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mercredi 20 juin 2007

Of bricolages et coloriages

At the risk of sounding self-centred and obnoxious I have more than once felt a tinge of regret that being a stay at home mum,which is euphemism for housewife has meant that I have passed many an opportunity to be working. Staying home with kids equals spending days finding different bricolages to keep them occupied when the weather is miserable. I envy women who bosser (French slang for work) in a professional environment. I want to be surrounded by colleagues who find my ideas and opinions intelligible. I would love to have adult conversations with qualified professionals whose decision making would impact outcomes and have ramifications for firms. I want my quick thinking, analytical skills valued. I want to have deadlines, meetings, conferences and in short be an independent lawyer. I want to feel important. As much as I would not like to admit being a femme au foyer has the interesting factor and important factor of zilch. That is the impression I get from the general public, what good are stay at home mothers? They really only matter to their kids and hubby and elevating the future contributors to the workforce.

Instead I have to console myself with tuning my brain to the wavelengths of a four year old master manipulator and champion blackmailer and a two year old stubborn recalcitrant. I suspect that the adolescent years waiting ahead will have me writhing with disdain at growing pains, rebellion and what did I expect when I was rebellious myself and gave my mum anguish and heartache? Definitely something to look forward to. Oh joy!

I have a slight resentment towards being a housewife.
I have to stop languishing in this bullcrap and move onto something more positive, like exploiting my current status. Brain think tick tock think...

2 commentaires:

avec amy a dit…

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. Regarding being an attorney in France, I’m currently teaching English – a job I took halfheartedly as a temporary thing, but I’ve since come to enjoy the flexibility of it as I make my own schedule, work three days a week, and get all of August of paid, as well as other vacations. Plus, it’s allowing me to interact with French people, albeit in English, and make new friends. I have one-on-one lessons with consultants, we discuss French politics, they’re projects, etc. (I can relate to what you’ve written in your entry. I had a hard time coming to terms with not being an “attorney” and instead being an “English teacher”. Not that there’s anything wrong w/the latter, maybe I attached too much to my profession and there were so many changes in moving, this was another one to deal with! About meetings and deadlines, however, when I see the tension on my students’ faces b/c they’re slammed at work and super stressed, I don’t miss practicing law. To be honest, I was done w/the traditional practice of law b/c I was sick of the constant pressure to produce, bill, etc.) When I moved to France 1.5 years ago, I brought a job with me. I worked for LegalKey, the legal division of Hummingbird, Ltd. (currently OpenText), as a “court rules analyst/attorney”. It’s kind of like Westlaw, a legal database. I updated and edited the content – all done remotely. I took the job in anticipation of my move, once here I continued to do it. However, telecommuting 40 hours per week got to be boring and isolating for me. I quit and took the job as an English teacher so I could work part time and focus on learning French and integrate into the “French” life. I found the job on craigslist. I’ve since seen a few jobs for other telecommuting legal research positions that might be interesting for you since you have kids. Also, as your French seems good, perhaps you can do translations. I’ve seen jobs for that as well (w/a focus on legal text or something). Perhaps you’ve already considered these options and/or you’re more interested in getting back to a traditional practice. I do think freelance research and writing via telecommuting might be the best option for an ex-pat lawyer and mother of two : ) Once I learn French, I might go back to doing something like that if I can find it. Good luck!

avec amy a dit…

When I first arrived I felt out of sorts and continue to have little break downs. I miss my friends back home - drinks after work, dinners, picking up the phone for a spontaneous chat. It seems there are a lot more permanent Anglophones in Paris. We’ve made friends with 3 other Franco-American couples. We celebrated Thanksgiving together, have had picnics and parties (baby showers, etc.), and done weekends away. One of the couples lived in Geneva for a few years before moving to Paris. She found the experience difficult. She didn’t have a lot of friends there so you’re not alone in your assessment of the situation. Before moving to Paris she wanted to move back to the U.S., but now having been in Paris she now feels more “at home” in Europe as she has found a social network and a job in that she enjoys. We all met through blogs. One left a comment on mine (because I was from SF and had written an entry about not having friends in Paris), the other left a message on the SF woman’s blog, and the third was a former university friend of one of them. Also, as Paris is a common destination for vacations, I’ve had many of my friends from the States visit; also I have had friends put me in touch w/their friends who live here. It really seems like Paris is more “expat friendly” and I’ve been lucky in that regard. I think writing your blog is a good start! Also, as far as French friends, teaching English has helped in that regard. One of my students invited my husband and I to his house for a dinner party and we met his wife and some of his friends. They were really great.