As I prepare to birth my boy, this journey has prompted me to take a more detailed look into where in the world my growing family should settle down in terms of education, housing, and healthcare. As such, I took out a little time to explore what maternity and paternity leave looks like. Personally, I know that me & my partner will be juggling working with a newborn. However, thanks to a pediatric nurse bestie with some flexible time off and my retired mom, I have a little confidence that I’ll be able to properly recover from childbirth, learn what to do with a newborn (lol) and satisfy work duties. The problem with this is that being in a developed nation should provide us an opportunity to take time off with a new baby.
People are surprised when I say I’m not taking a maternity leave. However, many of them seem shocked when I tell them that it’s unpaid leave…there is no policy in place at my job or my partner’s job that affords us paid leave unless we take sick days. Additionally, we’re both educators so it’s not like there a huge stash of cash sitting around to be used while I take weeks of unpaid leave.
“For most Americans, this means that family leave is unpaid or a combination of cobbled-together vacation and sick leave. Compared to the rest of the developed world, the U.S. does not stack up very well.”https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/paternity-leave/?xid=nl_pregnancy_20210710&utm_source=nl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pregnancy&utm_content=edit_20210710
Until recently, the United States of America was one of two nations (I think they’re talking about industrialized nations) with NO National paid leave policy in place. However, I believe the former Pres signed something in Oct 2020 that gives some paid parental leave to federal employees. There’s also a handful of states plus DC that have added state laws for paid parental leave. Louisiana isn’t one of those states…neither is Georgia.
So, if either of us want time off to parent our newborn OR if there are any complications in my weekend delivery plan then we’ll be forced to max out sick time and then go unpaid.
Thank God for family and friends.