American Maternity Leave Fails to Measure Up

I want to share this important POV regarding working moms/maternity leave from a Chicago freelancer/new mom Jessica Hopper:

“Being American and freelance, there is not really such a thing as maternity leave; “maternity leave” means I just type slowly with one hand while nursing the baby. It works out fine, I am lucky I can do both and to have work that pays me. This depressing chart of how maternity leave works in Europe/the rest of the world shows that America is the only country where maternity leave is conditional and unpaid. And a ruling today in MA says women taking more than 2 months off can be fired. I think some people are right when they say that this is one of feminism’s failings, that women were so focused on equality and not being anyone’s special exception, no real focus on maternal rights–which was a focus of the European feminist platform. American feminism fucked up on that one.” –Tinyluckygenius blog


I feel fortunate that when I had Ollie, I had a three-month maternity leave with a percentage of pay (under Family Medical Leave) and promise that I’d have my job when I returned. I can’t believe that’s not mandatory for all employers in the United States. This wealthy, first-world country that prides itself on taking care of the work force drops the ball once you decide to have a family.

The U.S. needs to employ the arrangement many European countries have — mandatory percentage of pay for a length of time. And I personally think parents need more than the standard three months to bond with/nurse their children. I don’t know who came up with that magic number. As for payment, anything less than 100 percent of pay is rough. Here you are with a new baby, doctors’ bills and lots of new expenses and you’re income drops dramatically. Then you’re hit with daycare costs when you return to work. Maybe we should move to the U.K or somewhere where they take care of working families.


2 Responses to “American Maternity Leave Fails to Measure Up”

  1. 1 Amanda August 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    as a second-time-mom with no paid maternity leave, I hear this loud and clear. being a mom isn’t easy and having to worry about finances and if you’ll have a job on top of it all is enough to throw anyone over the edge. we need to fix this for the sake of our children.

  1. 1 Work-Family-Life Balance and Having it All (Whatever That Means) « Mommy's Alright Trackback on October 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email addy to subscribe.

Join 21 other followers

Bettie Page Kids Clothing

140-Character Musings



%d bloggers like this: