Mum Creates Data Visualization to Show Maternity Leave Isn’t a Holiday

Photo by Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

San Francisco mum, Kristen Cuneo, has a stunning response for mums asked if they “enjoyed their holiday,” referencing their maternity leave. She crafted a data visualization that maps out every time she breastfed, bottle-fed, and changed a nappy.

Cuneo’s super supportive husband, Michael DiBenigno, posted the visualization, presented in a video, to his TikTok. Along with a couple of fire emojis, for good measure.

@the.data.guyLet’s be real @lifeof.kristenc is definitely the main character in this house. original sound – Michael DiBenigno

With no surprise here, the video went viral in a hurry. It has now racked up over 2.6 million views, 349,000 likes, and over 2,000 comments.

Maternity Leave Isn’t a Holiday

“We had heard over and over that being a new parent, you never sleep, but it’s hard to understand what that really felt like,” DiBenigno told Good Morning America.

DiBenigno goes on to say that the data points help depict that. “You see that continual, never-ending cycle of the mundane, routine labour of all these things that are just necessary,” he says.

@the.data.guyI’ve been asking @lifeof.kristenc to present this way for years and it finally happened! Please show her some love for getting out of her comfort zone! original sound – Michael DiBenigno

In the video, you get to see Cuneo’s data basically come to life. All of the work she did on her “vacation” populates the screen. Its presentation is very effective in showing how much work being a new mum is.

“Objectively, it’s a lot, and every data point took time, ranging from five minutes for a nappy change to 30 minutes for a feeding, on average,” explains Cuneo. “The real kicker is when it happens, 24 hours a day.”

One commenter points out the complete lack of federal paid maternity leave in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, only 27% of workers in private industries are given paid leave.

“This woman needs to be in front of Congress,” they said.

Cuneo Feels ‘Seen and Heard’ By the Response

Cuneo says she’s “grateful” her visualization could help other mums like her “feel so seen and heard.”

“The response that we’ve gotten has been completely mind-boggling. So many people have this experience,” she explains. “…whether or not they’re currently raising a child or maybe they did 20 years ago.”

What do you think about this data visualization of maternity leave? Could something like this make a difference in the grander scheme? Let us know in the comments below.