Parents In America Share The Absurd System With Their Parental Leave Stories


Parental Leave StoriesHad 12 weeks: six paid, six at 67% of my pay. Now I go back Monday to a place where I have to stay late to make up the time I use to pump breast milk to feed my baby. lwalthe0,Lucy Wolski


Parental Leave StoriesI don’t have a problem exhausting my sick/vacation leave. I’ve been saving it for seven years now for this (I’ll have ~59 days when the kid arrives.)

I managed to time things perfectly (TOTALLY didn’t expect this, but it worked out) so that right after I come back, my PTO resets (it’s doled out twice a year in flat amounts rather than accrued per pay period.) So at least I’ll have five days of PTO available in the first six months after I go back… not much, but at least it’s something.

I do resent that, as a teacher, I have to pay my substitute out of my PTO. IMO that’s [friggin] ridiculous. If I hadn’t saved up any leave and had to go on unpaid leave, my district would be on the hook for my sub’s pay, but since I was responsible… NOPE.

Seriously, are there any other professions where you’re required to pay your replacement out of your leave? It makes NO EFFING SENSE.

I TOTALLY agree about our need for paid leave in this country. wehappy3,Valeria Zoncoll


We adopted, which was very expensive, so our financial situation was already pretty bad. I took the standard 12 week leave, but because it was near the beginning of the year I didn’t have a lot of PTO saved up (it expires every year), and I only qualified for six weeks of maternity pay, which is 50% of your salary. So I got paid 50% of my salary for six weeks and then nothing at all.”
“I was actually fortunate to get anything at all, because prior to the year my son was born, the company’s maternity pay policy did not cover adopted children. I remember the night before I was going back to work I rocked my son to sleep and just cried and cried because I didn’t want to leave him. twoh7,Claudia Wolff


Parental Leave StoriesI gave birth on a Friday. By Monday morning, my husband’s boss wanted him back in the office. That was the end of his paternity leave. melanieg429f11f61,Mikael Stenberg


Parental Leave StoriesI was working as a middle school teacher at the time of my second pregnancy. I was told to go on bed rest about five months in due to health reasons. However, my boss told me all of my time off would be unpaid (as the school was small and not covered by FMLA). I literally forced myself to work up until I physically couldn’t anymore at about seven months pregnant. I went back to work when my baby was less than eight weeks old because I just couldn’t afford to go unpaid any longer. Two years later and I am still repaying debt obtained during that time just trying to keep bills paid and food on the table. deartoxichoney,Bokskapet


I took five and half months off, but none of it was at my full salary, or even close. it was very hard to make ends meet, and I ended up racking up a bunch of credit card debt. My husband had to Uber on the weekends to help make up the extra money we needed to pay the hospital bills plus the new costs of having a newborn. jxz7920,M.


Thirty days. I could use up vacation and a little bit of disability but otherwise it was unpaid. My husband had just finished grad school and was actively looking for a job, so I had to go back. It was too soon emotionally. I sobbed the first day, every morning, every couple hours when I had to pump, etc.
My girl wanted nothing to do with the bottle, so my husband would drive to my work during lunch so that I could breastfeed. We lived like this for three months and it was exhausting. I’m grateful that my job was understanding and let me have the time and privacy to pump or breastfeed…but I honestly felt like I got nothing done. jasminenguyenjohnson,icsilviu


My boss never worked out a plan as to what would happen when I had my daughter. She came a week early and I had to follow up with him to see what the deal was. I went back six weeks later because he sold the company and didn’t tell us.
Luckily, because of the pandemic I told him I needed to work from home to watch my baby. The U.S really needs to catch up. svasques91,Standsome Worklifestyle


I had to use all my PTO before I could get partial pay for the rest of my 12 weeks. Mind you, my PTO cap was 100 hours (which in the US is considered ‘great’ leave).
Afterward I had to put my baby in daycare where she, of course, got sick a few times during my first couple months back. Any time I took a day off or worked from home to be with my sick baby, I had a coworker who would tell everyone how I ‘didn’t take my job seriously anymore’ and that I was ‘lying to get more free time off.’ maemaeby,Marcin Jozwiak


I’m a waitress. I get 6 weeks unpaid that they are required to hold my position. No pay, no fmla, no promise of getting the same shifts I had before. I’ve worked there for 5 years. [deleted],Timothy Barlin