When there's so much to do and not enough time to do it all in, I find it a bit dispiriting to see a woman in a senior government post NOT take her fair share of maternity leave.
Rachida Dati, France's justice minister, returned to work (and spike heels) just five days after giving birth by C-section. She's right to say being pregnant isn't a sickness - but it rankles with me that despite her seniority she's not prepared to take her employment rights. She could have taken annual leave for longer so I don't see that her career need have suffered by a few days more at home.
She didn't seem to be grimacing from any stinging pangs of healing scar tissue. So maybe she was on massive doses of pain killers. I can't help but wonder what sort of policy decisions she might make while she was half out of it with drugs and the new mum blues.
It would be wrong to judge everyone by my own experience, but I loved staying in my PJs for the first five days (perhaps only achievable for first babies - not so practical maybe for seconds, thirds etc), sobbed uncontrollably in the shower on day four and subsequently watered up whenever anyone offered to babysit. I imagined they were telling me that couldn't cope*.
Reassuringly, even Nicola Horlick (the UK's own apparent superwoman) took six months maternity leave for each of her children and insists paid work is best done with the support of a mixture or all of family, partner and nanny.
Despite the pressure that Dati puts on us all to pretend that motherhood doesn't have to change a thing, I'm embracing flexible working, treasuring each tantrum (yes, really!) and avoiding any opportunities for promotion that get between me and my Friday/Mum day.
*I got over this and now wrestle for control of their diaries.