I Got Mommy Guilted Over Maternity Leave, and why it’s not ok.
There are so many perks to working for yourself. More flexibility. More control and more creative freedoms. With that also comes more responsibility, more hours and often more headaches – because you care about each and every detail of the business you are trying to build. And in my case, it also means no maternity leave. Which is something I’m totally OK with!
Funny enough, I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Actually, I often swore I would never be one after seeing my Dad work his tail off as an entrepreneur his entire life.
Don’t get me wrong – it gave him satisfaction and he saw some great successes, however I also saw the costs. Most evenings spent working, not taking vacation because it meant too much work upon return and difficulties with employees, law suits, insurance etc. All the un-sexy parts of running a business.
Now years later, here I am as an entrepreneur or mompreneur. But, lucky for me I work with my best friend and our partnership allows a little more give and take when it comes to our family and personal time.
With only a few weeks until my third baby makes his arrival, I’m doing all the things most expectant moms do. Nesting, organizing, washing clothes and packing hospital bags.
Only this time there’s one thing I’m NOT doing: getting ready to leave my job for a year of maternity leave.
Over the past few months I’ve been getting asked about how long I’ll be taking off work. Without exception people offer up their advice, experience or judgement when I tell them I only plan to take 2 weeks. I’ve had people tell me I’ll regret it, while others say they think I’m nuts.
In the end it’s my decision for what works for me, my family and my situation and in all of these conversations I’ve been left feeling badly about my decision.
Yep. That’s right I got mommy guilted.
Even after 10+ years of being in the mom-game, I’m still getting judged. Most of those doing the guilting likely didn’t mean to pass judgement or come off as if they were guilting me. But it still happened. And it’s not OK.
Here’s the thing. I love my job. I love this business and the different things we do. From creating content, to workshops to working with clients. I love it all.
And this business is also like my baby. Together, Apryl and I have worked hard to keep it alive and have watched it grow and change over the years. I can’t imagine just walking away for months…in fact I know there’s no way I could!
I’m not saying that I value a business as much as a child, but because I straight up love what I do, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to come back to work almost right away. The fact that this is my third child also has me feeling somewhat confident.
I know what I’m in for and have zero expectations about workload in and out of the house.
I know there will be days I can’t get much work done. And days I need to ask for help. But the thing is, I want to get back to work because I love it. Because while I loved maternity leave in the past, I missed feeling like I was part of the adult working world.
There seems to be so much support for boss babes rocking their businesses on a daily business. All that support for each other, support local and small biz kinda talk.
All that seems to stop when it comes to having a baby and running a business. For many of us mompreneurs we’re lucky enough to be able to bring our babies to work, to work from home or to hire / ask someone to help us.
I’ve talked to a few other mom entrepreneurs or soon-to-be moms who run their own businesses and they all say the same thing: their friends don’t understand that they feel judged and unsupported…and that’s not OK.
We need to support these moms more than ever. Moms trying to figure out how to fit parenting into their vision and their passion for creating a business. And most of all we need to not judge.
Maybe my baby will have colic, or days and nights confused and coming back at 2 weeks won’t happen. Maybe it will just mean replying to emails, or connecting on social media. But in some capacity I want to be back and that goal of at least trying to come back is important to me.
So let’s stop the mommy guilting and try and build each other up instead.