Maternity Leave Questions
We lived in the U.S. when I had my first child. My job offered me a whole six weeks off - unpaid of course. I knew that wasn't going to be enough, so I was planning to quit. Bedrest and corporate takeover stymied my plan for a long feminist diatribe; an email had to do.
I think maternity leave differences between the U.S. and Canada are one of the biggest things that set us apart. The one year Canadian maternity leave forces companies and individuals to recognize that bonding with your baby is important. By holding a job open, it also forces employers to recognize that women's roles in the workplace are important.
None of this is recognized in the States, where women are forced back weeks after having a baby and often have to make choices between staying home and working that they are not ready to make.
Not all women want or can take the full year mat leave that is offered in Canada. Most of my friends took approximately nine months off, for different reasons and with differing levels of guilt and judgement.
I was reminded of the controversy over maternity leave by a post from the Styleswept blog about the uproar over designer Phoebe Philo of Celine cancelling a Celine runway show because of her third pregnancy.
It seems that every new mom does it differently - and sometimes, even differently with each baby. There is no one-size-fits-all situation. If I had been offered a year off, maybe I would have gone back to my job, but maybe not.
What did you do?
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