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Friday, April 24, 2015

Funny Friday - Pumpkin

If you came to my blog for the #‎AtoZchallenge‬ click here:Part-Time working Mom's A - Z challenge


You are very welcome to read on, though, this is good stuff, too:


Today’s post is April’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.


Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by The Bergham’s Life Chronicles




  1. Talk about deflated...
  2. All hat and no cattle? And YOU wanted to become a floating pumpkin?
  3. Bean bags are so yesterday!
  4. Size ain't everything...
  5. Who was that Swiss blogger who kept complaining about how she couldn't find any pumpkin puree in the stores?

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile: 





Thursday, April 23, 2015

A - Z Blogging Challenge, Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of my A - Z blogging challenge.




Every day I am using the letter of the day to talk about elements of being a (part-time) working mom. 
 
 

Xerox
 
X is for Xerox and for the fact that I was and am lucky enough to get a part-time job where making copies is not within the top tasks of the job description.
 
When you google (in German) "how many part-time management jobs are there in Switzerland?" you'll get an article that proudly tells you  that by the end of 2013, 14.7% (more than the previous year) of the Swiss men were working part-time. No specification what type of positions those are anyway. For all I know those could be student jobs.
 
The Swiss Federal Statistics Agency more or less confirms this number, but of course they don't know what kind of jobs those are either, regardless if for boys or girls.
 
 
So what kind of jobs do those part-time workers hold?

Here's a graph. It says almost 80% work in private households. Are those the housewifes? Is this statistic even about paid jobs?

Second: teachers,
Third: medical and social professions
Fourth: "representation of interests", I don't even know what that means. Posted it on FB, lets see what my friends come up with
Fifth: Entertainment, culture and sports
Sixth: Retail (finally!)


Source: www.und-online.ch

Later in that report you will learn that out of the part-time workers, 12% are self-employed (are those the ladies who run an etsy shop?)

18% of the managing positions are part-time jobs. That is the number I was looking for, and it is (if it's true) higher than I thought.

So how / why are those demanding part-time jobs created? I'll go into that tomorrow when Y is due.


Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think.

And join me again tomorrow for Y!
 

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Train of thought




That pretty much sums it up, right? 

I don't feel like I'm a fidgety person who's like "look, a squirrel!" all the time. I think I mask well. But on the inside? I have a lot on my mind to put it mildly. And I may have impulsive tendencies. 

It was worse B. C. = before Colin, when I was working full time and had a so called important job. The market we managed consisted of two countries = cultures (yes, you'd be surprised how unlike Switzerland and Austria are, neighbors or not!) and three languages. Add to that an immense fluctuation in Baristas and a growth rate of about 30%. Can you blame me for being all over the place, not only physically but also mentally?









You people with linear brains laugh as much as you like -  us global folks can't just switch off our thoughts. They keep popping up! That's why I can't do mediation or autogenic training. Too many squirrels running around!

  • How about you? Are you all 

Now I have to run… appointment, groceries, stuff!

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Utterly admirable new me!


I have been stuck in my daily grind for a while, and I needed to make some changes.

Let me tell you about the new me! 


As I haven't quite gotten used to the new me myself, let's use "she" for the time being.

She gets up really early in the morning, all refreshed from a good night's sleep, cheerful, too. She goes for a run, takes a shower, makes a healthy breakfast for her family, packs snacks, gets everyone ready and out of the house without having to get pushy, goes to work where she arrives on time. Her hair, clothes and shoes are impeccable.

She has a lot on her plate but manages to set and stick to priorities and to get everything done. She tackles the unpopular jobs first thing, so they are off the table. She doesn't waste time on social media. Instead she always has a smile and an open ear for everyone.

On her way to pick up the kid she stops at the market for some fresh dinner groceries. After a yummy home made meal and some fun quality family time around the table, she cleans up the kitchen, gets the kids through their bedtime routine without yelling, folds laundry, preps for the next day, checks email, pays some bills, reads for a while and then goes to bed. 


As always she sleeps like a baby and wakes up totally refreshed and ready for a new day - a charity meeting is due. Yes, she's back on board!

Sounds really good, right?

It’s a shame I have to tell you that...

Instead of an utterly admirable new me...

You’ve been reading about an urban myth.

Well, some of it is true.
  • Can you guess which part(s) I made up?
  • How would a day in the life of the utterly admirable new YOU go down?
Leave me a comment below, I love to read what you have to say!

I'm looking forward to welcoming you back! I will update this post tomorrow by adding the letter V.


PS: Here's another urban myth if you're up for more reading: Work- / Life Balance for working mothers


PPS: In case you think I cheated on this letter... here's a little something for you:

 Umbrella counting

Aka something to do when the weather is bad but you still want to go outside. That's what we did a while ago. While on a tram ride, I would look out for the black, grey and white ones, and let Colin count all the pretty colored ones.


When we departed at the outskirts he was leading big time. As soon as we got close to downtown / financial district I caught up.

It was fun - try it some day!

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V is for Vomiting
(Overwhelmed Mom-ents, Part 3)

It was only my second week with the airline. 

C and I just came through the worst part of traffic jam when he had to cough so badly that he choked on some air and threw up. As soon as I could I stopped the car and cleaned up as best as I could, but it was still a mess. 

Of course, the clock was ticking, and I had an appointment.

We arrived at daycare, I carried him from the car to the entrance where one of the ladies opened the door for us.  On the changing table, I removed the dirty clothes, stuffed them into a bag and put him into the spare clothes that every family keeps in their kid’s drawer. 

He seemed fine, but I felt so bad to leave him there and literally run off to the office. 

Oh, and of course I had some barf on my business suit. Even though I rinsed it off with water, it was still smelly. Not to mention my car, but I couldn’t take care of that, I needed to get to the office, and quickly!


That poor candidate I had to interview. I took my jacket off and left it outside, but I felt that my hair was smelly, too. 


Venting

Whining for grown-ups. 

When I need it most, I don't have time. 

Like my situation above. 

In a perfect world I could have gone to the office, grab a friend, sit down at the cafeteria and narrate what just happened. She'd listen, understand, support and build me back up, all while sipping on a doppio espresso and munching on a chocolate croissant. 

Oh, well. I got my venting some five years later, here on the blog. I feel better now. Thanks!

Oh man, once I can look at the situation calmly and from a distance, I'm just having the most brilliant idea! Time permitting, I could have gone to the uniform counter and beg for a cabin crew blazer!

Photo credit: Swiss International Air Lines Ltd
  • Ever had a situation similar to this one? 
Please share in comments below!





Weird

I was gonna write about Work-Life Balance, but as you could read a couple of days ago, this is actually an urban myth.

Weird it is.

I’ve been a Mom for almost 7 years if you include the big pregnant belly period. 



Ever since then I have experienced so many weird moments. 

Like multiple personalities weird. 

In my life I was a baby, a little girl, a daughter, a sister, a kindergartner, a play buddy, a student, a teammate, a young business professional, a girlfriend, a manager, a boss, a wife – everything in due time, and even if two or more coincided, it was easy to differ: 

  • I went to school Monday through Friday, would sit in a train and go see my boyfriend for the weekend. 
  • I left the house around 7am and be a corporate person for about 10 - 12 hours, then I’d come home, get rid of the heels and the suit, change into my PJs and be the cuddly wife. 

In 2008 I became a Mom, and life has never been the same.


On the rare occasion I left the house without baby C I would feel weird because I was at the market at, let’s say 10am when I would usually be at work. Almost like playing hookie. I’d hold the door open for a fellow Mom with a stroller, only she wouldn’t know how weird it felt to be out and about without stroller myself.

When I have to run errands for the office with Colin in tow, especially when he was a toddler, it was very hard to keep a straight face when talking to people. Like the time we went to a print shop to negotiate the price and delivery date for business cards. He’d run off and find stuff he wanted to show me: „Look, rainbow paper! Mommy, may I have this card with the choo-choo train?“



Sometimes it also helps to have a kid with you when you need to get stuff done. Some sales people want to get you out of the store before running the risk of having a toddler tantrum, so they help you very efficiently ;-)

Oh, and some sales people are parents themselves! I remember one time when C wanted a car. I told him to put it back, but he’d smuggle it on the conveyor belt. I signaled the cashier that I was not going to purchase this car, and she managed to let it disappear without him noticing.  He was confused but didn’t want to tell me why, bwaahahaha! 

These days he hardly ever joins me for grocery runs anymore, so when there is a promotionI have to actually ask the cashier for the toys, stickers, etc. because they don’t give them out to people who don’t look like they’ve got kids. I don’t know wheter to take offense or as a compliment. 

It’s all weird… and fantastic at the same time!





W is also for „what others think I do“



  • Does having several hats on feel weird to you?
  • What's YOUR "what others think I do" story?


Leave me a comment below, I love to read what you have to say!

I'm looking forward to welcoming you back! I will update this post tomorrow by adding the letter X, this shall be interesting, huh?
 
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There will only be four posts that are being updated as I go, with the most current letter on top so you don't have to scroll:



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A - Z Blogging Challenge, Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my A - Z blogging challenge.




Every day I am using the letter of the day to talk about elements of being a (part-time) working mom. 



Naps (no)

Colin was never a good sleeper. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  The first year or so I had to go for a stroller walk every day in order to get him to sleep. 

When given the choice he'd much rather sit and watch what's going on out there!

Then we tried the crib. Sometimes it worked. 

Other times… not so well.

Then he learned to get up and stand at the bars. He would sing and talk and call for us, for another story and another hug and another sip of water,…

At some point - of course - he figured out how to climb over the bars. Imagine the possibilities!

In June 2011 we removed the bars, and he had a regular bed from which he could get up and out as he pleased. And he did please!!! 

Of course not taking naps at nap time resulted in falling asleep between 5 and 6pm, no matter the location. 


Then he'd be awake for like 10 or 11pm.

I tried lots of tricks and methods. We talked to our regular pediatrician and we went to see a homeopath who gave us some globules. That night was perfect! The next? Nope.
One night when he kept coming out, we told him that he obviously didn't need a bed and removed everything except the frame. (I had read about this on a parenting platform. One desperate family reported great success after they did this.)

Without a word Colin grabbed his stuffed animals, threw in a couple of toys for good measure, lied down - and slept!


I'd love to tell you that from then on naps / bed time were working out. 

Sorry.

He'd still come out of his bed to see what I was doing ALL THE TIME. I desperately needed me-time. Either to work or play on Facebook network. Plus his eyes were sleepy and he was yawning so badly.

One particularly annoying day I said "OK, scr** your nap, put your shoes on" 

His eyes got wide, so did his smile. I buckled his car seat, and he got excited. 

"Where are we going, Mommy?" 

"To Mommy Rehab - that's a place where mothers go once they can't take it anymore because they are just too exhausted. There they get to sleep, read, write, paint, and somebody else is taking care of lunch and dinner and laundry."
"Can kids come, too?" 

"Nope, but they get to visit on weekends - will you be coming and visiting me?" 

While we were driving and talking about who might be looking after him while I was gone, he dozed off (naturally…) 

We ended up taking a nice walk in the  psychiatric hospital's garden, meeting a couple of donkeys and sheep, having some ice cream, and in the evening he told his Dad that Mommy took him to a nice place, but he still didn't want her to go there so he would try and stay in his room during nap time. 


I'd love to tell you that from then on naps / bed time were working out. 
Sorry.
He's now 6.5 years old. Bedtime is still no walk in the park.
  • What methods worked to get your little ones to go to and actually stay in bed?
  • Have you ever dreamed about going to Mommy rehab?

Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

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Overwhelmed (mostly OK, though)


I consider myself being OK most of the time. Sometimes I am on top of things (LOVE those moments!) and sometimes – well, once – I drove off at the gas station. With the nozzle still in the tank...

Disclaimer: This is not my car, and I didn't make it to the freeway ;-)

I will tell you about my top three overwhelmed working Mom moments when the appropriate letter is due:
P is for Parking Ticket
S is for Sickness
V is for Vomiting

In the meantime why don't you tell me one of yours?

If you are looking for tips on how to handle times when you feel overwhelmed, this is a helpful article: 5 things to do when you feel overwhelmed

Leave me a comment, I love to hear from you! Also check out my Faceboook page!

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Parking Ticket
(Overwhelmed Mom-ents, Part 1)

First off: when I say "parking ticket" I am not talking about the note you get for violating a traffic law. I'm simply referring to the piece of sturdy paper, the size of a credit card that you get when you enter a parking garage. Before exiting you need to insert in into a payment machine. Is there a better name for it?  *confused*


It was a rainy, busy Saturday afternoon. C was still very little. I remember because he was in his baby car seat that faced toward the trunk of the car and I couldn’t see him while driving.  

We were on our way out of the parking garage at the supermarket. Shopping had taken longer than planned and I needed to get him home and fed. 

There were a couple of cars ahead of us at the boom gate.  When it was my turn, my hand felt for the parking ticket where I always put it. It wasn’t there!! Huh? I was now using my eyes but they couldn’t find it either. I groped all of my pockets and started rummaging in my purse and wallet. The ticket was not here! 

The cars behind me started to honk, Colin was getting fussy, the car windows were fogging up from the humidity, and I was sweating. 

I got out of my car and approached the one behind me. I told the driver I couldn’t find my ticket, and if he gave me his, we could both get out if he followed me really tightly. He was polite enough not to say what he was thinking – that’s one crazy bitch – but declined. 

So I got back into my car and set it in reverse. The guy behind me did the same, and the next car and the next... Until I had enough room to escape the exit line and get back into the parking area. 

Remember it was Saturday, and parking spaces are scarce.  I unbuckled hungry Colin, and back up to the supermarket we went. The lady at customer service took pity in me. Usually a replacement ticket costs between 20 and 50 bucks, depending on the business. 

Instead she called the friendly maintenance guy who came down to the garage with us and opened the gate when it was our turn again. 

In the meantime poor baby C ran out of patience and screamed his head off. Time to race home!

  • Have you ever been stuck in a parking garage?


Quitting

Who doesn’t want to toss in the towel from time to time? 
My last time wasn’t long ago. 
According to Colin on Mondays there are „Plätzli“ for lunch. Plätzli are savory pancakes filled with either spinach, cheese, mushroom, etc.  We buy and store them frozen, so they are convenient, and I make them when I can’t be bothered to get to the store for groceries on Monday mornings.
One particular Monday I thought I’d give hubby a break from the Plätzli and made pasta instead. Everybody loves pasta. Colin loves pasta. 
Not on Monday he doesn’t. He was very clear about it that he was not happy as soon as he set foot in the kitchen. He was hungry, he was grumpy, he didn’t want to wash his hands, he complained some more when he saw there was broccoli and he didn’t appreciate my calling him an ungrateful brat. 
We also argued about iPad time.
By the time hubby arrived, I announced „you know what, I have had it. I quit!!! As of right after lunch I am not in charge of this household anymore!“
Hubby played along and asked C what he was going to do now.  Shrug. „Eat yogurt?“
When we were done with lunch I didn’t even load the dishwasher. Instead I made a list of chores that typically occur and handed it to Colin, then I went and put on my shoes. 
He followed me „where are you going?“ 
„Away. I can’t do this anymore. It’s just too hard. I am doing my best here, and all I get from you? Complaints? No thanks.“
„I’m sorry, Mommy. I won’t complain anymore. It’s just that Monday is Plätzli day, and I was looking forward to that all morning, and I was so disappointed...“

So we kissed and made up. 
THIS is what a perfect Monday looks like!
  • When was the last time you wanted to quit?
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Roberto

Late August / Early September 2009 the phone rang. It was Roberto. We were coworkers with Mövenpick, the company I worked for before their ice cream business unit was sold to Nestlé. After transferring most of the employees I had to lay myself off. (There’s a first for everything!)



Anyway, we chatted, and I told him how I didn’t miss the corporate world and how I enjoyed staying at home with baby C who was going to turn 1 soon.

„Hhhmmmm. I guess it’s not a good time to tell you about a job opportunity?“

Roberto was working for Swiss International Air Lines in the meantime.

He told me about a part-time job ad he saw on the intranet, 50% Human Resources Manager with excellent language skills in German, English and French, and immediately he thought it was perfect for me.
Sh**
He was right.

If I wanted to get back to work, this would be the exact kind of job (and environment) I would choose.

„Look, why don’t you apply, just to find out if they invite you for an interview at all. There are usually tons of CVs coming in, everybody wants to work for an airline, because, free flights! At least you can say you have tried, right? Why don’t I send you the job ad, and you just have a look at it, see how you like it.“

Clever.

He was right, though. There must be plenty of Mommies out there who were desperate for a job like this. 

I slept on it.

I knew I wasn’t going to apply just to „explore“. If I applied I’d want the job! And if I wanted the job I’d better zap up my resume and hand it in before all the others will!


The rest is history. Well, actually, you’ve read it. See „E is for Eva“! 
  • How about you? Do you have people looking out for you?
  • Have you ever done the right thing at a not so right time

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Sick Kid(s)
(Overwhelmed Mom-ents, Part 2)
  
About my 4th or 5th week at the airline... So still pretty new and eager not to confirm existing prejudices versus working Moms.

I was just back from lunch (man, did I enjoy having lunch with a grown-up colleague who didn’t need a bib or help with the food and no wiping!) when daycare called.

Colin was running a fever, and I was supposed to come and get him. 
  
WHAT, RIGHT NOW?
In an hour I had an interview scheduled with the CFO who was a busy man, and there was nobody who could take over for me! Eva, my wonderful boss had the afternoon off, and I was NOT going to call her.
  
What to do?
  
I could not pick him up, drive him to my parents’ and make it back in time.
I needed somebody closer... Somebody I trust and who might be at home.

Hmmm, his Godmother lives 20 minutes away. She’s a teacher and a mother of three and certainly not looking for more work, but I was desperate, so I called her.

She said she was sick herself, otherwise she’d be at school, but if I wasn’t worried about contamination I was welcome to take him to her for the afternoon.

Phew, saved!
This picture was taken on a later day.
You can tell they are not sick here!
On my way to pick him up after the interview, I stopped at the drug store to get stuff for both of them.

  • How do you handle sick kid vs work?
  • Is there anything WORSE than having to work when your baby is sick?

Leave me a comment below, I love to read what you have to say!

I'm looking forward to welcoming you back! I will launch a new post tomorrow starting with the letter T.


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There will only be four posts that are being updated as I go, with the most current letter on top so you don't have to scroll:



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