HAPPY MOTHERS DAY
It is May 2023 and it seems I’m updating my blog once every year, but I am more active on Facebook and Instagram, but less than previous years. Last time I wrote about my pregnancy and the first 3 months of motherhood. Today I am 40.5 and my little one is a toddler already 1.5 years old.
You recognize through your child that time is passing fast, every month he is growing and discovering new things and for us it looks like a small but big step in his life as he is talking his first words and walking his own path.
Often, I was asked: How is motherhood like? I must admit, there are days you are happy with your kid and there are days you are frustrated about life; it is not different than before. A child does not change your life but at the same time it changes everything.
I gave up my career, my tours and most of my travel lifestyle, my body changed and my daily routine. All week I am mostly alone looking after my son, often weekends too but in addition I need to work. I am a housewife, I need to clean, organize, feed us, educate a newborn, go shopping and count every Swiss Franc.
Whenever I want to earn extra money I need to organize and pay a babysitter or ask someone to take care. It is the same if I want some real free time by myself without other people around me but again I lose money then instead of gaining it. Such struggles a father often does not have, if he goes out or gains extra money, he does not have to care to find him/her a babysitter.
I guess, mostly a father’s daily life does not change a lot especially if he is not living in the same apartment. I cannot judge if it is easier to pay and just have a few hours fun time with a kid or my life now as a fulltime mother plus where not all my living costs are covered. And I also do not want to leave it to the father’s obligation, both have to care for their child or children, financially and with all their care, love and time.
Mostly for unmarried men, not living with their partner or ex, the lawyers calculate all his living costs and the rest of his income goes to the mother of the child. I do not write about how a father’s experience is, because I do not know this, I am a mother. And there should be definitely more help and support from the government.
Raphael’s father loves to take care of his boy and gives me all support if I ask to, and he wants to be there for us in good and bad times. Even if we do not know us much longer than Raphael’s existence, we learn and grow together and share some time and experiences. It is not always easy to be a father nor a mother.
According to Caritas, I count as poor, even if I work 20 to 30 percent of the time, often have a roommate and get monetary support from his father plus that 200 CHF support from the government per month. It is still not enough to pay all costs, like the expensive rent, the insurance and all further costs just to live and eat.
The so called rich Swiss government only support a mother for 3 months with not even a full payment of her last salary, or if she did not work in Switzerland, like me, with a minimum. In other countries a mother can have 1 or 2 years support but here in Switzerland, we get about 200 CHF per month paid, depending on the Canton where you live.
Is it a good life for the child to be left with childcare from 3 months old, then for the mother to go to work plus with the father working, leaving just evenings and weekends to see them? In my opinion, no, but again the parents must pay for daycare for the child plus the organization with the problem of staying at home if the child is sick? Even the Social Department, if they pay some money now for you, as a mother, you have to pay it back whenever you start gaining once again as soon as your child is in the kindergarten or at school.
After all this time travelling and having my small budget from Oman and the other countries I have worked, I am good at saving money here and there. Because I needed to fulfill my dreams, to discover all the countries of the world. I have travelled with Raphael to many countries as I want to do my best for him in order for him to learn to live independently and be strong.
I want to teach him that with his savings later, he can enjoy our world here, which is free, but we humans make boundaries and rules, so now we must handle this and pay for our freedom.
Inside Andrea is still the same Andrea as before motherhood, with all her dreams and ideas, creativity and love for all humans, but now my time is shared with Raphael, my body has changed and endured pain and needs strength for him. Now my mind is always thinking about him, my heart is full of understanding, love and care for him.
This is another version of Andrea and Raphael, where she must think and care about herself too by taking care about her body, her heart and her mind.
Life is now and even if I am frustrated sometimes when I think about my past life, I am grateful, because one day in the future I will think back about my life today but will I want it back, because then I will be older and my boy too. Life is for living and every stage be it good or bad, is never permanent. And I must say, there are such a lot of more intense feelings and love you get with a child. I will never forget about.
Love your life, no matter what happens, and all the best wishes for you. Andrea