EAST TIMOR: The Juggling Act

For most of us, it is impossible to predict what it will be like to juggle the responsibilities of life, work and family until we’re actually in the trenches. Looking back, I really had no clue.

At around 26-weeks pregnant (with twins), I clearly remember my supervisor’s reaction when I explained my post-maternity leave plans. I would take the maximum allowance of 12 weeks unpaid-leave (yes, I know…don’t get me started), return to work part-time at three months, then full-time at six months.

My supervisor at the time – a supportive mom of three – proceeded to laugh at me. “What? You don’t think it’s realistic?” I responded. She smiled knowingly and gently suggested that I wait and see how things go.

But the truth is, I hadn’t really thought it through at all. With so many practical things to focus on, the theoretical aspects of impending parenthood had escaped me. I had no idea how life would change once the babies arrived, so it seemed safe to stick to what I knew and assume that I’d keep working. (more…)

Shaula Bellour (Indonesia)

Shaula Bellour grew up in Redmond, Washington. She now lives in Jakarta, Indonesia with her British husband and 9-year old boy/girl twins. She has degrees in International Relations and Gender and Development and works as a consultant for the UN and non-governmental organizations. Shaula has lived and worked in the US, France, England, Kenya, Eritrea, Kosovo, Lebanon and Timor-Leste. She began writing for World Moms Network in 2010. She plans to eventually find her way back to the Pacific Northwest one day, but until then she’s enjoying living in the big wide world with her family.

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