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American Women Deserve Paid Maternity Leave - Agree or disagree?

Posted by on Jul. 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM
  • 22 Replies

American Women Deserve Paid Maternity Leave

Posted by Ilina Ewen on July 4, 2012 

maternity leave

Help me understand how America is a nation of purported “family values” yet mothers do not get paid maternity leave. This abomination is not a partisan issue. If there is one thing unites women (and men) across party lines, it’s motherhood. We all love our children fiercely and value that time at the beginning to bond with and nurture our babies as we grope our way through those sleepless nights and zombie days. The United States is among the world’s richest nations - rich in terms of financial wealth, military muscle, world power, intellectual capital, and opportunity. It’s shameful we don’t value motherhood as much as we value wealth.

Women in America today can take up to 12 weeks leave through the Family Medical Leave Act. My husband, in fact, used the benefits of this act to take off a month when our first son was born. It was a joy for him to have that bonding time. Other women have to use sick days and disability to cover “maternity leave.” Let me be clear here, motherhood is neither a sickness nor a disability. We must not treat it as such, making the whole concept of maternity leave seem punitive.

The modern woman’s Sophie’s Choice is paycheck or baby. There are so many unsavory dynamics that go into becoming a mother in America. When I was pregnant with my first son I was laid off from my job (under sketchy circumstances), bullied by the managers in my new job about being pregnant (though I disclosed I was pregnant in my interviews), and dragged through legal ordeals about health insurance when I left the bullying company. In my second pregnancy, I was dropped from my husband’s health insurance in his new job because pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition. I was engaged in battle before my babies were even born!

Why do we make it so difficult for people to start a family?

Remarkably, we have legions of people who fight to give more rights to unborn fetuses than to living mothers. It’s not a matter of either/or here; it is a matter of providing support to families and children and mothers. Many issues that ail society and stress out families and marriages are due to lack of support. The issues are complex and gargantuan, but in simple terms, American values, standards, and budgetary priorities do not care about women and families, for which society pays the price. Exactly what standards are we using when we puff out our chests and proclaim to be the greatest nation on earth?

To reiterate, the United States is the ONLY industrialized nation in the world to provide no paid maternity leave. This must change, regardless who sits in the Oval Office.

Agree or disagree? Why?

by on Jul. 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
im23vaughn
by Bronze Member on Jul. 4, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I disagree. I think that employers should offer ( or even an independent company) offer something like Aflec where if you pay into the system for a period of time they will pay you while you are in maternity leave. While I do think it's important for parents to stay home with their children ( if possible) when they are 1st born I think the responsibility of being able to do so should rest at the feet of the parents

mehamil1
by on Jul. 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM
2 moms liked this

It should be manditory. We are the only developed country on the planet that does not mandate it. 

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jul. 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM
2 moms liked this
Quoting Cafe Steph:

American Women Deserve Paid Maternity Leave - Agree or disagree?

Just responding to the title : I disagree.

I don't think it is a question of deserve.

I think it is sensible, on a society-wide basis, to make a provision to give women paid maternity leave, because there is very strong scientific evidence that it is a good investment.   Money spent on making it easier for women to spend time bonding with their newborns has been shown to provide a financial return to the society (in terms of reduced spending on crime prevention, etc) many times the initial investment.

Citygirlk
by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:18 AM
I agree. Being a mom of 6 week pre mature twins i think we do DERSERVE it. i mean what happens to people like me who need that time off because their child/childeren are born early or with problems and needs to be in the hospital for months?

Fyi: i had to leave my job at 4 months because i was put on bed rest and i would of burned through my sick/vacations days.
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Fields456
by Bronze Member on Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    I do think mothers should atleast begiven the 6 weeks pp off if they have been their long enough i quilfy for it and i think fathers should be given a week paternity leave( even if the have to use their own vacation time for it)  but it should all be determinded if the father has been there long enough to accrue vacation time  if not it should be non paid vacay

_Kissy_
by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 3:37 AM
Sad isn't it?

Quoting mehamil1:

It should be manditory. We are the only developed country on the planet that does not mandate it. 

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Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Jul. 5, 2012 at 4:36 AM
Wait that says the US gives 0....

I thought it was 6 weeks.

Everywhere I've worked offers minimum 6 weeks. Maximum of one place was 8 weeks and another was 14 weeks.
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LIMom1105
by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I agree American women should receive paid maternity leave. As the author states, we are the only developed nations in the world that offers nothing during maternity leave.

I was fortunate in that I was able to accrue sick time and unusued vacation time in fairly large amounts before having my child, and thus, use it to have paid leave.  But I did not have one day of actual paid leave really, this was all sick and vacation time that I squirreled away like a miser, knowing I wanted to have a child. I had a coworker who was fairly new and took 6 weeks.  I know lots of women in that situation and some who only took 4 weeks. Most women really aren't ready to work that quickly--our bodies haven't fully recovered.

This is one area where our country shows true lack of family values.

 

shimamab
by on Jul. 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Maybe it's state mandated or by employer? Don't think there's a federal program. Could be wrong...

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wait that says the US gives 0....



I thought it was 6 weeks.



Everywhere I've worked offers minimum 6 weeks. Maximum of one place was 8 weeks and another was 14 weeks.
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Jul. 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM

 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wait that says the US gives 0....

I thought it was 6 weeks.

Everywhere I've worked offers minimum 6 weeks. Maximum of one place was 8 weeks and another was 14 weeks.

 Is that paid or unpaid? 

Every employer I ever worked for gave you 6-8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, but I think that is due to the FMLA.  I think before that they could fire for taking maternity leave.

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