I never really paid attention to the lack of respect and flexibility the United States has towards pregnant women and children until I myself went through pregnancy and had children.
First off, when I became pregnant with my daughter I was working. During this time, as soon as my boss found out about my pregnancy, I was treated very differently. Not only would he tag on impossible tasks but he would also make snide comments about how my sex life was ruined and I’ll never be able to satisfy my husband now.
Turns out I couldn’t do much about this cause his wife worked in Human Resources, but I was able to look past the comments and did my job as I prepared for my daughter.
In July of 2015, my blood pressure spiked and I had to stop working due to a high-risk pregnancy. I did not get maternity leave. Turns out you have to be at a job for a year to qualify for maternity leave….
I was fired from my job for not returning to work two weeks after giving birth. This should have been illegal right? Wrong. The unemployment office refused me help and stated that I quit. I did not quit it was never once uttered.
In the United States, maternity leave is at most 12 weeks without pay. In other countries, it can be up to a year with pay and the husband gets time off also. These countries recognize the crucial need for a parent to bond with their child. Family life comes first. Here we are so into the everyday busy schedules that we forget the importance of relationships. No wonder we have children hating their parents and divorce rate is at an all-time high.
We drop our babies off with strangers at six weeks because we have no choice. After getting fired I looked for jobs but no one wanted to hire a woman who had a small baby. We struggled with money and barely made ends meet. I as depressed about losing my job and my husband and I began to argue constantly.
This which the United States government regulations have concerning childcare and maternity rights are downright appalling.
I am considering going back to work and currently looking for childcare. I am not blessed to have family close by so this is my only option. So far I’ve found the lowest to hr close to $800 monthly. That’s almost as much as my rent.
Currently, I have joined a gym which helps me with interacting with others. I enjoy working out but the only downside once again is childcare. I pay $40 a month for it on top of my $40 membership fee and they don’t even change my daughter nor have an appropriate place to dispose of diapers and insist you take the dirty diaper with you.
It almost seems to me that America frowns upon children. That they are almost an inconvenience. In interviews, I stated I have a daughter. Immediately the mood changes and rarely will I hear back from them. I go to a restaurant and my daughter cries. I get snide remarks and glares.
I suppose, in conclusion, I am trying to state that the family unit is important. I feel as if this message has been lost somewhere throughout the decades and it needs to be changed. The rest of the world makes us seem way behind in this department and I believe that if something does not change soon, the problem will only get worse.