Hey Y’all Hey! Kijan ou Ye!
It’s been 3 of the happiest, scariest, filled with lots of laughter and cries months of my life. I still can not believe I’m a mom!
Maternity leave is over and I’m returning back to the 9-5 life.
Let’s talk about maternity leave in New York for a bit.
Plain and simple, Maternity leave in New York is trash!!
If you work for a company that provides you with maternity leave as part of your benefits package, GREAT! However, if you are like me and work for a company that does not provide maternity leave, you are covered under the law through New York Paid Family Leave (NYPFL). There are some stipulations to this though. NYPFL provides you with 8 weeks of paid leave for vaginal birth and 10 weeks of paid leave for C-Sections starting the day you give birth and not a day before. This really irks me because it doesn’t give you any wiggle room to take a break from work before your baby comes. Also, we all know that ‘due dates’ are estimated. In my opinion, maternity leave should be 6 months the minimum.
Since it’s called “paid leave” you think it’s 100% of your paycheck but that’s a big fat NO, you only get 60% of your paycheck which is laughable because your bills are still 100%. Thankfully I have a great boss who is understanding and provided me with the full 12 weeks (3 months) as well as receiving 100% of my paycheck.
Bottom line, New York State needs to do better for mothers. We shouldn’t be stressing about our bills when pregnancy and child birth has its own set of stress to overcome.
So, when you see a pregnant woman working literally till the last day of her
pregnancy, this is why! She’s saving her time.
Now that my mini rant is over…
Going back to work after maternity leave is definitely an emotional time. Child care for my son was never an issue. I was confident in who he would be staying with. The emotions came from me thinking am I ready to go back to work? Am I ready to not be with my child every hour of the day? He’s only 3 months, I won’t be there to see his growth…the guilt took over my thoughts.
So instead of allowing myself to sulk deeper in mom guilt, I choose to let it go and enjoy the last few days that I had before returning to work with my boy.
The week before I returned to work, I did the following to prepare myself:
- As I said before, dependable child care was already secured. So, I just asked what they needed from me to make this transition easier for both of us.
- I spoke with my boss just to clarify the start date and to be clear that although I am his employee, I’m also a new mom so some flexibility will be needed.
- I purchased a new breast pump (stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about the pump life) that would allow me to pump at my desk and not interrupt by day. Legally, my boss is only obligated to provide me with 2 15-minute breaks to pump and let’s be real…pumping takes at least 30 minutes from beginning to end.
Now that I’m back to work for an entire week, I can honestly say that I enjoy having a routine. I enjoy the challenges that the work day has and I also enjoy the social aspects. Do I still feel guilty for going to work? Unfortunately, I do but I believe that feeling will start to subside as time goes on. I just have to keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as a perfect mother and that working a 9-5 does not make me a bad mother.
If you are a mom, how did you cope with going back to work?