“I Was Forced To Suck It Up And Get Back To Work:” Heartbroken Mom Shares Why 12 Weeks Of Maternity Leave Isn’t Enough

As if returning to work after maternity leave wasn’t hard enough already for women from all around the world, the US parental leave policies are putting even more strain on new mothers.

But despite being overly stressed and exhausted, being the key source of income, the financial burden makes them put on a smile and open the office door just 12 weeks in from maternity leave. For most European countries, such a short period of leave is simply incomprehensible.

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And one of the unsung hero moms, Rachael Larsen, took 4 years to finally have the courage to share her tearful story of going back to work. Rachael, who’s a director of product operations at a Salt Lake City education company, wrote: “The shame around raising a family and working full-time is real,” and added that no matter the circumstances, “she wasn’t ready.”

Rachael’s post shared on LinkedIn shed light on what’s really going through so many women’s heads as they have no other choice but to suck it up and do their best; even then, deep inside, they may feel totally defeated. So let’s read it in full right below.

Rachael Larsen posted a tearful confession on how she wasn’t ready to go back to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave

Like so many working parents, Rachael didn’t see a choice but to go back to work after 12 weeks of maternity. This is all due to being able to financially support the family as often, moms are sole income sources for the household.

Meanwhile, Rachael could see herself as having the “extreme privilege” of being able to take these 12 weeks off and receive partial pay for it.

But many women don’t have that luxury to work “at an amazing company with great bosses” and to be able to afford “a daycare with great teachers.” Incredibly, it’s not unusual for moms to have even less than 12 weeks of leave in the US, which makes it the only developed country where moms don’t get paid for maternity leave.

According to a 2019 report by Unicef, which analyzed which of the world’s richest countries are most family-friendly, Estonia leads the field for new mothers with over 80 weeks of leave at full pay.

And from 41 reported countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union, the US made it to the bottom of the table, giving a total of zero weeks with no national paid leave.

Rachael’s confession resonated with many others as they shared their support in the comments

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For comparison, in Austria, women are obligated to take leave from eight weeks before the birth to eight weeks after, during which they cannot work. According to an OECD report, Austrian employees are paid their full average net income for the previous three months in maternity benefit with no cap.

People from foreign countries shared their experiences and many agreed 12 weeks is far from enough

In Sweden, women are entitled to 10 weeks’ full rate equivalent maternity leave plus 480 days parental leave. Female employees in the UK can take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, with the first 6 weeks getting paid at 90% of their average weekly salary. For the following 33, employees are paid £148.68 a week.

No wonder one in four of American women return to work as soon as possible after childbirth, which sometimes can take as little as two weeks.

But there have also been some critical opinions

Rachael, the author of the viral post, has also said that she hopes “someday our children will have better flexibility and support” in the comments below her Linkedin story. She also called her first year after birth “the longest, most exhausting year of my life.”

And a few general comments that summed up the whole situation


The post “I Was Forced To Suck It Up And Get Back To Work:” Heartbroken Mom Shares Why 12 Weeks Of Maternity Leave Isn’t Enough first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source: boredpanda.com

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