“There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us,” President Obama said earlier this week at the White House Summit on Working Families. “And that is not the list you want to be on – on your lonesome. It’s time to change that.”
If you’re like me and you’re playing the balancing act of managing both your career and a family, then you can probably recall conversations with your upper management team regarding your maternity leave. I can still recall crafting out my own maternity leave action plan and how many nights I spent laying out what I thought to be the perfect plan. After landing on what I felt would work for me, I naturally consulted with my HR Secret Weapon, my older brother, who happens to be a Senior Vice President in Human Resources at a major corporation.
I can admit, three or four years ago I wasn’t thinking about company policies pertaining to maternity leave. I was clearly on what I considered to be a career fast track and the idea of slowing down to give birth was far from my line of sight. Fast-forward to now, and you had better bet your last martini that I would caution any woman who is considering having a child and taking on a new position, that she should definitely pay attention to the company’s guidelines.
So of course when we over at BlackGlamourMom heard President Obama’s remarks, we were cheering!
President Barack Obama went on to say that the United States should join the rest of the industrialized world and offer paid leave for mothers of newborns. “Many women can’t even get a paid day off to give birth — now that’s a pretty low bar,” Obama said. The president is talking about paid maternity in the midst of a midterm election campaign focused on women voters.
While some company’s offer paid family leave to attract workers, the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act only requires that employers provide unpaid leave for medical and family reasons.
I am very fortunate to have been able to take four months off after giving birth to my son, thanks to a ton of planning and working for a company that gets the importance of work-life balance. However, I know that this is not often the case for a lot of moms. What I do know is, is that as moms we deserve to spend that time with our babies when they are first born. You need to be able to bond with your child and get into your own rhythm with a new baby.
Although I don’t have any plans to give birth anytime soon, I am still going to do my part to help spread awareness about the importance of this movement.
Glams, we want to know your maternity leave experience? How did you prepare for it? How long were you off?
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