Posted by AVM

I have a confession.  I resent my husband.  Actually, let me take that back.  I resent all men, my husband just happened to be born a man of no fault of his own.  My reason for this gripe stems from maternity leave and my career.  It’s rarely a question when a couple has a child about who is going to be the one to take extended leave.  It’s the woman.  My husband and I both work full time, both put in years of schooling and working our way up ladders to get where we are in our careers today.  My career means as much to me as his does to him.  Please don’t misread this, I am thrilled to be able to be home and bond with my newborn for three months.  THRILLED and lucky – I know many women wish they had the luxury to do this.  However, if the universe were listening to my wants and desires, it would have timed this pregnancy to deliver this baby at the end of May.  As a development professional in a school, the summer, when the students and parents are away, is our slow time – and the perfect time for me to be away from the office.  However, you can’t control it all, and after three months of trying, I am instead having this baby at the end of August – thus, entering our busiest time of year.  In fact, my first day back at work will be the Monday before Thanksgiving.  The optics are just bad, bad, bad. While I’m on leave, amidst the diapers and bottles and adjustment, I will also be worrying about what’s happening at the office.  I am incredibly blessed to work with a team of outstanding women, most of whom have children at all ages and stages, and have been where I am.

I rarely hear men grappling with this dilemma.  And I resent that.  Do I need this added layer of guilt on top of everything else? After suffering all the pains and trials of pregnancy?  I’ll take it, I guess.  Left with no other choice, I guess I’ll take it.

Just once, I’d like to see the tables turned.  Just for kicks, you know? In my imagined world, men are the ones who have morning sickness and back pain.  They’re getting kicked in the bladder and the ribs.  They need to wear flip flops in October because their ankles and feet make it impossible to fit into their regular shoes.  I want to see men waddling down the street, nine months pregnant, pulling down their shirt that inadequately covers their stretch-mark-laden bellies.  I am trying to imagine my own husband, who complains for hours about a hangnail, screaming for an epidural.  And he would be screaming, trust me.  And let’s not even go there about how men would handle actually getting a baby out of their loins.  After all this, to then take a career hit?  I imagine the population would be steadily on the decline, don’t you?