Maternity Leave is Not Regular Time Off

Here is a friendly reminder to colleagues of fellow career moms and parents in Working America:

While I understand it's not easy for everyone to understand what maternity leave and the delicate balance of motherhood and career are like, maternity/parental leave, is 𝘯𝘰𝘵 the same as other time "off," such as vacation.

In preparation for my maternity leave, I (and likely many, if not all, other parents) put forth double the effort, double the time, and have done double the work (triple, actually, when including freelance projects) than normal to ensure things are taken care of while on leave.

AND I (and other parents of multiple children) have prepared for it all while homeschooling and caring for my little ones, running around for prenatal appointments, and taking care of the household.

While out on leave from my FT employment (much of which is not 100% paid, and some of which is unpaid because paid family leave is still not universal), I'll be adjusting to caring for my two small kids and newborn … while recovering from a major abdominal surgery, dealing with dropping hormones (AKA all the emotions), attempting to breastfeed, and so much more... on much less and much more interrupted sleep. And I will be thinking about work, probably checking in to see how things are going (because I know myself). I'll also have to take care of insurance and follow up on my application for NYS family leave application.

Of course, during my leave, I'll be enjoying my new baby and our expanded family. There will be moments of relaxation and fun and togetherness.

When it comes down to it, however, the reality is this is not synonymous to taking time "off." After all, I will be the most "on" I've likely ever been.

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