Hot Topic Tuesday - Returning from Maternity Leave

Hot Topic Tuesday is an opportunity to take controversial, attention-grabbing, or 'hot' topics that have recently garnered attention across the social media stage and open them up for discussion.

I have a lot of guilty pleasures, and one of them is watching The Social everyday. The Social consists of a group of four women who talk about real issues, many of them 'hot topics' in the news, in pop culture, and on social media, and viewers like myself (or Socialites as we are referred to) can join in the conversations through various social media outlets.

Today The Social becomes a bit of a hot topic itself as one of the women who sits on the panel returns from being on maternity leave. Melissa Grelo announced her return to the popular daytime CTV show via her social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) a few days ago after having her baby in March, and with this announcement were many warm welcomes back to the show. Some viewers expressed excitement, encouragement, and understanding at the announcement of Melissa's return. In many cases, there was an outpouring of support for Melissa's Tuesday appearance on the show.

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Accompanying the outpouring of support were a few naysayers as well. With Melissa's return to television occurring only a few short months after the birth of her baby girl, some viewers questioned Melissa's return back to work, implying that it was too soon. Many wondered what the reasons were for her to go back to her place of employment when her daughter is still so young and dependent on her. A discourse opened up on Melissa's social media accounts wherein women expressed very strong opinions both for and against a woman returning back to work at this particular time.

This leads me to my hot topic question: "When is the 'right' time to return to work after having a baby?"

My Opinion, In Case You Are Curious

I don't believe there is a 'right' or a 'wrong' time for a woman to return to work after having a baby. I also think that implying that a woman's return to work is unhealthy or detrimental to her child is ignorant. Every woman's situation is so diverse that it is unfair to assume that your 'right time' to return to work is the same as another woman's. I believe that there are so many considerations when a woman is deciding when to finish her maternity leave.  Childcare, finances, family support, spousal support, transportation, overtime, what to do if the baby gets sick, implications if you are breast feeding, your own physical and mental health and of course your baby's health and development....the list goes on and on. Some places of employment may be more accommodating to an early return, and others may not be. In Canada we are blessed with the option to take a one year maternity leave if we wish to take it, and any woman has the right to decide whether she will use that year in full or return prior to that year. Some women even extend their leave by a few extra months, and others extend it indefinitely. That's a woman's right and women have fought hard to have that right. I know that many professional institutions have their own opinions about a woman returning to work before their one year maternity leave is up; however, it should be the decision of the mom with the support of those in her support circle as to when the 'right' time to return to work is. And she should be free to make that decision free from judgement.

What do you think?