School's out for the summer (woohoo !) so I'm finally catching up with everything that's been on my to-do list, both in the real world and online, for months. I've had a grand clear-out of clothes - having lost 10kg, I finally culled all the "fat clothes" from my wardrobe (4 binbags full !) then did the same in the kids' wardrobes, clearing out all the clothes that are too small and stained or unloved hand-me-downs that are just cluttering up the cupboards. Add that lot to a few bags that have been hanging around since the last clear-out a few months ago and we've just gone and deposited TWELVE big bin bags full of clothes into the charity bins !!
And now I'm working through my backlog of emails and favourited tweets to declutter those too. I'm ashamed to say, I was tagged in this meme way back at the end of - ahem - March and never got round to doing it, but I always say better late than never, so here is my very belated response to the A Mothers Work Meme that I was tagged in by Kara on her Chelsea Mamma's blog.
So, lets start with the rules:
Did you work before becoming a mum?
Yes. I studied French (and English) at uni and did my Erasmus year in France at Brest university in Brittany, then, after my finals, I went back to the same university on a one-year contract as a "lectrice", which means I gave English conversation classes to the students. This was when I met Madhouse Daddy Mike. I signed up for the French teacher training programme so that I could stay in the country for a while longer, passed and am still here now ! I've been teaching English in a collège (11-15 year olds) for the past 15 years.
What is your current situation?
In France, the CAPES teacher qualification is a recruitment exam so, if you manage to pass, you become a civil servant and are guaranteed a job for life. This obviously offers great stability but the downside is, you have to move where the jobs are, especially when you first start out. That's how we ended up in Dunkirk, 8 hours from Brittany, which actually means I'm closer to my parents' home in Sussex than Madhouse Daddy Mike is, despite us living in their country ! It also totally isolates you from your family network so we have no aunties or grandparents around to help with childcare.
Freestyle: Got you own point you’d like to get across about this issue? Well, here’s your chance…
The ultimate perk of being a teacher is that I get all the school holidays off to be with the kids. I still need a childminder though and finding one who accepts just the small number of hours before and after school is far from easy. We have an absolute gem at the moment - an Algerian mum of four grown up girls who absolutely loves kids and does loads of activities and outings with the kids she looks after. Before her though, I had a couple who were in it just for the money - one who complained when (I quote) "Pierre refused to sleep in the afternoon so she couldn't get any of her housework done" and another who ended the contract, saying she wanted to look after a baby because "it's so much easier when they're not mobile and they sleep for a large part of the morning and afternoon". Hmmm ! In an ideal world, I'd love to be a stay-at-home mum or a childminder but I'm the main breadwinner of the family so it would be hard to give up my income.
Now its my turn to nominate.......... I choose you: (and if you've already taken part, just leave me a link to your blogpost) :
Other blogposts you may be interested in :