So I thought that being pregnant was going to be the hootiest hoot to ever hit this town. I thought I was going to take being pregnant, mix it with being awesome, and smack you guys daily with some funny ass shit.
Ya. That didn’t happen. Turns out, being pregnant is rather boring. Not too much funny shit happens. That’s not to say it’s not INTERESTING. It is. But I don’t really write about interesting stuff. I write about funny stuff. If you want to drill down even further, I write about drunken funny stuff. Or, drunkenly write about funny stuff. Either way.
You don’t really drink when you’re pregnant. I mean you can, but the medical community frowns upon it. Our generation got fucked in this regard. Go ask your parents about drinking during pregnancy. I bet you $100 it will go something like this:
“Mom. Do you think it’s bad to drink when you’re pregnant?”
“Oh. Well. When I was pregnant with you, we didn’t know any better. I drank quite a bit with you. And look at you. You turned out just fine.”
They always say this, too. You turned out JUST FINE. Really? Because my feet are way too big for my body, and I am 100% positive I have adult ADD. Define ‘fine’.
Anyhoodle, our parents were drinking/smoking/having weed/taking crank/snorting blow/getting gangbanged, and we all turned out JUST FINE. But then the medical community had to step in, and now, god forbid if you see a pregnant woman with a glass of wine or three, you feel like you can judge. Judgers McJudgerstiens.
But I’m digressing. I took to my blog today to rant about U.S. Maternity Leave.
I work for a Canadian company. My Toronto coworkers who get in the family way get a year off. Paid. Here in the good ol’ U.S of A? I get 12 weeks at 80% of my pay. And that’s GENEROUS.
For those of you who have never had the joy of shooting a baby human out of your whisker biscuit while holding a job, let me enlighten you. U.S. maternity leave is actually covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). And technically, the only requirements for a company is that they hold your job for you for six weeks. And this is only if the company you work for falls under FMLA. If you work for a smaller company, they have a different type of leave. It’s called, Sorry, Perhaps You Should Have Gone To Work At FedEx Or Something.
I have heard from so, so many people who only get 6 weeks. Who get NO pay while they are off. Who work for companies that aren’t bound to FMLA. Honestly, it’s criminal how American companies are allowed to treat new parents.
So then I am reading through my HR polices, and I see that you can take 26 weeks off to care for an injured service member. Wait. Okay. I firmly believe that ANYONE who is married to a service member, a partner of a service member, who has a parent that is a service member, they absolutely should get 26 weeks off to care for them if they are injured while serving our country.
I come from a long line of service people. My dad fought in Vietnam, my step dad, Korea and Panama Canal. Both of my grandfathers are WW II Vets. I have a cousin who served in Iraq and another who is as we speak heading to the Gulf of Mexico with his Coast Guard unit to clean up BP’s mess. I basically piss red, white and blue.
BUT. I find it odd that taking care of a service member ranks HIGHER than taking care of say, a helpless newborn. What is a newborn if not a POTENTIAL service member? Do we not need to breed little future soldiers to continue to protect and serve our country? Is my service to my country, in the form of giving you two fabulous boys to possibly recruit someday, not a valid service? That’s two more boys than you would have had if I had chosen to NOT have children.
I am serving my country the best way I know how, with my vagina, and yet I get HALF the time off of work? Why not at least make them equal? Why not acknowledge that caring for a brand new life is as important as nursing a service member back to health? I just don’t understand the disparity.
My heart honestly bleeds for my fellow moms who only get six weeks, or NO weeks, or no pay, or have no job to go back to. When your choices consist of suck or suckier, one of the happiest times of your life can become a bleak, stressful race to get back to work so you can survive.
Maybe one day, the U.S. Government will pull their heads out of their asses and realize something that almost every other industrialized nation has realized: children are our most precious resource. And you know how you GET children? From our VAGINAS. So how about a little bit of respect and some fair benefits? You sure do love our children when they’re fighting for you. Why don’t you spread that around some?