I filled my diary with appointments until 3 days before our due date. 4 weeks after it I had an important meeting scheduled. The whole way through that meeting I breastfed the baby and my supplier just accepted it. I put on a brave face, but I felt completely alone. Now I know, there's a whole army of women, working through their supposed maternity leave, for their families and their businesses. Self employed or otherwise, I'm learning of more and more women who, for their own reasons, are taking a shorter, or less conventional maternity leave.
The energy it takes for a working mum to manage the demands of her work life and home life are so often underestimated. Once I had a child, I realised the unfair scrutiny mothers come under for the choices they make. How long they take off work is just one. At my end of the spectrum, people stifled judgemental looks when I told them I was handing my 3 week old baby to my receptionist so I could reply to emails. At the other, those taking the decision to be at home til their children start school, tell me they still feel a stigma attached to stay at home mum's.