Maternity Leave is Over…Now What??

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?

Signing out,


19 Comments Add yours

  1. You look fierce! I got this 4th trimester written all over you! I feel you on maternity leave and working until the last days. I had to wait until I was in active labor to walk away from my job. It was brutal and all because I wanted every moment with my baby when he arrived.

  2. Heather says:

    I remember those days. I couldn’t wait to get back to work and have some adult interaction.

  3. Catherine says:

    I totally agree with you on this. It’s so difficult now for families because the expenses keep going up especially in states like NY and CA. So important to start talking about this more! Thank goodness you have such an understanding boss. And congratulations on your new baby!

    1. Ashley R says:

      I am sorry that your maternity leave wasn’t longer. Much much longer. We get so screwed as women. And the cost of daycare is through the roof, where as in Europe its government funded.

  4. I think it’s crazy that in the year 2019 , that the government still doesn’t understand the concept of work life balance. Being a new mom or having another child is already a huge life change. I live in Canada so it is not as bad as New York but there’s always room for improvement.

  5. ESHR PRKR says:

    Nou la wi baz. ha ha! I remember when I had to go back to work after maternity leave. It’s kind of like that here to in the Turks and Caicos. Luckily our national insurance board here covered the other half my employers at the tome were cheating me out of. I used to take my lunch breaks to spend time with my lil fella and breast feed. You’re not a bad mom. The system is bad. All the best belle fanmn. Looking fab girl!

  6. Elizabeth Keene Falzetta says:

    I just love your style! And your confidence about being a mom – you’re right – you shouldn’t feel any guilt about working.

  7. AprilNewlyMe says:

    First off the whole outfit is a year sis🙌🏾! That sucks they pretty much treat it like about term disability 👎🏾. All my family and friends who had babe worked until their 8th or 9th months.

  8. Agnes Dela Cruz says:

    Congratulations and you are rocking your way back! Enjoy time with the little one!

  9. Thank you for sharing this which is so different to the maternity leave in Asia or in the UK. In Asia you get full payment for 2 months no matter if it is a vaginal birth or C-sec while in the UK it is much longer with mums usually opting to stay home with the little one for almost a year. Congrats to you on becoming a new mum!

  10. Wow, you look amazing! Happy to read that you received full benefits during your leave, though. That can be tough on many women post pregnancy.

  11. Catherine Santiago Jose says:

    Going back to work after my maternity leave really makes me cry but I have no choice I need to go back to my work for me to buy things for my baby’s needs and pay our bills. As days goes by I learn to accept the fact that I need to leave my baby to earn money and bringing a pair of her socks or mittens everyday help me to cope my sadness.

  12. Jenn says:

    USA it is so different than Canada. We have 12 months and 18 months of maternity leave! Three months is so hard because they’re still so tiny. I’m so proud that you have everything ready to go to make the transition easy.

  13. Eileen M Loya says:

    In my country, mothers that gave birth naturally get two months paid maternity leave, while those that underwent c-section gets 3 months. We also get 100% of our paycheck. I think the hardest part pregnancy is when you have to go back to work and leave your baby.

  14. Monica Y says:

    I remember how hard it was to go back to work, but we tend to adjust easy to changes, that is what motherhood is all about after all

  15. katrina Kroeplin says:

    i took the full 3 months off with my girls. you look amazing. getting back to work was so important as my pregnancies were so rough on me.

  16. kumamonjeng says:

    Congrats on your newborn and I am sure you are busy with your new baby. Your outfit is just stunning and cute. Love it.
    For Singapore citizens, the mother is entitled to 16 weeks (4 months) of government-paid maternity leave. The government want the citizen to have more babies.

  17. Ive two boys and I also have a career. Its tough in the beginning but now they are 7 & 3 I am glad that I have both. Its a perpetual juggling act but a rewarding one. You’ve totally got this.

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