Living in Mexico with Kids
A few people have asked me what it's like to live here in Mexico with my kids. There is so much I could write, so I decided to write a little about it in a blog.
Living in Mexico has been a great experience for my 4 youngest kids ages 9,8,8,and 5
(My oldest is 21 and loves to come visit but he doesn't live here with us. He lived in Brazil growing up). First, I'll say that it hasn't been all easy. As you can imagine, each child faces different challenges with adjusting because of his/her unique personality and temperament. But they are still young so I think it would be much more difficult if they were tweens or teenagers. Anyway, they go to a Mexican school and are having to learn Spanish on the fly. I think this is the best way. I could have spent a lot of money enrolling them in a fancy private school (not really an option, but hypothetically speaking) where they have english teachers, or teachers that speak English, but I know they are capable of learning this cold-turkey way. I have total confidence in my kids and in the school. What I love about living here, besides the gorgeous weather, is the big open market where you will find everything under the sun and more. But also, all the little shops and stands (family owned) everywhere with everything freshly made: produce, dairy, butchers, bakeries, candies, etc... You could walk any direction and find anything you need within a couple of blocks. Not just consumables, but hardware, paper, flowers, gifts, car parts, glass, lumber, dentists, clinics, miscellaneous or convenience stores, it just goes on and on. And then there are the mobile businesses bearing water, pastries, bread, honey, cleaning supplies, gas, ice cream and other snacks. You just have to get to know their individual calls and/or schedules. I love being able to send my kids around the corner to buy fruits and vegetables, and fresh tortillas, milk, eggs, cheese, whatever. It's wonderful to see them take charge and figure out what they can get with the pesos that I give them and ask for a half, quarter, or whole kilo or just say, I'll take 10 pesos worth of.... They have friends at school and friends in the neighborhood, (we are only 2 blocks from the school.) Last week we had a birthday party for my youngest son, and it was really wonderful. There were tons of kids and just to hear them laugh and run around the yard while we barbecued and the adults chatted was great. We were able to rent a trampoline, a bouncy house with a slide and tables and chairs for the whole afternoon/evening for under $100usd. Which brings me to the next amazing thing about living in Mexico, the cost of living for someone like me, a middle-income struggling american, is extremely affordable. I can afford a gardener, and a housekeeper (gardener 2x a month, housekeeper 1x per week) and 4 kids in a small, private school . My husband lives and works in the states and can only come every couple of months, so, I'm here on my own with 4 young children and I seriously appreciate this kind of help around the house. It makes for a much calmer existence. At home, between our work schedules, I was going batty trying to manage the house and kids. We could barely afford a babysitter once in a blue moon. No way could we have managed a gardener or a housekeeper. Well, I've said enough for now. Thanks for the question. I hope I was able to give you an adequate snapshot of what it's like.
Below: The 3rd grade class getting ready for the traditional dance they did for us moms on Mothers' Day.