Thursday, May 17, 2012

THIS gets me riled up.

Being a mom in America kinda sucks. 

Read this article from Moms In Maine entitled Wake Up Moms - You're Fighting the Wrong Fight!  It's amazing...and hits the nail on the head.

I try really really hard not to let bitter jealousy of my mama friends overseas harden my heart...but it's difficult.  For example, I have friends who have had their babies and been given as much as 12 months PAID maternity leave...and their husbands several months of paid leave as well.  Paid. The emphasis on supporting the family unit is outstanding.

Very different from my experiences here in the grand ole USA.

Let me remind you that I didn't get a maternity leave at all.  I was not an employee of my hospital for a full 12 months before I had my I didn't qualify for the 6 weeks of UNpaid maternity leave protected by the FML.  Nope.  Instead, I used alllll of my vacation days (13 to be exact) to have my child...and a few friends at work donated a few vacation days to me...but I ended up having to take a "personal leave" which meant I wasn't paid AND I lost my health insurance.  But - I wasn't even cleared to go back to work by my doctor until I was 6 weeks postpartum (and even that was pushing it and she wanted me to have another couple of weeks to recover - but that was all I could take before getting fired!  Can you even imagine!?  Released for having a baby.  Sometimes I can't even believe that happened to me...and it's the 21 century...and I live in America.)  When I did go back to work I had a hell of a time pumping.  It was a nightmare finding a place to pump, and I lacked the support to do it.  I had to fight for it (as a fragile, low man on the totem pole intern...not the easiest thing to do)...and some people tried to make me feel silly or ridiculous about pumping, or would act like it wasn't a big deal and I was wasting my time...and it was HARD to continue to make the commitment to do it with all of that drama on my shoulders. 

It is so hard to be a working mother.  In America.  I read this and got all insanely riled up again...I want to DO something about this.  It has to change.


  1. That's so sad. I'm so happy I live in Canada where not only do I get 12 months paid leave (although not at 100% - it's employment insurance and I get 55%, and my work does not top up), but it's also "free" to have a baby here (I say free in quotes because it's paid for with our taxes through our socialized health care). Hopefully one day America will come out of the dark ages with that stuff..

  2. It's crazy, isn't it? I was mad before, just theoretically, but then I left my job, moved to a different state and immediately found out I was pregnant. That meant new health insurance would be insanely expensive because pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition" so I had to stick with out of state which of course doesn't cover anything. And that's all before baby is more than a speck! I'm so sorry for what you went through, you would think a hospital of all places might be a bit more understanding of the situation!

  3. This totally gets me riled up too! I just turned down a very good job (that I applied for before I was pregnant, then found out during the course of interviewing - I'm 16 weeks now) because I wouldn't get any maternity leave because of being new. Essentially I was forced to choose between baby and career.

    (I happily chose baby, but not everyone is in the situation to do so.)

    Maternity leave in our country is f*cked!

  4. ugh...i just read the article...I've been thinking a lot about this since I'm due in a few months. My company is international, so it's crazy to me to think a co-worker of mine in canada gets the entire year off for maternity leave and I get 16 weeks (which is very generous in comparison to other companies, I know). But it does seem incredibly unfair. And my heart aches for your situation...I can't even imagine...



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