Blog

25th July 2014

Housewife and Work life

After one year of being a full time mother and housewife, I have come to the desperate conclusion that it is not so different from being in the corporate world!

To start with,

The job: In the beginning you might have been vaguely informed of what was expected of you but you would be lucky if you had a job description. If you are one of the few fortunate ones, you would be tactfully guided by a predecessor who did the same job before you (his mother or yours), but most likely you would land up with someone who thinks they can do a better job than you and takes every opportunity to tell you so!

The position in the company: Depending on your partner, you might or might not have a management position and your team might or might not be a large one. You might be responsable for the budget or you might have to justify every single expenditure in complicated spreadsheets to your “boss”.

Your boss: As in the person responsable for your main source of income. Here again, if you are lucky, you would have a kind and understanding boss, making clear to you what he expects of you, listening to your needs, appreciative of your work, supporting you when you have a problem, communicates regularly about what is happening and being loyal to you if his own boss (his mother) or colleagues (his family) have unreasonable demands on you or/and criticise your work. And as in the corporate world not many of us has that!

Your future in the company: There is no guarantee. Obviously you think if you worked hard, put in long hours, put the company needs before your own, added profit and value to the company, continuously improving or reinventing your image, reading and training yourself to understand the latest trends so you can understand the younger members of the company… after 20 years of hard work and loyal service, you might only just be thought of as a dinosaur by the younger generation. If not you could be replaced by a younger version of yourself, coming from Asia or Eastern Europe, depending on the current trends, with only a pittance of a retirement package. Obviously you could sue the company in hope of a bigger package, but most of us will just accept that as part of life.

So yes there is not much different between the two worlds…or maybe apart from the fact that in the corporate world you don’t have to have regular sex with your bosses to maintain a certain harmony in the company…hmmm… well most women don’t have to…!

7th December 2013

Advent Wreath Tradition

There is a tradition called “Adventkranz” or Advent wreath which originated in Germany. Four candles are placed on a wreath of evergreen plants decorated with all sorts of dried plants, fruits… Starting from the first Sunday in December, each candle is lit every Sunday until all four are lit by Christmas day. This tradition has its roots in pagen pre-Christian times to symbolise the eternal cycles of the season. The evergreen represented the land, the red life and the gold light. It was later adopted by the Christians, where the wreath represents the crown of the King, the circular shape represents the fulfilment of time that both comings bring about, and the light of the candle represents Christ who will come into the world on Christmas Day. Some believe the candles represents the words of the prophets which pierced the darkness under which mankind suffered while awaiting the Messiah!

So as I love to follow the local customs, I decided to make my own wreath! The branches came off a tree nearby!

 

The candles I used are from my candle making experiments and have to be tested which explains the odd sizes and shapes! The acorns and leafs came from a tree nearby.

The following week, a workshop was held in school for the kids to make Advent wreaths to sell at the school Christmas market to raise funds for the school. This was led by the very talented Nina, a mother from Slovenia, who left her flower shop there to follow her husband on expatriation here.

The school is filled with such talented mothers and through the different Christmas workshops these few weeks, all their talents were exposed! I look forward to learning many new creative arts!

4th December 2013

2nd chance?

After spending so many years working desperately, I am now in a very fortunate position to be able to do what I want to do. And I’m not alone. I am surrounded by women like me, who moved to the little town of Ulm to support their husband’s career, and giving up their own in the process. A few ran their own businesses, others were senior managers in large companies, and yet surprisingly, all of us now feel very lucky! We now get to spend more time with our kids, get involved in the PTA, go to the gym, exploit our creative talents we guessed we had and generally do all the things we never had time to do before.

We start life with so much hopes of a successful career, so much enthusiasm to give our best to the company, so eager to learn and to share. To be rewarded for all the hard work and long hours we put in, all the guilt of spending so little time with our family or the guilt of missing a meeting to take our child to the doctor. And then somewhere in our early forties, no matter which position we’ve reached in our career, we’re disillusioned, disappointed and just wishing we could just get out.

So yes we are the lucky ones. We get to appreciate whats really important. I wonder how long that will last…