This is a comic I published in January this year. I tell about my experience of giving birth and of my maternity leave.

It has been very kindly translated by Ewcia 🙂

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33 thoughts on “Holidays

    1. I couldn’t agree more! My husband got to take 3 days off for the birth of our kids. We had no family support, but lots of onesies and cute gifts and calls! What I would have given for a casserole instead, or someone to do a load of laundry, wash dishes, or change a diaper. Because we needed one of us to stay home and my job had been 80% travel (and I was blessed with the noobs of the family), I thought as an at-home mom, I needed to run mostly everything. I ran myself into the ground. Our kids are now young teens and still as I balance full time work and motherhood, “Someone” needs to get groceries, pick up prescriptions, send in the papers for the bank, file taxes, call for checkup appointments, get flu shots, match socks (because apparently I’m the only one who knows how), reschedule a drivers test, take the car in to service…. and pickup the kids from school, register them for classes, and wrap birthday presents. Today. I’m blessed that my husband does laundry, dishes, and makes lunches. My kids help clean, put away laundry, empty dishwasher, and take care of the dog. But even the smallest thing requires 27 steps. I’m only 48 and I’m completely overwhelmed. When does life get better?


  1. Oh wow, you nailed it. That illustration of you standing over the baby and screaming was me 3 years ago. I did the same thing – put him safely in his cot and ran to the last room. Post-natal depression is very real, and needs to be made common knowledge, not a “special case”.

    In Australia, we get up to 2 years maternity leave (only 3-6 months paid, depending on the sector, etc.), and the secondary parent gets another 6 months to a year after you go back to work. Plus, amazing support from the hospital and Maternal & Child Health Nurse – on call 24/7 and home visits.

    Now we’re travel-working and are in the middle east, where women have to go back to work after 60 days. SIXTY DAYS! I didn’t even know his routine at 60 days. I didn’t even understand what had happened to my body.

    The common justification “women have been doing this for centuries” makes it very easy to pass archaic laws that don’t cater to the wellbeing of the mum or child. I understand that some mums HAVE to go back to work for monetary reasons, and some WANT to go back, I respect that. But it should be made mandatory to see if you CAN. Mentally and physically, can you take on more?

    Phew! Got that off my chest 🙂 Love your blog!


    1. Plus it isn’t AT ALL how it was done for centuries. Prior to the 1940s or thereabouts, pretty much everyone lived with extended family members or had servants who lived with them, or neighbors who would help out. Never, ever, before this, were women expected to parent a child of any age mostly on their own. I think it’s deeply unnatural and hard on both baby and mother.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love your comics Emma. I’m also from Australia and when I had my son many years ago exactly the same thing happened in the hospital – it was so frustrating. However after 5 days I returned home to a 24 hour helpline and a visit from a registered nurse to answer any questions. I could also drop in at the local breastfeeding association and local area nurse. I was also matched with a local mothers group – the first 4 weekly meetings consisted of us new mums and a nurse discussing our bodies, babies and motherhood. We were then encouraged to keep meeting weekly or more, we set up an online discussion group and would often message each other at 3am at night when we were all awake feeding our babies. It was great, you had an instant support group of people going through exactly the same thing it helped to feel less alone. In addition to this I went twice to a specialised government sleeping and settling baby centre with nurses that was free – their advice was invaluable and saved my sanity and sleep. I am still in touch with my mothers group and we meet monthly for dinner to discuss our fast growing 11 year olds as well as life in general. It has helped me to be a more confident parent and I hope these government programs continue.


  2. Loved your depiction of the reality of maternity leave. Excellent points about postpartum depression. Totally can relate as I had a similar experience 18 years ago with the birth of my daughter – except I got to stay 4 nights in the hospital from an emergency C-section.


  3. In the U.S., we only get [up to] 12 weeks of unpaid leave (job protection) unless our company provided something else [which most don’t]. It’s deplorable.


  4. Loved it! I’m going to show this post to my mother and tell her how much I love her. Here in India paternity leaves aren’t that convenient & my mum had to go through 2 such “maternity leaves” for my sister and I…


  5. Here in the US we have even less 😦 Hopefully the US *and* France….and everywhere else can finally recognize that leave for birth needs to be a right for all parents!


  6. Vey nice, lovely , caring and heartful post . I liked it very much . It is really amzing !!
    In my opinion , singapore & malaysia are the best destinations to go for holidays. Everyone will enjoy there their holidys surely.


  7. Honestly, my situation, in the US, was nothing like this. I had 1.5 days of induced labor that ended in a c/s. Sucked, but not the end of the world. In fact, the doc took me off the meds overnight, got me a meal, and let me rest. After birth, yeah, my body changed, with bonus scar. But my husband stayed with me the entire time, and in the middle of the night, the nurse insisted on taking my son to the nursery so I could sound, because “you’re my patient too”. I suspect she gave him formula, but looking back? I don’t care. I had a massage therapist help with the post – birth swelling, I had a lactation consultant help me, I took childcare classes WITH my husband while I was pregnant, etc. Yes, my husband went back to work. But he also got up every night with me and got me settled to nurse. And when I couldn’t handle the crying, he took over and I did the same for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so very accurate. And it’s so much worse here in the United States. Unless you have paid sick time you don’t get paid anything for maternity leave and it’s not more than 6-8 weeks. My husband was allowed to stay overnight with me but everything was still on me to handle. I’d also had a C-section and was in tremendous pain for several weeks. He went to work & I was at home 24/7 with the baby because we didn’t have enough money for me to even just go driving with the baby.

    You’re so right that this needs to change.


  9. In Poland you get 6 months fully paid leave (100%) and another 6 months paid 60% or can choose to get all 12 months for 80%. I must say I seriously love my country 😁


  10. Germany in reality: fathers who take 2 months of paternity leave, normally 1st, together with mom, and 13th, alone, are already heroes. Many companies do not allow even 1 month, insisting on the rights means conflict and potential firing; it is always possible, the nice German labour law is not the last word.
    As the result, from one side women are often considered as half-useful already when pregnant, from another mothers returning before kid is 1 year old and/or returning to work full day, 35-40 hours, before the last kid starts the 5th school year, are blamed. Kindergarten or childminder before 3 is still often called “Fremdbetreuung”, “foreign care”, it considered to be a necessary evil, and helpful for migrant kids only.
    Mother should be for work AND for kids together, so named “work-life-balance” here. Gender gap is 21%.

    2 kids, returning for 40 hours after 3 and 7 months… Thanks to my husband’s company, it has non-typical fully according to the law policy for parents. My kids are in kindergarten together with several french kids, whose parents came to work in a french company in our german town, and their moms do not feel guilty or shamed because of outsourcing kids for 8,5 or more hours per day, just a part of life. German do.


  11. In the usa its unpaid and its 3 months for mom and most dads in the us dont even get leave the few who do get like 2 or possibly 3 weeks again unpaid i think some countrys have it alot better then they think


  12. Very well written and described. I can tell you that if this problem was affecting men, the laws would change overnight but us women are dispensable and we have the magical motherly instinct!


  13. I knew things were bad in the U.S., but this makes me realize it’s much worse than I thought, the things you complain about, women would be grateful to have-I hope I dont come across as saying you shouldnt complain, just wanted to say it really puts things in perspective. I keep telling my partner that I’m not going to have a baby with him while we are in this country-only 6 weeks maternity leave. and that’s only where I’m at, not across the whole country. No paternity leave, unaffordable childcare when you go back to work- by the way, super jealous of the fact that you got 3 nights in the hospital, and with your own room! From what I’ve heard from mothers here, they usually get 2 nights, in a shared room, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars in Bill’s that come in the mail later..really have no idea how people do it. Thanks for putting so many awesome concepts into a perspective that makes it a lot easier to open up dialogue with others.


  14. I live in Estonia. Here we have 140 days of maternity leave (usually it’s started before the due date to prepare for the baby, go to parenting classes etc), 30 days of paternity leave AND 435 days of parental leave that can be shared between the parents as they wish. It’s all a paid leave, according to the parent’s salary during the previous year.

    So the kids usually do not go to daycare/kindergarten before they are 1.5 years old. Sometimes the parents decide to stay at home for another 1.5 years without pay – according to the law, the employer must keep their job available for them for 3 years.

    I love my country for this system, but some things can still be improved. We do have a large gendered pay gap, because it’s usually the mother who takes out the parental leave and therefore misses the career opportunities. Also, if both parents wish to continue their careers, it’s really difficult to find a daycare for a kid under 1.5 y. And unfortunately, the mothers who go to work early and leave the child with a babysitter, do not breastfeed, etc are often criticized. But I hope that as more fathers will choose to stay at home with the kids, we’ll be able to overcome these issues 🙂


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