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Breastfeeding, Ect., Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, What Do You Think?

Maternity Leave: What Do You Think?

keep-calm-you-re-nearly-on-maternity-leave maternity-leave-3Recently in Canada a father took to the courts to petition for extra paternity leave to help with his twins.  His argument was that if the children had been born separately he and his wife would qualify for two leaves.  Plus, caring for newborn twins is extremely difficult for one person and so both parents should have the option to take full 35 weeks.  While it was a great idea, he was denied benefits.

As for me, I am now halfway through my year maternity leave.  I get almost a year off at 55% of of my salary (to a maximum of $42000) so that I can raise my babies.  This breaks down into 17 weeks of maternity leave and 35 weeks of parental leave.  The 17 weeks have to be taken by mom but the 35 weeks can be taken by either parent concurrently or simultaneously.

When Sawyer was born things at my work were really changing.  That combined with the fact that I wasn’t enjoying maternity leave that much led me to decide to go back to work when Sawyer was eight months old.  I felt he was old enough at that time to wean from nursing so I went back to work and Jeff took the rest of the leave. This also gave Jeff time to spend with Sawyer, which we both felt was important.

With the girls I plan on taking the full leave myself. This time, it doesn’t feel like long enough. But while it feels short, it is much longer than my fellow American mommies get.  I can’t imagine going back to work so soon after having a baby.  No wonder so many  American moms bottle feed.  Breastfeeding and working do not go hand in hand.

Apparently there is no consistency when it comes to maternity leaves world wide.

WomenAndTech_MaternityLeaveInfographic

I am not sure what the ideal length of time is, but I think that countries should make it possible for a women to have children and not have to sacrifice her career to do so.  Even with maternity leave, obviously having a family does affect your career. Moreover, your job is not always safe when the leave is over, but, at least it provides women with some time.

Tomorrow’s post will be from a fellow twin mom, Heather from Magical Chaos. After hearing that I was pondering maternity leaves she offered to provide her perspective as an American mom, and it is definitely a thought provoking read.

If I only got six weeks of leave I am not sure I would be able to be a working mom since I cannot imagine leaving six week old twins with someone else.  Plus, the cost to care for them would be so high, I’d be working to pay for daycare and still losing money. In my city the average for daycare is $1500 per month, per child. Plus, giving women reasonable leaves doesn’t just benefit them, it benefits their children as well, and they are our future aren’t they?

So what do you think?  How long should women get for maternity leave?  How did it affect you?

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Maternity Leave: What Do You Think?

  1. I don’t think that anyone could argue that 6 weeks is much too short a leave. I honestly don’t know how they do it (I suppose they do because they don’t have any other choice). Right now, I am enjoying a 40 week leave that has allowed me to remain at 75% pay for the whole time. I chose this over the 50 week leave which would have left me with 55% pay for the last 6 weeks.

    I have also partially prolonged my leave by choosing to return to work at 50% for the next two years. For our situation, it is the best of both worlds. I still have to pay full time for the daycare even though my son won’t be there for full days, but we sat down and calculated that we would still be ok financially.

    A part of me wants to be a SAHM, however I think that going back to work is going to be a good thing as sometimes I feel as though I am loosing it at home.

    I don’t know what the ideal time frame is for maternity leave, I suppose it would depend on each particular situation. Perhaps, for our next child, I will feel like I need less time and for a third child will feel as though I need more time.

    I find that the father’s arguments with regards to maternity leave with twins to be highly logical. Perhaps, one of these days, the leaves will be adjusted to the reality of parents who have multiples.

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | August 5, 2013, 9:42 am
    • Thanks for your thoughtful post. I feel lucky to get 50 weeks but I only get it at about 35% of my pay. If I was making 75% I’d only take 40 too! With Sawyer I couldn’t wait to get back to work, and I went back after only 36 weeks, so I totally understand. but now (maybe because Sawyer is older so I have “company”) I love being with the kids and if we could afford it I would only work part time. But three kids are expensive for one salary (who knew? LOL).

      Posted by Shannon | August 5, 2013, 11:15 am
  2. I was given 8 weeks maternity leave (and a week of bed rest) which would have only been 6 weeks but I had a csetion thus allowing me the 8. When my boys were born my husband was in his last month of schooling for his Masters degree, and I’ll tell you it was tough…really tough. I made it through, but I wonder if he were to have been home with me how much better I would’ve been both mentally and physically. At the end of 8 weeks I was very sad to be leaving my boys but at the same time, I was ready for break considering the lack of help that I had those first few weeks.

    For me breastfeeding was never an option, Liam could just never figure it out. Somehow I managed to pump 2-3 times a day at work and it was awful. My pumping took place in a tiny mechanical closet with now ventilation, HVAC, or even a light. Yes…no light… I brought in a tiny single bulb lamp and pumped like that for months on end before moving to Germany. It is no wonder why so many working women switch to formula.

    Posted by nebrtwin | August 6, 2013, 2:49 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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