Tuesday, May 24, 2005

9 to 5 was Easier

I am A stay at home Mom, or a SAHM for you condensers out there. Up until I was 8 months pregnant I worked full time, and I really loved my job and my company. I thought I may introduce job sharing at my company and see if it would fly, or even ask if I could work part time after I had the babies. That all changed because E was transferred to Philadelphia and since a 1.5 hour commute every day was not feasible, we had to move so I had to leave my job.

I would have liked to work though and lord knows we could have (and still do) need the money. That leads me to my next rant: Why the fuck is America so behind other countries when it comes to maternity/paternity leave and women's wants and needs to work when they are a Mother?
It came down to the fact that I was happy I was getting a C-Section because it meant that I could get an extra 2 weeks for maternity leave and short term disability. If I could have stayed at my company there was no place for me to pump if I was breastfeeding. In NJ the cost of a daycare was about $1000 per child a month, which severely would have depleted my take home salary anyway. Sweden has a 18 month maternity leave and it doesn't even need to be in consecutive months. E had one week paternity leave and I was so happy about that measily amount of time. We shouldn't settle for that, we should demand that!

I know 50 people that NEED two incomes and wouldn't have that if they didn't have retired parents to watch their children for them. What about the people that are not able to do this?
We need to band together and demand job sharing and on site child care for us and our children. We need to demand that EVERY company have a safe clean place for us to pump. We have to link with other women and share our jobs. We need to do what is best for ourselves AND our families and it is time these companies get on board. Women are a vital part of the work force in this country and it is time we were taken seriously.

The day will come when I will go back to work, partly because I want to and partly because I have to. By then I will not need those "services" that I think every company should have but I will still fight for my sisters who do need them. We need to stick together.

Then we will all fight for "nap time" at work.

7 comments:

  1. I'm with you! We could *certainly* use the extra money (especially since I made more than my husband), but I wanted to be home with my baby for a while. We are supposed to be the most "advanced" country in the world but you are right, we are SO behind with this!

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  2. I was lucky in that I work for my family business and was able to bring my daughter to work with me every day. I couldn't afford to quit, and I couldn't afford daycare, so Kid & I went to work together every day. It was great! And about the naptime at work, one day a vendor walked in my office as I was laying on the floor, resting my eyes with my baby. :-)

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  3. I totally agree! You name the place and time and I will be there with you to protest. I wish there were more "women" minded companies -- the ones who take in the idea of a working mom and give benefits such as onsite daycare, longer maternity leave. Wouldn't that be nice?

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  4. Yeah...America sucks in that regard. I find it ironic that the same people who espouse "family values" systematically oppose any measure that would make life on the job easier for working mothers. I guess you can only have family values if the man's income is such that the woman can stay at home comfortably. The rest of us are screwed.

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  5. My parents live in South Jersey, where I grew up. My mom was a single mom, and would have ended up on welfare if not for my aunt and great-grandmom taking care of me. My little brother and sister go to a family friend (or did before starting school) and even that eats up a good deal of my mom's salary. I don't think my dad was given any paternity leave even though my mom was on 4 and 5 month bed rests during her last 2 pregnancies. (10 and 6 years ago) He was lucky to have enough vacation time saved up to offset it. I can't afford to work because of childcare, and we worry about affording pre-school even through the military since finding a job is nearly impossible. Oh, and daycare I can afford? It's unsafe, unlicensed, and unreliable. It's a sad, sad thing. You are absolutely right, it needs to change.

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  6. I'm with you girl. I have managed to find a part time job that pays at my professional rate so that it is feasible to put my child in daycare and still have a paycheck. But the fact is that we probably won't have another child simply because that would deplete my paycheck completely and what is the point? And I simply don't have family that is in any way willing to help out. So depressing.

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