Anna Whitehouse, a mom and journalist at Mother Pukka from the UK, recently opened up about how parental leave isn't exactly a cake walk in a thoughtful LinkedIn post. Rather than singling any company out, she simply addressed the working world as a whole, explaining that those few weeks and months right after having a baby are a whirlwind of emotional highs and lows, physical changes to your body if you gave birth, and a whole lot of sleepless nights.
"A reminder to businesses: maternity/paternity leave is not a holiday. It's not 'a nice break' and it is not time off," she wrote. "It's a heady cocktail of anticipation, expectation, arrival and survival. It's stripping yourself back to a primal state and nakedly navigating blocked milk ducts, torn stitches, bloody sheets, broken minds, manically Googling blackout blinds."
In fact, Anna argues that being home with your little one is the most demanding job out there, especially as far as your "working hours" go.
"You are needed. Every second you are needed. If not in person, in mind. It is a job. Without sick days. Without fair remuneration. It is the most privileged position in the world but it takes balls, guts (often with no glory), boobs and any other extremity you can put to work," she explained. "It's the purest happiness. It's the starkest of contrasts. It's hobbling to the park post-birth, riding an Oxytocin high; returning home, crumpling into fetal position, succumbing to a postnatal low. It's life in its purest, ugliest, most startlingly beautiful form and it is raising others higher, above your hunger, above your exhaustion, above your needs. It is raising the next generation."
So the next time you're scrolling on social media and see a cute baby post from a brand new parent, just remember that even though they may not be at their desk, they're working plenty hard!