So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Right now I’m 22 weeks pregnant and celebrating because I have two weeks left at work before I start my maternity leave. That’s right, I’ll be going on maternity leave at just 24 weeks pregnant. And I’ll be getting paid for it.

I saw a post on the Her View From Home Facebook page the other day where the lovely Leslie was talking about how she had to go back to work after having her girls at just 12 weeks after they were born. In a mother’s group I’m in, a gorgeous woman from Texas was saying she only gets to take 6 weeks off. Neither of these women were paid for their maternity leave.

This completely blows my mind and breaks my heart at the same time.

Here in Australia I get a minimum of 18 weeks paid maternity leave. Paid at national minimum wage (around $672 AUD per week). We can also take off up to 12 months maternity leave (beyond 18 weeks is unpaid) and still be guaranteed our job when we return. My husband is also able to take paid paternity leave as well as paid annual leave from work.

I’m one of the lucky few that has it even better though.

Because I work for the government as a Paramedic (all of our Emergency Services are government run), I get an additional 14 weeks paid at my usual pay rate. That’s a total of 32 weeks paid maternity leave. 8 months. 8 whole months I get to spend with my newborn baby without the stress of having to return to work.

Plus… I also have a lenient return to work policy where I can work part time until my child turns 5 and then return to full time if I choose. My position is guaranteed for five whole years.

I’m not telling you all of this to brag or to make you feel bad about your situation.

I’m sharing with you because I cannot possibly imagine what you go through having to choose between staying at home with your baby or being able to afford to survive.

The benefits of paid maternity leave are proven and extensive, not only for the mother, father and baby but also for businesses and society in general. Australia isn’t leading the way, we are far from it with countries like Estonia offering up to 87 weeks of paid maternity leave. But I am so incredibly grateful for the time I’ll have.

I cannot imagine the heartbreak a mother goes through when leaving her 12-week-old baby at daycare so she can go to work. At a time when you’re still recovering from your body going through one of the most incredible feats possible. Something that took 9 months to achieve and you’re supposed to be all ready to go back to ‘normal’ in just 12 weeks (not to mention the insane hormonal changes and extreme fatigue).

I cannot imagine what it is like to feel so pressured by your workplace to return. To fear that if you don’t return ‘soon enough’ you may not have a job. At a time when finding work is already difficult enough and when you’re being sent bills from the hospital for the birth (another thing we don’t have to worry about here with free healthcare, but that’s another story for another day).

Mumma, I cannot imagine being in your shoes. My heart goes out to you, it truly does. You are incredible for doing what you do – whether it’s letting go of your career so you can make the most of the time you can with your newborn, or whether it’s returning to work so you can provide for your family and keep your job.

Above all else, I hope things change for you soon. I hope America catches up to other nations and implements paid maternity leave. I hope it is realized how the short term and long term benefits far outweigh any ‘inconvenience’ of a mother taking time off work. And I hope you too can enjoy having time with your newborn without the financial stress placed upon you.

Krystal Kleidon

My name is Krystal and I am a first time mum. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend (sometimes neglectful) and a paramedic. I live in a small country town in Queensland Australia and am the first Australian contributor to Her View From Home – something I am very proud and excited about. I love my Australian culture and lifestyle and you’ll have to promise to cut me a little slack when you see me writing things like ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’. I'm the creator and editor at Project Hot Mess, a site dedicated to empowering women and encouraging them to embrace who they are in their own perfect way. Even if that means running late with a cold cup of coffee in hand and not brushing your hair for 3 days (that's what dry shampoo is for right..?). 

These Are the Sick Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom kissing head of sick toddler

I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, and yet, I already know I will look back on my daughter’s preschool years with affection for what it is: sweet, fun, curious, and undeniably precious. What I won’t miss about this stage is that it’s germy. SO germy. The preschool years bring endless crud into our home. Crud that is heartbreaking when your beloved child’s body is working hard to fight it off, but that also works its way into other bodies. The adults in the home who have jobs and responsibilities, run the entire household and have just endured the emotional...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime