The issue of paid (or unpaid in most cases) maternity leave is one that has weighed heavily on me and my circle of friends in the past few years. Since my full-time income is equally important as my spouse’s, I did not have the option to take any more paid maternity leave than the six weeks that is allotted by law (and, even then, I had to use my sick days to get paid). My kids were born in the summer and spring, so I did have the summer as well (I’m a teacher), but I can not even imagine having to go back to work after those six weeks. Having 10 1/2 weeks (with my son in 2007) and 15 weeks (with my daughter in 2009) was amazing, but not nearly enough time. Don’t get me wrong- I am ever grateful for even having that time with them, but any mother will tell you that so little time is brutal. To put this into perspective, other countries, such as Germany, actually PAY YOU to have children and then give you up to THREE YEARS parental leave, paid (to an extent) AND with a guarantee of a job when you come back! Now, that’s what I call maternity leave!
Well, finally, there is a link that you can visit to sign a petition put together by the magazine “Working Mother.” Go here to find the link and offer your support for the right to maternity leave.
I’m curious, what was maternity leave like for you?