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 child...so 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.