“It’s only day 2 of being back to work and I can honestly say that I am feeling everything. I am all at once proud of my career, but I am also scared that I am not being a good enough mother by not being with my son so early on. I am excited to be continuing my career goals with a great company, but I am also so scared that I will miss Ian’s first laugh, his first crawl, or his first steps. I’m worried that all of the love I have for my son (which I swear is bursting from my finger tips at this very moment) will go unfelt because I am not there when he wakes up from his naps or needs a snuggle in the middle of a Thursday afternoon.
I am happy that I live in Kansas City because if I didn’t, Ian may not even be here. But, I am also angry with this country for not guaranteeing women any paid maternity leave. I was able to take 12 weeks of maternity leave when my son was born and only 6 of those weeks were partially paid. I consider myself lucky to have had that time because 40% of women in this country do not even qualify for 12 weeks of federally protected job leave (unpaid). In addition, only 12% of women in the private sector are able to receive some sort of paid leave. How is the United States 1 of only 4 countries in the UN without a federally mandated policy to give new parents paid time off?
Maternity leave is not a vacation. And the absence of family friendly policies in the US speaks volumes to the lack of sensitivity towards the female experience that permeates throughout this country. I love my son more than anything, but I also love having a career. It’s so unfortunate that during a child’s first year of life, a time with so many developmental milestones where children could benefit most from a mother’s unconditional love, women in the US are not receiving the support that so many other advanced countries are providing to families. All I can hope is that Ian always knows how much his mommy loves and misses him and his sweet smile every second of every day. And that this is me doing the absolute best that I can for him and our family.” — Megan Ann // @meganann.822
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