Skip to content

The Grass is Always Greener

December 22, 2009

I feel kind of bad saying this…  I know that I am lucky to have a job in France and to be able to work.  But I wish I were a stay at home Mom.  I wish I could stay at home and take care of my family full time.

There are tons of people out there in France (expats) would love to have a regular, steady, job.  I really disliked my job.  Even the thought of having to go back makes me cry.  The thought of leaving my baby as well.  I know people do it everyday.  Tons of people all over the world leave their babies with a sitter and head out to work a job they don’t particularly care for to feed and provide for their families.  MrB keeps on reminding me of that.  Everyone else does it.  I am not different then everyone else.

I keep on number crunching trying to figure out how to make this work.  And I am at a loss.  It is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.  Basically I can’t afford not to work, just like in a way I can’t afford to work!  I seriously don’t know what to do.  I think that I am going to try to work from home, give English lessons and whatever comes my way.  Maybe I can get a few hours here and there at a school or something.  I don’t know.  All I do know is I don’t want to leave my baby at the Nounou’s for 12 or 13 hours a day.  If we both work the way we did before that is what we would be looking at.  I mean at that rate it would be the Nounou giving her a bath before we pick her up in the evening.  MrB’a job is never the same.  I mean, I couldn’t really count on him for a fixed schedule.  Some days he could do mornings, some days evenings, some days neither and some days he could do both.  But unless my job is equally flexible (which it isn’t) I can’t count on him.  Which means I need to do both mornings and evenings.  So I would have to go back part time to avoid the 12 or 13 hours days at the Nounou’s for the baby (and us, if she is there 12 hours a day I think it would be so expensive I might as well not work…)


I just want to stay at home with my girl, work in my yard, go to the farmers market…  How old fashioned!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2009 9:15 pm

    Have you called any language schools? Most of them will hire you with zero experience. I learned on the job and it wasn’t that difficult jumping in feet first (although I was terrified my first week!! the fear quickly passes). Offering conversation classes is a good idea too. I’ve done that for pocket money. It’s actually pretty good money.

    Will you be able to extend your maternity leave if you bf a full year?

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      December 22, 2009 10:16 pm

      I have no idea if I can extend my maternity leave if I BF for a year. I have a feeling that ‘allocation’ doesn’t exist anymore. ;(

      I am considering giving classes. I think I could probably do that part time. The problem is I don’t need to make that much money to make it worth it to be a stay at home mom. I am going to start in January trying to give classes/conversation hours and see if I can get enough activity that way. We live out in the campagne so I am not sure if there will be a lot of demand, on the flip side of that I won’t be competing with 100 other English speakers… I was also thinking like English ateliers on wednsdays when the kiddos don’t have school… I have no idea if that could work, but even at 8 euros a kid if I could get 4 or 5 for an hour (maybe two but that would be exhausting!) that could be interesting. I am trying to force myself to be positive. Something will work out. Something has to. And I guess worse comes to worse I could go back to work…. Just seems like such a hassle for a part time job to go all the way into Paris…

  2. January 6, 2010 3:59 pm

    consider me an expert in this field…
    First off, breastfeeding. Legally, you are allowed extra time (depending on the convention collective of your job) for breastfeeding. I used this to pump 3 times a day. And, here is the success story – my daughter was breast fed for an entire year, never having formula. That’s the easy part. As far as I know, you don’t get diddly for breastfeeding, not even extra congé.

    Second, work. It sucks to have to go back. But have you considered a congé parental partiel? This is what I do – taking off wednesday which is a decrease in salary but it’s a compromise we can all live with, making cuts here and there. The CAF will give you a couple hundred a month for 6 months to compensate. They also pay for part of the childcare if you hire an assistante maternelle. The amont depends on your income. We were lucky to have a wonderful assistante maternelle for our daughter. IT was hard and I was sad and jealous of the time my baby spent with someone else, but if you see it as working with her rather than being sad and jealous, it’s a good situation, as good as it can be if you have to work.

    I hate the idea of leaving my little boy in a month – he’s started with a nanny who I’m not thrilled with (my daughter’s couldn’t take him because of bad timing!) but it’s only for a couple months since we have a place lined up at the creche (a small one that seems nice).

    Keep in mind that in the countryside, a nanny will only run you a couple hundred a month (probably the minmum salary which is about 2€ an hour), unless she’s coming to work at your house rather than you bringing your child there. And a creche is usually more expensive because the CAF doesn’t pay for any of it! this site is really useful :

    Courage! It does get easier. I promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: