After my daughter was born I took a 12-week maternity leave. I didn’t fully appreciate at the time how lucky I was to have a fully-paid three-month leave, but it felt nothing but too short and not enough the day I went back to work.
Going back was brutal. I did a bit of work while I was at home but from the first moment I was back at the office I was expected to be on and at 100%. If you’ve had kids, you know it’s entirely impossible to do that so soon after having your life change completely. Eventually I managed to get back into a work routine, but it took a while.
Which is why I was sitting there with my jaw wide open when I read about Rachita Dati, the justice minister of France, who returned to work five days after giving birth. No, not a type, five as in 5 days after giving birth.
The article talked about how different groups and people were reacting to her coming back to work so quickly. Some were denouncing her for setting a horrible example for other women, others hailing her for dedication and energy. But all I kept thinking about is how in the world is this woman even managing to be focused on her high profile, highly demanding job, just days after giving birth? I am not sure I could even walk straight up or sit for longer than a few minutes at this point after giving birth to my daughter, not to mention wear some slick, highly fashionable outfit and attend meetings with top government officials.
What do you think? Is it crazy of her to go back so soon or is it crazy to judge a working mom if that’s what she chooses to do?