First and foremost, this is all in good fun.
After talking with K (who happens to be my boss & husband), we decided that it’d be safe and good for me to start maternity leave the week of Thanksgiving- with or without baby being here. We’re not sure how long I can be gone from work*, so starting leave a little early is a gift to myself. We both work more than 40 hours per week and while the house is mostly ready for a baby, I’m happy to have the extra days to clean, prep some meals, and hopefully bank some sleep and dog cuddles before baby arrives.
I am well aware that this is a luxury. I’m grateful that I have a job and a husband and coworkers that allow me this little reprieve before active motherhood.
And now, without further ado, here’s how I know it’s time to go ahead kick start maternity leave:
When you can no longer control the volume at which you
When you truly consider bringing your desk work into the bathroom with you because you’re in there multiple times an hour and it’s just more efficient.
When you groan as you stand, bend over, walk, sit, breathe, think….
When co-workers walk by and stop to ask if you’re ok because you’re either a) doubled over or b) trying to get baby to retract her foot from your kidney.
When the snack pile on your desk is taller and more plentiful than any paperwork pile.
When you find yourself laying on the ground with your legs up the wall (stretching) by 10 am.
When you’re answering phone calls from family and friends to talk about effacement and dilation with an open door so all your male coworkers now know about the intimate details of your cervix.
When your back aches and your only relief is having your boss apply pressure. (This is best if your boss is your husband.)
When your coworkers’ wives and girlfriends are asking why the hell you’re still putting yourself through it at work.
When you consider bringing in a towel for your desk chair, just in case your water breaks and you have to clean it up because, again, you work with all dudes and can’t imagine one of them dealing with the situation.
Don’t get me wrong… I was doing some of these things long before I was pregnant, too.
So this week I’m off completely. And while I’m uncomfortable (no baby yet as I write this), I am grateful to be uncomfortable in my own home.
*Legally I know there are maternity leave rules. Since K owns and runs the business, our situation is different. I will have to work from home off and on throughout my m/l because a) it’s a small company and only I can do some of my jobs and b) I love my husband and I don’t want to pile all my jobs on him- I want him to have some leave, too.
I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! No thanksgiving day post from me but if baby decides to make her arrival you can find it first on IG (once we announce it) 😉 Have a safe week/weekend!
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I have no idea what the rules are in the US, but in Germany the law requires that maternity leave starts 6 weeks before the due date for the protection of the mother and child. The 6 weeks before the due date and 8 weeks after birth are actually called “Mutterschutz” (Maternal Protection) and are actually separate to the “Elternzeit” (Parental Leave), which only kicks in after the first 8 weeks. Women are entitled to 3 years of parental leave (if they want it). Only the first year is paid, but employers have to keep their job open for them until the 3 years are up. My plan was to take the year of paid leave and then go back part time. Our company is small as well, so when my former colleague went on maternity leave I was the only English translator for the entire year and 6 weeks that she was away (my other colleague was also still on parental leave – she took the full 3 years for both of her children).
In Switzerland, maternity leave is 14 weeks starting on the day of the birth. Women can stop working before their due date if they have a doctor’s note. I would imagine most doctors would be happy to give them a note, but you can see why I prefer to keep my job in Germany for the time being even though a job in Switzerland would pay better!
Wow wow wow. That’s so incredible. I almost can’t believe it. I definitely understand why you’d keep your job in Germany. What an incredible opportunity for women and families. I’m glad that K and I can manipulate my schedule but it’s only because he owns the company. If I worked elsewhere my situation would be totally different =/
I was lucky in that I was done teaching for the year by 34 weeks. I have no idea how women teach up to their due date. I was going to the bathroom at least 6 times a day by 34 weeks during the school day and by 38 weeks, I was so, so happy we lived in town with short drives to everywhere because I would go to the grocery store, run home to the bathroom, go to the library, run home to the bathroom, etc.
Definitely use the time to food/meal-prep! I did that in the weeks leading up to his birth and it was the very last thing I ever wanted to do post-baby for months, so I’m glad I did beforehand.
I don’t know how teachers do it! On top of the overall discomfort and frequent bathroom trips, I could never bend over and stand and sit and walk as much as teachers so. It’d be so rough!
We have a few meals in the freezer and I’m so glad!
Sending you all of the love and good vibes right now! Can’t wait to see that sweet baby.
Thank you! Me too!! Haha!
Its so bad that I’m so fat, I relate to most of these 🙂 LOL
I’m still on Baby Watch over here 🙂 Enjoy this time off!!
No no no- you’re ridiculous! Lol! I think lots of people can relate, haha!
Enjoy your time off! And sadly, legally, you don’t have to take maternity leave at all, so I am glad you’re able to! I hope you’re able to enjoy the time you can and especially these few days before baby arrives! Sending you all the good baby vibes!!!
The US could definitely work on their maternity leave laws quite a bit… I’m very grateful to have some flexibility and freedom with our work situation. She’s still making us wait but it’ll be over soon. Lol
And let the baby watch begin!!!! So happy for you to be able to stay at home this week. Those last few weeks are rough!!! Can’t wait to see that sweet girls face!
Noooo kidding! We’re still on watch, lol. I’m grateful for these easier days off for sure, though!
Maternity leave in the U.S. is so dumb, so I’m glad you’re in a position that you can have SOME and that you’re able to start pre-baby’s arrival. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope the little one gets here soon!
Agreed. I feel very lucky. I’ve mostly been cleaning the house and taking care of work things from home. We’re still waiting but I know it’ll be soon!
I can only imagine how uncomfortable it gets in the end because ummm … baby inside!!! I’m glad K and your co-workers are being supportive and it’s awesome (and I wish universal) that you can take this week off to prepare. Seriously, our maternity leave laws (and overall general expectation around how quickly women should recover from childbirth itself) are something to be desired. I’m so excited for you and K and can’t wait until she arrives!! Hopefully soon and rather uneventfully and with little pain! Happy Thanksgiving!
Yes! I’m very grateful to have the job I do and the husband and coworkers that I do. Our maternity leave laws are awful. It’s impossible to heal, bond, and live with the b.s. “benefits” that are in place in this country for new mothers and families.
Laughed so hard at “This works best if your boss is your husband.” hahah!!
Lol… probably not a good idea for those in a different situation. Hahahaha!
HAHA you crack me up!!! Obvi you’ve had your adorable baby girl now, so yayyyy!! ❤
Haha- YAY for sure!