Ireen Samalie Mutekanga
Posted November 17, 2020 from Uganda

Mothers what next after Maternity Leave?

The Joy starts from the day we get a positive pregnancy test ,to the day we welcome our babies. As Months go by we realize our Maternity leave is coming to the end and that is when fear and worries about leaving behind our 3-4 months old babies home starts setting in. This kind of fear and worries happen to every working mother as the leave days come to an end. When worries start setting in we are faced with a dilemma  of either to quit our Job and take care of our babies or keep the job and look at the other available options for taking care of our little ones as we continue working  so that we can be able to provide for them.One of the many worries is;

"will my  little one survive without me being around the whole day?" New mothers ask themselves.

The desire of every mother is to watch their children every day and night as they grow up so as to be sure of their safety  but sometimes we have to focus on the future than the present . There are some options we can look at before we decide to quit the job.

  • Get a maid/house helper so you leave the baby with a him/her
  • Take the baby to a day care center near your workplace where you can easily go and breastfeed or check on him/her.
  • Quit the Job and start up a business so that you can always go with your baby at your workplace (business)
  • Quit the job and just stay home and take care of the baby. ( this must be the last option to go with because however much we have working husbands who can support us in everything we should always know that life is so uncertain and we don't know what the future holds.Before we go with this option we should ask ourselves if we can be able to give our children a better life in case the worst happens in this case I would advise maybe discussing with our husbands and see if they can always deposit something on the account(call it wage or salary) every month in case we decide to stay home and take care of the kids.

To all mothers kindly share with us what worked for you after Maternity leave so that we get to help our new mothers who are in Dilemma and not sure about what to do.

What next after Maternity leave?

Comments 8

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Tamarack Verrall
Nov 17, 2020
Nov 17, 2020

Dear Irene,
Such an important discussion, and so well laid out for deep thought. The difficulty of women to gain access to money, and with the extra difficulties related to motherhood, are problems for us all to solve. The access to money for women, and the affordable services for mothers who decide to and/or who must work, need to be addressed. Your call for real discussion with father's roles in committing to providing a security fund is also an important question to explore. Your story is a great call for discussion and action.

Ireen Samalie Mutekanga
Nov 17, 2020
Nov 17, 2020

Thank you Tamarack, so many new mothers have come to me for advice regarding this and after joining the world pulse i felt it's worth sharing so that i get to listen to other mothers and their opinion on this.

Karen QuiƱones-Axalan
Nov 18, 2020
Nov 18, 2020

Hello, Irene,

You bring so much wisdom in your posts. I agree with you. Women should be able to find economic freedom or their own source of income in any way possible even when their husbands can provide for them. No one can predict the future, so it's better we are prepared.

Thank you so much for providing value to every post you write here. I love your positivity! Keep it up. :D

Ireen Samalie Mutekanga
Nov 18, 2020
Nov 18, 2020

Thank you so much Karen for taking time off to read my story and even give feedback, it means so much to me.
Lots of love from me to you.

Nini Mappo
Nov 19, 2020
Nov 19, 2020

Hello Irene,
Indeed maternity leaves are mighty short! A friend of mine left the baby at 2 weeks because she had to work, which is heartbreaking for both. I don;t know about your country but these day, trustworthy house-helps are hard to come by in Kenya, and many of my peers either quit their jobs or have relatives live in and help, or deal with house-helps they don't trust out of desperation.
But unless one plans to have six children, which is at least 10 years of child-minding, I think trying as much as possible to stay with one's baby is preferable. The financial sacrifice is not forever, considering motherhood is an inter-generational investment. Personally I quit my full time job three years ago before the birth of my second child and I haven't gone back. I believe that the early years are crucial but fleeting, and they are like a special gift I can give to my children. My birth family doesn't support the idea of being a (mostly) stay at home mum for now because of the 'wasted' financial opportunity, but my husband's family is very supportive of it. I think I'd still do what I believed to be right and beneficial to my children even under opposition, be it remaining employed or leaving work.
So at the end of the day it comes down to personal beliefs and values about motherhood, and not pitting motherhood and full-time work as two equals because in that case, when yo work you feel guilty for leaving the child, and when you stay at home you feel guilty for 'sacrificing' your financial freedom, which is not healthy at all.
So I'd say, judge your circumstances, your children's needs, your financial needs, then pick a way forward and stick to it without guilt or apology, even when others are opposed to it.
It is a difficult road to navigate, but perhaps we can be confident of our choices if we silence outside societal expectations.
My perspective, anyway :)

Ireen Samalie Mutekanga
Nov 19, 2020
Nov 19, 2020

Hi Nini ,thank you for sharing your opinion it is a great one and so detailed.
As women we can always learn from each other. All thanks to World pulse for giving us the platform.

Jun 12
Jun 12

My story can be an interesting one (5 children) all produced during my career.
By then the laws in Uganda were not favouring career mothers. Thanks to the activists who have done advocacy that have seen some changes in favour of mothers.
1. I used to travel a lot in the rural area. When I would have to go for residential workshops my helper would not be catered for by the organisers.
2. I remember when there was a national programme where I was to play a part I had to go back to work after 2 weeks. It was not easy.
3. In the effort to deliver my work, I had to travel to the field with my baby. I entered an armbush in Karamoja where our vehicle was showered with over 30 bullets. I wasluky to come out withou any injuries.
4. I was nominated for a travel abroad for 4 weeks where I had to abruptly wean my son. The pain of expressing breast milk was another nightmare.
5. I got an international work opportunity, I had to a again wean my twins before the time I had planned.
6. I attended one scholarship interview while 7 months pregnant and this panel was bold to tell me that I could not be given the scholarship because I was pregnant. This was discrimination.

Overall working mothers go through challenges from child birth and upbrining balancing work and motherhood

Thank [email protected] for sharing this