There was an interesting article in the Washington Post last week about maternity leave. It seems that some companies (huzzah, PricewaterhouseCoopers!) have finally realized that childcare is not eternal and that many women are now choosing to stay home with their kids for a short time and then return to work when then child is done nursing / out of diapers / playing well with others / off to college.
Miriam Peskowitz, who I met at a book party shortly over at Elizabeth’s house a couple years ago, calls this stepping on and off the carousel of work. That is, instead of defining ourselves as working mothers (WOHM) or stay-at-home mothers (SAHM), we could all simply realize that we’re each a point on a continuum of mothers who spend more or less time working outside the home or with our children at any given time. As I recall, she defines it more eloquently than I in her book The Truth Behind The Mommy Wars, but this is the basic idea. We aren’t one or the other anymore (unless you’re the mom who gave birth in the office and was back the next day — and bravo to you — but I don’t buy it), and the Mommy Wars are a fabrication of the media trying to stir things up. Kind of like today’s Cocktail Playdate.
Anywho, this article was really cool. Go read it. Think about it. And think, “Why not?” One day, all companies will have this kind of foresight. The kind of foresight that enables some very productive office years, and some years full of days like this: