By Alessandra Macaluso of PunkWife
As Melanie LaSalle, employee of Startrust Networking, nears 40 weeks of gestation, she begins to pack her bags for many blissful weeks of paid rest and relaxation provided by the company.
“It’s really upsetting that she gets to take this time off just because she has a vagina,” griped Steven, a colleague. “What the hell could she possibly need to do during all of that free time?”
Melanie, already mom to a toddler boy, confided in us that she agrees. “It’s pretty amazing they give us six whole weeks,” she whispered. “I don’t know what to do with myself. Last time, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to ice my lady bits or order another piña colada. So refreshing, both of those activities.”
Order a piña colada? We pressed her for more details.
“Well,” she said, leaning in, “this birthing thing is a total sham. We mothers know the code and keep it under wraps, talking about nonsense like ‘hours of labor’ and ‘needing time to bond with our babies,’ but really, it’s a breeze. Sitz baths? Hemorrhoids? Pfffffffft. Easy peasy. Besides, most of us just hire help to care for the baby so we can relax during our maternity leave. This company pays us plenty so we can certainly afford it!”
Turns out, her coworkers agree.
“She thinks she’s fooling everyone, registering for things like breast pumps and bottles and pretending to read those stupid baby books. Everyone knows taking care of a newborn is a joke,” scoffed Carissa, fellow project member and mother of none. “It’s embarrassing. She is taking advantage and doing it all on the company dime. There’s no reason she can’t come back after a few days.”
Carissa then referenced Melanie’s frequent social media use, especially during her first maternity leave, calling her an “Instagram whore” and “Facebook over-sharer,” adding, “Doesn’t that tell you how much time they have to sit around and do nothing and how non-jarring this whole experience is? My boyfriend’s cousin had a baby once. I visited for a full thirty-five minutes and all the baby did was sleep. So I know.”
Steven chimed back in, “And I don’t want to hear about her sleep deprivation either. I used to pull all-nighters in college all the time and still make it to class. My roommate even shat on my rug once, and I had to clean it. Baby shit is way cleaner than frat boy shit.”
Her boss, Joseph Mandavi, sounded far less concerned. “I set her up with VPN access, so I don’t expect any downtime,” he shrugged. “The time we generously give just means it’s time away from the office, but she’ll still be working. I’ve seen the ads with the smiling women hooked up to the hands-free breast pumps, typing away, so no excuses there!”
When asked what he’d do during the points Melanie would be unreachable in labor, Mr. Mandavi showed no concern. “Listen, I only see from the neck up during most Skype calls, anyway. She can continue to labor while announcing next quarter’s projections – I have no problem with that.”
We asked for further comment from Mr. Mandavi; however, he had to abruptly leave the interview for an emergency: a male employee was having his shoulder relocated after a golf mishap at the company picnic last week. He ordered to Melanie, “Send him a fruit basket with a note to keep out of the office for a few weeks and to make sure he unplugs, and I mean it! I’ll be checking his VPN to be sure he doesn’t log on.”
Melanie, a true team player, dialed up Edible Arrangements to place the order just as her contractions began. “I’ll just be waiting around for this baby to arrive anyway. Nothing says a day at the beach like stabbing pains in your vag and the pressure to release your bowels,” she said.
Update: Melanie tried to send photos of her rest and relaxation during labor, but they were caught in the company’s web filter and flagged as too graphic. Their IT department declined to comment.
About the Author
Alessandra Macaluso is an author, freelance writer, and the voice behind her lifestyle blog, PunkWife.com. Alessandra also writes screenplays, and is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy. She is mom to a toddler, an infant, and a 25 lb. cat named Marcus who believes he is a dog. Learn more about Alessandra, and the projects she is currently working on, here: AlessandraMacaluso.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.