11 Mar 2010

Maternity Leave or Money Stay?

"That is the question."

The debate will go on and on, as long as there are women willing to have babies and enjoy their right as mothers and take maternity leave to be in the company of their little ones (when time and money permits). On the other hand the debate will go on as long as there are women who put their career as priority; who want to play the same game as the men, who also want to have family to demonstrate that women are great because they can have a marriage, baby and still play hard as men do.

So this is the debate: do you embrace the right as a mother or do you keep you career high and ditch all the rights other women have fought for (for centuries), for women who want to have a family, stay home for the right amount of time before returning to work? The right of maternity leave is a delicate issue. I recently read an article wish made me think hard.

Few years ago I wanted to finish university, find a job and have a baby. Now everything is changed. My instinct tells me something different and this time I am leaving to the Almighty to decide. I want a family more than a career, and I know that if in future I want to pursuit the dream to have a great career I will be able to do it, because I am still young. However some high-profile women are challenging this idea and the love for motherhood.

Let me list few pretty facts about maternity in the UK (maybe around Europe). Since 2007 women in the UK are allowed to spend "bonding time" with their new babies up to 52 paid statutory weeks of leave (in the USA these are 12 unpaid week - incredible!). As a mother and future mother you are entitle to baby sick leave and so on (if I am wrong please correct me). This was the case until some important women in politics and media challenged these "privileged" position.

When French minister, Rachida Dati, and British newsreader, Fiona Bruce (top right), returned to work just few weeks after giving birth, some applauded for their commitment to work. But others felt outrage, because this was going to let the government the privilege of new mothers. A survey show that about 300,000 working mothers feel under pressure to return to work due to discrimination, mostly around their maternity leave. Perhaps these two women felt the same pressure.

However, this counteract the action of another high-profile journalist, Natasha Kaplinsky (top left), who announced her pregnancy shortly after taking a £1m position at a British TV channel. She then took five months maternity leave and when she returned back she requested shorter hours (she was entitled to this) but her action became front-page news, and made some women raise their eyes.
This behavour reinforce the difficult to easily just jump into motherhood, because whilst you are young you want to have good career but this prevent you from having babies (if it entails the pressure stated above). Especially in the current financial climate. However this should not prevent mothers pursuing their dream as working mother, and it should not let mother who want to spend quality time with their children feel guilty or be discriminated for their choice.

A novelist, Amy Jenkins, when she was asked to comment on the Dati story she remarked that she was torn between two points. On one hand thanks to the minister "... men [will] know that giving birth isn't an illness or a disability (therefore be prompt to give higher position to women). On the other hand I don't want women to be so like men that one day they'll find a way of giving birth at their desk" This remark is quite hilarious but could be possible in our crazy world.
Ah, ah, ah... this is funny but I really know what I want: motherhood!

To you now. What would you do if you are in that kind of situation? Would you go back to work as soon as you pop the baby or will you cherish your child for as long as you please?

Please Share you thoughts!

xxx MsBabyPlan


  1. This is a conversation that my husband and I have had recently since trying. Last year I finished my Master's degree. My degree is in a fast paced, male dominated industry. All in all, it's easy to get replaced. I've had to fight to make myself indispensable to my company and within the industry. Have I completely acheived that? Not yet. Am I willing to delay starting a family until I'm there? No way. As far as taking the maternity leave, I'd take all of it that's allowed and then return to work. It's time that I would want to spend with my baby and family. I won't be able get those precious moments back and I know I'd kick myself if I missed out. My job will always be just that though...a job.

  2. Don't forget those who change their minds after the baby comes. "I thought I'd want to stay home with the baby, but I get so bored" or "I wanted to go right back to work (for insurance) but I just can't leave my baby--we need each other"

    I think the most important thing is for the husband and wife to be on the same page.

    I'm glad that I get to stay home with my kids. and yeah, they need me!

  3. Thanks for sharing Mama To Be, you are right spending time with the baby are moments which you can't get back. Job is always the same. You are so right.

    RainSplats is good to hear from you because you have the experience. I so want to be at home with my future kids as long as I can.

  4. Good question. It really depends on who you ask. My aunt loves going to work because she says she needs to have a break from her kids. Others want to be home. I used to think all moms should work but now that I am a mom, I can't imagine not being home with my boys, at least till they are in school anyway.

  5. This debate is the exact reason that right now I spend so much time trying to buid my AVON business. I do like my day job but when it comes to having children I want to be in charge.

    SOMEONE has to take care of your kids. To me having a good relationship with your offspring is WAY more important than $$$ and that is what much of a career comes down to for you can do AMAZING work part time and raise kids too.

    It all comes down to my own conspiracy theory that AS WOMEN we were DUPED. Now days economically there is not a choice many parents both have to work.

    The economics changed when we gained rights. THIS WAS NOT a coinidence. We can not have our cake and eat it too.

    I do think women gaining rights was great but on an economic level it made it to where many women HAVE to work.


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