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


I write to my Congressmen every year about how unacceptable it is that America still doesn’t have paid family and sick leave. I’ve gotten an actual answer once : Washington state even has paid family leave in state law, but the state votes year after year to not fund it.

I got paid maternity leave because I was in the military. It baffles me that we can make it work in the Armed forces, but we can’t make it work in the private or public sector. Sludgeycore,Bermix Studio


My husband had to go into work the day after we came home from the hospital with our son. Outside of time in the hospital, he had one and a half days off. agronk29,Jill Sauve


Company policy was six weeks unpaid. I even had vacation time I had saved up that my boss refused to let me use. I ended up going back to work after four weeks (when my baby was three weeks old) because I couldn’t afford to miss any more work.

It sucked. thats_way_harsh_tai,Sergiu Vălenaș


I was teaching and was given 6 weeks off. You only get enough time to physically heal and it’s unpaid. I ended up taking an extra two weeks off with my vacation days because I couldn’t believe it was time to go back already. My paycheck was so small for so long because they deduct every day you were gone. greek-yogurt,Jenna Norman


I actually accepted my new job on the day I conceived. Awesome new job with a HUGE pay increase. Obviously, I didn’t know I was pregnant until two weeks later. Heart attack time when I realized that what that means is… I will not have been working at my job for a full 12 months when this baby is born. So unfortunately, I am not eligible for FMLA benefits under federal law (which allows for 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave). “Luckily” I live in MA which has it’s own maternity leave policy that will allow me 8 weeks unpaid after only 3 months of employment. This was also granted to fathers as of this year. So basically I’m hoping to have 2 months off to have my baby… then my partner will maybe take his 2 months. Working on a stay-at-home-dad plan. The only saving grace is my job really encourages work-from-home. So my fingers are crossed everything works out great in six months.halfcream,Dayne Topkin


For the last two babies, my husband and I owned a cleaning business and we got zero time off. My husband had a huge job the day I was giving birth to my youngest and had to split time between the job and the hospital. There was no other option. I was back at work about 10 days after I had my last two kids. I’d wear them as I cleaned because either we worked, or we lost our jobs. vw71squareback,Engin_Akyurt


It does suck so much! I worked a hairstylist when I was pregnant and worked up to the day before I delivered(I delivered on my exact due date so I was 40 weeks and working 40 hours a week on my feet). Then I only got 6 weeks off(none of it paid) and my husband could only take 3 days off(also unpaid since he’s a contractor). I could hardly function when I went back to work, my daughter wasn’t sleeping more then 2 hours at a time and I was breastfeeding(which I gave up after the second week of working because it was way to hard to pump at work). I made it 3 months working before I quit working for good(this was almost 2 and half years ago). Honestly if I would have gotten at least 6 months off work, I’d probably be working now since I could have had some time to recover! Luckily we can afford for me to stay home currently and I was considering going back to work but I’m trying for number 2 so why even bother because I’ll just end up quitting again!! Good luck to you and I hope it goes ok going back to work. pcbzelephant,xenostral


I had no paid leave – my employer wasn’t required to give me unpaid leave either. I went back to work two weeks after my first was born because we really needed money; with my second, I went back at three months. I didn’t work for long either time though, it was easier and more money to have my husband pick up more shifts (restaurant work) and have me stay home. Childcare costs as much or more than I make, so that option was off the table. My first cost mW about $12,000 after insurance covered what it would. For reference, that’s about half our yearly income. At our current repayment rate, the debt will be paid in about 35 years. [deleted],Mathilde Langevin