Maternity Leave

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With just a few weeks away from my due date I am finally going on maternity leave as of Christmas. Although I do still have some time and could theoretically work for a little while longer it as just proved too darn exhausting. Thinking the last 35 weeks over, I would say I had a generally easy pregnancy and I am in really good physical shape…I could easily go on working for another 2-3 weeks if it wasn’t for the simple fact that my ribs hurt. Yes ribs. ” What do ribs have to do with babies or going to work” you are probably wondering. Well, they have absolutely everything to do with not allowing you to be comfortable in a simple position like sitting on an office chair or the sofa. Because there is a little foot in your rib. It makes me feel as though this baby has bones of steel. The ribs on the right side of my body feel like they are on FIRE. The only way I can tolerate it is if I am standing up or lying down, basically anything that keeps my back straight.

So maternity leave. Here I come. As per the Omani Labour Law, women are entitled to 50 days pre and post maternity leave on full salary. That is incredibly little in comparison to other countries (up to 14 months in Germany, 16 weeks in France, 18 weeks in Russia, 22 weeks in Italy) but beggars can’t be chooser now can they? Combined with other pending leaves I have pending in total I am eligible to be away for about three months.

When I think it over in my head the first though that occurs is “Wow, three months! What am I going to do with all that time???” and then…I remember that every single moment of my day will be entirely wrapped around this bundle of joy that is about to arrive. I doubt I will be bored.

Also because life has the tendency to work out all by itself  these days, I was given a fantastic opportunity to come back to work part-time after I have the baby. Just 4 hours a day. You see, I work in the hospitality industry which sometimes calls for 10-14 hour working days, elaborate stress and continuous dedication. I am utterly immersed in this job and would be heart-broken if I had to leave the industry or even the position. I just found what I love to do. (The husband?…No he is not a big fan of my job)

When the offer to move departments and consequently move to a 4 hour working day came in, I accepted it immediately. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, I believe it would be better for my child if I was a well-rounded person in all aspects and if I had a life outside of changing diapers and wiping spit-up the whole day. (An opinion my husband also feels strongly about). So come March back to work I will be, into a brand new department with new challenges and responsibilities.

Up till then I will have to grow accustomed to my most challenging and exciting job yet…beeing a mommy.

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I am busy being pregnant…

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…at least I wish I could say that I was away from the blog because I was busy buying tiny pink outfits or drawing ponies on the nursery walls. But that wouldn’t be true. It feels like I have no time to be pregnant these days. No, I understand that I am pregnant and the ever growing tummy is a huge (no pun intended) reminder of that but I just don’t have the time to embrace it these days. Perhaps the most “pregnant” thing I do during the day is take my vitamins. Now Alex on the other hand was ready to put the baby bed up about two weeks ago. (Don’t worry, he didn’t).
I am working full time and I think that is to blame for the fact that I sometimes “forget” that I am pregnant. Colleagues are constantly nudging me to stop carrying things or to walk slower and after I give them a puzzled look they say “because you are pregnant, remember?”. Of course I remember! Especially since the almost-daily-deadly migraines have invited themselves into my life! But those are a whole different rant.
I know that I need to slow down and enjoy this time as it is going by so unbelievably fast. We are half way there…we are just half way away from having a little one join our family. It feels like the weeks are flying by. Especially since I am at work pretty much from 8 to 6 everyday and I cannot seem to catch a break when I am home because something always needs doing (like dinner…because people need to eat!!!). Work has taken fancy to evening shifts the last two weeks so I end up going home at 9:30pm for the majority of the working week and only have enough energy to drag myself to the shower and consequently to my pillow.
This is meant to the phase when the baby is able to distinguish voices and sounds so parents are encouraged to speak to the child and begin reading bed time stories and etc. It bothers me somewhat that I cannot seem to find the time (or the energy) to do this as I simply cannot bring myself to take half an hour to “rest”!!! And the truth is, I am very tired. Not in the same way that I was tired during the first trimester when any energy I had was drained out of me and I could physically not manage the simplest tasks. Oh no. The energy is back now and better than ever. I am just pressed for time and a little preoccupied with everything going on at work…so absolutely no time to stop and smell the roses.
I have days when I stop and think that I absolutely cannot do this anymore – juggle work, being pregnant and running the house. Times like these, I begin to feel very sorry for myself and consider taking a few weeks off work or even hiring a housemaid to help me around the house more frequently. I have not even began thinking about maternity leave at this point. Everyone keeps asking if I plan to return to work immediately after the baby is born and the truth is…I have no “plan” yet. I am one of those strange people who immensely enjoy their job on a daily basis so leaving it all behind would literally break my heart. By no means do I underestimate how difficult it is to have a newborn and work full time- I just hope I can find my way around that somehow.
We will just have to wait and see.

Job opportunity!

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Over the last few months my mom has been working very hard on establishing her own business. She is now the proud manager of a women’s clothing store located in Zahir Mall, in Khuwair. It is a very spacious, well lit, warm store that offers a range of bags, evening and casual shoes as well as dresses, pants and tops. The merchandise is from Italy, making it of a very high quality and certainly unique in Muscat- something we all welcome! It is a very well known fact that Muscat somewhat suffers when it comes to shopping extravaganza. So resist the urge to go to Mango/Zara/Gap the next time you are clothes hunting and visit the USF store instead! Only one little hic up there…the store is not open yet. Which brings me to my next point:

JOB VACANCY

A boutique is looking to recruit an Omani sales girl. Applicant must be hardworking and social. Previous experience in sales is a plus. Attractive salary and comfortable working hours. Salary on probation is 250OMR and will be increased once probation is successfully completed. CVs can be email to usfoman@yahoo.com

I am reaching out to you dear readers because so far the word of mouth I have spread amongst my peers has not been very successful, so if you happen to know anyone who may fit the profile described above- please encourage them to apply!

More on the opening of the USF store will be posted next week (Insha’lla). I will also be posting a link to the Facebook page of the store soon- featuring dozens of pictures of the merchendise!