Maternity leave is not a holiday or a 'nice break'
If you haven't seen this post by Anna Whitehouse over on Mother Pukka it's worth a read.
"Maternity/paternity leave is not a 'holiday'. It's not a 'nice break' and it is not time off."
Despite being a mum myself and knowing how tough some days can be on maternity leave even I fell foul to this. Recently blabbing on to a mate in a Whatsapp group and saying: 'feels like you've been off forever’'. What an absolute dick. Thank God we're super close and called me out on it. I quickly apologised and rephrased it. Still, I should know better.
Being at home with a newborn can be the highest highs and the lowest lows. It's a 24/7 job - no sick leave, holidays, more than 40hrs a week and if you're on statutory maternity pay the salary is well below minimum wage.
This is a time when we should be supporting mums and dads, watching out for one another and recognising when a message, phone call or something small could make their day. It's about supporting our partners whether they're the ones that are on leave or going out to work to pay the mortgage. I've been on both sides and while it's nice to have a hot cuppa at the office, you miss precious moments and you're just as knackered in the evenings when you take over.
We're all just doing our bit, trying to muddle on through newborn life, getting to know the new small human in our lives. Let’s open our eyes and have more empathy for new parents full stop.