Friday at home. Z turned 10 weeks this morning. It feels like she has been with us for ever.
I’ve now been at home from work 14 weeks. The first 4 weeks, I was waiting for Z to show up and then 10 next weeks, it has been a discovery of this little girl plus for me the start of coming back in my normal shape. Without going in too much details, the birth went pretty well for me, but after 9 months of carrying a stomach which is getting bigger and bigger, my stomach and back have a long way to be in shape again. I’ve started some exercises but honestly, it is for me difficult to take 20 minutes per day and do them. I just hate it. I’ve been taking pretty many walks, mostly to make things than just with the goal to go. I hate to walk without a purpose. I still have my goal: to run 10 km in 50 minutes when Z will be 1 year old. The other day, I took a long walk (more than 10 km) and put some running in it (run one minute and walk 4 minutes). I was pusching the strolley as well, so it was very challenging. It was the very first time I was running, and it felt like my legs were very weaks. I did not pee on myself, which is one of my biggest fears for the future after the birth.
But… Today, two days after my long walk, I feel in my back that I have difficulties to hold myself straigth. I really need to make these exercices for the back and stomach, but well… Where is my motivation?
I’ve also been swimming and it went pretty well, except for my breath. I need to train up my heart again, but it will be ok.
Another thing that will change soon: I will go back to work 5 months earlier than planned. And I (and the whole family) are happy with that. I am incredibly thankful that M’s and my employers give us the possibility to do so. M and I will work 50% each every week. This will give us the opportunity to spend as much time with Z during her whole time before she begins the preschool. Of course, this is only possible because I don’t breastfeed her anymore (I stopped when she was 2 weeks) and because I feel strong enough in my body to work 2 to 3 days a week. This is not given to everyone. To me, this is the real face of parity. M and I will have as much insight in Z’s development. Right now, this is heartbreaking when something new happens during the day and M misses it. I also think that we will even more enjoy “adults discussions”and passionate work during our working days and free time when we are at home with Z. Everyone is different, but for me, a whole week at home with Z when M is working is a bit too long. On thursday, I feel restless and Z still needs her quiet, sleep and so on.
To be at home with your baby is incredibly possible in Sweden, compared to other parts of the world. I have France as comparison and I can tell that I am very happy to be a mum in Sweden for that. I do think though that it exists a lots of fake informations going on the internet (not only in the world of Dj Trump.et…). For a kid in Sweden, you have 480 days to share between the two parents, with 90 days that are fixed for each parent. The parent who doesn’t give birth gets 10 days when the baby is born. Most of the time, the mum stays at home the first period and then the other parent is at home. From all the people I know, I don’t know one family which shared the parental leave so early as we do. It may for sure have to do with the baby needing the mum for the breastfeeding. OR if it is not the reason, I hope we did not miss anything. Because it is a jungle… You have your 480 days to share between the two parents, the preschools maybe do not have place for your kid when you want, there is a lots of vacations from school you have to think of and as we, you may not have an easy babysitter closed to you, that you can call quickly. You even have to think of your retirement money, of the sickness money and in general, how much money you are willing to get to make your budget go round. And this is one missunderstanding that travels on the internet: you are NOT getting 80% of your whole salary when you are at home with your kid. Well, yes, you are getting if IF 1) you are taking 7 days of parental money a week 2) your salary is under the roof the social security pays 3) you only get it for 300 days of the 480, for the 180 days left, you get 18 euros a day. I don’t know anyone making the 3 things working together.
Of course, most of people get kids because they want it, so did we. We knew these consequences and the happiness to have Z in our life is bigger than that, and we have good financial conditions since a while, so no arm on us. But think of that when you are believing all what is on FB.
To me, working 50% will give me another wonderful possibility: I will not need to find an excuse for not training half of the week ;)