Archive for March, 2015

Just bring the baby.

I’d like to just take minute to talk about the feeling of — wait for it — gratitude and appreication that filled my heart on Tuesday morning. This is different from the feelings of desperation and despair that filled my heart yesterday morning and resulted in starting a full-feature film for Emil Birk at 8 a.m.

Do you know what I did on Tuesday? I went to a job interview. That’s right, yo — finally someone desperate enough to enterain the idea of employing my qualified-yet-unlicensed self and non-native langage skills. The interview was at 11:30 a.m. Do you know what makes doing things in the daytime difficult for me? Yes! We have kids at home! Sometimes one and sometimes two!! Whom I have stubbornly refused to put in full-time childcare because why would I do that when I am home?!?! But I soon need to be less home and more working for pay! Thus the juggling aspect of applying for jobs I don’t actually have the free-time to go to until some childcare options shake out.

ANYWAY: Here’s the point, and why I loved Norway, specifically rural Norway, more specifically Nord- Trøndelag on Tuesday. On Monday I called the Interview Lady. I totally butchered her name. I explained that something had come up with the arranged childcare for my son on Tuesday, and wondered if it were in any way possible to have the interview another day that week.

”No, no, it won’t work on Wednesday,” she said. Before I could even start formulating a plan B, or begin assuring her that I would work it out, she said, ”Why don’t you just bring your child with you?”

I’m not going to lie, folks. I’m quite tired at the moment, and slightly on edge wating to hear about this job, but I just got a little teary-eyed.

Just bring him with you.

Because here, and forgive my slightly emotional generalization, women at work don’t have to pretend they aren’t mothers. She didn’t ask me to pretend that I don’t have another, more important job, which I am more committed to than to any additional job offering less work but more money. Because for once, someone was making this whole job-seeking process a little bit easier for me.

So I did take him with me. Just like I’ve taken him with me to meetings at school, at barnehage, at the city hall. He came with me when I had to spend the entire day at the adult education center talking to other immigrants about their rights in the local government. One of the students remembered me later — ”You came to talk to us, you and that baby.”

Part of me does this–shows up with bag of toys and snacks and a tired toddler — because it’s the only way for me to do anything outside the house. Part of me would love to be able to sit in a meeting and turn off the ‘mom’ part of my brain; give my full attention to the subject at hand. But part of me does it on pupose. To emphasize the point this children-first society has already made: my input is valuable, even though I’m a stay-at-home-immigrant-mom.

My value in a workplace or in community service is NOT diminished by the existence, or even the PHYSICAL PRESENCE of my child.

I think we’re getting somewhere, ladies. At least in the middle of Norway.

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