starting with the doctor’s appointments, navigating the healthcare system, and struggling to make myself clear in English. Trying to explain symptoms never experienced before and complex emotions was difficult.
The day I gave birth, I felt like an outsider in an unknown place, just going through the motions and following instructions and suggestions. Then, after my baby was born, the feeling of not knowing what I was doing in a strange place got more intense. My mom arrived a couple of days later, and it got better, but it was just a little piece of home. I wanted my friends and the rest of my family too, but they were 2,000 miles away. They say you need a village, and, at that moment, I was longing for one. My village was back in Mexico.
However, the first time we went to visit Mexico City with our six-month-old baby boy, we all got sick. I kept saying “I just want to go back HOME”, so I guess I needed to come to terms with the fact that Indy is now my home. Although the outsider feelings sometimes reappear, when I find myself not being able to make mom friends because I feel too shy, self-conscious about my accent, or not knowing what to talk about. When I feel ashamed of talking to my son in Spanish, even when I really want to give him the advantage of being bilingual. When I miss my people and wish I could be in two places at the same time. When I just feel lonely.
Becoming a mother has been way more intricate than I thought it would be, and I wonder if it may be more difficult doing it away from what I used to call home or if this is just part of parenting in general. Nonetheless, I feel grateful to have found myself in Indianapolis, where I met my husband and had my son. People are amazing here, and I know it will get better. It’s a really nice place to call home.