Ava Grace's Closet: Mama Monday: Barbara from Footprints in the Sand

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mama Monday: Barbara from Footprints in the Sand

I am beyond excited to share one of my favorite people on the internet with you today. 
Barbara, from Footprints in the Sand, is just about the sweetest woman on the planet and she lives in France. Where there are macarons. Enough said?

She is mama to 2 beautiful boys, Nathan and Noah. Barbara shares stories of their adventures abroad with a healthy dose of humor and fun photos. While most of us are visiting playgrounds, she's enjoying the south of France. Le sigh. 

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Do you work outside the home or are you a stay at home mom? What led you to either decision?
I work outside the home. My husband and I are both expatriated in France with our jobs so I didn't really have the option of "staying home". We have been blessed to work for an amazing company that provides daycare facilities so that our children are only a hop,skip and a jump from our office. I was also very fortunate to give birth in a country that has such great maternity leave. I was able to stay home with my boys for over four months before finally returning to work.

Did you always see yourself as stay at home mom/career woman? Was it a dream of yours?
I always imagined being one of those women that could do it all - great career, perfect marriage and well adjusted children. This was obviously before kids and before I realized how little time there is in a day and how hard being a mother actually is. There are days when I definitely don't have it all together. I still love my job and my career and I think that having a rewarding outlet helps me be a better mother to my children.

 3. What frustrates you most? What would you change if you could?
I would love to have more time with my boys. They are at an age when they are changing so much every day and sometimes I feel like I miss out on the most important aspects of their lives. By the time we get home in the evenings there is very little time to eat dinner/take baths/read bedtime stories - and before I realize it the night is over and I feel like I didn't spend any time with the boys at all. There are also those days when the boys are sick and my husband and I have to have "the discussion" about who stays home with them. I wish it were easier for me to just be there for them when they needed.

 If you are at home, do you plan to return to work one day? 
I'm going to turn this question around into would I ever stay home if I got the chance - and the answer would be no. While I miss my boys terribly while I'm at work, I see how much my boys have flourished there. Living in a different country - they have mastered the local language thanks to the daycare and my oldest is completely bilingual at just 3 years old. They also have made such great friends and I see their minds challenged daily. I don't know if I could have ever done this for my boys had I stayed at home with them.

 Any words of advice for mama's who are struggling with this decision?
There is no right or wrong. At the end of the day you have to follow your heart and do what is best your family.


The decision to work outside the home or stay home with your children is such a personal one. There is no right answer or right decision but rather, I truly feel each woman must do what is right for her and her family.
I commend each and every mother out there for this. It is not easy.
We are women and man, we're amazing.

Barbara, thanks so much for sharing your space and your thoughts with other mama's today. Know that I will make it to Paris one day. I will be the one camped outside Laduree
MAMAMONDAY

41 comments :

  1. I'm really loving this series! I can't even imagine The Boy being bilingual at 6, never mind 3. What a great gift this is for Barbara's little guys!

    Wonderful interview!

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    1. I'm not sure I can think of anything sweeter than a little boy wearing THAT scarf up there and speaking en francais! Just amazing.

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  2. Great thoughts! I was thinking of Barbara yesterday, as I tried my hand at French cooking for the first time :-)

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  3. I'm so excited to be featured!!! Thank you so much, it is such an honor. I'm waiting for you in France macarons & Chanpagne in hand!

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    1. Thanks so much my friend!
      One day...one day...

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  4. I love how beautifully she explains how it's best for her family that she work outside the home. It's so different for each family, and I know so many women feel guilt no matter what decision they make. Thanks for sharing a new (to me) blogger Susan!

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  5. Love Barbara! Her's is one of my favorite blogs. And yes, I think especially for her situation it probably has benefited the boys to be in day care so they can be surrounded by the new language.

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    1. Thanks Emmy! I love your blog too! Everyone's situation is so different - we all need to embrace our differences.

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  6. I love walking with you, Barbara, through these years...cause my memories with my kids are so linked to France and our time there!! It's inspiring to me that you juggle what you do, and I appreciate your heart and insight to know what's best for your family and to communicate with such respect and care to all moms as we make our choices! hugs!

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    1. Thanks! I love and value your words so much!

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  7. Love that your kids are so close while you work!

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    1. They are actually "at work" with us! It's amazing that we can visit them when we want. It almost doesn't feel like they're really "away".

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    2. Now that is amazing. I think I would definitely reconsider staying home if I could have Ava with me...a chance to see her at lunch, that kind of thing. So great.

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  8. I love hearing the experiences of other working mamas. Thanks for sharing this!

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  9. Just recently gone through a rough time deciding on whether I should stay at home and continue working from home or study again so I can pursue a profession. Great timing of this post! Thanks!

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    1. You'll know in your heart if you've made the right decision!

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  10. Love it, Barbara. I think it's awesome that you know that you want to work outside the home but don't "judge" moms who make it work to stay home.

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    1. Motherhood is hard enough without us passing judgements, isn't it? I admire mother's who stay at home, it truly is one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs there is.

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  11. #5 is what I tell everyone. This is a great series and she's very inspiring.

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  12. I love Barbara! I think it is wonderful her boys will speak two languages.

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  13. Hi, Barbara! So excited to see you featured AND I get to check out a great new blog! I commend you for working outside the home and being a mom. A mom is definitely a full-time and job and you do two... you go Super Mom. I wish my Lovebug was bilingual and you know I'm jealous of your adventures abroad ;)

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    1. That is so sweet. It's hard to be away from all of our family and friends - but we're trying to make due!

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  14. Yes, I struggle with this decision every day. There are darn good reasons I work and darn good reasons why I want to stay home. You do the best you can and that is all anyone could ask for.

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  15. 4 months maternity leave and bi-lingual by 3yrs old, that's great. My daughter has a couple friends from different countries and they are all bi-lingual (at least 3 languages)

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  16. What a great post! I was just reading another blog the other day about how many mothers pass judgement over other mothers. It's nice to see a mom out there encouraging other women to make the decisions based on what works for their families and not passing judgement for the decisions they make. Very uplifting interview!

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  17. Awesome advice. Love that you mentioned that there is no right or wrong. It's easy to get hung up on perfection when raising kids. I had an oddly liberating moment when my son was still a baby. I realized I had ( still have) no clue what I'm doing most of the time and more importantly that it's ok.

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  18. I didn't know you worked outside the home, Barbara! Having bilingual kids is such a gift :)

    I think the decision is even more personal than I realized at first. Now I see that there are some working moms who would be a terrible SAHM because they would be miserable, and I see SAHM who would wither if they couldn't be home with their kiddos. I think it is partly a decision based on personality. So fun to learn about you AND find this great new blog!

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  19. I imagined that I could do it all too. Then I crapped out my son and everything changed ;)
    Nice to meet you. I love meeting new bloggers!

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  21. Thank you for featuring Barbara. What a wonderful interview. I wish our maternity leave policy was as generous :(

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  22. I bet your boys are getting such a great social education living in France. What a great experience for all of you!

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  23. It was nice to get to know you a little bit more with the interview, Barbara :)

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  24. My favorite line "There is no right or wrong. At the end of the day you have to follow your heart and do what is best your family." Perfect and couldn't agree more.

    Awesome interview!

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I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.

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