The role of women in the workplace is something that has grown with increasing importance each passing year. With their presence comes the issue of pregnancy and the need for maternity leave. Depending on the type of job involved and the health concerns involved with a particular pregnancy, the time away can begin weeks or just days away from the woman giving birth.
That leave is often six weeks, though some women return to work earlier and others take advantage of more liberal policies within their company. Psychoanalyst Patrick Mahony notes that one issue that often arises in the latter case is the level of guilt felt by the mother for leaving their newborn for the workplace.
In many instances, that guilt is minimal simply because the economic realities involved for the mother preclude taking time to feel anguish over their plight. They may very well feel some, yet it tends to be sublimated in order to either provide fully for the child and any other siblings or to supplement the type of lifestyle being sought.
The time frame of a particular birth can also have some bearing on the emotions of the mother. Patrick Mahony knows that first-time mothers tend to feel intense guilt in the days leading up to their return, due to the new feelings of bonding that have taken place. Each subsequent child may not elicit anywhere close to the same emotions.
One reason for such a change is that during the wait to return on the first occasion, the uncertain aspects of knowing how the newborn will react without the mother’s presence can cause pain that can be hard to shake. In contrast, having additional children usually means that the mother can simply draw on past experiences to assuage any serious concerns about such issues.