Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A pretty tray for my cupcakes.

I now understand where the word freelancing comes from. It is because you often write for free. Right?

But hey, it is nice when someone wants you to contribute. We all like to feel wanted. And it is nice to contribute to something you actually think is a good project. Like this new site that has just been launched in Baku: Women's Forum.

So here it is, do check it out: A pretty tray for my cupcakes.

Tell me what you think. You have not been talking to me recently. I reckon, it is my friend's evil eye. She said: "You are so lucky! People run blogs for years and get no comments, and you get loads!!"

And, of course! she jinxed it. You have all shut up as soon as she said that. Which proves that Azeris are right, and evil eye does exist... Or, that I am not writing anything you want to comment on....Hmm...No, it definitely is the evil eye's fault.


  1. I think that you are underestimating and generalizing stay at home moms way too much! Please don't think that it is all fun and games... Many women sacrifice their glittering social lives and glamorous careers to stay at home with their children so that they can raise them with the values and love that all children need. It is a blessing to be able to stay at home and raise your children and although one door may shut many far more inspiring doors open.

  2. @ anonymous: It is difficult to present the whole palette of thoughts and emotions i have gone through myself. I think it is very hard to find the perfect balance. Some people find it easy to sacrifice everything they had before. Some struggle. I myself work part-time, but often wonder if I am doing the right thing. The truth is- there is no one correct answer, is there? As long as you are happy. I am still looking for my own perfect balance. I know I can not sacrifice myself entirely. I have already sacrificed too much! I think a lot of us change way too much when we get married. And I do think it is important to remain ourselves. At least, try. :)

  3. I haven’t been asked this question for a long time. First couple of years after moving here, people used to ask me about the biggest culture shock that I experienced in US. I guess they expected me to gush over the Malls.
    What I told them was that I was most shocked that in this most advanced Western society there is room for debate about working mothers. I realized then that US is much more conservative that I could have ever imagined.
    After hearing me say that, their faces would get long and they would go away. They were probably thinking, “What kind of crazy feminist country did she come from?” If they only knew. They would be in for a culture shock to remember.
    It took me awhile to get my career back on track after moving here and staying home for a year with our daughter. It was hard leaving my little girl at home even though my Mom came to live with us to take care of her. I missed her so much I cried. In my mind I had no choice. My Dad raised me to be “somebody”. I’m a good Azeri girl. I listen to my Dad. I pass this on to my daughter now. I hope she listens.

  4. I loved it!
    Your great grandmother must have been something. Quite an example. Now I understand where did you get that interesting way of seeing life from.
    Is this a single collaboration, or it will be periodic?

  5. I think there is nothing wrong in admiring a nice tray--after all, it falls to a woman to decorate her living quarters and create that cosy feel, more often that a man. Honestly, I feel that that kind of thinking that an educated and brainy woman cannot admire household items is the side effect of the feminist movement that has given women so much but has taken some of us along the wrong path of resisting the natural feminine part in ourselves.

    As a mother of a 15-month old who works full-time (and even more than that lately), I think it is not our role to judge anyone.... I mean, being a GOOD mother and a GOOD wife is HARD, you have to give credit to women who succeed at both roles and raise decent people in a nurturing enviroment. Now I myself, if I had to stay home full-time, would still find something intellectual to do (this is not to say that you don't use your brains when you raise a child but you know what I mean). I just would not be able to be a full-time caretaker/cleaner/cook and not have time for things that stimulate my brain and can give me the space for myself. But it is just me.

  6. I forgot to comment that I once read that modern women, without realizing it, have now double work: at work and at home. A working mom stays several hours outside home... working. And gets backs home to... keep on working.

  7. The article is wonderfully written! You are getting better and better, Scary.

    On choosing between family and career... It's a tough one, for sure. Some would argue that raising children is just a different type of career (full-time job, for sure). But it's not a permanent one - once kids reach 10, they are becoming independent at a rapid pace. So, what are you going to do when the children don't really need you that much anymore? I think women need to have a plan B: a profession or hobby to fall back to, if not for money, then for the sense of purpose.

    By the way, there are ways to deal with cheating and dying husbands: you divorce the former and sue them for their assets, and you take out life insurance policy on the latter (the trick is to have them do it while they still alive).

  8. Thanks to all for comments! You should have seen the discussion it caused on Facebook!

    Gloves are off, mothers are shouting at each other. LOL

    Maybe I need to cut and paste it here!

  9. Nata, I so hear you about the US being more convservative that I could have ever known! I don't know where you live now but we just moved to Texas after living in north-eastern states for a long time and, boy, am I learning the difference between north-east and "the south" when it comes to family values, career choices for women and perceptions of what women should and should not be doing. It is very interesting to experience this new culture.

  10. I guess you'll have to copy and paste here a roundup with what is going on on Facebook. I'm one of the few people in the world without a Facebook account.

  11. To a certain extent I have to agree with some of the comments about western values. You meet so many couples nowadays in which she is from the former Soviet Union or India or South America and he is from the west. Is it because we like to stay at home and have babies? Or is it because we work to financially support him? Or maybe because women from developing countries are prepared to do all of the above and never complain? My mother raised three kids (before nappies, frozen food, and Tide) and worked full-time. Did anyone ever question this? In my opinion, being a good mother is not about doing laundry five times a week. Being a career woman, does not mean sacrificing our love for beautiful house things. Ultimately the mothers that will loved and respected most are those who preserve their personality and individuality. Nobody wants to be burdened with a woman who has NOTHING TO DO when the kids leave home. Being a housewife also requires a career plan.

  12. Marianna,
    We live in Milwaukee, about an hour drive north from Chicago. It's no Texas, but no Northeast either :) Love, love, love NY btw :)
    People here are polite and almost all women on our block are lawyers, doctors & engineers. And the few who stay at home are interesting people with a lot of kids, so hat’s off to them.
    I don't believe in women making other women feel bad about their lives. Life is tough enough, why make it worse?

  13. Oh, can not agree with you more...Been in the UK for over a year now, married to the British in Baku, and started worked as soon as we moved (was lucky enough!). 2 weeks ago left for a maternity leave and, oh boy, what a culture shock I have experienced :-) ! My british male colleagues at work kept munching over how at last I will be doing what the woman is supposed to do - cook, go to the shops, look after kids, and I realised they already said good buy to me - they were not expecting me to be back to work ! I even attended a workshop for pregnant women where people were trying to help you to go throught the difficult period and help to not loose yourself :-o...I realised how conservative some people could be here, especially the older ones, the yong generation now needs money to pay for a mortgage, hence they both work, same as back home....But even my husband, who is same age as me, said, "you have a choice now - you do not have to go back to work really..." I told him that in Baku girls like me work, we go on maternity for 6 months and come back ! And noone questions this and noone attends the workshops - we just get over it, simple as that :-)
    I was convinced when I moved here that Azeri society is conservative, male dominated, but now discovered that in some ways the British are conservative too, and with respect to working women they are in fact (or some of them - sorry keep generalising) much more conservative than Azeri men - that was my culture shock. But it made me feel better - the British are not so different from everyone else :-)) they are too conservative like my beloved Azeris - hoooray!

  14. oh yes, and thanks for the link to the "women forum" ... I needed some more reading material about what is happening in Azerbaijan - miss it...

  15. I enjoyed it Scary. Very well written. I can identify witht the forward thinking grandparent who urged you to be independent and not rely on a man, but mine was my grandfather!

    I've always wanted to continue to work and part of it is to have some independence and know that I could cope if the worst came to the worst and I was alone with my daughter. I was thinking of writing a 'why I'm a working mum' post at half term and you've spurred me on!

    I also think you handled 'anonymous' very well. There are many types of mothers who work or stay at home for different reasons and when I read your piece I didn't feel you were generalising, just referring to some types of mothers. It's time we women stopped bashing each other about our life choices; the key thing, as you so rightly pointed out, is that we should actually have a choice.

  16. @working mum: Thank you!!! Look forward to checking out your posting on the subject.

    @ Riyad: something i meant to say but forgot! When I said about husbands cheating/leaving/dying/losing their jobs, etc etc I was not talking JUST about financial side of things. Being a couple with two kids is not always fun and games, but being a single mother with two kids, even if you manage to "sue his arse off" as my friend said once, is still going to be incredibly hard, I imagine. In any case, there are just too many aspects I wish I could cover in one article, but alas, it is impossible.