I guess I hit a nerve, because my last post garnered the highest number of views since askpiper hit the web in ’04. Since the world doesn’t need another freaking mommy blog (and especially since the perfect one already exists right here) I refuse to go down that path.
I do, however, have this to add to my most recent post:
6. When are you going back to work?
It’s the greatest paradox. All through our 20s and 30s, women are asked (literally and subtlety) when we’re going to get married and spawn. A friend of mine, upon getting her MBA, was told by her mother, “Congrats. But I’m not sure how that thing is going to get you a husband.” Then, as soon as we do put our uteri to work and breed, we’re asked when we’re going to leave our newborns with a stranger, or a group of strangers or a willing relative and return to the work force so we can quickly learn the impossibility of having it all.
I first got asked this question just a few weeks after delivery. I write for a living and at the time I was so sleep deprived I was having trouble forming sentences and remembering words. Typing? Wow, that seemed much too physical a task to tackle. The question confused me; especially considering most people think giving birth requires a lobotomy (see question number 4). How could I go back to work without a brain?
My doctor had advised me not to have sex until 6 weeks after delivery. I figured that held true for commuting, too—in New York City it can be just as physical and invasive. And don’t even get me started on the backwardness of the US compared to other countries when it comes to maternity/paternity leaves!
So don’t ask a new mom when she’s going back to work, unless you’re her boss and you’re calling to give her a raise, a promotion or, a la Melissa Meyer, to tell her about the nursery you’re busy building right next to her cubicle to ease her return.
(photo from examiner.com)