In 2007, I gave birth to my son, with 7 weeks to bond, breastfeed and organize child care before I went back to work full time as a then-sales assistant at a radio station in NW DC with a very modest wage.
What seemed like a potentially decent stretch of time from a delivery date of Valentine's Day up until the time I went back to work (I had no idea) turned into a TOTAL blur and before I knew it, I was back at work, pumping (in my car, by the way) a depleting supply of breast milk as my 2 month old was cared for by a little old lady that provided daycare in her home. This was my introduction to motherhood / child care and that was what I thought--at that time--how that was supposed to work.
I was horrified at some of the child care organizations I'd visited while on maternity leave. I remember leaving one place in TEARS, pissed that I had to make a decision so soon. I was waitlisted at every place I liked. Eventually all worked out; but here we are again, 8 years later...my partner and I are expecting #2 and I'm feeling slighted that the only paid maternity leave option I have is being managed through my short term disability policy.