I met a woman last week who went back to work three weeks after she had her baby. THREE WEEKS! This had me thinking: A lot of our social issues, especially in the US, are due to the fact that we do not prioritize the relationship of a new mother and child. Then we wonder why people are insecurely attached and have poor regulation of their emotions and nervous systems.
I 100% agree with you, Mark. I was a working mother (bread winner carrying the insurance) that only got six weeks off after delivering my son. It was heartbreaking to pass him off to a day care stranger. Scandinavian families have a two year leave program and kids don’t start school until 7 years old. A much healthier way to start a family, in my opinion. Hopefully your message will resonate with fellow business owners.
I was one of those women who was expected to come back after 3 weeks because I represented that money they wanted to continue making….it WAS hard and I resented my bosses for it. Fast forward almost 15 years later, I now am a sole proprietor and make my own schedule no longer have to answer to anyone but myself. I love your messaging Mark. I hope some day this changes. Your employees are lucky to work for you.
Imagine if all businesses thought this way! What a kinder and more peaceful world we would live in. Mothers are the most underrated commodity in our capitalist society.
In Canada we get from a year to a year and a half off. I couldn’t imagine the idea of going back to work 3 weeks into having a newborn
Paid Leave Oregon goes into effect September of this year, offering 3 months paid family leave for Mother or Father. Employees as well as employers pay into this pool so that these benefits can be received no matter the size of the company that you work for. More and more states are recognizing the importance of this critical bonding time.
YES MARK!!!! Love, love love this. So obvious. So clear. So needed. So much love for a happier human world. Fab read.
I love reading this Mark. Thank you for voicing it. Some Scandinavian countries allow it (a full year or 6 months paid maternity leave). Some companies also offer more than just the 3 months maternity leave too I remember in France. But it is true that even if alternatives exist, it is still viewed so negatively when you choose to step down to care for your children. And it is not an easy path. It is all our conditioning and way of thinking as you raised it. This awareness that we need to ripple it in the businesses as well to make it work. I love that thats what you are doing at your company ! It will spark some how. I am convinced of this. Thank you.
I agree with you - substantial paid parental leave from companies would be a very positive step for society and the economy. And I also think it should be offered both parents (if there are two) and left to the families to decide how to balance the nurturing, bonding, working, and supporting roles. These are all important roles but I get frustrated when there are stereotypes around which gender should be playing which role.
It’s not a hard thing to do - if you look across the World, especially in Europe for example, there are so many countries with fantastic maternity schemes.
So many of the companies in the US give great maternity rights to their employees in other countries - but they do what they can get away with in the US.
I had a year off on half pay with my son and a year off on full pay for my daughter - some countries give even more - and I returned to my original role both times.
It's interesting, I also see self-employed women working a little bit, keeping their business ticking over. That feels more wholesome. Enforced mat-leave for a year and then returning to work full-time seems more stressful than keeping things ticking over and having flexibility for the whole of the child's life.
Thank you for writing this. In UK, there are 39 weeks paid maternity and the option to have 11 weeks of unpaid before returning to work (unless your work has a better option). I feel this isn’t great but THREE WEEKS must be a joke. Sadly it seems to be the case in US/Canada. As a freelance musician and teacher, I just haven’t returned to work as I’m finding it isn’t enough time. I’ve now not worked 15 months. It’s just so harsh on mother and baby to be expected to return after 3 weeks. At 3 weeks my body wasn’t healed at all! Mentally it took me 6 months to heal from the trauma I experienced. 3 weeks is just so cruel and heartless. A year is ok but not ideal. I’m also outraged that some people just have to go otherwise they lose their jobs/homes etc On the face of it, I look unfortunate because I’m a single mother. I decided against putting my baby in nursery when she was very young because I could afford to not work plus I work for myself. My only barrier is practising as I have to do it. If I could stop the concert and say ‘sorry about that bum note - I’ve been changing my baby’s bum’ 😂 then I have to practise. I’m so glad you are kind to your employees. They will not forget it. I really think you’re one of the kindest and best of people that walk the earth. The word reverence really struck a chord with me and your words ring true. I just hope this way of thinking becomes the norm. I’ve never thought about maternity before becoming a mother. Now I understand how important the bond is between baby and mother. I’m an older mother and I don’t know how I could have taught my younger self this important info but the more we express our thoughts, the more the world will change - possibly? I’m sure there are many other people who feel the same and I thank you for writing this post.
Thx Mark for sharing. As a Canadian in Hawaii where they made it mandatory to hold a woman's job 6wks for maternity leave, I chose to stay off work for almost 8 months after going back after 3 after my first dgtr's birth. I was determined to take all the time I needed the 2nd time around, like my Canadian friends did! It is absolutely important for secure attachment and so many ppl are living in survival mode so this concept of supporting a woman this way is HUGE. If this was our way of thinking as a humanity, we would have a completely different world. Thanks for exploring these topics & supporting new moms. Congrats on your new baby! Aloha.
100% agree! As a teacher, my contract allows up to 12 weeks paid and then IF you are fortunate enough, you may take up to two years off and they will hire a long-term sub until you return. I was able to take one year off for each pregnancy. I couldn't imagine going back after 3 mos never-mind 3 weeks!!!! YIKES!
I received 3 months. Which is considered generous in the US. I think it’s a shame! 3 months is no where near what a baby needs. No baby is secure enough to leave their mother at 3 months! This issue, in my opinion bleeds into women’s rights and the poor state of affairs those are in. It clearly shows that the US does not value babies or mothers. If you do any sort of research into prenatal and postnatal care you will be shocked and how little is understood, what is being pushed on expectant mothers and new mothers (everything being pushed is based primarily on how to get more money for the hospital systems, payer organizations, etc. not the health of the mother or baby). Not to mention what is pushed on babies (unnecessary ultrasounds in utero, unnecessary birth interventions that are harmful to the baby, unnecessary vaccines that benefit the pharma/health system, etc.). The issue is so much larger than just maternity leave. But the maternity leave that is allotted here in the US should be a crime.