to be a woman

to be a mother

to be a professional

to be educated and ambitious

to be in a relationship

to have children

to be an expatriate

to be who you are

where you are

 you find yourself making choices

your life is a pile of puzzle pieces

you think and look and you shuffle the pieces

you try and go to work and it doesn‘t work

there is no work for you in this city

you have children

you have no childcare

you stay at home 

you are miserable

you stay at home 

you are happy

you go to work and it works

there is no work for your partner in this city

you are an expatriate

you are a mother 

you shuffle the pieces

 Egle

 

Egle, Lithuania

Researcher, journalist

British partner

Mother of a 6 year old son

 

At this moment of my life, I understand that if I want to stay married to this man, I probably have to give up my career.

It’s a stupid choice that nobody should ever have to make, but I think I am probably more interested in my relationship with him and with my son, than I am in a career right now…

I might still be able to have a job and I will not stop working. Work and earning money has not always coincided for me, so working − reading, thinking and writing − is part of the process of being alive, of making life meaningful, finding out who I am, what I am capable of, growing intellectually and giving back to the world.

Parenting is a relationship. People should be able to have their lives and be in relationships at the same time. All those years that I didn’t have appropriate childcare and had to be at home, I felt ostracized. I had not been trained to be a nanny or an educator, or a cook. I had a child to love. I wanted that relationship to happen in Lithuanian, so I took time off to teach him that language, but for the rest… I don’t know.

As a society it would be fair to try and create a system whereby if people became parents, they should have to have a financially supported right to take some time off to look after the child or children, but be able to keep up with the career, so as not to lose their skills.

It is very unfair (to both) if one person works full time and the other does not, unless, of course, this is what they both absolutely want to do. 

 


About Marina Cavazza & Egle Kackute

Photos by Marina Cavazza, texts by Egle Kackute.

Marina Cavazza and Egle Kackute, expatriates from Italy and Lithuania respectively, have been photographing and interviewing other expatriate mums (and s…Read more

Website: http://www.marinacavazza.com

More posts by Marina Cavazza & Egle Kackute

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