• Tue, Sep 10 2013

13 Things An American Maternity Leave Isn’t

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.

Share This Post:
  • CMJ

    Ugh, there is no such thing as “American Maternity Leave.” It makes me angry every god-damned day.

    • Koa_Beck

      Second this all the way.

    • Andrea

      Word. There isn’t. By law, all you are even entitled to is 3 months of NO PAY leave. And that’s assuming you work for a company that is even subjected to FMLA (50 workers or more). That is it.

      If you are VERY lucky, your employer offers something else. If you are EXTREMELY lucky, you get to take it and your co-workers won’t be making snarky ass remarks about “picking up your slack”.

      I am raging right there with you. Raging hard.

    • Koa_Beck

      #RagingHard

    • Andrea

      In fairness, someone else used that in another article. I think it was you! LOL

    • Sundaydrive00

      My boyfriend doesn’t believe that women aren’t paid for maternity leave. A lady he works with works part of the time in the office, and part of the time at home. She went on her 3 month maternity leave a few weeks ago, and I had commented how I would try to work part time from home after about a month instead of taking the whole 3 months. My boyfriend asked why I wouldn’t just take the 3 months since I’d be getting paid either way. If only that were true..

  • Evelyn

    12 weeks? Please tell me that those 12 weeks are paid maternity leave.

    • keelhaulrose

      Sometimes… if your employer isn’t a total asshat.

    • Evelyn

      In a case like this I personally believe that the state should make employers pretend not to be arsehats. Here most of the statutory maternity pay that a company pays out can be claimed back from the government any way (I believe from looking at the gov website may get shouted at by UK employers if I am wrong).

    • Koa_Beck

      NOPE. Not federally protected. Depends on your job.

    • Evelyn

      Good grief.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      IF you are lucky enough to have a job that provides that benefit, then yes. Most jobs will only pay for 6 weeks. And still more jobs only allow maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but only if you’ve been there for over a year, and it is not paid.

    • Angelica

      Yeah at my job, we can take the first six weeks off at 80% pay using short term disability, then we can take off an additional six weeks, but they are not paid.

    • Evelyn

      Here the first 6 weeks are at 90% by law and the remaining 33 weeks is either 90% or £135/$215 depending on what is lower, then the remaining 13 weeks are unpaid. The difference is that our employers aren’t nice for offering it, they have to by law and can claim a lot back from the state (I believe). If you had a high paid job with huge mortgages it wouldn’t be enough, but then you are the kind of person who the employer would probably give brilliant voluntary maternity pay deals with to keep. If you are in a low paid job then it is enough to make a huge, huge difference at an expensive time in your life.

    • disqus_WjKIYzni5a

      okay I’m moving to England

    • Evelyn

      Here a lot of employers offer pay that is better than statutory on the agreement that you pay it back if you do not return for an agreed period of time. The employer can claim back the majority (but not all) of the statutory mat pay from the state. It isn’t full pay for the whole 39 weeks (the last 13 weeks being unpaid) but it is fairly generous and when you have a small kid any money is good.

    • CMJ

      The United States (along with Swaziland, Papua New Guinea, and Liberia) does not federally mandate paid maternity leave. It makes me so rage-y.

    • Evelyn

      And rightfully rage-y in my humble opinion

    • Alicia Kiner

      Depends on the company actually, the only thing legislated is that the company has to hold your position. Most companies do not pay you for the full 12 weeks, they only pay for the 6 weeks short term disability (and that was 60% for me for both my kids), if you’ve worked there long enough. Some companies don’t even do that. Some companies make you pay into that insurance, and whatever you have paid in is what you get. FMLA is a big old racket. People assume it’s paid leave but it isn’t. I actually lost my apartment 3 weeks after my son was born because I didn’t get my short term disability check until I went back to work, and I had been put on bed rest about a month before he was born. The company said that was to protect them from paying out the money to women who didn’t intend to come back to work. And it was perfectly legal.

    • mchristine

      I work at a major university- we are allowed to take 6 weeks off maternity, then an additional 6 under FMLA and not a penny of it is paid. I get to use up whatever sick/vacation time I have accumulated and then it’s unpaid (and I have to start from scratch to earn time off when I go back to work… awesome, right?

    • Andrea

      I wish I could tell you that. But, by law, they don’t have to be. An extremely generous employer might give you 6 weeks paid. And they don’t even have to be subjected to the 12 week law if they employ less than 50 workers.

    • footnotegirl

      Depends on your employer, but here’s the way it works:
      IF you have worked for at least a year, and IF you have worked more than 30 hours a week throughout that year (vacation and sick time don’t count), and IF you are an actual employee and not a contract worker or freelancer and IF yoru employer has more than 50 employees, then you are guaranteed 12 weeks off after you give birth (or adopt, or during which you take care of a terminally ill family member). These 12 weeks are not legally required to be paid, and you are not guaranteed your old job back, just an EQUIVALENT job.
      More than 40% of American women do not work at jobs where they are even guaranteed those 12 unpaid weeks because of the way the regulations are.
      Most employers that have paid sick or vacation time also require that you drain those banks while you are gone. So when you get back, better hope that you or the child don’t get sick or need doctors visits until you can earn some more time back!
      Paid maternity leave is entirely up to the employer. Very few offer it, and when they do, they tend to be in companies where the employees are unlikely to take the full time off anyway.

  • keelhaulrose

    You get to brush your teeth?

    • Andrea

      Ha ha ha ha ha ahaaa!!! I had forgotten that there were days even that was not on the agenda.

    • MoD

      Right? Those first couple of weeks home when there is no night or day, just an endless cycle of feeding and changing diapers and short naps? I just tried to remember to brush at some point during the day!

    • keelhaulrose

      My husband has a picture of a note I wrote and left on top of my nightstand that told me to brush my teeth. Apparently, and I was too tired to remember doing this, i forgot to brush before climbing into bed, and rather than get back up I wrote myself the semi legible reminder for the next time the baby woke me up. He helpfully moved it to the bathroom.

  • Paul White

    How about “existent”. I’d love it4 if my wife had been able to get actual maternity leave vs a few weeks of non-paid FMLA.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Oh my GOD!
    That bunny is so cute I’m dead ^_^ <3

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    Ugh. I’m so sorry, American friends. It’s ridiculous that you don’t get actual maternity leave. Completely awful.

  • JustMeToo

    My last job had zero paid maternity leave, the only thing they guaranteed for 12 weeks was that you would have your job when you came back. One of my coworkers couldn’t afford to take more than one week off and came back to work looking like she just got run over by a train. I worked at another job where a coworker had to hide her delivery because it took place just shy of her year anniversary at the job. Basically the FMLA only kicked in after you had been there for a year. If she gave birth prior to being there a year she would be fired. When she delivered before her year, she just called in sick and took all her sick days until she hit the year and then could let the job know she’d had a baby and take her FMLA.

    All this to say, FMLA is B.S.

    • Andrea

      Is outrageous bullshit. Bullshit with more shit piled on top of it.

    • Koa_Beck

      I’m going to quote you on this GOLDEN assessment of US American maternity policy

    • keelhaulrose

      I had my baby on September 2nd, and my one year anniversary was the day before. I got my leave, but I’m glad my doctors appointment that started my early delivery want two days earlier.

  • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

    I can never get over that. I’m sitting here mentally preparing myself to go back to work after having been gone nearly a year on my government-provided paid maternity leave, meanwhile my sisters-from-across-the-border can barely get access to SIX FRACKIN WEEKS.

    It’s nauseatingly unjust for so, so, so, so many reasons. I have so much respect for you girls. I was barely healed after 6 weeks. I can’t even wrap my brain around it.

    • Andrea

      I went back at 4 weeks. I was still bleeding.

      And we won’t even talk about the state of my ass and boobs.

    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      So wrong.

      You’re a fucking hero, dude. Seriously.

    • Andrea

      While I appreciate the sentiment, for sure it is not a unique situation. Thousands of women in the US do this because they have no choice. It’s beyond reprehensible.

    • ElleJai

      Even Argentina gets a paid 40 days then state child care. The USA has rocks in the heads of its legislators. I apologise for that on their behalf.

      Here in Australia the government pays. If you’ve been working over a year you keep the job, otherwise our social security gives you extra. Still not quite enough to survive on with any ease but you won’t be starving or homeless, and compared to many countries it’s the lap of luxury.

      I’ve been on disability since I was 19 and I do ok. I’d rather be able to work but while I can’t I can at least be supported to live independently and feed my kid.

      Ooh there’s also currently a baby bonus. I got an extra $5,000 for the first and I’d get $3,000 for any subsequent (paid over 13 fortnight’s.)

      Then there’s extra discounts for childcare for low income, discounted medication, free healthcare…

      So I’m gonna go right ahead and say I love my country, and I’m so glad I was born here. If I was in the US I would have been successful at suicide before I’d hit 16.

    • Rachel Sea

      Contract workers get no time off. I know hairdressers, and cab drivers who have given birth and gone to work, with the baby, the NEXT DAY.

    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      Cheese and fries! Even contract workers and self-employed here can apply for parental leave (I mean, both the father and mother can apply for up to 5 initial weeks and then the caregiver can have the remainder for up to a year) as long as they have enough eligible work hours.

      I can’t imagine having to work at a salon, freshly having pushed out a human who needs to nurse every hour on the hour and most likely colicky while staying standing to make sure Mrs. Smith’s hair is nice and she pays my bills…

      @#$%?&*()_+@#$%?&*()_+#$%?&*()

  • Blahblah

    12 weeks? I’m getting six weeks. At least it’s at half my pay, but only because I took a special kind of short term disability insurance, so they’ve been taking some out of every pay check for that.

    Also my FMLA doesn’t cover my hyperemesis, so I’ve been written up for that and could still be fired. Hooray.

  • MoD

    In my perspective, as both an employed mother and an employer in the US – I think offering longer maternity leaves would be beneficial for a lot of reasons. It’s stupidly, ridiculously distracting to have a super young infant when you’re working, and I absolutely cannot imagine leaving my baby at six weeks old in the care of someone else. At that point, he was still nursing every 2 to 3 hours, and waking up 2 to 3 times a night. I returned to work when he was nearly 4 months old and that was still very difficult for both of us (mostly me). But I was raised by a mother who returned to work shortly after giving birth to my siblings and so I’ve seen it first hand. Fortunately my circumstances worked out that I could wait longer.

    Beyond that, it’s a bit of a hardship on the business when someone is on maternity leave. It’s too short of a time, usually, to hire someone to fill in for the person on leave. If the leaves were longer, it would be feasible to hire and train someone into the position to cover for the leave. It’s not cost effective to do so for 6 to 12 weeks. So the business is operating short of employees.

  • reagan

    I was a hairdresser with no benefits who also did management work. No clients, no pay (management paid nothing while I was gone, either). Plus, I saved $ to afford 8 weeks off and still received a guilt trip, every day, until I came back to work full-time (minus the PT work when I brought my new baby boy starting at one week) at three weeks. Not only did my boss call daily, so did some of my clients. Trying to breast feed while making everyone happy sucked and I really believe gave me mastitis from not emptying my milk ducts by breast feeding too fast and losing my milk production three weeks after birth. The American system is shamful…..

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    So… my questions is this: How do Americans have children?

    This is a totally serious question. I have no idea how it is financially possible. I mean, I’ve heard giving birth costs actual money. Is this true?

    I’m Canadian. I had to pay extra for my private room when I had my C section and spent two days in hospital, and received a bill for $100. The birth was covered under the provincial plan. None of my prenatal care cost money out of pocket. I get 55% of my pay through Employment Insurance for a year.

    And I STILL find the whole thing odiously expensive. First it was maternity clothes and vitamins and supplements, nursery furniture, cloth diapers, stroller, etc. And now that baby’s here, I’m paying for formula, which I didn’t expect and my electricity bill is much higher with all the laundry I’m doing. We’re also putting money aside each month for life insurance now, plus an RESP (registered education savings plan). The monthly cost of caring for our son on a reduced income is considerable.

    How is it possible to become a parent in the United States without going cardboard-box-living broke? It seems entirely unliveable, unworkable and inhumane from where I’m sitting. You deserve so much better.

    • Blooming_Babies

      “cardboard-box-living broke?”… Yup, nail on the head.
      As a mom to three I can attest that it is an adventure into “cardboard-box-living broke?” for most usa moms. Even if your partner has a good job. My bill from a totally intervention free, insist I go home after one night, midwife attended hospital birth was $800 after the $10,000 a year I pay for family coverage health insurance. That was when I had good insurance, now my deductible alone would be $2000.

    • Andrea

      When you have insurance, it is not to bad (ish). If you are poor, it would be covered by Medicaid (insurance for the poor), but you won’t be getting a whole lot of amenities.

      And that’s why most women HAVE to work. It takes a LOT of money not to be cardbox-living poor around here. More than 1 person can make in most cases.

    • B

      It’s insanely hard. We had a $2,000 deductible and when the baby had to be readmitted for jaundice she had her own deductible, so the birth itself was about $5-6K out of pocket with insurance. Not to mention that 6 weeks short disability is really only 4 weeks. There’s a 2 week unpaid waiting period! We were very lucky to have savings but it was severely depleted. That’s part of why we haven’t had a second child yet. On top of birth costs and then non paid leave and daycare for two kids it’s unaffordable. And on paper we would seem to be in a good place financially. It’s all an illusion :(

    • Blueathena623

      Please keep in mind that some people get really lucky, so its not always doom and gloom. There are some good organizations and corporations left that still give a shit about their employees. Thank god I was employed at one. I didn’t get a paid maternity leave, but I was able to save up my sick days (5 years worth) so I didn’t miss a paycheck, and my work had really good healthcare that didn’t cost employees much, so I paid very little.
      My point is — there are still some good Americans left ;)

    • crankylex

      My husband and I are in our late thirties and we have not figured out how to have a kid and not be broke, so we’re not going to be able to have children.

    • Ally

      Same boat… People say “oh just do it! You’ll figure it out!” Um no. If I ever have to live in a cardboard box, I don’t want my kids to be forced into that kind of situation. My “children” deserve better. All kids do.

    • DMH

      All I have to say is, thank heaven for Tricare insurance because if it weren’t for them, we’d have been sunk. Nick’s actual birth only cost roughly $50, but his month in the NICU? $81,600. I almost cried when we received the bill in the mail with the total charge of $400.

      Don’t even get me started on the unpaid leave thing.

    • BubbleyToes

      Well you should be breast-feeding! It’s free! And don’t you want what’s best for your baby???!! *INSERT GIGANTIC AMOUNT OF SNARKASM****
      But seriously, I don’t know haha…I am an American social worker. If I got pregnant right now, I would have only my supplemental short-term disability insurance to use as maternity leave (which doesn’t kick in until I’ve been out of work for over 8 days, so that’s one week completely unpaid) at 60% of my pay (which, as a social worker, you can imagine is a bazillion dollars even at 100%). I don’t know how I would do it, but I know that everyone is in the same boat here. I would not take more maternity leave than absolutely necessary, like 8-10 weeks. I would love to stay home permanently, but that’s not a financial option for us.
      In closing, ‘Murica.

    • Melody

      Omg! I am still paying off the NICU bills from #1 and #2 for what amounted to less than an hour total of attention from them. They came in at birth to check the babies bc there was meconium in the water sack or something. I remember them doing the apgar test at birth and stopping in for like a minute the next day and somehow that warranted a bill for thousands of dollars. We have insurance that we pay an obscene amount for and still I have to fight them tooth and nail for everything from the birthing costs to the epi-pens that we have to renew every year. US healthcare is complete shit and now I have to go rant some more and look at houses in Canada…

    • SusannahJoy

      My honest solution to this problem was to marry a man who had a well paying job. It felt so greedy, but when I was about 27 I decided that I wanted to have kids and I didn’t want to worry about how I was going to afford to feed them, so I started refusing dates from anyone who didn’t make enough. And then I got really, really lucky and met someone who did have a good job and we fell madly in love and I was able to stay home not only after the baby was born, but beforehand too. Obviously though, this would not work for a lot of people.

  • Suzie

    I work at a hospital (as a Labor and Delivery nurse!) I am 16 weeks pregnant, and I will get 12 weeks, with only 6 partially paid, (the rest unpaid) AND, I have to use up all my hard earned vacation time first. (So when I get back to work, I won’t be able to take an actual vacation for a long time.)

    Oh, and if taking care of other women in labor gets too exhausting for super pregnant me at 40 weeks, and I need to take time off at the end of pregnancy, it gets deducted from the 12 weeks. That’s why some of my co-workers have actually worked up until the moment of labor….

    “Lemme clock out so I can get my epidural now”

  • Alex

    As Americans, we do what we can to support each other when employers/government can’t or won’t help.

    Although I’m certain they exist, I have never personally worked with any parent who used a child as an excuse to skip work. A coworker’s wife had their first back in June, and a bunch of us pooled together what PTO we could spare so that he could stay home for two weeks (no paternity leave and he didn’t have much PTO). In turn, he is paying that back as he accrues it and also now works from home a few days a week.

    But we never would have offered him that arrangement if we thought he would use it to play Call-Of-Duty all day or leave work at 2PM to take his son to an emergency tee time at the golf course.

  • Givemeabreak

    I work in an office of men. ALL men. I am the only female. Our company has a short term disability plan, but we also earn 2 weeks of Sick Pay and are given 2 weeks of vacation a year. I hit my year renewal for vacation and had banked up my sick pay like a crazy person for a year and half only using it when I needed it. I had 2 weeks “waiting period” that I used my sick pay to cover. Then I used my vacation pay of 2 weeks and then recieved my 4 weeks of crappy 60% of my pay for another four, so I only had to go 4 weeks unpaid. It worked, but was REALLY tight.
    Seriously the only thing that saved us was my tax return right after I came back.
    On another note, It’s been 8 months since I’ve had a workday off :-| because I used all my paid time off to cover my maternity leave.
    And, working with all men, I’m constantly reminded of that time I took off for three months whenever I ask to leave early/come in a bit late so I can attend the first day of school/go to the dentist/go to the pharmacy.
    Yup, awesome three months off with a baby that threw up and screamed nonstop until he was 4 months old. FREAKING BLAST!!!!!!!

  • Colette

    Okay, sorry if this pisses anyone off, but I have to ask: why do you all feel entitled to receive extended, paid days off for something you choose to have? I mean, people are complaining about using vacation days and sick days, but why shouldn’t you have to use those? You are not required to have children, so why should a job be required to give you extended maternity leave? Say I wanted to get liposuction (which is a personal choice, just like giving birth), I would certainly not expect my employer to give me any extra days off or to pay me for taking more than my given sick days. I don’t think anyone should lose their job because they decide to have a kid, and I think it’s a nice bonus for employers to give paid maternity leave, but why should I have to pick up the slack at my job for up to a year because someone chose to have a child of their own free will?

    There really is no malice behind my question, I genuinely would like to know the reasoning behind why people feel they deserve more time off so I could be more informed.

    • PrairieCoast

      I don’t know if people feel “entitled” or that they “deserve” time off…that’s not I feel. I just feel it makes practical sense and is good for the health of mothers and babies to have a decent maternity leave. Employers give reasonable time off for different life circumstances such as sickness, death in the family, vacation, etc. Yes, giving birth is a choice and getting sick is not, but it’s just accepted in society that people are going to have babies. All species reproduce, we kind of have to. Not giving maternity leave is extremely discriminating against women in the workforce, since they are the only ones who have babies. No one person HAS to have a baby, but as a human race, some people do HAVE to have babies. Should the only people having babies be the few who are rich enough to survive on no income? By mandating maternity leave and guaranteeing a woman can have her job back when she returns, you are creating equality between men and women and people who are less well-off and the rich. Back to my first point, it just makes sense for the health of individuals and society to allow mothers time to recover after giving birth and allow them to take care of their newborns. One example of a benefit of extended leave is that it allows mothers to breastfeed longer, which has been shown to improve health outcomes in children. I think it is important for governments to try to help infants have the best start in life, so that includes making some provisions for families to support themselves.

    • B

      Society has evolved and that means that certain things need to evolve with it. I think maternity leave and pay for it should be federal, not individual to a company. We are no longer living off homesteads where women are able to work with their baby nearby for feeding purposes, and it’s very difficult to not be a two income family meaning that mothers need to be apart from their babies for long periods during the day while they work. And babies in that first year and especially the first six months (unlike liposuction) requires constant care, being fed, changed, entertained and even loved. Breastfeeding wasn’t happening and I stopped pumping at six weeks because I knew I only had six weeks left before going back to work. I am the breadwinner in my family and no income coming in and hospital bills mounting meant no money for fancy pumps or lactation consultants. If I’d had an income it might have turned out differently to the benefit of my baby. My memory of my leave is a haze of exhaustion, hunger, stress and a little bit of relief that I didn’t have to juggle major responsibilities on top of that. I probably would have lost my job, I was running on fumes.
      Honestly, the phrase entitled just makes me bristle, because it means you think we made a choice and now want you to fund our “vacation”. I think maternity leave should be paid. Just like we all pay for social security, welfare, prisons. I work hard, I never take all my use it or lose it vacation and I don’t take advantage. I don’t think wanting what the majority of other countries, “poorer” than the US have is unreasonable or entitled.

    • JewelEyedGamerGirl

      You did make a choice. People who did not make a choice include people who are forced to take unpaid time off to take care of a dying family member or because they have suffered some terrible injury or sickness, for example. So wanting mat leave to be paid by a system where people pay in seems fine to me as long as this system is not created to the exclusion of one where people who also really need time off to care for critically ill or dying family members or friends or themselves can be helped similarly. However, when people suggest that only people who reproduce should have consideration of their needs that includes payment, THAT is entitlement. That makes me nuts.

    • B

      Again, how would a federally mandated/funded maternity or paternity leave specifically for new parents be any different from any of the other numerous things we pay into as tax payers that not everyone can access? Unemployment, disability, welfare, social security etc?
      What would be your solution to ensure a new mother is able to adequately care for their infant while still being to pay bills and have health insurance (the first three months includes several dr visits/vaccines etc.)? Or do you truly believe that if a person has a child that’s their choice and their problem? I truly believe there is a big difference between needing time and security to care for a new child and taking advantage of the office by leaving work to attend every single ball game/school play etc

    • JewelEyedGamerGirl

      Did you actually read my post? It doesn’t sound like you did. I’m not trying to be a smart ass, I just feel like you missed a lot of what I said.

    • B

      Well, I feel like you missed a lot of what I said as well. Yes, it is a choice to be a parent. I just think if we are going to support the growth of society there has to be a real support system in place for new families (adoptive too) like most other countries have.
      There should also be a system for those caring for the ill, but that’s an entirely separate circumstance and when you start lumping things together it starts to get complicated. Or maybe they just need to improve upon the terms of short term disability.

    • ElleJai

      The thing is that liposuction isn’t a long term investment in the economy, and the future of society. A child is.

      A child needs to have things bought for it, services provided, then grows up and gets a job and pays taxes. This results in growth of the economy.

      In countries with age pensions or disability care, these extra taxes help provide for those people. In fact in some cases the population is getting to be too weighted in the direction of the elderly that they’re holding conception holidays, concerts, raffles, and extra financial incentives in order to get more babies.

      The US has its priorities wrong when it cares more for shoving kids onto the front line than ensuring the home front is supported. But with no babies there’d be no one to send to the front.

      Kids are necessary to any growing country, so since we need them, why shouldn’t we support the parents who care for them during at least the first year? Including adoptive parents.

      There’s also more chance that a society who supports single mothers will extend that to other vulnerable people. I have chronic ill health and see 5 hospital specialists, get expensive tests, see a general doctor at least once week, plus take expensive medication. This is free or heavily discounted and I get paid to live. I then spend this money thus getting it back into the economy and using it so that I hopefully can get better and work and pay taxes to support others. It’s a great big circle.

      This notion that poor or sick people are morally delinquent has been floating around for thousands of years, but the gap can be closed with extra services. In a few generations you can get most people to a degree of parity

      Also your annual ssick leave and holidays suck and I’d propose a redo for those while you’re working out maternity pay.

      Don’t even get me started on the tip system and why I cannot understand the benefit. Just pay people properly and charge properly for your products/service. It works fine for the rest of the world!

    • LalaBoom

      I’ll answer this one for you Colete since your pea-sized brain can only see as far as the maternity leave.
      I feel very fckng entitled to six weeks of maternity leave (which I don’t get) because MY CHILD WILL BE THE ONE PAYING TAXES AND PAYING FOR YOUR RETIRMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY.
      Don’t give me sh-t talking about liposuction. Liposuction isn’t an investment that society will later on gain from- ya’ know, unlike children.
      SMFH. The rhetoric kills me.

  • Athena A

    Wow I knew the States didn’t have a lot of maternity leave but I had no idea it was often unpaid. That is so absolutely unfair, how can you afford a baby then unless your husband has some fancy pants job! It’s 15 weeks paid in Belgium and I thought that wasn’t a lot! In Ireland, where my man is from, it’s 26 weeks paid! Imagine the luxury!

  • JaneDoe

    I really don’t know how you American families survive. With each of my 3 kids I received Maternity leave Employment Insurance for 50 weeks (I was making about $50k and received about $25k in EI benefits) and was guarenteed to getting my job back at the end of it. Covering maternity leaves is a whole job industry in itself here in Canada. There is no way I could have managed to go back to work in less than 6 months. Also, here in Quebec, we have $7/day universal daycare. Also, as a middle income family, we receive “baby bonus” or federal child tax rebates in the amount of approx. $400 per month for 3 kids. Top this off with my provincial health insurance and I have very few worries when it comes to taking care of my family.
    Last year the federal government took in approx. $3 billion more than it paid out in Employment Insurance so the system is quite viable. You folks need to elect some new politicians who don’t hate families quite so much.

  • Megan Brown

    I just told my employer that I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second, and everyone wants to know if I am coming back. Yes, I am (no way we can afford for me not to as I am main breadwinner and love my job)…BUT, I feel like there’s no way I can do 5 days a week anymore…this post and the comments are great and I’ll be using some of the tips to discuss a shortened work week once the new baby comes (after my unpaid-other than using my vacation time-maternity leave despite working for a major hospital–don’t get me started). I hope i will not have to apply to the website like this http://canadaloansearch.com/ over and over again

  • Megan Brown

    I just told my employer that I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second, and everyone wants to know if I am coming back. Yes, I am (no way we can afford for me not to as I am main breadwinner and love my job)…BUT, I feel like there’s no way I can do 5 days a week anymore…this post and the comments are great and I’ll be using some of the tips to discuss a shortened work week once the new baby comes (after my unpaid-other than using my vacation time-maternity leave despite working for a major hospital–don’t get me started). I hope i will not have to apply to the website like this http://canadaloansearch.com/ over and over again

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