Post # 31
In the US we spend more than any other country on military spending instead of taking care of our own. Look at all these stories here, we are the richest country and yet women need to quit their jobs to take care of their babies. We have the money, it’s just not being used for the people.
Post # 32
It really sucks. 6 and 8 week old babies should not be in daycare. I actually LOVE daycare (for toddlers and preschoolers) as my 3 year old is in daycare and it’s great for her. I don’t want to stay at home with her (be a SAHM), but I’d like to have at least 6 months leave for a baby. With my first I had to go back at 9 weeks and my husband worked from home so he stayed home with her for a couple months until we found a sitter that came to our house to watch her part time. She started daycare at 19mo. #2 had to go to daycare right away (well 13 weeks) but it is the same daycare my first goes to so it’s nice that I already know most of the workers there, so it doesn’t feel like I’m leaving him with strangers or anything.
About Boyfriend or Best Friend, you have to pump at work. I pumped on maternity leave (on one side while baby nursed on the other, so it wasn’t any more work or anything) and saved about 300oz in the freezer with #1. #2 I pumped earlier and had more supply (he never lost weight or anything after birth) so he is 14 weeks and I have 900oz in the freezer. But I won’t use more than 200oz of it here and there, so I’ll end up giving most of it away. My work lets me pump whenever I want so I just pump 3x a day (so I do get 90 minutes of free breaks a day). I EBF my first (no formula) through the first year and then I quit pumping and then I just fed her on demand at home. I didn’t wean her until she was about 25mo (and I was 12 weeks pregnant with #2). Planning on nursing this one as long as he or I want. But my work is supportive. A lot of women just give up and use formula because their work won’t let them pump (or will make them clock out unpaid) and some women just don’t respond to the pump or don’t have jobs that make it easy (like 12 hour nursing shifts). Our daycare provides free formula even! Or rather it is built into the cost but I don’t even use it and I don’t get a discount for not using it. Oh well!
I don’t find it that hard to get out of the house in the morning. I usually pack everything first, then get my older one up and dressed and then I save the baby for the end so he can get as much sleep as possible (since he’s not napping great at daycare yet). I do stuff like preparing my milk bottles the night before. I usually wake him up 20 min before we leave. He’s still young enough that I’ll either wake him up earlier to eat if he hasn’t yet or he will have probably eaten an hour before (like right before I get up before I start getting everything ready, but he goes back to sleep after eating). I usually don’t drop them off though, my husband usually does which saves me 30min in the morning. I pick them up. I need to leave my house at 7:40 to get to work and I don’t get up until 6:45 ish (though I may have been awake to feed the baby at 6am). Get up around 6:30 if I have to take them to daycare myself. But I shower at night.
I should also say that my parents are both retired (live 1 hour away) so when my daughter has been sick I will usually have them come up to watch her. And I get a lot of PTO at work. I came back after 12 weeks and still have 3 weeks remaining, plus continue to accrue it. Some people only get like 10 days of PTO a year
Post # 33
My baby is due in October and I am offered 6 weeks maternity leave at 60% pay and then I will take the optional additional 6 weeks at zero pay. I’m not happy about it, but I want to stay with my baby as long as possible. I will return to work when he/she is 12 weeks old. My fiance (will be Darling Husband by then) sat down a week or two ago and worked out a budget on which we could maintain our lifestyle with me going back to work part-time. I’m a nurse so I only work three (12-hour) days per week anyway. I plan to go back to work on “registry” status, which means I won’t have a dedicated unit like I do now and will instead work on whichever unit needs me that day. I plan to work two 12-hour days per week.
The drawback to that work status is that I am not guaranteed my hours. If the hospital doesn’t need me that day, I am canceled without pay. It is also not a benefitted position; I will be going on my husband’s insurance. However, it does come with an extra $4/hour, so it will work out alright. My husband is able to work from home 1-2 days per week, so he will be doing that and my mom will be coming in (she lives about an hour away) on my other work day. We are very blessed to have family support and flexible jobs.
Post # 34
Twizbe : “I’m super impressed that you can have you shizzle together enough to go back to work so soon”
I wouldn’t be impressed – for most women in the US they don’t have a choice. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Post # 35
I’m a U.S. bee, and it sucks. I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve seen co-workers deal with this. Our whole system is so backwards, but I doubt this will change since people here hate having their taxes raised. It’s like pulling teeth. Some women are lucky enough to get short term disability during their 3 months off in which they get like 66% (or something like that) of their wages for the 3 months. However, some companies require that employees pay into this benefit to get it in the future. It’s all employer dictated what they want to do with this. I’ve worked at some really great companies that have designated nursing rooms that lock where employees can use to pump at work, but the sad part is if you’re an hourly employee, you need to punch out and not get paid during that time. Then you have to awkwardly put your breast milk in a shared refrigerator. I currently work part-time, and I’m lucky enough that my employer will give me 2-3 months off (with no pay) but have me keep my job. Legally they don’t need to keep my job for me because I’m part-time which is wonky since most of part-time workers are moms who already have kids, so if they are pregnant and have another kid, they aren’t gauranteed the job. There are so many other policies that are so backwards here in the U.S. that need a serious looking at. However, I do know that some larger companies (Facebook? Google? Can’t remember) who are giving leave to fathers which is a huge step forward. We’ll see how this all plays out in the future for everyone… I think overall, women just learn to adapt to going back to work in 3 months (or sooner). They have to otherwise they will loose their job. You’ll figure a lot out if a job is on the line.
Post # 36
One thing that helps is not having it rubbed in our faces by women in other countries who are all OMG I’M SO LUCKY I GET PAID TO NOT WORK FOREVERRRRRRR. But really, it sucks and we all wish things were different, but it’s called making it work and doing what you have to. I am lucky that I work from home, so was able to get away with a part time nanny and can see my son throughout the day. He is now 14 months old, and longs to be with other kids, so will go into daycare this year. There are benefits to being cared for by others and socializing with other littles. As far as breastfeeding goes, there’s always pumping. I have plenty of friends who go back at three months and pumped until they weaned at 1+ years.
I too feel a bit overwhelmed by the drop off process. My son still takes formula and eats three meals so I feel like he’s always getting ready to eat something or taking a nap so how on earth do you find a good time to get a baby ready to go while also getting yourself ready? I am impressed by anyone who can do this, especially single moms. My husband is basically working from 7:30am to 8:30pm, so I’m on my own for getting my son’s stuff together. If I also had to be showered and looking presentable I’d be screwed. Going to pour through these responses and hope someone wrote some good tips too!
Post # 37
I assure everyone here, there’s no way US women would take so little time, it’s that we don’t really have another option. Yes of course it’s brutal, but when there’s a choice of loosing your job or going back to work, many have no real choice.
One of my good friends had a baby and had to go back to work after 6 weeks. She was teleworking after 2 weeks because she only had 10 days PTO for the year and her and her husband couldn’t make do with the 6 weeks unpaid leave that her organization offered as “maternity leave.” The telecommuting was basically just a gift from the boss, who made a big stink about even giving her that. She had a C-Section and was still sore commuting to the office. Everyone saying “I don’t know how you don’t have a breakdown,” I can assure you, she did. She told me she was sobbing in the bathroom every single day and I’ve personally never seen her so depressed. Continuing to be alive is a pretty low bar for “handling it” if you ask me.
She wound up moving to a smaller city, nearer her parents who had just retired and could help with childcare. Last time I talked with her, her husband had gotten a promotion at his new job and she was able to start working part time, and could actually be home more.
Post # 38
the bottom line is you just do and you make it work.
someone who makes $100k could say to someone who makes $30k, how do you do it. well you live a different lifestyle.
how do some families do it with only one car?
how do some families do it in a 1 bedroom house?
how do some families do it with no family or friends around for support?
you just do it and make it work.
that’s how it is done here so it is what we expect and we make it work. sure it sucks when we hear other countries have much more madatory leave.
Post # 39
Twizbe : I was curious who does your job while you are gone for so long? Do they hire a temporary worker?
Post # 40
mrsblueeyes : Oh I wish we actually got 3mo STD! Women aren’t getting 3 mo of short term disability (unless they had some hugely traumatic birth or needed to be on bedrest before birth), which seems to be a common misconception among my coworkers who are pregnant or have never been pregnant. They’re getting 4-6 weeks paid (partially paid). Maybe 7 or 8 if they’re lucky, depends on the policy. I got 6 weeks STD and only 4 weeks are actually paid (well partially paid). But they tend to assume we get 12 weeks leave (since the STD policy is for “12 weeks”, it’s just that they won’t give that much for a birth).
Post # 41
RedHeadKel : They ususally hire someone on a maternity cover contract.
Post # 42
mrsblueeyes : Technically fathers can also take 12 weeks of FMLA if they qualify, but that’s not paid time.
Darling Husband and I work at the same company and had to split our 12 weeks of FMLA which I find to be total bullshit, but that’s how it works legally. Apparently it’s to keep employers from discriminating against hiring couples in the workplace or something.
Post # 43
My daughter is 10 now, and when she was born I didn’t go back to work. I just couldn’t leave my newborn baby with anyone. I admire women who have the strength to do so, but I couldn’t. I was breastfeeding exclusively too, and had a really hard time pumping milk. So, my ex hubby and I pared way back on household expenses and went down to one car to make it work. When she was about 11 months old, I went back to work part time and left her with my mom. I had to take a position that was kind of a career setback, too.
We really do get the short end of the stick, out here.
Post # 44
- Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery
I too am due in October and Darling Husband and I are currently discussing all of these factors (US here). It’s actually pretty overwhelming. I have a good job but it’s not terribly flexible (I get good benefits and accrue lots of PTO but the hours are long and it can be very high-stress). It is a public agency though so my pay isn’t as competetive as it would be in the private sector. By the time we pay for daycare, I’ll basically be working to pay off my student loans (of which there is many, yet another high-cost/high-debt life choice in the US).
The biggest thing though, is that because Darling Husband works for his dad in their small business, I carry our health insurance. We have seriously talked about me staying home, but that expense alone (and with all the uncertainty about ACA/AHCA/etc), that alone may be what keeps me at work.
So currently, we’re stuck and are not sure what we’re going to do. I have interviewed with a couple of places that might be more flexible, but if I start a new job, I won’t be eligible for FMLA (short term disability) since I won’t have been there 12 months when I give birth–so my leave would be MUCH shorter.
I feel like it’s a lose/lose. And it sucks.
Post # 45
UK-bee : We have that here too. I have step siblings that just don’t work. They don’t really have job skills that would allow for an income high enough to cover childcare, so I get that their options are limited. But it still kinda irks me a little. So much of my income goes towards taxes, daycare, and student loan payments, and the medical expenses accumulated from childbirth. And then at the end of the day I have to go back to work after a few weeks of unpaid leave. I feel like once you establish yourself as an earner, you’re left pulling the wagon for everyone else.