A mother’s lifeSeptember 2015

After spending eight years in France, where she met her husband, Christina now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She’s the mother of three young sons and works at the Alliance Française. She talked to us about the highs and lows of life as a busy working mother.


  • How many children do you have? Could you tell us their ages and first names?

I have three boys: two were born in the France and the youngest was born in the United States. The oldest, Ilyas, is 11, the second oldest, Jalis, is 8, and the youngest, Sofian, is two and a half. I was 26 when I had my first son.


  • What was it like being pregnant?

Each pregnancy was different. With my eldest son, I had to do an amniocentesis and I went to see a neonatal cardiologist. Fortunately everything was fine, but the examinations really stressed me during my first pregnancy. Our first boy finally arrived eight days late, and he was delivered by caesarean section, but he was really healthy.

During my second pregnancy I spent most of my time chasing after his big brother, who was two at the time. I also did a lot of prenatal yoga classes to help me manage the pain and I didn’t have to have a second caesarean section.

Finally, for my last pregnancy, my two oldest boys were at school, and I was back at work full time. I was really busy, so I didn’t have much time or energy to think about my pregnancy or to prepare for the birth. The baby arrived three weeks early: we really weren’t expecting it and we were taken a bit by surprise!


  • Could you tell us the best thing you remember about the birth of one of your children?

I remember the day when my two eldest sons came to the maternity ward to visit their new brother. They were so happy it was really moving!


  • What were the first few months like after the birth of your babies? 

I spent them breastfeeding, trying to catch up on sleep, and feeling amazed by my little angels.


  • What’s a typical weekday like for your children?

It’s often a race against the clock, especially in the mornings! They eat breakfast, get dressed, pack their school bags, then we all leave together. The evenings are quieter: everyone comes back at different times, but we all arrive home eventually. Then we eat together: mealtimes are pretty hectic but it’s my favourite time of day. Afterwards they do their homework and wash and I read a bedtime story. Then it’s bed for everyone!


  • What’s the most difficult thing about having a baby?

The most difficult thing for me was letting my children do their own thing, right from when they were very young. I think that children need to learn to fall asleep by themselves, express and defend themselves, and simply be happy without constant help from their parents, even though they obviously need us. The question of independence is still something I have to think about, and that’s true of my eldest son too, even though he’s in college now!


  • Lastly, what do you enjoy most about being a mother?

The hugs, the laughter, the kisses, the smiles and the drawings. There’s nothing better than hearing my children laugh.

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