As the end of my maternity leave nears, I’m becoming angry. Not at the adorable little guy I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend the last 16 weeks with, but at the country I live in.
I’ve taken 16 weeks of maternity leave. Only three of those were paid my full pay. The other six were a percentage based off how much overtime I worked in the weeks previous my leave. The other seven weeks were unpaid.
I’m very grateful that we saved enough and that my husband makes enough that I was able to take some extra weeks before we dedicate about $500 a week on daycare for two kids. I don’t have the luxury of not working. Even if I stayed at home and didn’t pay for daycare, we wouldn’t have enough to live due to the cost of living where we live. I have to work to make my insurance affordable and to pay for daycare with a bit extra for our other bills.
It is ridiculous that I am expected to go back to work. I did it with my daughter at 11 weeks, and I can’t even imagine now how I did it. We had a crappy daycare with her. With my guy, we have the BEST daycare I’ve ever seen. His sister has now been going there for over a year and we absolutely love it. They actually care and love each child. He will be taken care of and not ignored. He also gets to spend three weeks home with my husband before he starts daycare. However, it breaks my heart that I’m going to miss so many things.
His first time walking, crawling, rolling over, certain words, etc could very well happen at daycare. I expect some of them to and that breaks my heart. I really wish this country would pay for more time off for new parents. My poor husband only got five weeks total and he used his vacation for most of it. I know we are luckier than some, but something needs to change. It takes much longer than a few months to heal from child birth and pregnancy. It takes much longer to adjust emotionally and mentally.
Everyone isn’t as lucky as we are and that needs to change. Every parent deserves paid leave after having or adopting a child. I really hope the good old USA realizes that sooner rather than later for other parents. It may be too late for me to participate, but I hope the future gets better for my children and others. Although, the country is pretty messed up in other ways too. That’s an easy way we can take to hopefully raise better, happier humans that can help solve the world’s problems.