Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maternity Leave

40 weeks and 4 days.  Still no baby.  And my boss (aka my father) told me I am done working starting today.  At least for a little while.

One inevitable thing that eventually comes up when you have a baby... what happens with your job?

Are you going to keep working?  Will you become a SAHM?  What are you doing for maternity leave?

Sometimes people ask.  Sometimes they don't.  But I think everyone is curious.  At least other women are always curious.  I know in my time as a blogger I have read several posts about new mom's plans regarding working and their new baby.

As a professional and business owner, I've had to juggle a lot of feelings regarding maternity leave and being a working mom.  One thing that  I know for sure is that being a stay at home mom for me isn't in the cards for me.  A huge part of me is insanely jealous of those moms that get to stay home with their kids all day.

I know maternity leave is important.  Not only will I physically need the time to heal from having the baby, but the baby and I will need the time to bond and work out this whole feeding and sleeping thing.  Even though I know these things, a part of me feels really guilty when it comes to maternity leave.  A part of maternity leave means that I won't be there to do my job.  And that means that someone else will have to do the tasks I would normally perform at my job.  Maybe this wouldn't be a big deal for most people.  But because I work with my dad and he and I are the only engineers, that means my dad has more work to do.

And that makes me feel guilty.

He already is the hardest working person at the company and now he has to work more because I am going to be home on maternity leave.

On the flip side, I know several women who get  months of paid maternity leave.  Their jobs actually pay them to stay home with their babies while someone else does their job.

And then there are some people I work with who have referred to maternity leave as a "vacation".  Pretty sure that recovering from pushing a human out of my body, feeding him, and bonding with him is not a vacation.  But then again, that's what you get when you work with men.  It reminds me of the following quote from Friends:

Rachel: What do you mean, you're taking over my job.
Gavin: Well, while you were on your baby vacation, I was *doing* your job.
Rachel: A vacation? My idea of a vacation does not involve something sucking on my nipples until they are raw.
Gavin: Clearly you've never been to Sandal's Paradise Island.

Or you can watch the video HERE.  It starts at about 36 seconds.

The fact that I work in a very male dominated industry doesn't help either.  I'm not sure many of the people I work with are used to an engineer being gone for long periods of time.  It's usually the engineer's wife that has the baby, not the engineer.  It's almost like I feel as if being a woman and needing maternity leave makes me less of an employee.  Like it is baggage or something.  I have no idea why I feel that way.

And I wonder if I would have the same feelings of guilt if I worked with a majority of women, instead of men.

I have shared these feelings with a few women I know and they have done their best to assure me that maternity leave is nothing to feel guilty about.  I guess there are some Scandinavian countries where women get like 2 years of paid maternity.  It's just in our country that we don't value women and childbirth.

In terms of my maternity leave... we will be playing it by ear.  I'm fairly certain I won't be having a traditional maternity leave period.  I will be working to a certain extent, whether that be from home or whatever.  And the whole time, I'll be doing my best to eliminate any guilt I may be feeling.  As my mom told me, moms always feel guilty, no matter what they do.  They feel guilty if they work.  They feel guilty if they don't.  

But after everything it took to get us here, I know I will be enjoying the time with my baby.  That is for sure.


  1. Oh I ended up quitting my job because it was basically a thing where I'd get leave, but it would be unpaid and my position wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed when I came back. Add in the fact that in order to keep my health insurance while on leave, I'd have to pay the company $1600, I decided to just hit the road. The sad thing is this - even though the company was basically screwing me over as far as benefits were concerned, I STILL feel guilty that I quit on my due date because here I am, a week and a half later with no baby. I could have continued to work and lessened the burden felt by fellow employees. I shouldn't feel guilty - I should be resting and preparing for baby to get here, but here I am, still feeling like a huge jerk because other people got stuck with my work before they should have. Anyway. Rant over. Hahaha I guess I just hate that it's almost expected for us to feel guilty no matter what!

  2. I went back to work part-time after my first and still wish I hadn't. Instead of maternity leave, I quit when I was pregnant with number two. I've been home ever since, number three is 15-months, and wouldn't change a day of it for anything.

    Baby changes everything. People can tell you all about it until they're blue in the face, but you can't know until it's you. Baby changes everything. Yes, you may go back to work. Yes, you may be perfectly happy as a working mom. The stay at home gig isn't for everyone. But either way, Baby changes everything and whether you're at work or at home, life will never be the same.

    I say pray that baby stays in for another day or two and go eat some Happy Hour at one of your favorite restaurants. Or lay on the couch with the remote and some fast food and enjoy your independence.

    Here's to a happy, healthy birth and baby!!! Can't wait to see pictures of the little critter.

  3. Whatever you decide, I hope the next post is of a healthy baby!

    My boss basically told me I would be back. That I would never be the woman who could give up my career. But once my daughter was born, for me, I just knew I'd be staying home with her. It was the right choice for me. Good luck with your decision!

  4. Once I looked at Emory's face, I never wanted to work again!! Haha! Unfortunately we need a little bit of the money that I was making, so here I am working one night shift a week. Craziness! But she is so worth it!!

    Praying for you in these last few days of pregnancy!!

  5. Just got my check for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much money you can earn by taking paid surveys online...

    So I show them a video of myself actually getting paid $500 for doing paid surveys to set the record straight.


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