I needed a year-long maternity leave. The eight weeks paid for by my previous employer didn’t cut it, neither did the additional twelve weeks that I took unpaid. I, personally, needed 10-12 months. I was (am?!) terribly self-conscious, and unsure of myself in the role of mother, and I guess I just needed that time to come to terms with reality, bond with my baby, and gain some confidence. It’s not that I am typically good at everything I try (hello, skate skiing), but if I’m learning something new and success is important to me, I can usually drop other things and just work really hard at that one thing until I OWN it. In retrospect, I think that is what I had to do with my baby. Drop everything else, and OWN it (uh, him).
My reality is that now that I’m doing better with all the baby stuff, I have to fight for my old job. Despite three really good performance reviews (including the one where a few peers called me a B…hey, it was a really tough year and like any good reality show contestant, I wasn’t there to make friends), I have to go through a full interview loop. Five interviews. Really. Isn’t three years of recent employment, like, the best job interview ever? Aren’t performance reviews from three different managers likely going to capture an objective view of the candidate. Oh well, one thing I know about myself is that if something’s easy, I probably don’t want it. For some reason, the stuff that requires acrobatics is usually more satisfying in the end. You have more at stake, and take more pride in what you’ve won. Come to think of it, that pretty much sums up how I feel about my baby.