Mom who quit job cuz no paid maternity leave gripes: Now we “eat out only once each week”
From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:
“My husband and I sat down with our calculator, just like we had when I was pregnant, and we began to take things away — little things that really added up. No more cable, we decided to eat out only one night each week and we trimmed our clothing budget. We were also close to paying off a car loan, so we did that and kept the older car instead of upgrading.”
Eat out only once a week? Horrors! Not “upgrading” to a brand-new, fancier car? My gosh!
“It was a sunny Wednesday morning, and I thought I was on my way to having it all. Seven weeks postpartum, I was driving my sedan, returning to work at the Colorado nonprofit that had employed me for the last couple of years. It was job in which I’d been successful; complimented for my skill time and again, and even offered the position of executive director. I was in my mid-30s, and my path was bright….
“My job didn’t provide paid maternity leave, so I took off as much time as my husband and I felt we could afford. Toward the middle of my pregnancy, we sat down with a calculator, crunching numbers. As I wrote down our income and expenses, I thought about how ridiculous it seemed to be doing this—how the United States is the only first-world country that doesn’t have a national law mandating paid time off for new parents.
“I wondered: Why is it that virtually every other country in the world respects the huge change that parenthood brings, offering weeks (or months) of paid leave, but in America it’s expected that new parents keep working like nothing’s happened?”
Posted by Charlotte Allen