The Mother Load
/ Author: David Prentice
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The Mother Load

By David Prentice, BC Director

This Thanksgiving weekend was one of the most exciting in a long time. On Friday, my wife and I received a call at 3 a.m. from our daughter that her long-awaited third child was coming at any moment!

We got up, dressed, packed, and were out the door in under 15 minutes. Amazing what you can do when time is of the essence! At 3 a.m., traffic on the road to Vancouver is eerily light, and we made it to our daughter’s home in our best time yet.

After a couple hours, our daughter and son-in-law were off to the hospital while we stayed back with our two grandchildren who were still sleeping. At 7 a.m., grandchild number three entered the world!

By midafternoon the next day, mom and baby were discharged. Back in my day, the mom and baby stayed in the hospital for several days to recover after childbirth.

The rest of the long weekend revolved exclusively around the needs of my daughter and the new addition, and I tried to be as helpful as I could be. While mom and baby took it slow and rested in between feedings, I played with the two older grandchildren and took them for walks, helped prepare meals or ordered pizza, cleaned up, and gave loving encouragement to the tired parents as they went through the process of remembering how to cope with a demanding newborn.

As I was busy being “granddad on duty” this weekend, I started thinking about working moms, and how challenging it is for some women to deal with the physical demands of carrying a baby and working right up to the baby's birth, especially when pregnancy complications occur.

While Canadian mothers benefit from maternity leave after a baby is born or adopted, the challenges of raising children remain after she returns to work, especially for single moms juggling family and work responsibilities.

CLAC champions great workplace communities, where co-workers support each other. Having a great workplace community is very important, particularly when the loads of life become too heavy to bear alone.

If you’re a working mom, my hat goes off to you!

If you know a working mom, or there’s a woman in your workplace about to become a mom, see what you can do to encourage and support her. From what I’ve witnessed of my wife and daughter, the mother load isn’t easy—but we can all make it a little lighter. 

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