Thursday, January 31, 2008

Okay, I just figured out the first difference...

Karen said she'd be interested to know if there were differences between WMs in Canada and you folks to the south...

I just had one smack me across the face. It was when I was reading up on Zero Nutrition Thursday (BTW, I'm right on track having had a Nutrigrain bar and a row of Fudgee-os, and two diet Cokes so far today) and Paige said she'd had her maternity leave paperwork approved. I thought it was a typo, but she did actually write nine weeks, right?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Maternity leave in Canada is 52 weeks of government subsidized leave after which your employer MUST offer you your job back. Now, it's not really enough to live on, but I didn't go back to work until Bruiser was 13 months. Because that's just how it works.

The down side - you have lots of time to figure out that you're not cut out for full time parenting, and if you dare to want to go back early, you must just be a horrible person... who doesn't find fulfillment in dragging babies to StoryTime at the library...

But, there you go... I thought she said nine months. I was wrong. Small reality check.

6 comments:

*pab said...

Okay - now that is just heartbreaking. Right about now, I'm wishing I were Canadian. Still, when you throw in the two weeks of bed rest that preceded my earlier-than-expected delivery, I'll have been away from work for nearly twelve weeks. And, to be fair, it's not like I have to work that hard anyway...baby will be with me at the office when I DO return.

Chaotic Joy said...

This is not new news to me, but I find it irritating every time I hear it. The fact that many mothers only get six weeks maternity leave is ridiculous and needs to be changed. I for one was still only barely conscious six weeks in.

emmay said...

I had a different situation. My children were extremely premature. At six weeks postpartum, we had not yet brought our daughter home from the hospital. For preemie parents, those who are planning to go back to work must go back to work while their children are still in the NICU and then take maternity leave when the baby comes home, or be forced back to work as soon as the baby gets home. I didn't wind up going back to work (partly because a preemie who has spent almost 7 weeks in the hospital shouldn't really be in day care), but because she was 12 weeks early, we lost out on 12 weeks of pay we were counting on because I was going to work until my due date. Seems mighty unfair. We got lucky b/c of a glitch and received 6 months of unemployment (fraction of pay) when my school unexpectedly closed before I had given any kind of notice. But that was just lucky, not the generosity of our government.

ChefSara said...

You have just hit on one of my biggest RANTS lately. Not to get too political, but with all the talk that goes on in this family about being pro-family and pro-kid and all that, the lack of ANY support for maternity leave in this country is disgusting. I work full time to pay the bills while hubby is in grad school. My employer does follow the law. I can take up to 12 weeks of (UNPAID) without fear of losing my job. That's it! And while on unpaid leave, you have to pay the benefit preimiums that your employer normally pays. Having only worked here a year, I only have about 3-4 weeks of vacation/sick time. That means that somehow, we have to find a way to subsidize anywhere from 3-9 weeks of salary + benefit premiums, just to be able to afford to take maternity leave. It is insane, and a topic that leaves smoke pouring out of my ears everytime it comes up. I'm sure I'm not the only woman in the US in this situation. It is mind-boggling that women have to worry about whether or not they can AFFORD to take enough time off to let their body heal after giving birth!!

Stacie said...

chefsara, I hear you! I got spoiled with my first child, working for a company that paid me for my first six weeks of leave, which I then padded with another week of vacation. The week I was supposed to return to work was Thanksgiving, and as a reward for a product release, they gave my entire team (including me) that week off as well.

This time, I was reliant on Short Term Disability to see me through my six weeks of unpaid leave (gotta be at least six since daycare doesn't take 'em any younger than that). STD paid a portion of my salary for 4 of the six weeks I was out. All of my vacation days were taken at the beginning of my leave, so I have no saved up vacation this time. Which means that when my now 8 week old child came down with RSV this week, I was at home trying to log in with a sick, wheezing child in one arm, and the laptop in the other. Blah!

Miss Grace said...

I wish I was Canadian...