Top 5 Maternity Leave Myths
We take a look at the some of the top workplace myths about maternity leave and treat them to a good old-fashioned dose of reality.
Myth #1 That you will have lots of time on your hands
“Lucky you” they may say, the implication being that you’ll be pottering about your home while baby is fast asleep and getting housework and basic life admin - you know, all that stuff that doesn’t get done while we’re working - tidied away. Whereas the reality is that you will spend large chunks of your ‘mat leave’ wondering how it can be 5pm and yet you’re still in your PJs on account of having been rushing around the house for the last 12 hours.
Myth #2 That it is a bit of a holiday
Whereas it’s actually an intense, wonderful, exhausting, rewarding period of getting to know your new baby (in fact getting used to a whole new life if it’s your first child) as well as letting your body and soul heal and recover from creating a whole new human being. All on nowhere near as much sleep as you, or anyone else, would like. Work is a piece of better-paid cake by comparison.
Myth #3 That you’re hitting Starbucks hard every single day
Money tends to be tighter during maternity leave, and as we all know, a decent cup of coffee bought pretty much anywhere somehow now costs the best part of a fiver. So the myth that new mums are constantly hitting up their local barista for skinnyfrappacinos is just that. Not that it’s not nice - nay essential - to get out of the house. It’s just that you’re more likely to be going round to a friend’s to attempt adult conversation while grabbing a hob-nob and a cuppa.
Myth #4 That it’s all baby yoga
Baby yoga can be brilliant, don’t get us wrong. But signing up for a bunch of classes can be expensive, and nothing harshes a namaste mellow like your 4-month-old screaming the church hall down while you’re trying simultaneously to do downward dog *and* sing Wheels on the Bus.
Myth #5 That it’s less competitive than the workplace
Without wishing to generalise, anyone who’s had their first child knows that there can be a tendency amongst brand new parents to compare baby progress, largely because no-one feels like they have the first clue what’s meant to be happening - so everyone spends the first few months talking about ‘percentiles’. Let’s face it, there are premiership football teams that are less data-driven and competitive than some NCT groups.