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
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.