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Excerpt from Waiting for Christopher
Sam Cowen
South AfricaGALLERYCONVERSATION
‘What are we going to do when she goes on maternity leave?' Jeremy Mansfield, the host of the show wonders while we are...
Jeremy brightens up at this. He is a big man in both stature and personality. Although I try not to be, I am sometimes intimidated by the force of his sizr. I am worried that he will be angry with me, that I have somehow let him downby getting into a position where he will have to run the show without for the duration of my maternity leave but it seems my fears are groundless.
I feel positively cheerful. The nausea and joint pain are forgotten for a moment, the team's enthusiasm is infectious. I remember why I wanted a baby and I feel happy and...cosy. Weird, I know, but it's like all my dreams and hopes of motherhood are wrapped up under my sweater.  I hug myself.
Right, I may not be able to keep my stomach under control but here is one thing that is OK. My job is safe. In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act, this should not be an issue. But when your job is based on your personality, as mine is, taking any type of maternity leave means taking myself out of the public eye. It's OK though---I have a plan.
His words split me in two. I know they mean to make this transition easier. I know they are trying to give me leave with a clear conscience, but all my insecurities are on red alert. How can they carry on without me? How dare he say they will be fine? One half of me is deeply grateful for the assurance of support, the other is screaming for attention.
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