When I was pregnant with my son – i thought finding great care for him would be a breeze. It was not! I thought I would be given 12 weeks of paid leave before having to go back to work, nope that wasn’t given either. I only took 7 weeks leave (6 weeks were paid @ 60% of my income and 1 week was paid using vacation time and sick leave). I could have maybe an additional 2 weeks but with all my prenatal visits and at times not even being able to get up for work, I had to use my time to make sure my pregnancy was healthy. When looking for care, I felt stressed as a lot of the daycare centers I called were either at capacity or not affordable for me. My boyfriend and I didn’t have any family nearby that could watch our son until we found someone we fully trust and can depend on with our son. We visited an home daycare that just got licensed and thankfully she worked out for us until she needed to go back to work full time which left us with no care for my son.
I believe paid leave would benefit everyone not just us moms but our babies and family life. It will also help out greatly in finding the right quality care for our children. What is a parent suppose to do when many daycare centers are at full capacity for infants? Stay on the waiting list until they get that phone call? Put their child in someones care just because?! If I had maybe even a little more time I could have bonded with my baby more, I wouldn’t have felt so rush to find the first daycare that was worked for us. It would allow for us to be able to settle into this thing we call parenthood and really enjoy it and not rush from one thing to another.
Cynthia, Naugatuck CT