Maternity Leave

The Weirdest End To Maternity Leave


Back in the chair, briefly. Zena Barakat/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Zena Barakat/NPR

The last time I was this surprised, Journey was cut off mid-lyric.

If you asked me a few weeks ago what my final maternity leave blog post would cover, I might have said the anxiety of leaving the cub, excitement about getting back to a job I love and/or lessons I learned in the past 12 weeks.

So it is odd to write about returning to the workforce for only one week. That's it.

So much of my energy has been spent preparing for my new life — from finding baby sitters to buying breast pumps. I never thought I would have to be prepared to face the big question of "What should I do next?" I'm still working on that one.

I will confess that a few weeks ago I though, "Wow, I wish I had a little more time at home with Isaac." Ah, the cliche is true — be careful what you wish for.

Have you ever gotten what you wanted, in an unexpected and maybe even unwanted way?

See you Monday.



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"Have you ever gotten what you wanted, in an unexpected and maybe even unwanted way?"

I would say that meeting my future wife on a train between San Diego and Los Angeles. I didn't want to take the train, and she was getting off at Anaheim. I did act fast enough to get her phone number before she got off, and the rest is history.

Completely off topic, do you like that flat keyboard? I've tried them, and they don't really work well for me. Then again, I tend to bang the keys, so I prefer something heavier.

Sent by Matthew C. Scallon @mattsteady | 1:13 PM | 7-18-2008

Hi Alison,
I'm so sad to hear that the BPP is ending. There are so many amazing things about the show, and on top of that list is you! I've been watching you since I was about 8 and always remembered you as the legit one on MTV. I wish you, Isaac, and Bill the best of luck and really can't wait to see what you do next. Thanks for coming back to the final week of BPP. As someone whose dreadful work day is brightened for two hours by the BPP, it means a lot to have you back to round out this great venture. Take care!

-Michael :)

Sent by Michael Wood | 1:29 PM | 7-18-2008

Getting a job with full insurance and then saying to my husband, "Now we can get pregnant!" A month later, I found out I was.

We call this type of experience "God's warning shot" in my house.

Sent by Susie | 1:49 PM | 7-18-2008

Hi Alison-

Great to hear you're going to be back...bummed to hear you're going to be, that may just make my head explode!

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but here she goes. Now that you all have become a part (if fleeting) of my life, I'm worried about what will happen to you. I've been listening since you signed onto Sirius in October. Y'all are kinda like my morning friends.

I too have been in the unemployment line and know how unsettling it can be. At the time you think it's the end of the world, but as soon as you get another job everything is okay.

Will there be some place on this website or another that you can let all us fans know where you all have landed and if you're okay? Also, how long will the blog be open, there's tons of great stuff here that refer back to from time to time.

I just want to thank everyone at the BPP for broadening my horizons, adding to my bank of knowledge and making my 100 mile morning drive to work more pleasurable. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a conversation and referenced this show. And the music, I didn't know who the Black Keys were until I heard them here, now I'm planning to go see them at the Orange Peel in Asheville.

I'm seriously going to miss everyone involved with the show. I wholeheartedly disagree with NPR that it was a failed experiment. Good lord how am I going to make it to Raleigh in the morning without you??!

Thanks again and good luck!!

Sent by Julie in North Carolina | 2:45 PM | 7-18-2008

Spent years telling my girlfriends, "I wish I could live somewhere where it's 85 degrees every single day"...and then my mate came home one day and out of the blue said, "Let's move to the Caribbean!" I thought he was insane and initially said no (if you can believe that)...until I realized that, yes indeed, be careful what you wish for. (We spent 5 years there.) ;)

So happy we'll have you back for even one week. So very sorry (and sad) to see the BPP go.

Sent by Marilyn | 2:50 PM | 7-18-2008

Hey, Alison--

First, I want to echo what Julie said above. You and your wonderful BBP colleagues have broadended my horizons and added to my bank of knowledge in countless ways. You've also brought a smile to my face hundreds of times, which is badly needed the first thing in the morning.

I can't wait to hear you on the air again. Of course, it really sucks that it will only be for a week.'ll get to spend more time with Ike for awhile, and then you'll find another outlet for your immense talents. Whatever your next broadcasting venture, be it in TV or radio, I'll be there. I've been a huge fan for years, and I'll follow you anywhere. (But not in a stalkery way, I swear!)

So, until we meet again, I wish all good things to you, Bill and Ike.


Sent by Cinder Conlon | 3:38 PM | 7-18-2008

My 3-year old is behaving like an angel. The rub: he's got a slight fever.

Sent by Jonathan Nichols-Pethick | 4:11 PM | 7-18-2008

Thank you for all that you have done on BPP. I have been waited for your return but not on this current situation. I will be waiting to hear your voice on Monday. The best to you and family in the future.

Sent by Steven J. Oberman | 5:02 PM | 7-18-2008

Okay, here's my story. I have 2 kids, my husband stays home so I would always wish for a job where I made some more money. Lo and behold, my wish came true. And now I am bored out of my mind. Careful what you wish for, of course had it not been for my boredom I might never had found the BPP so there is a silver lining. And finally another job offer has come where I won't have time to spend checking out the BPP blog, the only sliver of a silver lining I have for your cancellation. Listening to you all has made my current job bearable. Thanks, I am going to miss you guys so much!!!

Sent by robin | 6:36 PM | 7-18-2008

I wanted to be a mom. I just didn't think that my then-boyfriend, now husband, was going to be intimate with someone else in my absence (living in different countries). We worked everything out (it was about him, and not about me) and got married in October and are very happy. The baby is almost 2 now and lives with both his mother/mother's parents and us half-time. On many levels, he is more my son than he is hers (she never wanted to be a parent), I spend more time with him than anyone else, and I became a mom in a way I never expected!
I started listening to BPP in January, after my husband got me satellite radio for my crazy Detroit commute. I have loved every moment of it and am so crestfallen that it will be cancelled as it spoke to my head, my heart and my funny bone. It has been enlightening, humourous, touching, intelligent, provocative, sufficiently frivolous, down-to-earth, educational, inviting, inspiring, delightfully interactive, cool, and has made my daily hour of dodging Detroit's five-toned, bungy-corded Caddies a far more enjoyable experience!! The BPP made the price of Satellite Radio worth paying!!

Sent by Juli | 11:09 PM | 7-18-2008

Grad School, 8 years in the works. Sure, it was all puppy dogs and rainbows a year or so ago when I started visiting schools and applying. But now, with the moving date looming and my last days of work are fast approaching, it really seems like I'm being pushed off a cliff. Leaving my jobs (I have two: 7 years at one and 5 years at the other) is the hardest thing. I'm going to miss the work and, especially, my co-workers. And the thought of being replaced isn't easy, either. (How self-centered is that?)

So I'm right there with you, Alison and everyone else at BPP. I'm kinda sad you won't be coming with me to school. (Austin's going to be lonely without y'all.) I guess there's only one thing to do: hold hands, put the pedal to the metal, and freeze frame over the Grand Canyon :)

See you on the other side.

"I've got a heart full of rubber bands that keep getting caught on things." (Butterfly Boucher, "Another White Dash")

Sent by Sandra Y. | 1:28 AM | 7-19-2008

I have been laid off twice during the dot com bubble, although I didn't have the storybook; started my own business and all was grand, I did learn a lot of good lessons maybe one great one. Children are excellent healers!

As a daily listener, I felt that everyone working on and probably off air, thought they had the best job in the world. And I thought they did! Your show is amazing, funny, informative and took radio to a new and exciting level. I cannot believe that you and your crew will be out for long. I look forward to you hosting again next week and will search for you and the BPP staff online, on the radio, broadcast or in print. You all are too good to be down for long!

Sent by Lisa Ormerod | 11:52 AM | 7-19-2008

Last Saturday, after waiting about a week, I spent two hours in line in front of the local Apple store to by an iPhone. During the wait, I had long, interesting chats with two of my line mates. One of them does web strategy for corporations that want to begin or improve their web presence. When he opined that what he was trying to do was to combine a corporation's web presence with a strong mix of other social media. I immediately told him about the BPP. What a damn shame that it's being put to sleep like this, what a damn shame.

Sent by Elliott MITCHELL | 8:08 AM | 7-21-2008

Welcome back and goodbye ... How strange!

Sent by Hollis | 10:39 AM | 7-21-2008

I'm not a fan of blogs and extended lists of comments, but I'm pleased to be able to join listeners bemoan the loss of BPP. I thought the BPP was an intelligent balance of entertainment, education, and news. Alison is fantastic and so is the BPP team. I'm so sad that NPR is letting the project go. While major news networks shorten stories and sensationalize bits of information, the BPP offers a welcome alternative. Thank you for your wonderful service and work; you will be greatly missed.

Sent by Julie Morton | 2:43 PM | 7-21-2008

Alison, like so many above me mentioned I've been a big fan since you were an on-air correspondent on MtV. Out of all of them, I listened and respected you the most because even at a young age you brought class, wisdom and maturity to all the pieces you did. I've watched MSNBC just to catch a glimpse if they said you'd be coming on with the Most and I just recently found the BPP and was anxiously waiting for you to come back from maternity leave. I really hope you decide to return to the media in some form or another, your voice is way too important to not be heard. Best of luck with the "new" family!

Sent by Clay Hutcherson | 2:48 PM | 7-21-2008

Well I haven't been a constant listener but when my Sirius radio was on in the mornings I got hooked on you and Luke by surprise-since I'm in the 50+ age group-but it was both entertaining and educational helping me stay in tune with my 2 teenage daughters and the trends of the day-NPR has been known for some bone-head moves (cost cutting or whatever)-so as I tuned in this morning pleasantly suprised to have you back but quickly finding my way into heavy denial-I wish, or hope you can get Luke on the air before the end. One final non-related note-having not been to the web-site prior to this I am almost equally suprised to see (from your picture) that you are also the great fill-in for Keith Obermann, never entered my mind to put 2 + 2 together. The show will be missed, the humor, so needed in the mornings these days will be more sorely missed. Thanks for the few short months we spent together.

Sent by Ray Copeland | 6:16 PM | 7-21-2008

Hi Allison
It is pity that NPR decided to terminate the BPP. Certainly sad news, but honestly it is not surprising. For NPR standards, the BPP is highly unorthodox. During its short existence, it managed to create a loyal audience, the kind of audience that has been lost by traditional media. You should be proud of your accomplishments, but hosts leaving the show, producers leaving NPR, host maternal leave, and a guest host fighting to keep it glue meanwhile. What kill the BPP? The BPP.
If you have a program with the same format in, say, Sirius Radio, it might have a chance. You should try.

Sent by Marco | 3:30 AM | 7-22-2008


I just tuned in today and got the news... I know everyone is telling you how sorry they are for you and your staff. However, it's me that I'm more sad for, your show has become such a bright spot on my radio dial. I always look forward to hearing your take on news and current events.

What is NPR doing? How dare they give me, simply put, the best program on NPR the yank it out from under me... I'm devastated.

Tell me who I address my next message to NPR, so I can tell them what I think.

Sent by Thorp Thomas | 4:31 PM | 7-22-2008

Don't worry Allison, I missed just one week of the BPP podcast and then found out you were all being taken from me. So it only takes a week to get out of the loop. I was telling a co-worker yesterday about what a great program this is. I plugged in my ipod to let him listen to Monday's show on our carpool and there you are saying it's going off the air. I went straight to the anger phase of grief. This is on of the smartest and most entertaining news programs on NPR and I will miss it terribly. I appreciated the connection to the internet and the dash of personality infused into all the broadcasts. Thanks for helping to dust off NPR's image, even if only for a few months.

Sent by Deb V. | 9:14 AM | 7-23-2008

I read that the demographic NPR was attempting to attract with this program was a younger age bracket. I'm wondering if it's time slot had something to do with that and if it was an evening program if things would have been different... Just a thought.

I wish you guys weren't leaving!

Sent by Genevieve | 10:19 AM | 7-23-2008

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