There are some hardships of motherhood that can not be helped. Sleep deprivation, for example. But there are other times that being a mother doesn’t have to be hard… Until someone decides to make it that way.
I met with my boss to discuss the end of my maternity leave and what it would look like for me to return next week. Boy oh boy, I had NO IDEA what I was in for during this meeting. The first thing she said was that she needed me to be at my desk from 8:30- 5 with a break for lunch at lunch time. Basically, she doesn’t want me to take breaks to pump or nurse. When I tried explaining, she even said, “I don’t understand what you mean when you say you have to nurse.” SERIOUSLY?!?! You don’t know what will happen?!? Let me tell you: I will leak milk all over the place, will be in enormous amounts of pain until I properly release myself and I will get mastitis. After that, she proceeded to tell me that she has completely changed my job and given my office to the intern. I’m completely serious. I, meanwhile, will be sharing a conference room which also doubles as a hallway. Nifty, right?! It is clear to me that she is trying to force me to quit so that she doesn’t have to accommodate a working mother. Never mind that she was a working mother herself 30 years ago! #IRLbully
All this bullcrap has made me really understand that women’s rights are NOT a given and they definitely still need to be fought for. We still need feminism, people. Even in 2014. And even when your boss is a woman. Even if there were laws to protect women against this, most women could be walked all over anyways because who can afford legal representation? And who can afford to really lose their job. WHAT IF YOU LIKED YOUR JOB?!?! At this point, I’m not even going to fight it— I’m just going to find another job. In the meantime I’ll be taking a pay cut and becoming an hourly worker so that I can continue to breastfeed my baby.
What didn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Maybe one day I will get the chance to fight for women’s rights and protect other women who are being abused like this. I sure hope so.