Today is the last day of my maternity leave. Six weeks, poof. Gone. I have opted to take another two weeks off unpaid and will go back to work on the 21st. As a currently single income family while my husband finishes up his degree and job hunts in his new field, I have to admit that this two weeks unpaid is painful. My vacation time is on the low side from holiday travel and I need it for upcoming family visits and a few things *I* want to do this summer. So I could use a couple days vacation, but not having sick time for another year essentially, and having a toddler and new baby... yeah, better keep the vacation time.
Before I had kids I tended towards the hard line... what's the big deal, go back to work and get over it. Having done this twice now myself I can officially say that six weeks maternity leave is unjust. I had eight weeks paid off with Leif, but my company has since then opted to outsource the administration of their disability program to an underwriter group who prides themselves on lowering the bottom line. To take an additional two weeks off paid I better have a damned good, documented doctor's excuse. This is despite the fact that I have an additional two weeks time banked that I could use.
I was always the voice of dissent on discussion boards when people would whine about how much better women in other countries have it. My response (as your typical fiscal conservative) was always "who pays for this? The people do! Look at their tax rates! How do you expect small businesses to survive?" Yadda yadda yadda.
It isn't that I balk at leaving Skadi at daycare. I am truly lucky that I have outstanding infant care and that I have two women who are so excited to have her in their care. Maybe it's that I just am not feeling like going back to work. I am relishing how much I can get done in a day with just Skadi at home, while freaking out at how little I get done with Leif and Skadi at home. I don't know what it is, maybe my feelings of indifference will have abated in two weeks and I will look forward to going back and writing proposals and taking over my project again. Maybe.