For our new ‘Mum at Work’ interview, we’re meeting a student mum. Delphine, 45, resumes her studies to become a family mediator, after working as a lawyer and taking care of her children.
She is married and is a mother of 3, two girls and a boy, aged 17, 15 and 12 years. She lives in Paris. She tells us about her life choices, her studies and her family life.
What was your activity before studying family mediation?
Initially, I studied Law and worked as a lawyer in a law office. I used to work on divorce affairs. But I did not particularly like this as it was a rather aggressive and violent environment where the modalities of action were first based on confrontation … When my first daughter was born, I decided to change to work as a jurist in a firm. While this new work had to start just a few months after the birth, I decided to quit, despite the opposition of many relatives. I could not leave my baby to a nanny or to the nursery! So I decided to stay at home, while continuing working as a free lancer for my former office … When my son was born, two years later, I stopped completely.
Was it easy to stop working?
For me, it was obvious, even if it was not easy at all! From my husband to my friends, everyone told me I was doing something stupid, that I would regret. But, I had no interest in this very active woman life …
I made another life as a mum and I met super girl friends who had stopped working, just like me. I really had a great time with my kids, and I still have !
How did you get the idea to embark on this professional project?
Almost 10 years ago, I saw a TV show talking about family mediation, which was a very new job at this time. I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do … But at that time, my last child was only two years old and it would have been unrealistic to embark on such a big project, so I waited … Each year, I came back and I continued learning about the modalities of this study programme … Finally, I started my studies. The children were bigger, I had more time … It was the right moment!
What do you like in this new project?
It is the counterpart of the divorce cases that I worked on when I was lawyer: the human, psychological and relational sides… I feel at ease and useful in this role.
Can you tell us more about this training?
This is a two-year course, with part of classes and part of internship. In total, the training is like a 3/4 of full time job, which permits me to still have time with my kids … I started it a year ago and I should finish it in June 2017 … But the selection is tough at the end, to obtain the state-registered diploma!
What do you like in your everyday life as a student ?
It’s very nice to be student again, to have classmates! We all have different profiles, it is very rich and there is a good atmosphere!
Are there any harder moments?
It is difficult to start again working intellectually, to write, to revise, … At first I did not know if I was able to study again. At the same time, I now know myself better, so the work is more efficient.
Fortunately, at home, everyone supports me and is proud of this project!
Has this project changed anything in your family organization?
Yes of course! I am much less available, so the children have to help me more and they’ve gained independence! They help for household chores, my daughters prepare dinner when I come home late … It’s easier today with bigger kids!
For my part, I learned how to let go a little on everything: storage, but also homework, shopping, appointments to the doctor, holidays’ planning … and dinners at home ! We organise everything at the last minute. Finally, it’s not so bad!
What are your plans for the next few years?
First, graduate! Then, take a party-time job in a mediation association, coupled with a liberal activity.
Many thanks to Delphine! Here are some useful links if you would like to learn more about these studies:
Let’s meet on Thursday for a homemade Winter granola recipe ..to enjoy with abandon when the sky is grey!
Have a very good week,