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Sarah
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Micro maternity leave

Micro maternity leave

I must admit I won’t forget the former French justice minister Rachida Dati, in 2009, who went back at work five days after a caesarean. It stayed with me primarily, because five days post c-section with my offspring I was stringing my hospital stay as long as possible. I couldn’t imagine getting dressed up, popping on my stilettos and going to work. The photo of her looking incredibly glamorous and waving to the crowd as she went back to work is burned on my brain. Mainly because I couldn’t help thinking that must have hurt her stitches like hell!

She is one of many mothers who is part of what’s being called the rise in micro maternity leave according to this article.

Victoria Beckham who recently became proud mama to baby Harper didn’t have any planes for maternity leave as far as I can see and was quoted as saying ““Maternity leave – what’s that? I’ve been working incredibly hard so I’m prepared for next season. ”

The argument goes that with the economy in decline many mothers are returning to work much sooner than previously even though we have laws in place regarding maternity leave. This is particularly so with those who own their own business or are the main breadwinners. I returned to work when my eldest was four months old and second time round when my next child was nine months old. With my third I was working from home by then so I just did what I could when I could. It wasn’t an official return to work by any stretch of the imagination.

According to Ariane Hegewisch , Study Director at the Institute of Women’s Policy Research: “The rising participation of women in paid employment outside the home has been one of the most dramatic social changes during the last three decades….Yet long leaves (of more than six months to nine months) are associated with lower employment rates for women overall and correlate with a fall in relative wages for women”

The thing was I adored my babies, but I also loved working. And financially I had to return to work initially full time and cutting back to part time in later years. But I thoroughly enjoyed the few months I had off with my babies each time. And this has got me wondering and worried. How many mums are being pressured into returning to work incredibly early order to keep up with trends or because they’re worried about job security? Or is it just celebs who are doing this?

14 Member comments Post a reply

Avatar SarahBlogger



There is an increasing trend of micro maternity leave. Sarah looks at the issue of mums returning to work days after bub's delivery.

Read the full blog post: Micro maternity leave

Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:17 AM

Avatar Ahalfdozen

I returned to work when my son was 3 weeks and 2 days old. I hated it. Regret it so much. The Dad had taken off and stolen all the money I had saved for my time off. I met and began dating my now fiance while I was pregnant (But felt it was a bit much to ask him to support me while on leave). We are now pregnant with our second bub (He see's the first as his also) and he is willing to support me for as long as I would like. He is even frantically applying for new, higher paying jobs so that we have the means to do so. I am very much an active person, I used to struggle taking holidays longer than 2 weeks without being bored and needing to return to work, but even 3 weeks with my son was no where near enough. WILL NOT be doing that again.

Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:57 PM

Avatar TJC2010

Hi, I had a ceasarian and returned to work after 3 months. In hind sight I wish I had taken longer but had to return earlier if I wanted to keep my current position within the firm that I work for. The emotional roller coaster was hard and I constantly feel guilty about leaving my child every morning. Being the main income earner was also a deciding factor.

The criticism from other women was very hard to take but financially we couldn't afford for me to take a year off. I love my job as well and think of all the things my child has due to me returning to work. Another mother in a similar situation said to me that it's about quality hours with your child, not quantity. I ensure that every second I'm not at work is spent with my child and cherish every moment.

Second time around (if I'm lucky enough) I will be taking more than 3 months off.

Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:24 PM

Avatar Will and I

I am having twelve months off and struggle at the thought of putting him into care at this time. I have the option of two years off and my position will still be held. In saying that, finances will likely warrant my return after twelve months. I would love to find a suitable way to remain at home...so far the lottery isn't working out for me and inspiration for a viable home based business - well none to date. It's not 'PC'to say it - but I envy the 1950's stay at home mum.

Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:00 AM

Avatar LauraM81

When I was pregnant with DS I initially thought I would just take 3-4 months off and return part time. When he arrived I realised that it was unrealistic and ended up having a full year off. I changed employers since then and had DD 4 months ago. The pressure has been on big time to come back asap but I have been able to delay as we cannot get a daycare place until next year. Every time I speak to my boss she drops hints about how busy they are and she really wishes I could come back sooner, but at the end of the day DD and DS are more important than a job/career to me smile

Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:27 AM

Avatar LauraM81


I am having twelve months off and struggle at the thought of putting him into care at this time. I have the option of two years off and my position will still be held. In saying that, finances will likely warrant my return after twelve months. I would love to find a suitable way to remain at home...so far the lottery isn't working out for me and inspiration for a viable home based business - well none to date. It's not 'PC'to say it - but I envy the 1950's stay at home mum.



Totally agree about the 50's stay at home mum!

Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:28 AM

Avatar cbekky

While I was pregnant the thought of returning to work 2 months after my baby would be born, was fine...I thought very do-able. Now that my son is in my arms the very thought of goin back breaks my heart.I cant imagine being at work 40hours a week while he is so young & missing out on him growing up.
Finances are up in the air, & will dictate me going back as am the main breadwinner....
Its even harder now as have been offered my DREAM job, one which I have waited years for....& I feel very torn on what I should do.

Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:56 PM

Avatar Annette-200

I was a single mum and I started a new business, 6 years on I have found a success industry online solutions that enables me to spend time with my son and make more money in a month then I do in a year in my traditional business. Best decision I made,now creating the future I desire and deserve www.annettesayers.com.au

Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

Avatar Tanianadia

I work as a subcontractor which essentially means I run my own business so I have been juggling emails since the day I got home from hospital. Bubs is 6 weeks old now and I'm due to go back in a full time capacity in 4 weeks... Not looking forward to it but am going to try and work from home as much as possible but it's just a little daunting trying to contemplate dealing with lots of phone calls and emails and getting quality time with my lil man

Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:08 PM

Avatar meegy-moo

I am due in a few weeks with my first after years of TTC, and plan on taking 12 months off - the thought of going back to work after this is a bit daunting, as I do not want to miss any of the milestones. If I wasn't there for the first word or steps I would definitely feel guilty, but these days it is very hard to maintain a household on a single income, especially when trying to save for a house or to try and get anywhere in life.
I justify it to myself as a small sacrifice to pay when the time comes, as it is working towards a better and more secure childhood for my little one.

Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:59 PM

Avatar Apri01

Taking time out while taking care of your baby is very important, that means doing things for yourself like to try Zumba or Dance Class, do Yoga practice. I agree that new mothers should be allow themselves to take breaks from the baby at least once a day.

Posted 29 June 2012 - 05:55 AM

Avatar Mgraham2

It's not 'PC'to say it - but I envy the 1950's stay at home mum

I totally agree. Not to sound backwards, and I love the fact that women are more present in the workforce these days, but things were so much more clear cut when the men went out to work and the women stayed home with the kids. These days women are expected to be the primary caregiver and breadwinners and cook and clean..... It seems to be creating a generation of women who feel inadequate no matter what they do! If they stay at home and look after the kids, they arent contributing to society, if they go back to work they are bad parents. If they try to do everything they run themselves into the looney bin.

Not sure what the solution is, besides winning the lotto or discovering that a long lost uncle in Belgium has died and left you his millions.

Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

Avatar Mummy2Be.xx16

Im going to be taking 6-8 weeks off when my bub's born. I know a lot of people have said this is un realistic, but im 19 and going to be a single mum, So i have no choice. Also i will NOT be full time i will only be 2 days a week probably 5 hours a day for a while until my bubs older. My mum is brilliant and she is a night shift midwife so she will take 2 nights off a week and look after bub whilst i work and all the other day's everything of course will be down to me... I hope it goes to plan lol!! But i don't think anyones 'plan' stays that way. I know it will be hard, But i have never wanted to be a stay at home mum and think i will need those couple of days a week to keep myself sain as i am still only young and being couped up in the house all day doesn't interest me and as my friends are not really stay at home mums either i would be quite bored and alone. smile

Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

Avatar Little Sprout

Its nice to know theres other mums out there who are in similar situations in regards to work. I do feel like im constantly frowned upon from having a job and it really annoys me. I think there should be more support for the women that do. Its actually a good thing! With balance of corse. It means i value my time with my son soo much more. What alot of people dont realise is that some people simply cant afford it otherwise and i would refuse to get money for free. I started back after 6 months, But i think no matter how much time you take off youl always wish you had/have more time with them.

Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:27 PM

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