For a mum to leave her child back at home after the end of maternity leave is one hell of a task. Not only is it hard enough for women to take that step, but it takes a lot of courage. But the US parental leave policies have put a lot of stress on new mothers. But despite of the struggles, they pick their bags, put a smile and open the doors of their office with patience.

The maternity leave ends after 12 weeks, and even if the mother wants to stay with the child, she has to go to the office to support her family financially. For most European countries, such a short period of leave is simply incomprehensible.

Rachael Larsen, is one such unsung hero who took 4 years to finally open up about her struggle to return office after her delivery.  Rachael, who works at a Salt Lake City education company as the director of product operations, wrote: “The shame around raising a family and working full-time is real,” and added that no matter the circumstances, “she wasn’t ready.”

Rachael’s post shared on LinkedIn throughs light on the struggles, emotional challenges and hurt a mum has to deal with. So scroll down to check out the story.

Hiptoro decided to reach out to Rachael Larsen, the author of this viral Linkedin post. She was happy to share her experiences with us and narrated her story.

We asked her what took her four years to share the picture, Rachael said: “It took me so long because I knew the default response from many people would be critical of my desire to be a career-loving mother. The pressure for women to fit in only one box is real and you can see it lived out in rude comments.”

“Returning to work after family leave might be one of the most difficult things you do, or it might bring you relief to feel like your old self. Every situation is different.” With Rachael’s oldest child, she got back at work after 8 weeks. “It was a breath of fresh air for me to be able to take a break from the grueling work of caring for a newborn who wants to eat every two hours and cries non-stop.”

However, many parents opt to stay silent about their real struggles. “We don’t want to be viewed as weak, or unable to manage the demands of our lives.”

According to Rachael, “It is difficult to ask for help, especially when many companies only provide what FMLA requires and their corporate policies don’t allow them to provide more paid time off or flexible return options. For many managers, there is literally nothing they can do.”

Rachael’s confession resonated with many others as they shared their support in the comments

For comparison, in Austria, expecting mothers are given eight weeks before and after the birth leave. During this period they are not allowed to work. They are paid their full average net income as a maternity benefit.

People from foreign countries shared their experiences and many agreed 12 weeks is far from enough

“It’s no surprise that the parental leave in America is the worst of any developed nation. To break free from the individualist mindset of ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ we will need a national change of heart where we acknowledge the value that families and communities provide to our country.”

Rachael believes that “we need to value the humanity of our workers just as much as we value corporate profit. It doesn’t have to be one or the other; when the interests of both are balanced, you see companies thrive.”

But there have also been some critical opinions

To all parents who feel hopeless and miserable, Rachael says: “No matter how you feel about it, you are not alone. There are millions of parents out there working through the same emotions and guilt that you feel.”

And a few general comments that summed up the whole situation

What do you think about the story? Do you have any similar thoughts to share with us? Drop it down in the comment section and we would love to know your opinions.