Friday, April 5, 2013

11 months maternity leave = 11 months of joy

It has been 11 wonderful months since the day our family' life changed forever. I knew that life will be different...everyone was ensuring us, so how could we forget, but we have never expected that we will be able to love so deeply and, well in a different way. For me Little Angel was the piece of the puzzle that I always looked for, the spice that the main dish lacked, the cherry on the top of the...well, you get my point. I consider myself pretty lucky as I got to stay home with her until now and witness every smile, new milestone, moments of exploring the world and even the cries while sleeping...and cherish every second of it. Originally, I was supposed to go to work when she turned 6 weeks and this seemed terrifying and cruel. Luckily, things turned out in a way that I did not have to start work. However, when Little Angel turned 6 weeks and I looked at her, peacefully sleeping in the swing, I bursted in tears. I cried for all the mothers that actually had to go to work when their babies are 6 weeks and imagined their pain. For my Eastern European mind, going so soon to work was pretty harsh. Most of my friends were shocked to find out that in such a developed country there is no such thing as paid maternity leave...and one can take up to 6 weeks unpaid one. My relatives, and especially my aunts could not sleep for a few days just thinking about it.
Well, I have to say that I get it though...many women want to have a carrier and must return to work as quickly as possible. Life often requires us to make certain choices and focus on the material side rather the emotional one. What I do not understand, however, is how society reacts towards the women who have chosen to stay home...highlighting the word "choice." Is it here really a matter of choice: if one of the parents is to stay home, isn't the nature calling for the mother?!? May be my emotions speak louder than my brain but I am a firm believer that the mother has a special connection with the child, enhanced by breastfeeding, baby-wearing, singing if you want. Someone may say that is not like the father cannot do all those things (well, almost all) and I would agree, to a certain point. However, there is a special relation between a mother and the newborn that develops well before birth and I believe the baby needs mommy very close for more than six weeks. That is why it is called "mother's instinct"...which many mommy-friends said is all I need to succeed in my parenting journey.
Well, anyway, glad I got to enjoy those 11 precious months of discovering the world together...elephants, baskets, calling grandma (or coping mommy)...and just enjoying the world...