Checking my privilege here, for a moment- recognizing that I am a well paid work-from-home mom to an infant in a two income household, it just made me so sad to read that you hadn’t shared your news with anyone and only took one day off. When I came back from 16 weeks of unpaid leave, which I asked for and chose to do, I got SO many notes from distant colleagues sending congrats, wanting pics, wanting to hear about her, etc.
When you say ‘lets redefine’ this or that social norm, it’s important to recognize that you and your choices on these issues are doing just that, shaping the ‘norms.’ Yes, 16 weeks unpaid was hard and cut deeply into our savings, and yes, working less hours regularly so that I can be primary childcare to our daughter limits our ability to save much at all these days — would I do it differently for more money and less time with my baby, not a chance. I’ve learned in a really experiential way what it means to value time as more than, or separate from, money. We have been told ‘time is money’ for so long, and I found out that it’s just a story people who believe it tell — like most ‘realities.’ Time can be translated to money, but time is also the currency of experience, connection and memories. At the end of each day, it’s actually just you, your family, and the decisions you’ve made about how to spend, budget, work and live with your precious time, which, I’ve come to see, is incomparably more valuable than the money I used to so easily trade it for.
Good luck mama, and for goodness sake, take a day off to do nothing but stare at, play with, pay attention to, and be in awe of the joyful bundle life created through you! And yeah, if you can swing it, maybe get a pedicure.