The case for maternity leave

It’s January 4th, and I’ve just had two weeks to get away from work and spend some quality time with family. My children are no longer babies, but it hasn’t been THAT long since they were. As most young couples do, my wife and I discussed what we would do in terms of work after having a child, and we agreed that one of us would focus on work and the other on being responsible for the child, and later on the children. Part of what makes this a difficult decision is that one income can seriously restrict the income of a household. Different couples make different decisions depending on their circumstances and beliefs, but in all cases many factors have to be considered.

Above is one of the scariest, the statistics on maternal leave in the U.S. There’s no legal guarantee on how much maternity leave an American woman receives, nor how much paid leave she will receive. Most women use as much vacation time as they can before reluctantly handing their baby over to their mother, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, or a child care center while walking away in tears. It’s hard to understand how we can be so progressive in some things and so ignorant in others. Most of us grew up with a mother, so how is it possible for us not to appreciate the importance of the lifelong bond created at the beginning of life between mother and baby? If even our ancestors knew to respect this sacred period in life, hopefully we can, too.

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