Lately I've been fascinated by the world of mothers. Not just any mothers, rather those who are like myself (work and have career aspirations.) I've also tried to convince myself that this interest has been a generic process and not one fueled by my mother and my biological clock, which has been ticking so loudly the last five years I'm certain it's about to go off at any random moment.
While doing my research I found an article, which had interesting facts. For example a study done by the Harvard University Department of economics showed that "in the early years after graduating, men and women had “nearly identical labor incomes and weekly hours worked.” Men and women also paid a similar career price for taking off or working part time. Women, however, were vastly more likely to do so."
This then leads to men earning about 75% more than their female counterparts 15 years down the line. Then there are the low-income women who have no choice but to stay working. The most time off they can get is the four months of maternity leave and if it's unpaid most women are likely to take only about a month off after giving birth.
I find myself curious and anxious at the same time about the kind of assistance that is needed once a mother goes back to work. How exactly would I have to change my life?
I do most of my own household work -- including my tiny garden when I have the time.The only thing I don't do is laundry, I can't stand its tedious nature. I was lucky enough to find a woman who comes in once a week to wash and iron any laundry that might have accumulated since her last visit. When I have a baby would I need her to come in more often to make sure the baby has clean clothes? Will I still be able to do the other chores or would I be caught up in baby time therefore needing more household assistance?
When I have my baby I'm planning on taking at least six months to be at home with it. In that time I hope to find a trustworthy and skilled (CPR, languages and first aid) child minder whom I can trust when I'm rushed away on business or working late.
Mothers have less sleep than usual because if it's not the baby keeping them awake it's worries about baby's future. But I'm sure that between my Sealy bed and the women of this community I'll be covered in this arena. If this should fail me then my mother can be trusted to share her Best Sleep Council tips.