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Back to Work Blues

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

If you are a mother who dreads returning to work after maternity leave, this post is for you.


Mom holding baby near garden sitting on the grass

Some moms are ready to return to work after maternity leave, but many are filled with agony at the thought of being separated from their new baby. (Trust us, we know!)


Mamas: We see you and we hear you. Bonsie’s team of parents is here to offer encouragement, advice and support. You are not alone!

Nicole, a teacher and mother of two, badly wants to stay home with her baby and toddler, but like most moms, she must work to pay the bills.


“I fell in love with a PE teacher and it just wasn't financially in the cards for us to lose an income.”


Nicole had an emergency c-section with her first son and despite the slow recovery of a c-section, she had to return to work after just six weeks.


“I cried a lot when I thought about returning to work after having my first born. I cried the whole morning driving to work…Looking back, I believe I was struggling with depression that whole year. It was terrible. I was so unhappy.”


Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Policy Council believe mothers should have at least twelve weeks of paid maternity leave because the bond between a mother and her baby is crucial for healthy development. UNICEF recommended six months for maternity leave. The U.S. is one of the only industrialized countries that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave (Wakeman, 2022).


For Nicole, the worst part of being separated from her sons is waking up her sleeping babies when she knows they need more rest, then dropping them off at daycare and thinking about all the moments she will miss.


“I hate having to wake up my sleeping infant, who never sleeps through the night. I know he needs every ounce of sleep because he will only take 30 minute naps at daycare. And it’s tough dropping them off because my two-year-old clings to my leg or says, ‘mommy I don't want you to go to work!’ It’s hard knowing that I will probably not witness my son’s first steps or hear his first word.”


Babies are not little for long, and Nicole longs to be there to witness every second of her kids growing up.


“I feel incredibly heartbroken knowing this is a short time in our life and it's fleeting; someone else is getting to watch them grow and learn and hit milestones while I'm miserable at my desk missing it. I just know that when they are older I can return to a brick and mortar job, they aren't going anywhere, but time at home with my family can never be replaced.”


Nicole is making big changes in her career. She has started working part time jobs from home as a freelance writer and a virtual assistant in hopes of earning enough money to quit her teaching job. She has seen other moms do it, and she knows that she can too.


“Other moms saying, ‘Hey, I did it and you can, too!’ and offering to help in any way they can has really been the driving force behind me venturing into the virtual assistant world and looking for opportunities to earn money so I can stay at home with my boys.”


While Nicole works a full time job AND part time jobs to change her future and spend more time with her children, our society needs to follow suit and create big changes as well. New moms need more support and they need MORE TIME with their babies.


Bonsie’s main goal is to support mothers and their bond with their babies. We want moms to have time to hold their babies, practice skin-to-skin contact, read, talk, sing and have as many precious moments together as they can. This isn’t possible when moms have to choose between bonding with their newborn baby and keeping the lights on. It is long past time for our country, our states and our employers to take better care of our mothers. Let’s create a culture that celebrates and supports motherhood by giving moms the time and assistance they need to properly care for their babies. The work that moms do is so important.



We can’t change legislation with this article, but we can offer some advice and tips from other moms who have changed their careers so that they can be with their children more. If you want to stay home with your children, or you just want to take a longer maternity leave, don’t wait for a policy change, BE THE CHANGE. Advocate for yourself, communicate with your employer about your plans for maternity leave and your new needs, find a community that supports your dreams and lean on your support system. Take little steps every day to achieve the life you want for you and your children.


“I know one day my son will climb into my lap for the last time, and I want to get all of the cuddles in now before they're gone.”

We’re rooting for you, Nicole!


Sources:

Wakeman, J., (2022). What Working Women Need to Know About Maternity Leave. Why does the United States make it so difficult? The Riveter. https://theriveter.co/voice/maternity-leave/


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