'I took zero maternity leave. This is what I want you to know three months in.'

It's been 14 weeks now since I had my baby boy and I am not taking maternity leave

Whilst many kind people have said I'm amazing, I'm sure there are also plenty that think I am nuts. I don't blame them. Being a newborn mum is hard, running a business is hard and both can feel extremely lonely. 

Be it week one or week 14, my attitude to work has not much changed. My husband and I both run businesses and on March 14 we had Leo, our newest, most delicious baby boy. 

In the blissful early days of the baby bubble, whilst we were still in hospital, I'm certain the midwives checking on us thought we were crazy. 

Listen to This Glorious Mess as the hosts discuss juggling work and motherhood. Post continues below. 

Leo could be found sleeping peacefully and content — all while we were taking calls, editing podcasts, holding client meetings and replying to emails. So whilst my attitude to work remains the same, my attitude to being a working mother has had a steep learning curve.

I didn't really have a 'return to work' because… I never really stopped. That was my choice and I own it, though, it has not been easy. I thought I was busy before, now it is just pure chaos — a word I find myself using a lot. And if you're anything close to normal you are probably thinking: why do it? Why not take some time off?'

Well… I not only don't know how, I love the chaos.

Maybe you are wired like me, maybe not. Maybe you don't see a choice, maybe you do. Maybe you're not supported, maybe you are. Whatever your situation, if you are thinking about not taking maternity leave there are a few things that you should know.


Watch: Is extended maternity leave good for parents and employers? Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

The judgement doesn't stop.

That judgement that I felt during my pregnancy, the constant questions, it won't ever end. Not only will others question why, I have started questioning it too. 

I've judged myself for pumping, hidden in the office between meetings to then rush to finish an email, and naturally, between breastfeeding, meetings and managing the team. 

I have judged if I am a good mother by being this busy. 

The judgement isn't going anywhere, from me or from others, but I can try not to judge myself — and definitely, quit judging others.

Breakdowns happen and boy don't they happen!

I have cried countless tears and whilst when I need to put on a brave face I can, it often feels like that's all I am doing — putting on a brave face. 

Leadership and running a business is lonely. I have possibly the most supportive husband in the world, and even I still feel alone in it. 

Build a team, breastfeed, engage with Leo, have conversations with Michael, host the family, have a life… at some stage it's all going to become too much, learn to be okay with it. 


I truly am sorry for ever thinking I was busy before, but I’ve adapted and you will too. 

Humans are incredible, we survive, we thrive, we run our own race and create our own level of standards and we really can do it all.

Call on help when you need it.

Family, friends, even that friendly cafe owner — they really do want to help. What I have learned, however, is that I have to ask. No one wants to intrude, and don't forget that brave face you're putting on — most people only see that. So if you need help, you quite simply need to ask for it.

Surrender, not everything is within your control.

I am sure every mum or parent before me will agree — nothing will ever be perfect. I have had to get good at saying done is better than perfect because where I once could work until it was 100 perfect, now I cannot.

Interruptions, priorities, surprises… they are all a part of the norm for working mums, and you have to be comfortable with 70 per cent or even 40 per cent. It may not be perfect but it will be more than needed, promise.

I don't have all the answers, if any, and I just take each day as it comes. Some of those days are gut wrenching, some days are bliss — I wouldn't change it for anything. 

Being a working mum with a newborn is chaos, there is no other word for it, but it's my kind of chaos and I trust it will be yours too.

J x

Feature Image: Supplied.

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