Friday, April 29, 2016

Breaks, Kids and Me Time

This article popped up on my Facebook feed today - I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids. 

This quote from the article really sums it up. "But the more I thought about it, the more I came to believe in the value of a “meternity” leave — which is, to me, a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs."

This idea what maternity leave is a break of any kind makes me mad and makes me want to laugh at the same time. My maternity leave wasn't a break at all. I was recovering from my c-section, which is major surgery. Plus I had this tiny baby who would wake up every couple of hours and need to be fed and changed.

My husband went back to work only a few days after Emily was born, so I didn't get a lot of help. The entire time that I was on maternity leave (before I got laid off and became a stay at home mom for a while), I was so sleep deprived that I could hardly think.

Maternity leave is not a sabbatical, it's not a break of any sort and honestly it should be paid leave and longer. But that's another post for another time. If someone wants the 'perks' of maternity leave without kids, they should have to have an alarm clock go off every couple of hours in order to get up like new moms and dads have to.

Yes, I chose to have a kid, but that doesn't mean I didn't deserve that 8 weeks of time in order to recover and get used to this whole new person. Maybe in some offices kids mean you get out of work earlier or that you might decide on a different career field because of kids, but that doesn't mean it's unfair to those who have, either by choice or design, no kids.

I work from home doing tech support. I make decent money and I'm off work once my daughter gets home. I value her and being her mom more than having a career. And lots of moms are able to juggle more kids and a career so it's possible.

Parenting is hard, but it is at it's most exhausting and draining those first few months of a child's life. If you think maternity leave is a break, then I suggest you volunteer to watch a newborn for a few hours (if you know anyone who is willing to let you watch their baby) and just imagine what it would feel like to take care of a tiny baby while recovering from birthing said baby.

Breaks and me time are good. One of the reasons I only have one kid is because I need me time every once in a while. Everyone needs me time, but that's not something that happens when you have a new baby.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! The "perks" of maternity leave?! That person is crazy. Maternity leave was not fun. It was harder than going to the office to do my paid job. It was the opposite of vacation.
    What this person wants is a six-week (8 week? 12 week? whatever) vacation. Which he/she could probably get, actually, by working at the same job for a very very long time or finding a position that comes with awesome benefits. I had 4 weeks vacation after working at my company for 10 years. Then I left because they suck, but that's irrelevant here. I hear colleges offer sabbaticals. Alternatively, this person could save up over the course of a few years and take a three month unpaid leave of absence, paying themselves and enjoying their vacation.
    Which would be way, way better than maternity leave.