Sunday, 14 October 2012

Where have we been?

Well time can fly by so quickly can't it?

We are still in France and I have [reluctantly] returned to work in Paris.  Going back to work after any amount of maternity leave is difficult and I put off thinking about it so much that when it actually happened it kind of took me by surprise a bit.

I had big plans for working flexibly, part time, reduced hours or somewhere in between but when it came down to it the only acceptable solution for my employer was for me to go back to exactly what I was doing before I went on leave a year ago.  That basically translates to me leaving before the boys are awake and returning when they are ready for bed.

I have found it hard to say the least and of course the children have found it difficult to adjust.  Everything was so perfect when we were all together every day but alas the magic food fairy does not deliver to our neck of the woods without being paid so unless a lottery win is around the corner this is our life for the immediate future.
It's been an emotional roller coaster going back to work and being separated from my babies.   How do women do it?  Does it get easier?  I'm also finding it hard to talk to people about it because here in France it's not uncommon for women to return to work after just a few months leave (compare that with 16 months paid leave in Sweden).  So starting a conversation with "isn't it hard to come back to work after a year" is never going to get much sympathy.

But it is hard and it's easy to dwell on the negatives but I've reached a point now where I have decided to change my mental model, focus on the positives and continue to tell the world about what we get up to as a family.

And the children?  Well they are of course still getting more and more adorable every day, adjusting to life without a full time mama but embracing life with a full time papa instead - I know, I know, it's really not that bad is it?

More details to come....

9 comments:

  1. hugs to you! in the same boat here -full time too with Dad at home. Think the kids are lucky to have parent minding them, hopefully the only ones missing out are ourselves :-(
    not forever for either of us though is it? You'll be homeschooling in the woods before ya know it! Sorry for crap typing...should be in bed.

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    1. Thanks Rach, I really appreciate your late night comment!
      When I am thinking rationally I always realise how lucky they are to be with at least one parent but of course a mothers love is not always rational. The woods are calling, that's for sure!

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  2. Bon Courage Rachael! I must say that French people are unfortunately not very sympathetic when it comes to stay-at-home mothers or mothers who take a long-ish maternity leave. It is rubbish I know, all I can do is to wish you all the best and hope you will find an acceptable rythm and that you will find the positive points you mentionned :)
    At least the children have their Dad full-time which must be great for the three of them! One does things differently with a dad.

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    1. Thanks Fred, and thanks for hanging around :)
      I think we are just about finding a rhythm now hence my ability to update the blog - now if only there was a way to remove the feeling of guilt? I know now what my mother meant when she told me that I will always feel guilty about something as a parent.
      How are you all doing? Is the baby signing going well?
      xx

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    2. You are welcome, I really enjoy following your blog :) so no big effort there ;)
      I am afraid I do not have any recipe against that feeling of guilt, maybe knowing that what you are doing is the best thing to do for the time being will help lessening that feeling?
      We are all fine and it is extremely interesting to follow the progress of our daughter. N. isn't a baby anymore in so many aspects, she walks, claims (not too often) some independance from us and although she does no real effort to speak with words, she does get on with baby signing and every other day she makes a new sign. She is always extremely delighted and proud of herself when we understand her! What a reward to see those stars in her eyes! The clever girl sometimes even makes up signs (which we unfortunately don't always understand but we have to give her credit for trying).
      How is Henry doing with language? Does he speak yet?

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  3. Hello! It's hard to go back to work...I also stayed at home for a year with my baby, but now it's been a year since i came back to the office. It will be easier, but you will always remember those days at home and wish you were there...

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    1. Oh Reich, it's tough isn't it. All we can do is our best. I'm happy to hear that it is getting easier for you but as you say I'm sure I will always prefer to be with the boys. How long did it take for things to settle down after you went back to work?

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  4. Hey, Glad to see you are back to blogging. Call me if you can, would love to get together soon. -Nicole Rowan

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    1. Hi Nicole! Finally poking my head out of the self imposed hibernation period. We've had a lot to think about recently but things are becoming clearer now.xx

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