Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Nursery - guilt and terror

I go back to work in 2 months, and don't get me wrong because I love spending time with my daughter, but I am happy about the return. Almost 7 months at home is enough for me. And here is when the 'problem' starts. On one hand I am happy, on the other my Polish mentality, family, other moms, media are making me feel guilty. Why? The main argument is that mother should stay as long as possible with the child, at least 2-3 years. Only terrible mothers give kids to the nursery. Everyone seems to say 'how can you do that to your child, leave such a little one for 8 hours with strangers, what kind of mother are you? You will regret it'.  That's the terror part. When I google 'nursery' in Polish most hit are so negative and depressing: 'kids in the nursery-psychological stress',  'don't harm your kid by sending her to the nursery'.
Here in Belgium the mentality is different, the maternity leave is 3 months and creche seems to be a  normal and common choice. Mothers go fast back to work, of course they use the grandparents when possible but no one is condemning them for subscribing a baby to the nursery. Good or bad? I think that the most important is to act as you want with no pressure from the society. But maybe it's not possible.....

Monday, 10 March 2014


Being ill is never fun, especially when you are breast feeding. I am really greatful that February is over and the weather is so beautiful outside. Because last month I spent most of my time visiting doctors, a few words about Belgium's healthcare system.

As in most countries, the system divides itself into state and private but what I find 'interesting' is no matter which type you choose, you have to pay. In Poland, where I am from, you only have to pay if you visit a private clinic. Therefore in Belgium you need to ensure that you are adequately covered through insurance so called mutuelle/mutualiteit. After living for almost 5 years in Belgium, I still find the system ridiculously complicated. General practitioners can be found in private practices or attached to clinics and hospitals. Private practices are often just in apartments in normal block of flats. I found that suspicious in the beginning, now I just got used to.  Don't forget to take money with you (cash!) because Consultations always end with payments. Usual price from 25 to 60 Euro which will be reimbursed later on by your insurer. So keep the receipt and send it later to your mutuelle.

Hopefully no more doctors starting from now on!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Age and culture

I got married when I was 25 and I had my daughter at 28. For me this was perfect age, my work colleagues considered it as early, statistics from my home country say 'young wife/ mother is till 25'. I like to consider myself as a young mom, age is a state of mind anyway.

And here another interesting website for "parents raising Little global citizens".

Friday, 7 February 2014

Ellen Bialystok

I came across quite inspiring research of Ellen Bialystok, a Canadian psychologist interested in bilingualism and it's effect on language and cognitive development:
- Bilingualism in development
- Reshaping the mind: the benefits of bilingualism

Monday, 3 February 2014

Mixing languages

There are 2 things I am nervous about when I think about the future:
 - my child will start speaking really late because 4 languages might be too much for her
- she will mix the languages and no one will understand her. Although a plus (or maybe a minus?!) of our environment is that each language comes from a different language family so the vocabulary and grammar is totally different.

Here are some articles about raising bilingual kids:

Sunday, 2 February 2014


We speak in 3 different languages at home and as we live in a French speaking country, the 4th language is inevitable. At home we use so called OPOL method (one person, one language), each of us speak in our own native language to our daughter plus we speak English when we are far it's not a problem because our little one is only 3 months old. I am just concerned about the future when she starts to speak and really communicate in all these languages.

I found here an interesting article about different language systems:


There are countless definitions of multilingualism and linguists are still debating which one is the most accurate. Here is a very simple on: multilingualism is an ability to use multiple languages by an individual speaker. Is that so? If someone speaks basic or intermediate  French and Italian does it make him/her a multilingual person? I don't think so. For me the knowledge of the language should be complete. But then again what does it mean? When are you fluent in a language? Where is the border? Impossible to say...