Today started like an ordinary Monday. I was in a grump, there was work, meetings, errands at lunchtime and general busy-ness.
You all remember that I wrote all about how I felt on returning to work from maternity leave? How it was bittersweet, and how it just all felt like maybe a solo trip to the toilet and a hot cup of tea weren’t worth what I was going to miss out on? (In fact my friend Office Mum shared it on Facebook and twitter this morning, this may be a happy coincidence or that lady has serious influence, or both, read on to decide!)
Here’s a little link to that post in case you’ve forgotten all about it, or would like to refresh your memory.
So long maternity leave, it’s been great knowing you
Lots of people read it at the time, and a similar version was published in the Irish Independent.
AND somehow some people from Huff Post Live read it. I KNOW!!! Huffington Post, in America, like. Read MY blog post.
And then some (even more) surreal things happened. I checked my email at 3.30pm and there was an email from Huff Post Live asking me if I’d like to be a guest on a segment they were running on returning to work from maternity leave three and a half hours later! So, a number of phonecalls, child juggling and emails later I said yes. Traffic almost conspired against me but I finally got online and set up as the theme music for the segment was starting. (PHEW!)
I spoke to Nancy Redd who had just returned from maternity leave herself today, and the other panelists, Jill Ceder and Farah Miller.
We talked about the return to work, what it’s like leaving your babies, and how to make it easier. I felt slightly embarrassed that I had enjoyed 42 weeks off work on maternity leave (and another 9 between sick leave and accrued holidays, giving me a total of 53 weeks out of the office!) when in the US the Federal maternity entitlement is only 12 weeks. 12 weeks, I could barely walk at 12 weeks. I know that it’s not that long since our maternity leave laws changed here, it was 18 weeks up until 2007 (I think, google isn’t telling me easily and I really want to share my great news).
I did explain that the leave isn’t necessarily paid leave and for most it’s relying on social welfare, and that not everyone can manage to take it, but I sure felt lucky to have the opportunity.
Anyway, I’m not going to spend my evening recounting the whole thing – click on the logo below and hear what I said. (PLEASE IGNORE MY CRAZY EYES, I need to learn how to make eye contact with a webcam not the person that I am talking to on the screen, who knew that that was a lifeskill I’d need!)
CLICK ON THE LOGO BELOW TO LISTEN