Maternity leave, like politics and religion, is a topic that should be avoided in polite conversations.
Is that a Miss Manners rule? No? Maybe it should be.
Or, maybe, the better solution is for all of us to stop judging new mothers for their decisions. It leaves them doubting their plans and feeling crummy for not measuring up to expectations.
Here’s an example:
I was at dinner not too long ago with a group of friends and from across the table, I heard one of the ladies in the group ask the prego amongst us about her maternity leave plans. As they chatted, the curious friend said, “Well, you’re obviously going to take a full year. That’s what you get.”
An otherwise confident woman, the prego slumped her shoulders, lowered her head and mumbled, “I don’t know.” Then, proceeded to quickly change the subject.
In that moment, I ached for her.
I had been there multiple times myself, but I will say I never handled it quite as gracefully as she. And, we’ve all seen it play out in the media countless times.
Need I mention Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, who was skewered for her maternity leave decisions both in 2012 after the birth of her son and again in late 2015 when her twin daughters were born?
Sadly, harsh judgments aren’t reserved for those taking shorter maternity leave times. I’ve witnessed the same scrutiny when women decide to extend their leave well beyond the “respectable” time.
Like so many decisions related to pregnancy and motherhood, maternity leave is a polarizing topic. Many believe there is a “perfect” amount of time for mat leave. Let me tell you, there isn’t. All we can do is find the right amount of time for us, our babies and our situations.
In today’s episode of The Crazy Good Life, I share the three questions you’ll need to answer before you can decide what is the right time for you.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.
How long was your mat leave? How did you think through the decision? If you’re still finalizing your plans, what are the key factors influencing your decision?
Leave a comment and let me know.
As always, thank you for reading and watching.
P.S. If you know a mama struggling to make her maternity leave plans, please share this episode with them.