I am going on maternity leave in a week’s time! And then it’s just six (!!) weeks to my expected due date, and who knows if the baby will come earlier?
When I started work kind of as a break from my self-studies, maternity leave wasn’t even remotely on my mind. A half-day work opportunity was really good in itself (so hard to come by, isn’t it?) and Graham and I were also glad that it means some extra income before the baby arrives.
When I found out I qualify for maternity leave under MOM law, it was a bonus. Hey you mean I get to stay at home and get paid? Sounds like a deal. And you know what, it will more or less pay for my delivery at the hospital. That’s huge! Every bit of money we save means we can be more generous with others.
Being the ignorant work-protocols greenhorn I am, I happily thought it’s a done deal and I was eagerly anticipating my pre-delivery break… until there was a problem. My administration colleagues, who were working out my leave application, had to iron out some kinks with me. And right before I met them, I panicked.
Will I get to rest? I have taken 10 days annual leave before my maternity leave starts so that I can rest earlier, and I may have exceeded my annual leave entitlement.
Do I qualify for maternity leave? If it’s not within MOM regulation, it doesn’t matter that the boss is my father-in-law; he is an upright man and we want to be good testimonies before our colleagues.
What would we do if we have to fork out the hospital bills ourselves after all? I asked myself if I really trust God’s provision — if he could provide for us with maternity leave, he could provide for us without it as well.
So I prayed — in the toilet (but of course! these days I visit that sanctified place hourly).
I prayed so that I wouldn’t be irritated with my colleagues out of my own frustration and disappointment. My sinful heart was more than willing to see my innocent colleagues as an obstacle to my thought-out plans. I also prayed for help to trust God — so that what I know in my head about his goodness can become a real-life response in my heart to a change in plans.
It turns out that I do qualify for maternity leave. I do not have that many annual leave but that has been worked out, thanks to my understanding colleagues.
Though the outcome wasn’t as bad as I thought, that quick prayer in the toilet has taught me to walk one more step by faith and not by sight.