Frankly, it’s really just easier to hire a MAN.

By | May 17, 2012

We can do it.My last blog post regarding maternity leave in the U.S. was flooded with comments for and against maternity leave reform in this country. But it was this statement by my new buddy John that struck me most:  “…Frankly, it’s really just easier to hire a MAN.”

And that, folks, is what we’re up against.

My previous statements might have given some people the impression that I was blaming my employer for my plight after the birth of my child. Granted, they only provided me 6 weeks of maternity leave – and it’s still up to question whether or not they denied me my legal right to FMLA. But, I want to be clear. My previous employer was actually pretty great. I’d even go so far as to say (up until I ended my employment), they were the best company I had ever worked for.

The owner of the company led his business based upon a great philosophy: If you aren’t happy and you aren’t healthy, you are no good to me. In short, he said, take care of yourself, take care of your family and then do your job well. If you don’t take care of yourself, and you can’t take care of your family, you probably won’t be able to do your job very well. A far cry from John’s small-minded, small business philosophy.

While I am disappointed with the leave I was given, I guess I do have to credit them for going above and beyond what was required of them based on their interpretation of U.S. law. My beef is not with them. I am not a disgruntled employee. I do not want small business to burn.

Best I can tell, the biggest retort to my call to mothers is the classic “Why should I have to pay for you to make babies? You chose to get pregnant, it’s your problem.”

Only in America can a plea for fair treatment be interpreted as a cry of entitlement.

In reality, working mothers are some of the most productive members of society. How so? We work full time, drive our kids to soccer practice, volunteer at our local shelter, head up the PTA, bake the cookies for the bake sale, and raise our kids – all with a smile on our face. We want to do it all, be it all, succeed at it all. You’d be hard-pressed to find a working mother that says, “Geeze, I would just love to find a way to leech off society so I could pop out a few kids and watch my soaps!” (Because that’s what moms do when they are at home, right? ::eye roll::)  But, we  just are not programmed that way.

So then, what’s my problem? Why am I whining? What do I mean by being treated “fairly”? Let me explain to you by my own example.

My pregnancy was relatively uneventful, until late into my third trimester. It was only then that I experienced stress-related anxiety attacks (a symptom my Doctor said was a marker for PPA/PPD), which could have presented a danger to the fetus. I opted to enter therapy instead of taking drugs that could potentially have done worse harm. This would have been fine, if I wasn’t already hoarding my PTO in order to extend my crummy 6-week maternity leave to 8 weeks.

A few weeks later, blood tests revealed that my blood platelet count was low. I spent a night in Labor and Delivery being monitored for HELLP – a life threatening and scary condition. I had to pee in a gallon jug – twice, had to undergo weekly blood monitoring, and waited with baited breath for the last 6 week of my pregnancy to find out whether or not I would be immediately induced after each test.

So, with all of this extra monitoring eating up my precious PTO, I was left with a choice. Continue therapy and only take 6 weeks leave, putting me back to work the week of Christmas. Or, drop therapy. I felt forced to take my chances, so I said good-bye to my counselor, keeping in mind that I’d need more time to spend in therapy if my PPA/PPD went full blown after my son’s birth.

After Charlie was born, we had some struggles with breastfeeding. Unbeknownst to me, I had something called Raynaud’s Syndrome which, to sum it up for you, feels like 100 knives shooting out of your nipples, all the time. I would have gone to a lactation consultant multiple times to get help, unfortunately, I had returned to work and we caught the notorious daycare flu 3 times within the first month. Having used PTO for multiple days in order to pray to the porcelain gods, I didn’t feel right asking for time off because I needed someone to take a look at my sore boobs. I didn’t want to immediately be “that mom.”

I know unequivocally that my scenario is a million times better than some other moms have had it. But tell me, how is it fair that I was forced to choose between therapy and my blood monitoring – both of which, if left unattended to, could have caused my baby to die in utero? Why was my chance to establish proper breastfeeding cut short because we caught the flu?

Oh wait, I chose this, remember? Didn’t I know that my dream to have a child would come with life-threatening conditions and hormonal mind games? Can’t our OB/GYNs look into our crystal vaginas and make predictions on whether or not we’ll have Gestational Diabetes, a C-section, or a third degree tear that literally goes from end to end and takes 4 months to heal. I’m sorry, if we had any vote in these things, please let us know because I think we’d like a recount.

I’d also like to remind all women: a criticism of my choice to procreate opens the door for society’s criticisms of your right not to. You cannot have it both ways.

I’m not asking for the U.S. to become Germany, or France, or Sweden, or Canada. I’m not asking to be paid to procreate. I’m not asking for small businesses to go under because their employees want maternity leave. I’m not asking for a handout. I’m asking for employers to acknowledge that I, as a woman, am a valued employee. I, as a woman, deserve to make my own choice to have children without being ousted from the workforce. I am asking employers to trust that I will return to my job and continue to work my ass off for them, if they just invest in me what I rightfully deserve.

I’m a mother, not a lawmaker. I cannot provide you a laid out plan and how we’re going to pay for it. I don’t have the perfect answer – what I do know is that I have a really cute 6-month-old who deserved a lot more time with me than he got. It’s finally time to stand up and make a change for future mothers in this country and give them the time that they deserve. If you do not value motherhood, tell me, what do you value?  Without our mothers, we wouldn’t be much of anything – would we?


Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/paid-maternity-leave-for-all-u-s-women

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38 thoughts on “Frankly, it’s really just easier to hire a MAN.

  1. Ali Roark

    I completely agree. The petition I started was deliberately vaguely-worded because I too, am not a lawmaker. I know that the U.S. is not Europe. I know it will be hard to get any legislation through this Congress. But something has to change. We just need to let lawmakers know that they need to do something about this situation because it’s not right. I think even in the countries that have really great paid maternity leave you need to be at your job for a certain amount of time – it is certainly not a “handout.” And for people who say “it’s your choice to have a baby, deal with it,” my answer is: where would the U.S. if only the rich had children? (And even rich women face the difficult choice of career vs. family because they don’t have paid maternity leave/guaranteed jobs). If people didn’t have babies, the U.S. would not have a population. And that is missing the point that we are human beings. Life is about love, family, procreation (whether you think this is God’s will or you just want to experience the magic and joy of bringing a life into this world). Life is not just about working, and working, and failing to balance family life with work, and working some more, and falling into debt, and wworking even though it doesn’t really pay the bills or allow you to save, and then dying. That’s not life, that’s exploitation, and most American workers are exploited. We don’t have to be Europe, but something has to give.

    Reply
  2. Darren

    “In reality, working mothers are some of the most productive members of society. How so? We work full time, drive our kids to soccer practice, volunteer at our local shelter, head up the PTA, bake the cookies for the bake sale, and raise our kids – all with a smile on our face.”

    The issue is how much of that benefits your employer? No one debates that working mothers work extremely hard. The question is: who should pay them for it? And why would you expect your employer to make sure you were adequately compensated for baking cookies? That doesn’t make any sense.

    Also, you write: “I am asking employers to trust that I will return to my job and continue to work my ass off for them, if they just invest in me what I rightfully deserve.” What do you deserve? Your employer is already going above and beyond its legal duty by giving you six weeks. It’s your responsibility to deal with the unforeseen consequences of your pregnancy. No one else’s.

    Frankly, your entire article reeks of entitlement. You don’t really know what you want to happen, you just want someone else to help you deal with the consequences of your decision.

    Reply
    1. MomsinMaine

      Darren, my first comments you quoted ate speaking to a mother’s work ethic. Of course I donor expect to be paid to bake cookies for a bake sale. My comments here are a response to the insinuation the we mothers just want to be paid to have kids.

      Secondly, we deserve a federal change that allows more than 6 weeks. My employer may have denied me my legal right to FMLA. I am statin that I do not blame my employer – I blame the government for not having a clear mandate.

      “Deal with the consequences of my decision”? There we go with the ‘choice’ thing again.

      Reply
    2. MomsinMaine

      And Darren, I know what I want. I want 16 weeks of paid leave. But what I want may not be fair to employers or taxpayers or right for all mothers. My point is that I will look to a lawmaker, a politicial lobbyist, to make the determination of what is the most fair compromise for all. THAT is my point.

      Reply
      1. Darren

        Sounds like you and I are largely on the same page then. Working mothers are probably some of the hardest working people on the planet. I do not envy you there.

        However, I still disagree with the contention that you shouldn’t have to choose between a job and a child. Distasteful as it may sound, of COURSE you have to choose! Every minute of your life is a choice: do you work on an extra project for your employer or help your son with his homework? Do you take your son to the park or read to him for an hour? Everything is a choice. I respect you because you seem to really want the best for your child but recognize there are limitations on what you can provide. And I’m not criticizing your choices. But having a baby is necessarily going to restrict many other things you can do. I just don’t think it’s the job of an employer or the government to be held responsible for your choice.

        Reply
      2. Darren

        PS. The tone in my first post was a little harsher than I intended. Sorry about that.

        Reply
        1. MomsinMaine

          No need to apologize. I haven’t read any comments on my posts as “harsh.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to question…I just appreciate having the dialogue happening!!!

          Reply
  3. Jacie

    I think the people who are so critical of these posts aren’t looking at the big picture. This is larger than “compensation” or “paying mothers to bake cookies.” It’s about how much society as a whole values giving moms – and dads – the support they need to raise the next generation.

    Reply
  4. kc

    I think that we need to make paternity leave mainstream before women will ever have decent maternity privileges. Men will always be perceived as better employees when they never miss work. Having women out for 6 months and men out for one week upon the birth of a child is never going to work. Women who want to stay committed to their careers will find it difficult to take extended leave in that environment, whether it’s legally protected or not, because they will be perceived as being less dedicated to their careers than their male counterparts.

    Ideally, men would have 6 weeks to care for the new baby and recovering mother. The idea of sending a woman back to work in 6 weeks is ridiculous; that’s the bare minimum for physical healing, and a 6 week old baby should not be separated from his mother. This isn’t simply an issue for individual mothers and babies. It adds stress to the family (including the father), the community, and the workplace. And, I would argue that these generations of children are being denied a better opportunity for a healthier life in this scenario, which impacts our entire society.

    Once men begin taking time to care for their families, it will be more acceptable for women to do the same. Maybe this is the wrong tact, but I think it is true.

    On top of getting proper leave, wouldn’t it be wonderful for mothers and babies to be welcome in the workplace? Smokers get to take breaks and some workplaces even provide designated smoking areas outside. Wouldn’t it be nice if accommodations were provided for mothers of babies and young children? If babies were welcome in the workplace, mothers could return to work without having to be separated from their babies.

    As far as laws and government mandates go, we need to collectively decide what type of society we want to have. Are we a society that values families? Do we value the health and social benefits of breastfeeding? Do we believe that young children should spend more time with their parents than with day care providers? What is better for our society as a whole and in the long-term? Maternity and paternity benefits are expensive, so we need to decide if they are worth it for our society and if so, what we are willing to sacrifice for them.

    Reply
    1. Darren

      Totally agree, KC. It’s not really a question of what’s right or wrong, just what we value as a society and what we’re willing to sacrifice to get it.

      Reply
    2. Stephanie

      I agree with you completely. We have to focus on the family as a whole. Men should be given paternity leave along with their wives. Many, many men unfairly sacrifice their family lives to forward their careers. Know what? This puts even MORE pressure on the moms to chose between work and children. When both parents contribute, everyone wins.

      Reply
  5. Amy

    This debate always leaves out the guys, and I don’t mean in terms of guys getting paternal leave, but in terms of more leave for new moms will actually benefit the dads too. They care how much time their wife gets to take care of a new baby, they care about the health and happiness of that new baby. Also, it isn’t just the woman who takes time off for sick kids when the mom works, the dads do it too. It isn’t just easier to hire a man if the choice is between hiring a man with kids or a woman with kids. If he gives a crap about his family, he’s going to need to take time off sometimes too.

    Amy

    Reply
  6. Jasmyne

    Your article gave me goosebumps. I have 1 son, born 7 weeks premature. He spent 19 days in the NICU. I sent him to daycare at 6 weeks old because I had to return to work in order to get paid. And this was in California where I was allowed 8 weeks of “disability” pay from the state (at 50% of my wages) because I had an emergency c-section. Moms don’t ask for much, if anything, in this world. They work tirelessly for their families. They are committed to their jobs. And WE would all like a little more time with our children when they are first brought into this world. 16 weeks is not too much. My son’s father did not have to take time off work because he was throwing up every morning. My son’s father did not have to take time off work because the doctor demanded that he be on bedrest. If his doctor demanded it, he would have been paid by disability to sit at home in bed. An expectant mother is not paid for that same right. You (men like Darren and John) want us to plop out kids and run back to work. Life does not work this way. Children do not raise themselves. Where do men fall on this issue? “It’s your choice, your problem.” Nice way to show your kids and your mother how you really feel.

    Reply
    1. Darren

      No, that is an oversimplification of what I’m saying. No one expects a woman to “plop out a kid and run back to work.” The question is who should be responsible for the effects of a pregnancy – the child’s sickness, the mandatory bedrest, etc. Personally, I would put most of that responsibility on the person/people who chose to have the baby. It’s a great choice, and I’m not criticizing the decision. But essentially, the responsibility of that choice should be with the parents, not the employer.

      Reply
  7. Em

    Agreed overall, but: slams on stay at home mothers don’t bear repeating to make your point, plenty of women who work because they absolutely, positively must would really like the option of not working, and – and this is really important – your boss’s company doesn’t have a market or a workforce if women don’t make babies. And if fewer women assume the costs of having children, the cost of labor goes up. Your boss, and all bosses, have a profound interest, not just in the work you do directly for them, but in the work you do for free raising the next generation.

    Bearing and raising children is the foundation of the economy. Period.

    Reply
    1. MomsinMaine

      Do you think my comments slammed stay at home mothers? I absolutely do not intend that – I fully respect stay at home mothers, as it is the hardest job of all. I only speak regarding working mothers because that is my personal frame of reference.

      Reply
      1. Em

        Mebbe this could be phrased differently: “In reality, working mothers are some of the most productive members of society…. you’d be hard-pressed to find a working mother that says, “Geeze, I would just love to find a way to leech off society so I could pop out a few kids and watch my soaps!” We just are not programmed that way.” Assumptions about why women work and don’t work? Check. Stereotype about stay-at-home moms? Check. Working mom exceptionalism? Check and check. We all need to support each other, and I’m sure that’s what you mean to do. But saying, effectively, “I’m awesomely industrious, and you know this because I’m a working mom, and working moms work because they love to work (whether or not they need to), and are never ever like stay at home moms, who, you know, can’t prove their worth the way we can,” may not be the clearest way to do that.

        Reply
        1. MomsinMaine

          This was is NO way a slam against SAHMs. It was intended sarcastically as a comment on how SOCIETY views what women do when we stay at home with children. I absolutely believe both jobs are just as important, and from my experience SAHMs have it harder!!

          Reply
          1. MomsinMaine

            I made an edit to hopefully clarify that I am not trying to put down SAHMs!! Thanks for pointing it out that is could be interpreted that way.

  8. Pingback: Wake Up Moms – You’re Fighting the Wrong Fight! | Moms in Maine

  9. Rachel

    I typically don’t comment on things like this, but I do feel after reading some of the comments, I have a point to mention. People keep saying “You chose to have this baby, you chose the consequences,” as though all children were planned in advance.

    I was 23 when I had my first. She was not planned, but I was in a loving relationship, I was healthy, and I wanted her. However, I was an employee of a small company that didn’t have to provide ANY leave at all. So six unpaid weeks after having my baby, I had to go back to work to be able to afford to eat dinner. Her dad was given five days. A year later, I was let go because I was forced to stay home (again unpaid sick leave) with a sick child more times than was allowed for me to miss work. Not only do this country’s employment laws not reward or encourage maternity, but they punish people who “choose” to have children from every direction.

    I’m not asking to be paid more than my childless counterparts just because my birth control failed. I’m not asking for more paid vacation or better benefits. What I want is recognition of the physical ordeal that pregnancy and childbirth are in terms of leave and physical job expectations. What I want is recognition that my needs as a parent are different and that yes, I may miss work when my kid is sick or a snow day keeps her from having school, but I will work harder and be more productive the rest of the time because I’ve got more riding on it.

    Reply
  10. Elise

    Having been both a stay-at-home AND a working Mama, I can tell you right now that neither side has it easier. There is waaaaay too much guilt being thrown at both sides of the table. We need to all stick together, because the infighting only sends ALL of us back 50 years.

    Side note: I was recently diagnosed with Reynaud’s syndrome as well. I had no idea it affected breastfeeding! That explains SO much of the trouble I had breastfeeding, and why no lactation specialist alive could help me. I suffered through the excruciating pain and nursed for about ten months, but it was such a relief to stop. Thank you for sharing about Reynaud’s and breastfeeding!

    Reply
    1. palak

      This woman is completely right! Why do women do this to each other!

      Reply
  11. ben

    this might be slightly off-topic but…

    when i was in the 4th grade, i contracted appendicitis. i nearly died, but i received a last minute appendectomy. when i was waking from the anesthesia, my dad stayed with me at the hospital. it was a really painful scary experience for a child to go through and it meant a lot to have my dad there with me. he stayed with me for i think 2 nights 3 days. fortunately he was working a union job that provided paid sick days and health benefits at the time. even after receiving tons of tax incentives, his former employer has now moved manufacturing elsewhere and cut their workforce 90%

    no parent should have to “choose” to leave their child alone at a time like that. and no mom should have to “choose” to go back to work just days after giving birth. i do believe in personal responsibility and choices, but maybe that means that each of us has a personal responsibility to make choices that benefit all the children in our society. i mean, “it takes a village to raise a child”, right? when we are all old and feeble, the children of today will be running the govt and staffing the nursing homes and so forth. we better hope we did right by them so they do right by us

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  12. Liz

    I haven’t read through all the comments here, so I apologize if I am being redundant. But I think the real question we should be asking ourselves is are people human beings or are they just commodities, as businesses would have it. Personally, I think we need to start treating people as human beings and that includes moms (which I am not). The whole Ayn Randian philosophical objectivism is a bit played out. The world would be a much better place if we worried less about the bottom line and more about having a healthy, happy society (and they all held hands and sang Kumbaya…)

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  13. Jane

    The US healthcare system is set up such that for the most part there are two major entities who pay for healthcare – employers (health insurance for their employees) and the government (federal programs)… the rest are the individuals who buy their own insurance or pay for their own care if they are uninsured. And of course the employees are kicking in a fair amount for their insurance as well. If we look at maternity time as a question of health of the employee (the mother primarily, but point taken about the spouse’s potential improved health, too), then one could argue that the same entities should cover an extended maternity – employees and the federal government. I strongly agree that maternity time should be extended for women, that this needs to be done for our society and the truth of the matter is that it really does benefit the entire society, healthier families (mom, spouse and kids). Sadly, it’s probably because women aren’t vocal and active enough to change legislation and the working women put-up with it. But until the appropriate changes are made, I concur that tough choices need to be made by mom. One can choose to take unpaid leave for amounts of time. This was an epiphany I had… I didn’t want to go back so quickly, so I didn’t… yes, I lost income, yes we had to be more frugal, but it was what I needed to do for our family. While I wanted to blame my employer and society for not giving me the time I needed, I realized the power was really still in my hands, no one was forcing me to return to work even though I felt that way. What the heck- I can take the time I need, money isn’t everything. If 2 or 6 more months time is going to mean sanity then, for crying out loud, take the extra time without pay instead of killing yourself and being bitter. Most reasonable employers aren’t going to let you go if you need more time after having a child. Women are too hard on themselves and also don’t know how to negotiate as well as men in general. Returning moms should consider limited part-time options, working from home options, in addition to unpaid leave. Don’t forget, you are in control, mom. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, but you are. Despite society not prioritizing your time with your child, YOU can, yes you can.

    Reply
    1. MomsinMaine

      Jane, what you say makes sense. But, for many of us (myself included), we can be fired for taking more time. I asked to take 6 more weeks unpaid, and was told that my position wouldn’t be there when I returned. And just to reiterate, my job WAS working from home. The benefits to that are not as flexible as it sounds.

      Reply
  14. Dan

    If you know what benefits you want or need, then you should work that out with your employer before choosing to be employed by them and then having a child. Looking to the government to make more and more laws regarding how anyone “should” do business is not the right way to go. A business should be free to run as it needs/wants to. If they can’t afford to give employees a lot of time off, including things like maternity/paternity paid leave, then they should make that very clear up front so people like you that need/want that benefit could look elsewhere for employment. Or maybe work out a deal for a pay adjustment in exchange for the benefits you think you need. They shouldn’t be required by yet another stupid government regarding how they accommodate people taking time off. The current laws are far too invasive already.

    Reply
    1. MomsinMaine

      Dan, had I know 4 years ago that they were going to change their maternity leave policy and that I would have complications, I would have. It’s just kind of hard to foresee what is going to happen years down the road before starting employment – and policies can change during employment.

      Reply
  15. Nancy Johnson

    When you stop to consider the myriad ways that parents sacrifice to raise the next generation whom we all will depend on, your eloquent sentence says it all: “Only in American can a plea for fair treatment be interpreted as a cry of entitlement.” Passing laws that spread the responsibility across all employers makes it a more level playing field. Parents – men and women – need to demand more sharing of the cost burden for raising the future workers of America.

    Reply
  16. Rachel

    I find it funny that the people complaining about women’s entitlement issue regarding children because we are asking for a better world for our nation’s next generation. You know, the generation that is going to grow up and one day vote and determine the course of this country, including your retirement, your access to medicare and social security.

    Personally I would prefer a well educated and well balanced person who was nourished body, mind, and soul by loving parents who knew that their rights were protected. If we did, then perhaps we would have fewer people in jail and fewer commenters who think of parenting as a privilege instead of the investment it is.

    Reply
  17. Kathryn

    You make some excellent points here, none of which even begin to touch on the fact that it’s not even just OUR choice to have these babies. Most often, there’s a man involved, a man who is voluntarily making the same choice to have a baby, and relying on us to carry it out. A man who might be super supportive but CAN’T get pregnant, suffer from pregnancy-related complications, from the need to recover from a c-section or a difficult delivery, or adjust to drastically changing hormonal levels the weeks following, or breastfeed. A man whos’s situation therefore, particularly work situation, is just simpler. So he will not appear as needy or complicated to his employer and colleagues. And he won’t have to hear people say, “you made this choice, deal with it,” even though he did. And so he’s the easier one to hire, yes, according to your friend John. And that’s part of what’s at the crux of why this can be considered unfair treatment. But since fortunately there are some protections against this, businesses ARE going to hire women, and then their choice (or our country’s choice) how to treat them once they bear children affects NOT just the women, but the company’s bottom line as well. If treatment and policies lead to absenteeism and turnover because moms who want to make it work (this balancing act of being a good employee and good mom), ultimately find they can’t given the various restrictions, this is often bad for the company as well. One thing we all lose sight of is this – the neediest, most precarious times for moms and babies are pretty short-lived. Look at a woman’s potentially 30+ year career, and figure there may be a 6-10 month period here and there when she needs more flexibility, perhaps fewer hours, etc. To get her own health back, maintain the health and immune system of the baby, nurture important bonds that have long-term benefits, etc. (And not that the need for flexibility ends after this time, but it can be more easily shared between Mom and Dad, for example). Figure that by making that happen she’s more likely to stick around in a career and add value later, and help with her family’s financial status, and have stronger qualifications than employees that stick around for shorter stints, those that the company keeps hiring to avoid the more complicated arrangements…. Our work culture is so into instant gratification and productivity that we can’t see the long-term losses, only the short-term gains. And that’s at all of our expense – moms, dads, kids, and businesses.

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  18. Lisa

    I am happy to see that there ARE those who understand what women in this country are up against–thank you for these commentaries to raise people’s awareness! Unbelievably (and only in America–hang your heads in shame!) there are those who STILL don’t get it, even in the 21st century. So many people, it seems, have lost sight of what is really important.

    A society’s true health is measured by the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of its people; obviously, we in America have a loooong way to go when there are still those who claim that parents and families should simply have to fend for themselves. Don’t you short-sighted ignorami get it? All of these children are the future of this country! These children will be making the laws, running and staffing all the businesses and the government, etc.–thus taking care of the elderly of tomorrow (aka YOU)! It really IS in YOUR BEST INTEREST to make sure that they are as happy, healthy, and as well-adjusted as humanly possible for YOUR SAKE as well as their own!

    I hope that the narrow-minded folks on these two commentaries rethink their positions. As you are, you’re playing right into the hands of the corporate cultures who view employees as liabilities rather than assets, and you too are just as much a part of the problem as they are. The time may come when YOU also have life challenges or health issues, and guess what? If things continue as they are, your employer will be able to just toss your fanny out on the street too, if it’s “inconvenient” for them to employ you.

    Think very, very carefully about all the ramifications of your position before you complain that you ” shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s choice to become a parent”. It’s only a matter of time before such foolishness comes back to bite you in the a$$.

    Reply
  19. Ross

    Lots of good stuff in what you are saying but I have to make a comment as a small business owner. I read your comments about mum’s being appreciative and returning to work harder but what I have seen has not always fit that perspective. I have seen mum;s go off on paid maternity, come back , get pregnant and go off on leave again and then finally leave. Here (the UK) the law requires that the mum’s job is held for her. This means having to hire a temp (at large expense) , all benefits that were part of the job have to be kept going for the mum (cell phone, car etc) and on top of this holiday pay/time off is accrued while she is off on maternity leave. If she comes back and gets pregnant 3 months after you then have to go through the same thing again. If , after doing all this, she then decides she wants to stay at home then that’s just too bad for the employer. Yes the government gives some money back but the hassle in hiring, vetting, and keeping up all the stuff so that mum can return makes it difficult for a small business to run. Oh and one more thing, as an owner I don’t qualify for almost any of the benefits that mum’s get and neither does my wife. We have to pay our own way and if the business is doing badly then that’s our problem. I tell you that while I have great sympathy for mum’s i can see why some might say only hire older women or men.

    Just saying..

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