Born in the USA… And what happens next

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
42472 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

 

gingerkitten:  Keep in mind that “lying in” is not all positive. Many women died from pulmonary embolisms as a result of blood clots in their legs from not being active.

I hate articles that talk about practices in America when they mean the USA. The USA is not America. Canada has much more progressive policies about both maternity and parental leave.

Post # 4
Member
6067 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

I grew up in the States and now I live in Greece. I will receive about 6 months full pay and 6 months of greatly reduced pay during my maternity leave. I am under the impression that other countries in Europe offer even better maternity leave than this (they do for sure in Nordic countries, the UK, Canada, but I’m not certain about France, Germany, etc).

It’s difficult for me to imagine only getting 4 or 8 weeks paid maternity leave, and then having to return to work so quickly and pay huge costs for day care. I love my career, yet I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time home with the baby without having to worry about finances or losing my job.

I do think that maternity leave needs to be re-evaluated in the U.S.

When having dinner with a group of my friends in the States, they were amazed and almost appalled at the paid maternity leave I will be receiving. I think they found it excessive. But the U.S. is the only western country that has such strict and limited maternity benefits.

Here is a great article on the topic: http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/everyone-us-state-maternity-leave

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Evie19.
Post # 6
Member
6067 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

gingerkitten:  I really enjoyed the article you posted as well. 🙂

Post # 7
Member
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

gingerkitten:  Expectations of new moms?  Who has any expectations of new moms? If they are my employee or co-worker, I expect the same of them as I do anyone else – to do the job they get paid to do.  Don’t want to do that? Then quit or find another job that offers you the flexibility you want. What’s that? Oh, you still want the pay, benefits, promotions and bonuses and feel everyone else should be responsible for accommodating your personal life?

  I think it’s ridiculous that anyone thinks it’s up to an employer to support and pay employees for their personal, voluntary life decisions.  New parents are already given maternity and and even paternity leave for three months.  not to mention that afterwards they get cut PLENTY of slack and usually on the backs of their co-workers who don’t have kids.  I’ve watched parents come in late, leave early, call out, bring their sick kids in to the office so everyone can not only be disrupted all day but get sick too.  Very often these same parents miss time to go to a damn soccer game or school play.  And  still whine it’s not enough.

If you want to be at home with your baby for a year, do it – no one’s stopping you. If you can’t afford that, well, that’s unfortunate and also 100% your problem.  No one is forcing you to have kids are they?  I’d love to be paid to travel for a year or stay home and play with my dog and pursue my own interests but it’s not my employer’s responsibility to make that happen and why should they?  It’s no less absurd to think your employee needs to pay you to sit home with your kid.  

When you accept a job with an employer, you accept the terms of employment they offer and you also agree to fulfill you job responsibilities.  Managing your life outside of work is your responsibility.  The fact that the woman who wrote the article talks about how new moms deserve to be “pampered” says it all about her ridiculous entitlement.  When you volunteer to have kids, you also volunteer to be inconvenienced by them – it is not up to the rest of society to accommodate and shield you from the responsibilities you choose for yourself.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Zhabeego.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Zhabeego.
Post # 8
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee

FH is German. We live there in summers. Maternity leave is awesome there. You can start it 6 weeks before your delivery date and then 8 weeks more. During your regular maternity leave you get 100% your salary. And you cannot go to work before 8 weeks post partum even if you want to.

Then you can take up to a year of parental leave where you’ll get paid 65%. With parental leave it means either mom or dad can take it and at times both can be on this leave for short times of periods but then it counts as double and reduces the time. 

This licence can be taken any moment between the moment a kid is born until sid kid is 8 years old. This can come VERY handy if a kid gets sick or has special needs that need to be addressed. Then you can proceed to have a license up to three years total but I think no pay just like they have to save the job for you.

AND get this… They have something called Kindergeld. Which is basically a raising your kid allowance. Everybody living in Germany and paying taxes is entitled to receive it and it does NOT depend on how much the family’s income is. The families receive $255.92 (I did the conversion) for each of the first two kids. Then for the third kid and more get $299.04 Each. This is from the moment the baby is born and registered to the moment the kid turns 18 and can be extended until the kid is 25 if he or she is a full time student!

Talk about awesome. As much as I love living in my country and I don’t like the cold weather, this is a much, much better quality of life when you add that all schools are free and college and all types of educational intitutions are free. And health system is really good for everyone too and not a luxury. So I think when the time comes for us to have a family, Germany will be our home instead of the US.

Post # 9
Member
291 posts
Helper bee

Evie19:  I’m in the UK – it varies here, but the government standard is 6 weeks at 90% pay, then 33 weeks at either £136/week or 90% of earnings! whichever is lower. Individual companies have their own additional policies – my company gives 26 weeks at full pay, then a further 13 weeks at the statutory level. In the UK you are entitled to a minimum of 6 months off, after which you can come back to the same role, plus an additional 6 months after which you may not be able to go back to exactly the same job but your employee has to find you a similar role on the same/similar pay etc. 

Post # 10
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee

julies1949:  agree. And Mexico, Canada and the rest of the 32 countries are America too.

Post # 11
Member
6067 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

PoppyRose:  Interesting, thanks for explaining. 🙂

Post # 12
Hostess
15072 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

My son is 21 now. When I gave birth I didn’t legally get any maternity paid leave because I was hourly but my boss was nice enough to pay me a small wage while I was off. I was going stir crazy at six weeks and went back to a highly physical job two weeks early. I had no issues whatsoever. It would have been different had I had a c-section, but I’ll be honest, I don’t understand the call for a year off or even 6 months off. Having children is a choice, I’ve always been of the mind set that it should be treated like any other medical condition. It’s not an issue that I’ll die on the hill for, especially if someone has good arguments for it but I just cant come up with one that can be equally fair to cbc’s as well as those who have kids. I have to say that I also believe it should be also fair to the employer and not overly burden all types of employers (if employers are expected to foot the bill anyhow). I definitely don’t think the government should be involved. Government, imo, is already overly intrusive in our lives and I don’t want any more. 

Post # 15
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Zhabeego:  Whilst it’s a pain for management, maternity leave makes it somewhat easier for professional, educated women to have children; children of educated parents are more likely to value education for themselves, go to university and take on professional jobs… and so the cycle continues. 

Whilst the film “Idiocracy” is a satire (and a very crude one at that), it is genuinely an issue to be considered.

The USA is one of the few countries in the world without decent arrangements for maternity leave and it’s not because everyone else is crazy. 

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