So it finally happened. After 3 short months of maternity leave, today I returned to work. I have to be honest it was not so bad. Of course I was allll the way sleepy, it seemed like the kiddo did not want to sleep at all last night, and he woke up about four times. I’m guessing he was sensing my anxiety and knew that today was going to be a different type of day.
I woke up early, nursed Nico since he was up and got ready for work. The hubby was able to make sure baby boy was dressed, made sure his bags, bottles, and pack and play were set to go for daycare. This made it easy for me as I got dressed, made us breakfast, packed our lunches, and pumped my boobs. Wow that was a lot to do before 7:30 am, but we did it. The hubby drove baby boy to day care and dropped him off since my first patient was at 8 am. I think that worked out well because I was able to calm my own anxiety, and did not have to be stuck with thoughts of regrets and wanting to quit my job. I got to work, was locked out of my computer, apparently when I was out they decided to upgrade widows. Therefore, to my surprise all my previously saved documents were gone. Great, that sucks. I saw my patients, completed my 4 hour day, made a stop by my crossfit gym for the lunch time workout, and then picked up the kiddo. Not a bad day.
The daycare he goes to does not have cameras, I really wanted a daycare with cameras. Yet, I didn’t want to pay a monthly mortgage payment for daycare, so yeah no cameras. However, they do have an app that they send updates on. I’ll take it. At least they send pictures during the day. Nico appeared to have a good day, although I am concerned that he did not eat enough. He was an eating machine when we got home. I will continue to monitor that. I’ll say for day 1, so far, so good. I get some relief and return to being an actual adult with adult conversation for a few hours each day, and baby boy makes new friends. I just hope he still likes it when he realizes that he will have to go 5 days a week.
Now, since I promised you my rant on maternity leave in the U.S. I have to take this time to go off. I ABSOLUTELY HATE the fact that the United States does not have paid maternity leave. The patriots scream that this is the greatest country in the world, yet many families cannot afford to have a baby in order to keep the population growing. If you do have a baby, parents have to return to work almost immediately just so they can afford to keep living a suitable life after the baby arrives. Thus, leaving little time for parent-child bonding, attachment, learning skills, and development of healthy attachments.
I felt lucky that I was able to use leave time, and got one disability check. Wait, was I disabled? NO, I just had a baby. Having a baby is not a disability. It is the joy of bringing a life into the world. Since I had to save up leave time, that meant throughout the 9 month process of growing a human I had to be careful not to take a day off. Thank God I wasn’t sick during my pregnancy. I could have used a few days off to take care of my own mental health though. I’m a therapist, who couldn’t even take a mental health day, isn’t that ironic, don’t you think.
For a country that claims to care about family values, I’m not sure where those family values start. How can you shape and mold your child’s future when at six weeks we ship newborns off to day care. Then have to work 2 or 3 jobs to pay for day care, preschool, and save for college. Now I won’t turn this into a political rant, but I do wish that the party of family values, actually thought about family values after the birth of a baby.
Honestly I could have used 4-6 months of paid leave and I hope more jobs move in that direction. With paid family leave we can reduce rates of postpartum depression and anxiety, decrease family stress, enhance parent-child attachment, and increase rates of healthy pregnancies for women. I could only hope that by the time I give birth again there is a change in maternity leave policies for all jobs. It is time for America to actually be a great country, and that starts by catching up to other great countries in the way that they care for women, women’s health, and overall family development. Rant complete.