How long are you staying out?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was blessed to have two other young co-worker friends pregnant with their first baby at the same time. It made for a lot of wonderful conversations, whilst sharing our pregnancies and asking the usual "is this normal" questions, as well as preparing for the time after birth. If not before, then as soon as our babies were born, though, we were also asking each other and ourselves, how long we would stay out of work to care for our babies. 

'When are you coming back, do you know yet?' or 'Are you taking just six weeks or the full twelve?', we wondered.

These questions that were asked by us, were also asked by others to us. Coming from a country where mothers or fathers are allowed to stay at home with their children for at least a year, here in the US {paid} maternity leave is almost a luxury, I believe. I have seen unfortunate mothers, who had to return back to work only two weeks after giving birth and thus, being entirely dependent on loving family to help with childcare for their newborn. But, whether out of serious concern for each other in our intimate setting as friends, or out of necessity in figuring out workplace coverage, or just to fill that awkward silence during a conversation, the question about maternity leave remains a hot topic. We explore others' wisdom and experiences whilst trying to figure out our own situations. 

For us, at the time of e's birth, I was very blessed to have had friends' offering to watch her, so I could return to work. I knew she was in great hands and didn't have to worry about her at all. And yet, as a first-time mom, I thought I was superwoman, running a household while still working full time. Our mornings flew by in a whirlwind of getting us ready and out the door for an hour long drive to work. Evenings dragged on with dinner preparation, bathtime and housework until we finally fell into bed exhausted from our day. Through all this hustling, my heart still longed to be with her and thus, after much prayer and sharing with my husband, five days after her first birthday, I was very fortunate to become a stay at home mom. 

Even so, I'm almost three years into staying at home with now two kids {minus a short period of time where I worked out of a storefront business I co-owned at the time} and I'm still asked when I will return to work. 

But do we ever? Fully return, I mean? 

Frankly, I don't believe we do. As a mother or father, for that matter, we know, once we step into the world of parenthood, we are in it for life. My whole being changed the moment e came out of my belly and into this world. Whether or not we are working full time and managing a household, or staying at home and {still} managing a household, we will never be the same person we were before we had children. #amiright 

Sharing with one or more of these beautiful Ladies

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