Monday, 26 February 2007

time to make the donuts

after a week off from work because my mother wsas here it's back to the routinne of pumping, rudhing, oumping more and having to leave my little girl at the nanny's. the only solace is that i was there when she started to clap and she now says mamama. my great fear, notr beng with her much during the week, is that she'll hit some developmental milestone at the nanny's. her first wrd, step could be with someone else. but i dont have a choice. i have to work. and i feel like fred the donut man - remember those ads for dunkuin' donuts? (for those of you who don't understand the reference)

(The above is typed with one hand while pumping. Mistakes left for effect)

The wonderful thing about being a working mother in France though is the family-friendly environment. Not only are new mothers allowed to go on a 3 year parental leave during which your job is secured, but if you choose to take a partial parental leave (I've been wokring only 4/5 of the week since January), the CAF (kind of like social services I guess) will pay a flat fee every month for 6 months which helps to cover the lost salary! Plus they help subsidize the child care fees. The amount they contribute depends on the salary level.

All these social benefits - great health care,social support, job protection - are what is costing the French State so much and is also why I would have a hard time going back to the US. It's just one less worry, you know? My 5 day hospital stay after S was born cost us nothing. The breast pump that I've been dragging back and forth from home to work since September is free. I rented it from the pharmacy and the pharmacist submits the monthly bills to social security who directly submits everything to my private health care who covers the rest.

I just wish I could spend more time with S. While my mother was here, we talked about working mothers. And my mother went back to work when I was 5. She told me that she cried when she put me on the school bus that first time. I never realized how hard it was for my mother I was just so proud to have my own house key in 1st grade! I feel bad for resenting my mother all those years because I missed the school bus ONCE and had to get the neighbors to drive me to school. But I know she tried. I just hope that S will remember how much I tried and not how much time we spend together. But I digress...crud, it's 7:03. time to make the donuts.

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