So much has changed in recent decades -- the influx of women into the workforce, modernizing gender roles, new family structures -- and it makes no sense that our laws haven't kept up with social and economic change. In the second decade of the 21st century, why are we still living by Leave it to Beaver rules?
There's a huge have/have-not divide between moms who receive paid maternity leave and moms who only receive either Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time (12 weeks of unpaid leave, which is mandated for companies with 50 or more employees and applies to about half of U.S. workers) or no job-guaranteed time away from work.
When Australia passed a parental leave law in 2010, it left the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newbor...
Maternity leave isn't a luxury (or it shouldn't be). It isn't a vacation during which women eat bonbons, watch TV and hit the spa. It isn't restful, peaceful or relaxing. It's a necessary time to reorient, heal, figure things out and learn how to keep this little person you just gave birth to alive.