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One of the big challenges of motherhood nowadays is to get back to work after a couple of months nurturing a new baby born. In fact, most women confirm that the emotions about returning to work can be very conflicting. The guilt is one of the most common feelings when the maternity leave is ending. But, why not bring your baby to work? Craziness?
To explains that YES, it is possible! Not allways easy, but possible we are sharing the article by Edite Amorim, an entrepreneur, and a mother of a stunning baby boy, that has been around her workplace environment very often.
After my latest big project in France, I heard a lot two main questions: WHY and HOW do I take my 9 months toddler with me to all the activities, including these big ones, abroad and with big international companies.
I guess the answer is simple: I feel I want to and that it makes sense to me, from within. So I don’t even question it, I just do whatever it is needed so I can put it in practice. Before even starting the project I announce my intention and state it as a mandatory condition for my participation as facilitator of the training. Only then I accept the project. (And yes, sometimes the first reaction of the company is a little bit like ‘You are joking, right?!” But once they know how serious I am about it, that is no longer an issue. They even give me tips about a room where I can confortably leave the baby during the training!)
And then I start my planning!
Is this easy? Not at all! (Not for me, at least!) It is extremely tiring and demanding. But is it worth it? Oh YEAH!
The traveling part is the first challenge.
Going alone and not on a vacation mode, I had to pack just the essentials, so I can travel as light as I can but still bring all the professional stuff plus all the basic baby-stuf. The least, the best! (I rely a lot on the help of strangers, everyone gave a small hand and is eager to facilitate our lives, I felt!)
Once we arrive at the hotel I start the part of making-home-out-of-home. Adapting ways and routines, creating cosyness and a backoffice in the same (small) space. Adapting also to the person who comes to take care of the young traveller (there is always someone else behind the scenes, either family of friend, who makes it possible).
And then days succeed. Attending preparation meetings while a baby messes with post-its or making adjustments to the training’s development during a walk, putting the baby to sleep while re-defining activities with my colleague, the patient and understanding Claire Antoine.
Once the process starts I introduce him to the group and announce his presence along the days.
Despite some surprised faces most of participants are happy to see a baby’s face! And he starts being one more in the group. Most of the time he is on his activities, out of the room, with the person who takes care of him, but he is around all the time, either for me to breastfeed him or just hold him for a bit, creating presence.
I feel 100% focused in the group when I am leading an activity that demands my attention, but when it is time for the group to work more independently, I use that time to have him around.
I noticed that it even helps in the creation of the atmosphere of sharing and going deep, for the group. It says without saying “This is real life. This is not a separated scenario who are only working. We are really seeking the best way to work but keeping our focus on real life and real conditions!”
And at the end of the working agenda I restart my mum’s life. I explore the best way to feed him, to bath him, to have a nice playground in the same hotel room:) and when he finally sleeps I knock on my colleague’s bedroom and we restart working again!
Days are definitely longer like this. And tiring. And make-up-proof (nothing can hide my small tired eyes) but there’s nothing like the cosy hug at the end of the day, showing that life is a continuum of moments and conditions. This is my message to this little person. And also to all those women struggling between family and career: it can be done. It can. Be done!
This article was originally published on Thinking Big Blog by Edite Amorim.
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