U.S. social system not child friendly?

Anna - posted on 06/12/2011 ( 59 moms have responded )

32

21

5

OK, US moms, I am from Europe and I have heard that the social system in the US is not really child friendly. More particularly that after giving birth, you get 1 or 2 months when you can stay home with your newborn. After that you have to go back to work as the state is not paying anymore. How much truth is in that. How much do you get paid from the state and for how long, after giving birth. Can you live on it if only hubby is working and you are getting "Child care money" as it is called here?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lindsey - posted on 06/19/2011

121

0

20

Mandy, The money for maternity / parental benefits doesn't come from income taxes, it comes from employment insurance benefits. I believe that the perecentage deducted from each paycheck is about 1.5% of your gross income (up to a total of around $1000 per year), and your employer has to contribute 1.5 times that amount as well. Income tax is separate and honestly, I have no idea what the actual tax rate is as it is dependant upon income.

As for calling Canada a "nanny state", I can see where you are coming from, but this money is not a handout from the government. The purpose of maternity / parental benefits is to help parents who would prefer to stay at home with their children for the first year of life. I worked full-time for thirteen years before I had my son (as did my husband) and I am now a stay-at-home mother. The amount that my husband and I have paid into employment insurance over the years more than covers the benefits that I received from the government. And, because we are planning on having more children soon, and because I will not be returning to work until they are all in school, I won't have the option of receiving these benefits when we have more little ones. I believe that governments need to encourage people with children to stay at home as long as possible, the benefits to our children are immeasurable. (and no, I am not bashing working mothers).

I hope that might clear up some misconceptions.

Amy - posted on 06/12/2011

6,467

33

2386

I work full-time in the states and I got 6 weeks off for maternity leave paid. Since I have a full-time job I qualified for short term disability which is 6 weeks 60% of your pay. However family medical leave allows 12 weeks inlaid leave where your employer must hold your position or a like job for you to return to with the same pay rate. Since my company is all over the states, California offers an additional 4 weeks unpaid so they offer that nationally. Also where I work we accrue paid time off so it's vacation time, sick time and personal time all rolled into one and depending on how long you have worked for the company minimally it's 3 weeks a year. With my daughter that I had last march I knew my husband and I were going to start trying so I stopped taking vacations and saved it for my maternity leave, I was out of work for 3 1/2 months and didn't get paid for three weeks because I was able to use my vacation time. The time that I didn't get paid we had budgeted well in advance to cover my missing income, but 3-4 months still isnt a lot in comparison to other countries.

Lissa - posted on 06/20/2011

1,047

0

105

I am very glad I live in Scotland, healthcare is free, prescriptions are free, Mums get free dental care during pregnancy and for one year after the baby is born. You get 52 weeks leave if you wish to take it, 39 of which are paid. I don't know what percentage of income is tax in the US but I know I'd rather pay 20% and have these things.

Lindsey - posted on 06/19/2011

121

0

20

I certainly feel lucky to live in Canada. I worked full time for years before I had my son. Here, the government pays parental benefits (employment insurance) for 52 weeks (it works out to a percentage of your income prior to receiving benefits). In answer to you questions Mandy, you can't get back to back benefits here because in order to qualify for parental benefits, you have to accumulate a certain number of working hours immediately prior to applying for benefits in order to qualify. So if you choose not to work, you won't qualify for benefits. The company that I worked for hired a temp to replace me for the time I was gone (it really isn't that hard to find people willing to take a temporary position for a year), although in the past I have worked for companies that would simply divide the work between other employees for the time that the mom was off work. It really is a great system. I can't imagine only having 6 weeks with my little one before putting them in daycare and returning to work. I breastfed my little guy until he was one, that alone would have been next to impossible had I been working full time.

Sally - posted on 06/19/2011

963

14

9

Unfortunately, it's changing fast, but in America most adults prefer to act as adults. That means taking care of ourselves instead of expecting a nanny state to take care of us like little children. If you budget wisely, most families can live quite easily on one salary. Unfortunately, very few people wish to budget wisely so in most households both parents work.

59 Comments

View replies by

Ann Marie - posted on 06/24/2011

146

9

1

For those who asked about the tax rate in the U.S., it varies widely by your income. Our family pays almost 50% of our income in income taxes, when you add together the federal, state, and city taxes. Then we have sales tax on top of that for most purchases (around 6-7%). Plus property taxes on our house and car. So our tax rate is actually really high. I think it's false to assume that countries with better maternity care and health care have higher taxes. In reality, where do our extra taxes go if not to welfare and social services? A lot of it goes to the military - we're paying to be the world's policeman. And paying for our national debt takes out another huge chunk. That's where our government has decided our money should go.

For the record, I got 8 weeks paid leave from my employer, and my husband got 2 weeks paid leave. Then for each baby I saved up vacation time for another 4 weeks. Now we have to pay around $1500-2000 a month for childcare for two children.

Ann Marie - posted on 06/24/2011

146

9

1

For those who asked about the tax rate in the U.S., it varies widely by your income. Our family pays almost 50% of our income in income taxes, when you add together the federal, state, and city taxes. Then we have sales tax on top of that for most purchases (around 6-7%). Plus property taxes on our house and car. So our tax rate is actually really high. I think it's false to assume that countries with better maternity care and health care have higher taxes. In reality, where do our extra taxes go if not to welfare and social services? A lot of it goes to the military - we're paying to be the world's policeman. And paying for our national debt takes out another huge chunk. That's where our government has decided our money should go.

For the record, I got 8 weeks paid leave from my employer, and my husband got 2 weeks paid leave. Then for each baby I saved up vacation time for another 4 weeks. Now we have to pay around $1500-2000 a month for childcare for two children.

Joanne - posted on 06/21/2011

2

21

0

@ Mandy Beesley - i work full time & pay around 21% in taxes. But you have to have contributed for so long before being eligible for these benefits. Now i'm back at work i don't receive any other assistance as i work too many hours to be eligible for anything!

Miranda - posted on 06/20/2011

10

18

0

We don't have any system set up for mothers to stay home with their babies (say for a year) then have a job waiting for them. Standard is 6 weeks paid maternity leave, and then you are expected to return to work. Some places offer fathers paternity leave, but that is usually only for 2 weeks. I have decide to not work and just stay home because it just doesn't seem worth it to me to put my kids in daycare for few extra hundred dollars a month. My time with my kids seems way more important. It's not always easy getting by on one salary, but I am going to do it until my youngest is in school.

Cinda - posted on 06/20/2011

105

23

5

First, the "state" doesn't EVER pay 1 thin DIME for a mom to be home on maternity leave. The law states that after you've been at a given job for OVER 12 months (with a minimum number of hours worked during those 12 months) that you are entitled to a MAXIMUM of 12 weeks of maternity leave during which your job is guaranteed to be held for you. Whether or not that is paid or UNPAID leave time is up to each employer. If you choose to be off on maternity leave for LONGER than 12 weeks, your employer does NOT have to hold your job for you (by law) & you run the risk of not having a job to return to.
So, as compared to some other countries, the US does NOT have as good of a maternity leave system.
However, you have up to 12 months after the birth of the child to use those 12 weeks. A little known fact is that these same 12 weeks are given as PATERNITY to fathers as well. So once the mother's 12 weeks are over, if the father so chooses, he can take 12 weeks off as well, so long has he also meets the criteria for qualifying under FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).
FMLA does not just apply to the birth or adoption of a child, it applies to any immediate family member that needs your care due to medical reasons.

Chrissy - posted on 06/20/2011

6

11

0

My employer offers two weeks’ vacation a year that doesn't roll over to the next year if unused. I was very fortunate that my employer made an exception for me and let me hold onto my vacation time (2 weeks) from the previous year (2008) when I was pregnant to use when I had my daughter in January 2009. I was able to use the two weeks from 2008 and the two weeks for 2009 for my maternity leave. I ended up having a total of 6 weeks paid maternity leave thanks to my employer gifting me the 2 extra weeks pay. I work for a Christian non-profit organization for the prevention of child abuse. This was an amazing thing they did since they really didn't have the extra money to do it. I don't know what we would have done without these exceptions my employer made for me. My pregnancy was unplanned and my husband and I did not make enough to be able to save money.
I would be in favor of an extra (small) tax for a fund that would be for maternity leave in the U.S. I think it would be helpful if it were for at least 50% pay for 6 weeks. I would also agree with implementing requirements for the benefit such as the ones mentioned Canada has.

Kimberly - posted on 06/20/2011

376

10

16

i know here in minnesota in my part of the state every one i know is on welfare and refuse to work they live completly off the state. they are also the single parents. so our town has a very bad reputation of moms refusing to work so they can get welfare. and then when it comes to like me and my husband we need just a little help so i can be a stay at home mom i have income and so does my husband. were one in a million to get the help we got. we were homless all the way up to the last month of my pregnancy and they chose us for the homeless program to get us back on our feet. getting a job and working our way to paying full rent. and now we are able to look into getting a home loan and getting a house. while everyone that i know abuse this abillity so much getting into a program and refusing to work and not taking that free time to spend with there children. so its not really good in my town. i can understand why we dont have the funding to give us any payed leave time, or any help like that. i cant afford daycare and i dont have any one that is willing to babysit so i became a stay at home mom. there is downfalls for me too but i do consider myself lucky to have what i get.

Janice - posted on 06/20/2011

1,890

18

63

I'm sorry Joy. You are right there are a few instances where there is no other choices. I just more often here of women choosing to go back at 6 weeks which I find very selfish. Infants need their moms.

At those who call other countries nanny states, you are very naive! Look around America, most people cant budget there money well enough to even enjoy 12 weeks with their newborn and so many people have no healthcare because we let companies screw us over. I'm glad to live in NY where I pay extra taxes so every child can have affordable healthcare and women who work get at least a few weeks of pay. It might not be much $ but it might save that single mom from putting her 2 week old in someone else's care because she must get a paycheck.

Joy - posted on 06/20/2011

350

63

7

I find it offensive in the post that says that every women should take the option of pay or no pay. For some women its not just a 'few bills' - especially in these economic times. Some women are single mothers, some women are the breadwinners in the family. It is very hard to go back to work with such young newborns at home and I think the system's broken in that regard. In my case I was fortunate enough to be able to move from my full time position to a part time one when I went back to work. I know another mother whose husband lost his job shortly after she took her maternity leave. For that family it was not an option to go without pay.

[deleted account]

In Denmark, about 37% of my income is taken out as tax. If I am not working for a certain amount of time before the maternity leave, I am not eligible. My husband receives full pay for 14 weeks of his leave. This is a combination of the government allowance, plus his union benefits. I don't consider this a "handout" from the government. I've worked, they've taken my money as taxes, and what I get back makes it possible for me to make choices that I think will benefit my family. The government here makes it possible to make that choice. I come from Bermuda, which has pretty much the same rules as the US, but when I got my paycheck every month, NOTHING was taken out for taxes. Yes, you get unpaid maternity leave, but you also get all the money you worked for, to do as you please with. When I first started working here, I was appalled at the tax rate, but now I realise that my children's education up to whatever level they choose (through university and postgrad) is provided from my taxes. Our medical care is fully covered, including when we travel. We will receive assistance from the government on a quarterly basis until our children are 18 years old. While they are in university, they will receive an allowance that covers a reasonable rent and expenses during their studies. I think for 37% of my salary, I'm getting it back. I have a lot of trouble with people calling it a "nanny" state. I pay taxes, I reap the benefits. What do you get for your tax money in the US?

Anna - posted on 06/20/2011

32

21

5

lol, that was gonna be my next question, Mandy. Thanks for asking. In Austria we have the Brutto salary, which is the full salary before taxes, and the Netto salary - what you become after taxes. Out of a random paycheck - the brutto of 1389,00 gets reduced to 1050,41 after taxes. Taxes here are automaticly transferred from the employer out of your salary to the state. It's not even our own choice to pay them or not.

Janice - posted on 06/19/2011

1,890

18

63

I didn't realize that all states don't have some type of disability benefit. That is terrible.

I think for many moms it is very hard to go back. I worked in daycare and NY has the best standards for care in the US (next to MA) and it is still not ideal for tiny infants. Is it the worst thing, no (although standards for care in some states are scary) but really I think every single mother needs to spend the first 4-6 months with their baby.

I'm sorry but how cant you eliminate a few bills and make due with out a few weeks pay to take care of your newborn? Every woman should take the 12 weeks (federal law since '93) pay or no pay.

Joy - posted on 06/19/2011

350

63

7

Or was it 6 months? I'm not sure on that. I know it was unpaid so didn't take it.

Joy - posted on 06/19/2011

350

63

7

I believe it depends on the company you're working, not the state. My company provided 6 weeks of paid maternity leave (8 weeks if it was a c-section.) There is a Family Leave Act, I think, but that just keeps your job for you and doesn't pay anything if you want to stay at home for 3 months. When I went on maternity leave it was either take the 6 weeks of paid vacation or take the 3 months off unpaid. I can't afford to go 3 months without being paid. I had to present a medical release from my ob to go back to work after the 6 weeks.

However, I knew another woman who used to wait on me at a restaurant who had a baby and went back to work the next week.

Marissa - posted on 06/19/2011

28

4

0

It just depends on the companyand also what kind of insurance they provide. My husband got 3 months paternity leave full pay. I loved having him home with me and our new little guy for that time and he got his paychecks when everyone else did. I've never heard of states paying for maternity leave, that would be wonderful.

Krissy - posted on 06/19/2011

232

0

19

I don't know of one single woman that has gotten paid maternity leave... but we are generally middle class to lower middle class.

I had to go on very early bed rest with my first, and the Family Medical Leave act should have protected my job... but when I called them after the baby about going back.. they'd had to fire their human resources manager and I got lost in the shuffle.

I actually didn't mind, so I didn't fight it. I've worked odd jobs, but nothing permanent full time again...

and just a side note... I've never noticed being "frowned on" for not going back full time. Now I home school my three children.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/19/2011

6,435

12

72

You heard right, and every day I'm wishing I had my baby in Canada where my husband is from instead of the States. We're really not family friendly in the slightest. Don't even get me started on the US vs Canada/ rest of the world thing because I've been doing it for years now.
In Canada a mom gets 15 weeks mandatory maternity leave then another 45 or so weeks to split between herself and her husband/signifigant other. However it does go by percentage however some employers do pay the full salary.
I'm from New York though and New York is one of the few states that has mandatory maternity leave. I had to go out earlier than expected because I have pre-hypertension that evolved into hypertension and I ended up giving birth to my now 3 month old 10 days early. Here in New York it's considered disability leave and we get to take at least 8 weeks if not more- I was actually off for 2 months. But to be honest I was going crazy my last 2 weeks before going back to work.
@ Sally, it's not a nanny state, it's a country that's making sure its citizens are able to take care of their families better. I'm lucky enough where my job allows me to have flexible hours and I can make time for my 2 kids but many people aren't that fortunate. America is actually one of the lowest ranked countries when it comes to health care family care and help for expecting moms. We're also one of only two countries (China is the other) that doesn't do mandatory paid vacations. I'd rather stay in Canada and pay my PST, HST and GST than move back to the States. And we get cheques back from those too.

Mandy - posted on 06/19/2011

10

16

0

What percentage of your income goes to taxes in Canada/Europe etc? Where is this money coming from?

Joanne - posted on 06/19/2011

2

21

0

OMG, so glad i live in the uk. I have a 28 mth old and a 12 mth old. Over here we get statutory maternity pay (SMP) from the government plus occupational mat pay (OMP) from most employers. I got 6 wks OMP @ 90% salary then 12 wks OMP @ 50% + SMP (£120). You then get 26 weeks of just SMP! I had 8 mths off with each and this has made me realise just how lucky we are over here!

Merry - posted on 06/19/2011

10

4

0

I work full time and my employer offers very little in the way of benefits. No health insurance, no paid maternity leave... You can take up to 12 weeks for maternity leave. But with as little as we are paid, there is no saving up. I had no income and had to return to work after 6 weeks. I do get help with child care, but that is only because I work there. My fiance and I make too much for assistance, which is funny because we are barely making ends meet.
Btw, wic does more than offer formula help. They offer breastfeeding counseling, pump access for working moms and food assistance.

Carrie - posted on 06/18/2011

3

2

0

My employer offers up to 12 weeks (the federal guarantee of 12 weeks only applies to employers of 50 employees or more. We're exempt, but offer it anyway).

8 weeks at 1/2 pay and you can use your vacation time to supplement up to full pay. Honestly, I don't mind. For what I save in taxes, I pay for my own maternity leave and then use my vacation time to reduce my hours to part time for another several weeks after I return.

Mandy - posted on 06/18/2011

10

16

0

How does your government keep people from having babies back to back to keep from working? And how do your companies run with women out for such long periods of time? Here we don't get anything from the government unless we meet certain income requirements. Even though we only have one income (I stay home with the kids), we make too much to qualify for any benefits. I don't want them anyway because what people don't realize (or care about) is that SOMEONE is paying for their free stuff, like modest middle class people like us, who struggle to provide for ourselves. It is okay to use these services temporarily, but people keep having kids when they can't provide for them. I don't want the government to "pay me" to have kids, but it would be nice if EMPLOYERS were more kid friendly. It is sad when moms have to go back after only 6 weeks when they don't want to. And breastfeeding is much harder when working, so less healthy for babies. I worked for a while after my first because I had to, but now stay home and run a part time business from home. It works out better financially than paying daycare for 2 kids, and I can spend more time with them.

User - posted on 06/18/2011

1

0

0

It;s up to the employer whether or not you get paid maternity leave. I believe the Family Medical Leave Act requires they give you up to 12 weeks off without jeopardizing your job, but they do not have to pay you. The state does not pay anything.



With my first son, I worked for a small company that only offered two weeks of paid vacation a year and I used that plus I stayed home two more weeks unpaid. Unfortunately we couldn't go any longer without my paycheck and luckily I have a mother-in-law that is retired and offered to take care of him while we worked.



Now I work for a large corporation, so luckily with my second (and third on the way) I have much better benefits. This company still doesn't offer specific paid maternity leave, but our rate of sick and vacation time accrual is based on hours worked and the longer you're with the company, the more you earn per hour worked. Also, we get 3 weeks of paid sabbatical every 5 years, so we can use that also. On top of that, we have a sick time donation program where fellow coworkers can donate their unused sick time (leaving a minimum amount for themselves) to those who are out on medical leave.



With my 2nd son, I was able to be out 7 weeks and only suffered 1/2 a weeks pay lost and my husband also took a week off to stay home.



Another plus with this company is the onsite daycare. It's not free, but it's very affordable and my kid is right across the hall from me during the day.



We cannot live on one paycheck alone, but there are people who can. It all depends on how good a job the one spouse has and how far you can stretch a dollar.

Rebekah - posted on 06/18/2011

1,508

5

198

From my understanding, if you make an "adequate wage" in the US you will not qualify for any government programs, during pregnancy, after the birth, or for childcare. So, you may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but there is no assistance monetarily during that time (unless given by your employer). So basically the leave laws only require that you still have your job after you've given birth.

Personally, I could not go back to work and leave my newborn in childcare, so I quit my job altogether and was then rehired part-time when he was 6 months old.

Melissa - posted on 06/18/2011

378

25

4

In canada you can take up to a year maternity leave and that is either mom and/ or dad. it can be done by one parent or split between both parents. Most of the time mom's do it but sometimes dad's will take the last little bit of it to spend some time with their babies at home!

Melissa - posted on 06/18/2011

98

10

7

It varies by state. When I lived in CA we received 6 weeks of paid family leave and an additional 6 weeks federal leave (?). But CA is pretty progressive and we don't get 12 weeks here in Colorado. I received around 50-70% of my salary which was low because a large portion of my earnings included commission. It was doable for our family since I am not the breadwinner. We receive is referred to unemployment. At least that's where I got my check from for 6 of the weeks. In addition, I had severe morning sickness and was able to take an additional 3 weeks medical leave until I got over it. That was unemployment also.

I would not say that it is a result of the social system not being kid friendly. Its more of a result of country being democratic as opposed to socialist. Many Americans are opposed to paying higher taxes and that means less is put into our social systems. Many prefer to hold on to their money so to speak. In Europe most governments being socialist excise exorbitant taxes allowing for more programs and also allowing more time off for both mom and dad.

Melinda - posted on 06/18/2011

23

6

0

As far as handling going back to work I like working on most days but I always feel this inner turmoil that I want to be home. I hate missing all the firsts. I hate feeling like I cannot be there for my kids. I make more than my husband would if he were to work so it only makes more sense this way. I like knowing that my husband is home caring for the kids but I have a hard time knowing I'm not there. Every mom is different but that is how I feel. And personally it makes it difficult for me to have a successful BFing relationship. I am not superwoman so I just can't manage to pump all the time at work so both my kids only made it to 7-8 months BFing and both were being supplemented with formula after 3-6 months. It's a tough topic for me with many different factors involved.

Melinda - posted on 06/18/2011

23

6

0

I am the primary source of income for my family. My husband stays home with my 2 year old and 9 month old. I had to use all of my saving to pay the bills while I took 6 weeks off from my job. I did not get payed from my employer a penny. They let me save up a some hours that I had accumulated when I worked over 40 hours per week and paid me that the week she was born. They don't allow over time (yeah I know legally if I work over 40 hours they should have paid me OT but I was glad they helped me out this way at least.) I worked until the day she was born and I'm okay with that I just hate how it put us in such a financial bind. I think legally the only benefit you get is maternity leave if you work at a larger company that you been at for a long enough time period. There are no monetary benefits of any kind bestowed by our government or required of the employer.

Kirsty - posted on 06/18/2011

1

0

0

I was only allowed six weeks off work, and received no pay during that time. So I quit that job, and now I make more money working from home, plus I get to spend time with my family and work whatever schedule I want! But yeah, bottom line is, you heard correctly. The US system is not at all mom-friendly! When I read about the French benefits I couldn't believe it. I have to admit, I'm definitely jealous.

Angela - posted on 06/18/2011

22

29

3

I am in Canada and I get 1 full year of Employment Insurance Maternity Leave Benefits. I get 55% of my gross pay for the time I'm off. I also get a monthly Child Tax Benefit which is some sort of calculation based on your income and how many children you have. Additionally, there is a Universal Child Care Benefit which is $100 per child per month until they are 6 years old. We have some subsidized daycare but there is a waiting list and need is based on income. If your child is sick you can apply for an additional year of leave and if you adopt a child you can qualify for a year of leave. Moms and Dads can split the leave or one parent can use it all. My husband is a disabled Canadian Military Veteran so besides his little pension, mine is the primary income. I consider myself lucky to have these benefits!!

Amy - posted on 06/18/2011

1,761

18

250

That is true, and it depends on where you work. With my first I got 80% of pay for the 6 weeks. This time I got 100% for the 6 weeks. Also both times I had to work until I had the baby. I know several moms who didn't get paid at all. And I believe t all depends on your Dr. If your Dr days you need more than the trlerditional amount of time they will typically give it to you.

Amy - posted on 06/18/2011

6,467

33

2386

Anna, my husband works second shift so he's home with them during the day. Then my mother in law watches them till I get out of work. We don't do daycare because where we live it would take 60% of a paycheck so that would defeat the purpose of working.

Kimberly - posted on 06/18/2011

376

10

16

thats why i chose to be a stay at home mom. cause its day care while you work or a friend that watches them. usually the moms that i know who work there days off are devoted to being with there kids. every thing has its down fall though. staying home with your kid can be just as hard as sending them to day care to go to work.

Anna - posted on 06/18/2011

32

21

5

Ok, basicly you don't get paid. Hmmm...and what happens with your babies after 2 months when you go back to work? How do you girls deal with that?

Kasie - posted on 06/18/2011

213

12

2

we get 6 weeks paid vacation if we're working full time and not every job does that.

Lindsy - posted on 06/16/2011

83

5

7

The Gov. doesn't pay for anything here. If you are very lucky your employer might pay part of your wages, but that's usually jobs where people are well above the poverty line.
You can get money back in tax credits at the end of the year but that's about it.
There is a program called WIC (Women Infants & Children) , it's a food supplement program for pregnant women , BFing women babies and children 5 and under. It makes sure that they have access to wholesome foods like milk , beans , whole grains. and fruits and veggies.
The only problem I have with this program is that they don't tell the mothers that the formula coupons they give them will NOT be enough for the baby to live on ( so people just end up giving 3 mon olds cows milk). I believe if they made this very clear they might be able to get more women to BF.
There is no such thing as "Child care money" here.
Are you all considering a move here?
If so make sure the pay is SUBSTANIALY more. You guys have a much better health/ child care system there than we do here.(And it's only getting worse.)
I would have to get 2 jobs just to be able to pay for child care , and that's after the 9 mon. waiting list to get into one.
That's why I 'm a stay at home mom.

Janice - posted on 06/16/2011

1,890

18

63

I just want to make it clear that it is federal law (family medical leave act) that every woman and man can take up to 12 weeks off a year after the birth or adoption of a child. This is not paid but I find it sad that women who could be home for an extra 4-6 weeks go back to work because they are afraid they will lose their job. They can not replace for 12 weeks. Unfortunately, some people choose to back because they need the income, but I personally would rather struggle financially for a moth than miss out on the critical first few months with my baby.

Michelle - posted on 06/15/2011

1,606

10

227

So most women gnerally get 6 weeks for regular delivery, 8 for c section, and some employers offer 12 weeks. Whether it is paid or not is completely up to your employer and the benefits they offer. For the most part unless you can demonstrate financial need the government does not pay for any of it. Afflac is nation wide and does offer coverage for such things. If you do get paid mat leave it's generally at 50% pay. I knew someone where I used to work that saved up 3 months of paid vacation to use after her 6 weeks. I quit my job when I had my son and have been a SAHM ever since.

Janice - posted on 06/15/2011

1,890

18

63

Oh and I live in upstate NY and although it is illegal many employers hide the fact that EVERYONE is allowed 12 weeks (unpaid) and try to convince unknowing mothers that they must come back after 6 weeks. I was lucky and very cheaply bought additional insurance when I got married so for 8 of my weeks I received 2 checks and made the same as my norm pay check. I don't know which states offer afflac but it helped with unexpected needs the first 2 months. In the end I just left my job anyways to finish school.

Janice - posted on 06/15/2011

1,890

18

63

You get 6 week paid (usually 50% of your actual wages) by the state. 8 weeks if you have a c-section. Some employers offer benefits but this is very rare. You may have up to 12 weeks leave total but after that your employer can replace you. Child care money only exists if you are extremely poor.
Currently I stay home and only my husband works. We make ends meet but I don't know if we will ever get ahead enough to buy a house or go on vacation. Especially true now that an unexpected #2 is on the way.
Yes, that in particular is quite terrible in the states.

[deleted account]

Same here, in Denmark. I'm from Bermuda, where it's pretty much the same as the states in terms of amount of leave... about 6 weeks unpaid. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Denmark last year with my husband and found out the I get 4 weeks before my due date, 14 weeks after, and then 32 weeks that can be shared between me and my husband, and also extended by working part-time for all or any part of it - all paid by the government at something like 75% of my normal income! Not to mention that the health care, including birth and prenatal care is all free.

Emma - posted on 06/15/2011

89

11

5

Wow i feel really lucky to be living in Eng because we get very good maternity leave benefits compared to that!

Kris - posted on 06/14/2011

5

14

2

Six weeks unpaid, no financial assistance from the state/government or medical insurance company. You can apply for temp assistance which is foodstamps/cash benefits that is based on income and number of people in household. WIC is helpful with formula. It's frowned upon if you decide to stay at home without first having an at-home job because a family can barely survive in the States without a two parent household even with state assistance.

Ramona - posted on 06/14/2011

18

21

0

You can get paid if your work has it set up to provide temp disability. Some states are better than others. I live in California and stayed home for 20 weeks. I got paid 50% of my wages but I Aldo work for a great company... So read up on your states maternity laws or talk to HR at work.

Amanda - posted on 06/14/2011

1

18

0

Maternity leave is pretty much up to the employer. There is a federal law mandating 6 weeks minimum - unpaid. I was lucky enough to get 8 weeks from my employer, but other than the vacation days I had, it was unpaid. I was able to get disability pay form NY State, but they only pay a maximum of $175.00 a week (less than 1/2 of what I was making) for 6 weeks (longer if there are complications, but your Dr. needs to contact NYS with details). The one thing they don't tell you about disability is that it takes FOREVER to get a check. I was back to work before I saw any money, so if you can, sign up for disability EARLY. I would recommend at least 2 weeks before your planned last day at work (Obviously, if you go into labor unexpectedly, this isn't possible).

[deleted account]

It does vary by employer, size of the company, etc. At my husband's company you get 6 weeks unpaid. Some moms save their vacation time so they can take a little bit more, but 6-8 weeks is pretty common as far as how much time mom gets off.

Amy - posted on 06/12/2011

6,467

33

2386

I live in Connecticut and work as a retail store manager. However I assumed everyone who was full-time was eligible for family medical leave as long as you've met the qualifications but maybe it's based on the size of your employer. The website to find the information is www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

Kimberly - posted on 06/12/2011

376

10

16

oh wow thats awsome where do you live i am in minnesota lol. i wish theh did that more so moms dont feel so rushed back to work.

Kimberly - posted on 06/12/2011

376

10

16

no getting help is fine living soly on government help with both parents deciding not to work sorry i never said that. i was refering to those that both parents choose not to work cause they just want the government to pay. no i have government help with my son but i also work and so does my husband. but the government does not pay for maternity leave

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms