‘Like Christine Quinn And Katy Perry, I Was Back At Work Days After Giving Birth’

'I had my daughter on a Monday and was back at my desk by Thursday'

Christine Quinn giving birth

by Siobhan Grogan |
Updated on

In the last couple of weeks, Christine Quinn has attended the filming of the MTV Movie and TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED, wrapped up filming season four of Selling Sunset, gave birth to her first son, Christian, via emergency C-section, and then this Tuesday made an appearance on E! News Daily Pop just 10 days later.

The reality TV star also revealed on E! News that she was criticised for returning to work so quickly - 'The mom-shamers are real, that's for sure,' she said, adding, I've gotten both ends of the spectrum.

'I've gotten people who are like, "Oh I'm so happy you're getting back to work, that's great!" And then I have people who are like, "You need to give your body time to recover and heal, and who's taking care of the baby?"'

She added, 'I'm like, "Listen, my husband's amazing. He's home, the baby's sleeping, what's the difference?" For me, I love to work.'

She's not the only celeb who appears to have returned to work at lightning speed. This summer Katy Perry found herself in the mother of all diary clashes - after revealing she’d given birth to daughter Daisy Doveon 26 August, the singer took to Twitter from her hospital bed to announce the release of her much- anticipated new album, Smile. ‘Delivering a baby and a record in the same week,’ she tweeted triumphantly, immediately horrifying the usual gaggle of mum-shamers, appalled that the miracle of new life wasn’t ‘enough’ for her. How could she care about anything else now she was A Mother?

Thing is, sometimes you have to. And sometimes, you just (whisper it) want to. I know this because I had my daughter on a Monday and was back at my desk by Thursday. I’m a freelance writer and was finishing a mammoth project I’d accepted several months earlier. I had no idea back then that making tea and toast at the same time can be a superhuman challenge in the days after giving birth. All I knew is that the deadline couldn’t be changed and I didn’t want to miss out on the money or an opportunity I’d worked hard for.

5 Days After Giving Birth, Katy Perry Posts a V. Relatable VMAs Picture

True, like Katy, I didn’t need to commute, worry about childcare or even squeeze into any work clothes. I wrote from home, sometimes in my pyjamas and largely when my daughter was either asleep or with my husband in another room (because yes! She was his child too!). And some days, I sat at my laptop rocking my daughter’s bouncy chair with my foot and weeping with exhaustion into a packet of Custard Creams. Yet I never regretted the decision I’d made to keep on working. My job is part of who I am. Why shouldn’t Katy make sure as many people as possible hear the album she’s spent months recording?

Finding a way to muddle through from the start might even make life easier in the long run, with one NCT survey saying a third of women found it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to return to work after maternity leave. Art critic Melissa Gronlund started work three weeks after having her daughter, Bertie, and published a book within a year. ‘I didn’t feel guilty at all. I wanted to work and I had opportunities I didn’t want to let go by,’ she explains.

‘Maternity leave can you give you a false impression – first of being a full-time mum and then that you will be a full-time professional exactly like you were before,’ she says. ‘It’s more realistic and helpful to understand you are going to be both from the beginning.’

Returning To Work After Maternity Leave – Know Your Rights

Of course, for every new mum starting a business or writing a best-seller, there are many more barely managing to shower each day. ‘My son Noah had colic for six months and didn’t sleep,’ says teacher Cathy Davies, who says she was too exhausted to even contemplate feeling any pressure to be more productive outside of motherhood. ‘I had to hold him constantly to stop him crying; there was no way I could have even thought about work. I needed every second of my maternity leave just to feel normal again.’

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The fact is every mum must be able to decide what’s right for her family without judgement, whether that’s taking a year to figure out how to keep this new little person alive or casually dropping a top five album while breastfeeding.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and founder of the charity Pregnant Then Screwed, believes that the answer might be bosses being open to us all working more flexibly, something many of us have proved over the last few months works just fine. ‘This is about choice, and we remove that choice for women by adhering so rigidly to outdated work practices,’ she says. ‘Flexible working improves productivity, efficiency and emotional wellbeing and gives more mothers access to work. When and if you return to work is a personal choice that needs to be made for you and your circumstances.’

So whatever you decide, how you spend your maternity leave is no one else’s business. Or, to quote Katy’s succinct hospital bed tweet, ‘Don’t f**k with mama.’

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