Wednesday, February 16, 2005

MSNBC - Mommy Madness

MSNBC - Mommy Madness

Wow! I was really impressed with this article and thought I should share it both for all the moms out there and for all women, really. Even if a woman doesn't have children, I still think all of us are responsible (or should be) for how the next generation turns out. After all, when we're older, they'll be the ones running the country and deciding how much (if any) Social Security, Medicare, etc. we get ;-). Although I've somewhat avoided falling into the severe scheduling trap (so far, Ryan is too young for many activities and my job doesn't require much in the way of OT) I can see the pitfalls coming in the next few years. Plus, I always tend to be on the perfectionist side anyway so this really hit home.

I especially liked this quote: "...the harsh realities of family life in a culture that has no structures in place to allow women—and men—to balance work and child-rearing." Boy, ain't THAT the truth! I found out about this firsthand during my own maternity leave (a chintzy 6 weeks paid which is TOTALLY inadequate). While the FMLA act does add some additional time, it's unpaid, which for a household like mine where both salaries are required to keep things running, isn't a whole lot of help. And what happens when, like in my situation, there are post-delivery complications (in my case requiring a total of 3 weeks in the hospital, plus surgery and recovery time)? There's no additional time for that or additional paid leave and it doesn't fall under disability because it's considered related to the pregnancy which has ALREADY used up your disability allowance for the year. So I missed out on spending a big chunk of my maternity leave with my son and that made it all the more difficult for me when I had to go back to work. Thank goodness I am lucky enough that my parents live nearby and were able to provide some care for him before it was time to take him to daycare. He was already eating some solid food (okay, baby cereal) by then so the feeding schedule wasn't as rigorous...I can't imagine having to go back to work when your child is still on a full breastfeeding schedule! I found it difficult to pump at work and I only had to do it twice a day! And don't even get me started on the (lack of) "facilities" that my company provided...what a joke!

At least I've been lucky in the daycare department. Ryan goes to a wonderful place and I have complete trust in them, but soon it will be time for pre-school and I'm dreading trying to find a place that I trust as much as I trust his daycare! So for all the women out there, whether they are moms or not, give yourself a pat on the back and try not to be so hard on yourselves!


P.S. After reading a bit further, I found a couple of related articles that I thought were also good. Here are the URL's:

Personally, I think I'm going for "slacker mom" myself ;-)

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