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



 Antonella, Italy 

Architect, humanitarian worker

Italian partner

Mother to a 3 year old daughter

The arrival of my daughter changed my career completely.

My area was emergency response, so I’d get a 48 hour notice before I was on the plane and I’d be gone for at least a month. You can’t do this kind of work and have a family. I was employed at my own organisation when I had the baby and was hoping to go back to work, but I was fired just as I had to come back after the maternity leave. This was the main complication, being fired wasn’t one of the scenarios I imagined for myself. I am doing freelance humanitarian support work or consultancy at the moment, but there is not enough work in a year to support myself, unless I travel. Re-entering job markets over the age of forty is not easy and if you want to change the line of work is even harder.

That’s something that has to change. I don’t know why, but women who work at management level and decide to have a family, have to keep doing it, otherwise they become less credible in the eyes of their colleagues and when it comes to inviting them to projects and such, they don’t come to mind as easily anymore. It’s all about staying in the loop.

I’ve been lucky to have had two careers already, one as an architect and one as an humanitarian worker and to have achieved some results in both. So I felt ok with being stuck here with a baby, accept to not have enough work,and be lucky to be supported by my partner. 


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


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