Tradition in Mexico dictates that new mothers should lay in bed for a full 40 days after the birth of a child.
Sign me up for that! And, despite living far, far away from both my parents and Mario's, I'm doing my best to get my 40 days in bed (OK, not in bed--that's a bit ridiculous--but I'm sure getting pampered). Mario's mom was here an hour after we got back from the hospital, and she stayed a full three weeks until my parents came.
Literally until my parents came. My parents' bus arrived at 11pm, her bus left at 11pm.
Now that my parents have returned home, we're surviving a mere 3 days until we get to spend another 2 weeks with the abuela.
One might thing that spending 5 out of seven weeks with one's mother-in-law would be a bit much. Normally, I might agree, but when it comes to taking care of newborn babies and their mommas, my mother-in-law is hands-down awesome.
Keep in mind, she's not (at least in my head) a traditional Mexican mama. She never spent 40 days in bed after any of her children were born. She thinks that tradition is pretty silly. In fact, she boasts that they spent two weeks in Guadalajara a mere month after Mario, her third child, was born. (The thought of spending any time with three small children, one of them a newborn, in a hotel room for any amount of time, is a scenario plucked out of one of the lesser rings of hell, to my way to thinking. But, to each their own.)
Even though she might not have been spoiled as a new mom herself, she sure is good at spoiling me. The first week I was home I picked up a broom to sweep the hallway and she yelled at me. (I held my ground.) She and Patty were constantly cooking and cleaning for us, even though my mother-in-law does not enjoy cooking at all (I do think she enjoys cleaning). She has a tendency to stay up halfway into the night, so the nights that the baby did not quickly settle down, I just had to whisper her name, toss her the baby, and she was happy to keep him for the rest of the night. In fact, one night the baby slept pretty soundly, so I never felt the urge to pass him off, and I think she was a little mad at me in the morning.
And then, when she couldn't find anything else to clean, she cut and sewed the baby diapers. By hand.
Two and a half years ago, when I mentioned that I wanted to use cloth diapers, Mother-in-law made all of those and delivered them as a kind of Christmas present. For Baby #2, I was planning on simply reusing Clara's old diapers. I even saved a few from Clara's original stash that Clara so that Baby #2 would have a few super-soft, never-been-used diapers.
Now he's got his own stash of super-soft, never-been-used diapers. With hand-stitched hems.
She mentioned that she hand sewed diapers for her oldest son before he was born. I guess it's only fitting that she's also hand sew diapers for her youngest grandson.
Before giving them to me, she mentioned something about ironing them. I think I yelled at her for that. And I don't think she ironed them.
Then again, maybe that's what she did those nights that she stayed up half the night.
Oh, Mother-in-Law, you're a nut.
I love you.