Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going Back to Work

Ya know when you go on that nice vacation, a week-long or so, and then you return home from that nice vacation, and that day comes shortly after your return when you've got to go back to work, post-that-oh-so-nyce-vacation? Well, this is a bit different: Not ever has the phrase "going back to work" felt so heavy or so dreaded.

My maternity leave is coming to an end... I return to the world of the 'working-for-living' come this Monday. I have, however, been granted a 3 month-long, temporary part-time contract to help me ease more gracefully back into working, also allowing me to remain at home with mah baby girlie-girl until she's 6 months old, which is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC (I am sooo freakin' lucky! So, so, so, soooo lucky! I know! I know!), BUHHHT I'm still scared: How am I going to get things done AND retain my sanity?

Better yet, why do we live in a culture that values motherhood and its children so poorly? Why aren't we like England, or France, or Sweden, or the other countries granting mothers a year at home with their infants, minimum, and without losing their livelihood? Paid maternity leave is a rarity and parental leave is almost unheard of in the U.S., yet we wonder as a society why our children have so many problems, developmentally, psychologically, and academically. Yet over and over again, we vote for legislators who devalue, and consequently, underfund federal and state level health and educational programs for our children. And why does this happen? Children aren't the priority, apparently... Our government is more interested in oil and profits, and we, the people as a majority, we're more interested in consumption than caring for our own. Yeah, most of us, we'd rather bitch about gas prices and taxes. Think about it.


San said...

You are so, so right. Even a year is almost not enough (my sister will return to week in two months after a year of maternity leave in Germany and it's STILL so hard to go back and leave your child with someone else).

Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess because I have never had children I never really thought of the whole maternity leave thing, but what you say is SO real. When I was a teenager I thought 3 months was a long time but now I realize that the first 3 years of a kid's life is super crucial for all of those reasons you stated. I wonder what would be a solution to this problem? Having a way to have your children at work after a certain amount of time, maybe? -Kashmir