(Closed) How do US bees do it?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
2021 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I went back back to FT work at 11 weeks PP. my leave was all unpaid – no pto etc. I worked 7 12 hour shifts in a row then had 7 off. I was able to breastfeed for an entire year. Exclusive Boyfriend or Best Friend for the first 6 months before solids. It was doable. I have great family support. I guess you just get it done as it is what it is. 

Post # 3
234 posts
Helper bee

It’s just the way it is here. Many, many coupes temporarily live with their own parents (or choose someplace closer to live) so they can have family helping/watching as they go back to work.

Post # 4
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

Not a parent, but my mom was a single mom and I was put into daycare as soon as they allowed (8 weeks). She wanted to breastfeed but simply couldn’t since she worked full-time (~50 hours) and back then they weren’t as understanding on postpartum rights. It’s sad to say it hasn’t improved too much, but I believe a lot of places have policies allowing breastfeeding moms so many breaks her day. I don’t believe it’s law, though, just good practice.

It’s reaching the point where childcare is so expensive and careers so unforgiving that many women are just choosing to quit their jobs. My sister was one of them (They wanted her back when my niece was 4 weeks, saying that the 2 weeks she had off for bedrest before she was born was counted with the mandatory 6 week leave…illegal yes, but worth the fight and lawyers? She didn’t feel so. She just quit).

Since we’re on the topic, I’ve always been curious: how do other countries afford to give women that much time off? Who pays? The business? Does that mean businesses have to pay double for a maternity leave mom, or does the government pay for the temp? I’ve always been so curious how it works!

Post # 5
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

My mind was blown on the other post too.  Like you, if I tack my vacation on to either end of mat leave, I’ll have 58 weeks, with 90% pay (EI and employer top up).  I can split that with my fiancé too.  I’m also curious how breastfeeding is maintained, and how parents get anything done at work when their babies are in daycare?  Wouldn’t you be a better employee if you returned when they’re older and out of the newborn stage?

I believe that society benefits as a whole when parents can bond with their babies for that first year, which is why I’m happy for my taxes to pay for mat leave.


Post # 6
4258 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

cloverdemeter :  In Canada, and many European countries, we pay a lot more in income taxes.  On every single pay cheque, from however old it is that you get your first job, you start paying into employment tax.  There is no way a 16 year old at a part time job is ever going to be eligible to collect any sort of insurance if they get laid off or pregnant.  You have to work a certain number of hours in a certain period of time to be eligible…  But with everyone paying in, it makes it possible that we a decent EI payment for parental leave.  However, it is 60% in Canada, for 52 weeks, and while okay, it is still no where near as great as some places in Europe.

Post # 7
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

In australia you have 18 weeks paid at minimum wage by the govt, then you can have up to 34 weeks unpaid (52 total). I will be back at work after 18 weeks. My workplace (childcare) gives great staff discounts, 2 paid breastfeeding breaks and flexible hours.

Post # 8
6237 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

We had (and have) a lot of support from our families. I quit my job (privilege) and was a stay at home mother for two years. I now have a job that allows me to telecommute several days a week (privilege) and my husband and I have talked about hiring in home support for any additional children (privilege).

I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby in daycare at 8 weeks and I was fortunate (and privileged) to not have to. It’s complete bullshit that it’s a privilege to make the choice to stay home with your child during their most vulnerable weeks and months, though. Absolute bullshit.

Post # 9
288 posts
Helper bee

Wow I’m incredibly jealous of you ladies who get so much time off! I don’t have kids yet, but this is a constant worry of mine too!

Post # 10
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Twizbe :  it was really hard. I cried a lot when I went back to work. I was lucky enough to have 12 weeks with her before I went back to work (but I did communicate with work no help them over the phone my whole leave) 

Things were really different when I went back. They wanted me to work 12 hour days when I had originally worked 8 before maternity leave. I ended up leaving that job because I had a complete mental breakdown. 

Im lucky enough to live so close to my mom and Mother-In-Law and they help a lot. My daughter is 3 now and I really wish I had that time with her as a baby back. 

Post # 11
3112 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

It’s one of those things you do. It actually feels kind of condescending when people say “I can’t imagine.”

Look, most of us aren’t clamoring to go back but there aren’t a ton of choices that don’t involve a lot of privilege. 


I went back back when my son was 12 weeks. The first week was awful but then it just clicked. He was EBF and continued bf until 20 months. I realize my role is very flexible (my privilege) and many working families have it harder. 

I will say, however, that daycare isn’t something horrible or regrettable. My son is so social and is used to spending time away from me. Even when we switched providers at 20 months he just eased into a new routine with zero separation anxiety. 

So yes, it sucks to leave your baby, but it’s not the end of the world. My son has always done so well in care- better than I could have done mentally if I was with him 24/7. 

Post # 14
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

cloverdemeter :  In Australia you get 18 weeks paid leave, paid by the government at a set rate (everyone will get paid the same amount for maternity leave). I think people get confused about who is paying because the government gives the funds to the employer who then pays it out to the employee. Dads/partners also get 2 weeks off like this. You are also entitled to 12 months leave without pay, so the employer might have to get a temp if needed but they’re not paying two people at once!

Post # 15
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

cloverdemeter :  German bee living in the UK here. You can get up to 3 years maternity leave in Germany, with a guaranteed job afterwards and a right to demand (and get) part-time work if the company has more than 15 employees. The first 12 months (if only mum stays home) or 14 months (if dad covers a minimum of 2 months) are paid at 65% (? think this may have changed) of the parent’s usual income, but at a minimum of €300 and a maximum of €1800 per month. That can also be spread out across the full 3 years and there is a bonus for siblings so that many mothers choose to have a second child when baby 1 is ~2 years. 

Germany is a welfare state, though. If you earn around €25000, about half of it will go towards tax and various tax-like imposed insurances, such as pension, unemployment benefits, care for the elderly/disabled,… . Like most other countries the state version of this is often not great but it covers your costs of living and keeps you alive. And they don’t screw you over quite as much as private insurances.

To me, the UK 6 months maternity leave was already a culture shock (btw, how do you ladies get a year out of this?)

The topic ‘How do US bees do it?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors