Maternity Leave Needs To Be Longer For Working Women
Today, I broke down.
Yes, I, Tiffany Brown, broke down in tears. Some of you can probably relate; others may not quite understand. Being a working mom has its challenges. But being a working mom at 37 with a newborn is completely a different challenge all in itself.
I am blessed to have a job that offers insurance and, more important, maternity leave. But…
I don’t know why some people think that 4 weeks, 8 weeks and even 12 weeks is enough time to spend with a newborn. Let me guess: The people who are making the rules are men. I would have never thought I would be the one to share a post like this. It’s so personal and yet, I have to state my stance on this topic.
After having baby E, I desperately wanted not to return to my job. I mean, we survived just fine prior to me returning to work in 2019. It was a sacrifice, but we made it work. Don’t get me wrong: The income is nice, the comfort of having a job is nice, but it is not what I want to do anymore.
I want to stay at home with my baby. My LAST baby.
Is that too much to ask for? But instead, I am having to return to work because someone in their ivory tower said that 12 weeks is enough time to stay home and bond with my baby. Mind you, I was only approved for paid maternity leave for 8 weeks. This was because I had a c-section. In the next 2 weeks I had to use my discretionary leave and for the last 2 weeks (12 weeks) of maternity leave is UNPAID leave.
Let me type that again…
Now, I am not bothered by the fact that it is unpaid, but the fact that it’s only 12 weeks. After that, I guess my job wouldn’t be there when I return. I’m getting emotional just typing this. Now more than ever, I know my purpose is more than working for someone else.
I was made to be more — do more — but out of comfort I have to stay and work a job versus being at home with my baby. If it were up to me, I would vote for a minimum of 12 months for maternity leave.
That’s fair, right?
Recently I had a call with my Human Resources manager and we were discussing my return to work date. For some reason, I had one date and she had another. Needless to say, I have to return to work sooner than I expected and I cried.
I cried HARD. Like, a seriously UGLY cry.
We (Moms) should not have to choose between our children and our jobs. With all these emotions, I am trying my best to look at the positive and to start creating a plan to become the full-time entrepreneur that I am meant to be. My time at home may be coming to an end, but I honestly feel like it will be the start of a new beginning.
My goal is to return to my job and be great at it. I will pay off some things and continue to build my brand behind the scenes. This is what will keep me going.
I am not doing this for me but for the 3 amazing little humans who call me mom.
What are your thoughts on maternity leave? Share them with me in the comments.
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2 Comments on Maternity Leave Needs To Be Longer For Working Women
The time off is way too short! My first son had special needs, and my employer was grudingly willing to allow me extra time (2-3 hours here and there) for specialist visits. After my 2nd was born and I returned to work (they gave me 8 weeks for C-Section) he got RSV. That seemed to be the limit for the company and they let me go. We were forced to learn to live on one income because each time I tried to return to work one of the kids would get very sick, and being on new hire probation, they’d let me go. It was the best and worst of times, but it would be so fantastic if companies could be more understanding and willing to let women do what they need to do to care for their kids – the loyalty we give companies is rarely returned.
I think it should at least be 6 months, 12 months is ideal though. I’ve heard of countries who offer 6 months full pay and 12 months at a percentage. The US needs to catch up.