Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mat Leave

I can't understand how a mother in the US can be against longer, paid maternity leave. I have read comments from some of them about how it's a family's duty to make the sacrifices where needed and not the employers or tax-payers.

I can understand people without kids saying this, but how can families be against getting more time with their children and more financial help? It seems to me that it's a question of pride. They feel they have accomplished a lot by going back to work soon after a birth or feel they have accomplished a lot by living off one salary to have a stay-at-home parent and they don't want anything to take that away...

To be a great parent (to a baby since we're talking about maternity leave) and to work full time is not only hard, it's something not every mother has the ability to do. That's not to mention the arrangements that are made for the care of your baby while you're working, which is a whole other difficulty. To be a great parent when you're living on only one salary is impossible for some, hard for others and only perfectly OK when the working parent makes at minimum twice the amount of minimum salary.

Shouldn't everyone be given the resources to give good care to their baby even if they don't have everything going for them? Shouldn't less fortunate people be able to have children without going through immense hardship that ends up affecting the baby/child too?

I can't understand how mothers in particular can be against longer paid maternity leave. Seriously. Let's give all mothers an equal chance even if they happen to be less fortunate! And to those who are among the less fortunate and are against longer paid maternity leave, put your pride aside!!! You are worse than those more fortunate moms against longer paid maternity leave. If you could get more time with your baby, and be paid a good chunk of your regular salary... Meaning: Your baby has the person who is most important to him in these early and critical times, and you don't have to be financially broke to do it... and you say no, you are not putting your child first.

And I don't want bullshit about them wanting to go back to work 4 weeks after giving birth. No woman would take less than 4 months off work if they were paid and were guaranteed the same position and salary and benefits as they had before the leave started.

10 Comentários:

LK said...

I've heard nothing about mothers getting longer maternity leave here. We still have companies that don't give paid maternity leave at all. And our insurance still won't cover pregnancy without paying more for individual care. I know a lot fear maternity leave. That they will get replaced in the meantime but there is paperwork you can file so that doesn't happen. But a lot of people I know didn't want to take it at all for that reason. 4 weeks doesn't seem like enough to me. 6-8 would be better I'd think.

Candice said...

The comments weren't about anything concrete happening to maternity leave in the US, just about the idea that there should be longer maternity leave.

Being in Quebec, it is just impossible to imagine people getting a medical bill for having a baby or women taking such a short amount of time off work after giving birth. It sounds unbelievable. I was really shocked when I first learned about this actually...

Here it's something very rare when a woman goes back to work in the first 6 months. Only person I have known had a day-care. She started again after 4 months not to lose her clients but it was do-able since she had her baby with her all the time anyway...

LK said...

The US is a very work heavy country. We work ourselves into the ground. And equality is judged as doing everything the same as a man. So women feel pressured to get back into the workforce asap to show they can be just as good. It really is quite ridiculous. But I've also heard of companies here fearing hiring a 30 something newly married woman in case they do get pregnant and quit. I live in such a weird place lol

diaryofamuslimfeminist said...

12 weeks of maternity leave are legally allowed in the US, but it is unpaid. As a single mom, I can't afford to take any unpaid leave. ~Zuhura

jana z. said...

its just a matter of fact here, we have the baby, recover, spend whatever time we are allowed with the baby and then back to work. its the norm for most of us. would be nice if we were more fortunate but we arent. with each of my children, i was usually the only one working and had to go back to work after 4 weeks with each child. i guess because its pretty normal here that i never thought twice about it. bills had to be paid even though i would have loved to sit at home with my child. life went on.

Candice said...

LK: Yeah, it's a weird place! With things I read sometimes I feel like everything is just so hard in the US!

Zuhura: That's horrible... There needs to be something put into place. It's one thing to be allowed to take 12 weeks which is already not much, but to not be paid at all. Who can afford that?

Jana: I still think it's tragic even if I know so many women just do it and go on with their lives.

Becky said...

This is something I really don't get either, but I do realize how lucky we are in Denmark.

In Denmark there are 52 weeks of paid parental leave, the mother is guaranteed 12 weeks, the father 2, the rest they can split between them. I think most do about 9 months to the mother, and 3 to the father, but a lot do 6 months each. It's very rare here for a mother to take less than 6 months.

Becky said...

This btw, is why I don't want to have kids in the US :P

Candice said...

It sounds a lot like what we have here... On the standard plan, we have 55 weeks total. 18 for the mom only, 5 for the dad and 32 to share. I am taking all of the shared ones but I'm not sure what most couples end up doing... I know one of my cousins was not working so her boyfriend took them all and another cousin let her boyfriend take all of the shared ones because she was starting a business and wanted to get back to her career asap.

When the men take 3 months, those are 3 months at the same time as the mom or at the end of the leave?

Becky said...

It can be either way, usually the 2 weeks are right after the baby is born, but most of the time the 3 months is at the end (so when the baby is 9-12 months old), but it doesn't have to be that way, that's just how it's usually done.

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