Tuesday, January 19, 2010

6 months later...

Signing back in after a while. Since I last wrote in June, Nr.2 was born, we moved to another country, and I started a new job. Hopefully this will be enough to forgive my silence on this blog!

Let's go back to last June where I left this off. I was getting a lot of work done at the end of my pregnancy, which was making me very happy. Then of course something had to go wrong: my computer died, which virtually put me on maternity leave earlier that I had thought. There were some difficulties with getting the computer fixed, and I only got it back a few days before my due date (I had a "baby or computer first" bet going on!), at which point I was a bit too tired and anxious to do any real work. Then the birth went well - I was again lucky enough to be able to have a totally natural delivery, which means the recovery was quick. Fantastic baby, very awake during the day, good sleeper at night, couldn't ask for more. Big brother wonderful with little sister.

The summer went well, but flew right by too quickly. I will hopefully have time in the coming weeks to write more about my maternity leave, and about how the fears I described in an earlier post proved to be mostly unfounded. I was able to take a good break from work, which was a life saver since we did have to prepare at the same time to move abroad to start postdoc nr.2.

Said move went as good as can be, I guess, considering the inevitable problems with moving to another country with two young kids. Maternity leave lasted 16 weeks, so I went straight to the new job when Baby was 3.5 months old. Boyfriend and I had an agreement with our bosses that we could work half of the time from home until Baby was 6 months old, at which point she was supposed to get into daycare. That went pretty well, she was such an easy baby that we could actually get some work done with her around.

And then the problems started. That will be another post in itself, because there is a lot to say about living in a country where women are expected to stay at home with their kids, so childcare is almost impossible to find. The daycare spot we were promised long ago for Baby was refused to us in the end, so we still don't have any help of any kind with her. Our bosses are wonderfully supportive, but we are both nonetheless starting to feel frustrated not to be able to work more.

We have come to realize that we were living in a kind of bubble - the past 2 years were wonderful; Nr.1 had a great daycare and was thriving, we had good jobs, lived in a really nice place, and still had time to relax, travel, do activities... There were of course ups and downs, but mostly I wasn't finding that combining work and motherhood was especially difficult. The reality hit us in the face suddenly, like waking up after a good dream. I don't know if it's having 2 kids instead of 1, living in a place that is slowly changing but where the system still mostly does not support the working mothers, or if it's because our responsibilities at work are ever greater and the pressure increasing toward landing some real jobs soon. Whatever it is, it's definitely a whole new game now.

But I don't want to sound too dark - all in all, we are still very happy. Baby is still the most wonderful, easy little thing, and my heart melts when I see how she and her big brother are already so fond of each other. Work is extremely stimulating (just wish I had more time for it!), very happy about it. Everything just takes more effort. And there definitely isn't that much time left for anything other that taking care of kids and working... hopefully there will be at least a little bit for blogging!

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

Glad to "see" you back, and to hear that things are going relatively well. I hope that you're able to figure out the childcare situation soon!