Hi all. It’s T.J.
Rather than introduce more about me, I’ll just jump into today’s events, then get to the serious part of the post.
Candice is at BlogHer, which means that I worked, came home to G running circles around my in-laws, made dinner (I mean, ordered pizza), gave G a bath (or let my mother-in-law give G a bath), did laundry (in-laws folded), read G a story (let G read the story while I sat and dozed), sang her a song and put her to sleep in her crib, drank a beer (I did some things), and listened to my in-laws tease each other while I tried to watch Ides of March. All this also means that I’m about a day late writing this “guest post.” My post, then, will compete with Candice’s “The Nail Files,” and I’m told that’s not cool. I sent Candice some cupcakes, so I’m hoping that balances everything out.
Despite what some might perceive as my procrastinating laziness (but what is actually intense thinking and spoon bending practice), I think it’s about time for me to stop lounging around, trying to be funny, and time to shift to something important. That is, before I wake my in-laws to take out the trash, prep the coffee-maker, and run the dishwasher, I should write about what I planned to write about: maternity leave.
After reading this article, and after hearing for months about how other advanced countries (Germany, Sweden, etc.) offer their citizens (both moms and dads) much more time to nurture their babies, I wondered how so many American moms and their children are meant to prosper if they are only allowed weeks to be together, before mama has to go back to work to make ends meet, to save for a rainy day, or to get benefits.
I’m angry that it is acceptable and tolerated in this country to force new moms to go to work only weeks (sometimes days) after becoming new moms. We know too much to think that the typical maternity-leave options are OK–we know too much about human biology, too much about human psychology, and too much about compassion and happiness.
What do you think about maternity leave in this country, or in your state? Feel free to post your stories.
(Maybe if you leave enough posts, I’ll get another chance to write something here! You know, to show that I’m not THAT lazy).