American ladies who are privileged enough to even partake in our paltry 12-week maternity leave can often catch some weird static once they’re back at the proverbial office. To one’s co-workers, it seems that taking a mere three months away from the grind to care for a brand spanking new human somehow translates into an awesome vacation that you did not invite them to. Snide comments about “taking time off,” “taking a break,” and my personal favorite, “maternity vacation,” are usually code for sleeping in until noon and painting your toenails all afternoon. Just so we’re all clear, an American maternity leave is none of the following:

1. A time to catch up on your sleep

Cat Nap

Because that’s clearly what people have babies for.

(photo: djKianoosh)

2. A round the clock mani/pedi fest

I assure you that new moms aren’t even aware that they have fingernails.

3. A cross country adventure with your BFFs

LIKE OMG SO CAREFREE

4. A looooooong nap on the beach with your phone off

toddler nap under umbrella

New parents are the most unplugged people, said no one ever.

(photo: Homey R)

5. An excuse to skip work

An “excuse” is coughing on the phone and feigning nasal voice. A new mom’s “excuse” just threw up on her.

6. One big shopping trip for all those outfits/accessories you’ve always wanted

Because you now have so much money to blow on whatever you fancy.

7. A sightseeing trip around Paris

le louvre

Because you’re just SO mobile and shit.

(photo: Massimo Ferracini)

8. A fancy ass yoga retreat

Unless we’re talking this “yoga.”

9. A wine tasting extravaganza that you’ve always wanted to do

french wine

Someone please hold my newborn while I sample this Pinot.

(photo:  Eric 小面包)

10. A bunch of time to dedicate to fluently learning a new language

learning french

Because you just have so much free time on your hands and amazing brain bandwidth. (photo:  Idea Maps)

11. A Princess Resort

Unless you’re Ms. cashmere blankets and orange-blossom scented candles.

12. A rager party

New baby. Let’s get crunk. Every. Night.

13. A time to really focus on YOU and YOUR NEEDS

Teeth brushing. That’s all you get.