Female – I had been preparing myself for this moment for several years: when my son, along with his graduate, was leaving home to study. This time, it has been done. A few days ago.
I knew for a long time that I was going to go back, frankly to something else. What will this do in the next 20 years? I did not intend to put my work in front of my family, but I had plenty of time to think about it. Let the year go on until retirement age, which is not so far away? By no means. The door to freedom was opening, I was going to take advantage of it.
I’m not alone. Many mothers decide their lives without hesitation: when their children are gone. Housewives are forced to realize this, but so are others. When they left home we realized that our children were our vital, our nerve center for a generation.
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The rest was built around them, about them: the job is to earn extra money, use your studies, get out of your house, free your mind. Put your face in front of other women. There is wisdom in saying something at a dinner party. Following the French social model, which distributes one’s efforts on different fronts … and accepts the loss of power in each of them.
No one likes to combine a career and a family to get tired.
I worked for a company for fifteen years after graduation. Then the landscape changed, and so did my path. I left France with my husband and my young son in the United States. Colorado mountain directions, gardening with bears and camping everywhere in churches, taking care of everything: school, leisure, social assistance.
I quit a good job, and I left blindly. But deep down I was glad to go on an adventure; It’s still quite annoying that we’ll be doing more or less the same thing for four decades, because it seems hard to change careers in France without a lot of feathers.
In short, since I couldn’t reproduce the model I knew there and find a paid job of my choice, I looked at what was practiced. I became an aspiring mother. Since you had to spend your time there, you can develop your skills and aim far ahead. What is education, home, family? I learned randomly about all these things, which I realized only through my own mother, the wife of a farmer who had never conceived of motherhood.
I peeled off blogs and studies, discussing with people who wanted to answer my wonderful questions.
I have become a professional at home
And then, again. Going to Chicago. There, I discovered the best surprises of my life: my older neighbors had amazing personal backgrounds for a typical provincial like me. And when the family situation changed, they had no problem jumping from one path of life to another. For example, from an employee at the age of 22, to a mother at the age of 33, then to an entrepreneur at the age of 51.
They didn’t think they should always look like a professional, they had to hide Ian when they were partners.
I have discovered that mothers with career prospects often stop working year after year to raise their children. Well compelled, when they have to go everywhere, all afternoon, so that they can do these ubiquitous sports or artistic activities as important as school. But this choice was not just educational or logical: In fact, they knew very well that they would be able to move on to the next life.
They did not protect their social status and their future by adding activities at once, but consistently managed them.
It blew me away. It’s an organization mode that was much more appropriate for me, to those who work with passion. Moving from one mission to another was much more fulfilling and efficient than reducing the scope of many activities, at the risk of losing control, so that they could fit in the same day – for ages. !
It was the beginning of a constant question: How would you change your life after raising your children? And find new self-expression, time autonomy, emotional relief and freedom of choice?
The suffering of housewives is not to be seen in public
Their work, their methods, their vision are confined within the family circle, even if they are extraordinarily united. Outside of their walls, we do not accept the somewhat humble gaze of their hesitant, comfortably ill, other women, who “really work”, who consider themselves more modern, more courageous, more efficient. Equal to men, perhaps – although in reality they do more than they do.
And then, there are no statistics to rely on. I asked myself frankly: What is the social impact of being a mother at home? Does it change anything for the children themselves, their personal and professional life, their overall development? Do we build a better or more unjust society to raise our children?
Or are we just reproducing an old way of life, when school and technology were properly designed to support us and free us from the constraints of domestic life?
Investigate around you: In France, full-time mothers are sure they are right, it is “good”. And also those who work. Of these, a significant number would tell you that they had no choice: they had to make more money. Or isolating oneself from the normal practice of society is not a good strategy, since one constantly feels guilty, or expresses oneself for never succeeding due to lack of support and network. Don’t regret your choice and disappoint yourself, thank you.
And I’m not talking about newspapers. We see that the Germans or the Swiss are dying of monotony because of a conservative and retro model that prevents them from working, not financing the child care system. And there is only one step from dying in monotony to being annoying, I will not tell you how annoying these countries are. I suppose, on the contrary, that magazines across the Rhine have portrayed French women as people of emotional understanding, returning without hesitation to government agencies to take care of our children …
It turns out that after a few years in the United States, I moved again. In Germany, precisely. I arrived in Berlin at a time when there was a huge wave of Syrians fleeing the war. We learned the language side by side, and then everyone took care of rebuilding his life. I had a traveling French mother who wanted to anticipate the impending departure of her high school student son and the emptiness she was leaving. They were young refugees, ready to do anything to protect their children, leaving work, home and roots.
They started their life as full-time mothers, I was finishing it. We spent time beating each other with sticks.
At the moment, I have reached the stage of a concrete research. What needs to be done to make that interesting, constructive? How to re-learn how to make money – a real fear among those who do not work and those who doubt their financial value?
What was exploitable in my personal career, professionally transferable?
How can I transform myself physically, emotionally, emotionally, to put myself in the shoes of a “new” person who works more or less intelligently and who comes up with something useful? Reconnecting, training and then starting in the wider sense of the society in which I live required a new energy from me, which I had to find and find.
I was tempted to give up, of course, because of a lack of approach or a doubt about my ability to understand the people around me. I have also considered reducing my ambitions drastically. In fact, I went through all the questions that you can imagine.
It was irresistible as a new move abroad. And just as exciting. We often do not have the opportunity to choose what we want to do in life and it cannot be decided within 3 weeks. From my point of view, it took me more than 18 months to combine all of these, between orientation coaching sessions, information research and various trainings. It’s long when you survive it, but it’s short on an existence scale.
And above all, it worked.
This 20-year period, which lasts roughly 50 to 70 years or more, I am sure it is not a gradual decline, when we have passed half of our lives. Rather, it is the true perfection of work, the real creativity of women!
Whatever it is, I will do everything I can to make it happen.
You can find other testimonials from women on Véronique’s blog: Les Nouvelles Femmes.
See also The Halfpost: Here are three tips from Lauren Bustide to become a strong woman