Maternity Leave is a beautiful thing. Moms shouldn’t apologize for enjoying that precious time. You worked your way through a pregnancy under the pressure of a full-time job. You’ve earned 6 to 12 weeks of bonding time with the most important person in your life.
Except, there is a lot of crap to deal with. If becoming a mom wasn’t enough, there is a miniature person depending on YOU to be the greatest person they’ll ever know. Everybody and their mom knows it takes A LOT to handle a newborn while recovering from childbirth (no pun intended). So why is it that people ask and expect so much from a new mom?
I don’t get it
I found myself agitated during pregnancy with unwelcome groping (tummy rubbing) and the never-ending onslaught of *outdated* advice. It’s a bit much on the emotional instability of a modern working pregnant woman. I found myself snapping for the sake of enjoying my maternity leave and that precious newborn phase.
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I definitely upset some people during my maternity leave, but here are a few things I moms shouldn’t apologize for.
I can’t believe new moms are accused of this. You. The mom. Accused of “hogging the baby”. Your baby. Um what.
Let me make this clear: a mother cannot hog her baby. Her baby belongs with her. And a mother on maternity leave is under no obligation to play pass-the-parcel with her sweet little bundle.
Now I can understand why people are exceptionally eager to cradle a newborn. They get so squirmy, so fast and this might be the only chance to enjoy them in burrito-form. But don’t stand in my way if I want to hold my new baby. And don’t try to shame me for it. Thanks!
With the return-to-work looming, you deserve all the baby snuggles you want. Regardless of the company you keeps. Maternity leave was created out of necessity for mom and baby. You need each other. No apology necessary.
My mother-in-law pulled some guilt trips barely half-way through my maternity leave. Despite having more “baby time” than everyone else in the family, she cried, “I don’t get her enough”…
I had a mama bear moment and told her (a couple times), “There is no competition for who gets the baby most. I’m her mom. I already won.”
Requiring a Courtesy Call
A new baby is exciting. I know! I have one. But unexpected visitors are generally not desired, and that holds true for new moms.
I shamelessly notified all friends and family that I would need a 10-15 minute warning call if they planned to visit out-of-the-blue. So when a rule breaker shows up at my front door?
My own mother still breaks this rule, and I turn her right around. She’ll pull the “my phone’s dead” card. Ok? Charge it, then we’ll talk. Sorry not sorry.
This might seem a little hardcore, but hear me out. We have a big (loud) dog. And every visitor gets a stern warning from him. The LEAST you could do is give ME a stern warning so I can prevent a potential DISASTER.
I’m talking baby-screaming, mom-finally-started-napping disaster. Even if the mom and baby duo is awake, she’s probably topless. These visits are awesome, but they are so much better with a warning. Otherwise you might find yourself walking into mom and dad’s first postpartum nookie. #callfirst
Not treating my baby like a doll
I know you thought this dress was adorable, but no. Even if you ARE here under proper circumstances, I will not apologize for refusing to treat my baby as a living doll.
Those 0-3 month sized outfits are the worst. I’ll say it. You can’t put them on for longer than 20 minutes thanks to either poop-splosions or crappy material. And unless I bought it, I probably don’t think it’s cute.
I had relatives come over to see the baby, then ask me why they weren’t wearing the outfit they bought her….. Oh boy. Mind you, I had a summer baby and she was gifted sweaterdresses sized 0-3 months….
Clothes might be the least helpful gift for a new mom. There are only so many occasions for a baby to wear something cute. And I’d bet that every mom in the Instagram Era already knows what outfits to get, where. Please understand, if I didn’t register for it, I’m probably not expecting to use it during my brief maternity leave/bonding time. That’s my excuse, at least.
From coworkers hating you for taking a “sabbatical” to management expecting you to dive right back into work immediately; those 12 (unpaid) weeks will fly by, and suddenly you go from fragile-new-mom to spread-too-thin working mom overnight. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your maternity leave.
Thank you for reading! Here are some more things you might like:
- 19 Productive Things to do on Maternity Leave
- What to do before Maternity Leave
- 5 Controversial Tips to enjoy a short maternity leave
- Self-Care Gift Guide for Pregnant Women
- 5 Reasons You Need To Stop Stressing While Parenting
- A Breastfeeding Mom’s 10 Must Haves
- Returning to Work After Maternity Leave, Like a PRO
- How to Find the Perfect Pumping Schedule for Work