Maternity leave is a time for a new mother to do things like recover from giving birth, tend to her child's needs and bond. It's most certainly not a vacation or a break from work, despite what some people may believe.
The latest comic from French cartoonist Emma—the genius behind the mental load comic—explains the stress that mothers endure during leave. The comic begins with the main character having lunch with some co-workers several months after giving birth. She mentions that she is planning a summer vacation with some friends when a colleague scoffs and asks why she is "going on vacation again" after just going on maternity leave. It then goes on to tell the story of the author's experience on leave including challenges like sleepless nights, lack of help and self-doubt.
Emma also discusses other serious problems like lack of paternity leave and hospital staff available to care for and assist mothers in the hospital. She makes the point that her home nation of France is behind other European countries in terms of paid leave and other services. Of course, the situation in France is still miles ahead of the United States where there is no universal paid maternity or paternity leave.
"Holidays" is republished below with permission from Emma.