Maternity Leave, Or… There Should Be A Law!

I am officially ending the maternity leave I gave myself. Life Is Bigger now resumes.

The law has failed me. Although FMLA allows me to have six weeks of leave, it doesn’t make me take it. For Type A Workaholics like me, the current law just isn’t enough. I can’t seem to stop working, no matter how much I try.

At my real job, I left for pre-arranged leave of absense on November 12. Since then, I have taken exactly 3 days off – every other workday has seen me on the phone, answering emails, on a conference call, or remoted in to an on-site computer at some point during the day.

The baby was born early on a Sunday morning, so no time off there! She waited past my due date to show up, probably so I could get the whole Exchange server dilemma cleared up first. Even she didn’t want to interrupt the implementation of new projects.

Yesterday morning I stopped by work to show off the new baby (and get a cup of coffee). I left six hours later – I decided to finish up a couple of things while I was there, made some changes to a project, and ended up revising and emailing a memo that had to go out right away. Meanwhile, Esme slept peacefully in the arms of the other supervisors as I furiously gulped coffee and tried to think through my mommy brain.

I’ve gotten better, though. With my last child, I worked 40 hours in 3 days, stayed late at work the third day to finish up the grant that was due the next day, realized on the way home at 7pm that I was in labor and not just in pain because I was tired, and went to the hospital to have the baby at 7:30.

My husband took my Blackberry away the next morning as I replied to emails. Forget banning texting while driving – ban Blackberrys while dilating!

It’s not that I love my job more than being at home. I would much rather just be playing with the kids, cleaning the house, and wrapping Christmas presents. It’s just that I feel so responsible for things! I can’t just let things go when people seem to be depending on me to get them done. Other people at work could handle the work, sure – but I work for a non-profit and everyone else is already overworked. I don’t want to make it any worse.

Plus, honestly, it is kind of a compulsion to work. I’m worse than a man – can’t see a problem without immediately trying to solve it.

Oh…and I like money. A lot.

Then there’s my side work – my writing, my photography, and my consulting jobs. The best opportunities are arriving now, and I have to seize those opportunities before they dry up and float away! Thank goodness that I love these jobs so much – I actually feel guilty doing them, even when I get paid, because it feels like playing instead of working. Damn a workaholic!

Here’s a blessing, though – being at home, combining family and work, at least allows me to enjoy both worlds. I can sit at my laptop with Esme in my arms nursing, Raiden at my feet tearing up random important or otherwise dear items, and Elijah sitting beside me reading Goosebumps, while I’m yapping away into my new Bluetooth headset and typing with one finger.

Two and a half weeks into Esme’s existence, I think I’ve got the mechanics down. So now I’m back to blogging here on Life Is Bigger, which I love. Blog post topics have been rattling around in my brain for a month now, driving me absolutely crazy because I didn’t have the time or energy to follow them through (you compulsive writers out there know how having a lingering subject can make you really mean and ornery…). Now I’m ready to roll again!

So what are you going to be seeing here on Life Is Bigger? A few things are in the works:

  • A series on “Best Of” lyrics – my favorite song lyrics in different categories, inspired by Mr. Harrell’s assertion that “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” has the Best Lyrics of All Time … we shall see, my friend….
  • Some lessons from history, including love and make-up tips, the falseness of chivalry, and how much dichotomay and cognitive dissonance really suck
  • Maybe a few recipes, especially for slow cookers and the freezer, simply because they save lots of money in … let’s all say it together… “THESE UNCERTAIN ECONOMIC TIMES” (gets my vote for most overused cliche of the year)
  • More talent from the “To Be, Rather Than To Seem” state of North Carolina (including local band Drawing Blanks and some poets you really need to read)
  • Some thoughts on poverty, economic development, rural issues, and religion
  • Terry Pratchett imagery and wisdom

It’s gonna be a busy year. I’ve got lots of plans, and there isn’t a law out there to stop me.

Yet.

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~ by gypsyjonga on December 9, 2009.

One Response to “Maternity Leave, Or… There Should Be A Law!”

  1. There is a law already about maternity leave. Women should really have a maternity leave. If your company will no give you this right you can file a cease against them. By the way, if all of you really wants to learn more about maternity leave you can read the book entitled Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. You can also check it here http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/driving-to-success-let-your-spirit-take-the-wheel/11025692.

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