For Many Moms Leaving The Workforce After Having Kids Is NOT A Choice

Monday, October 3, 2016


"I've been told I can 'have it all,' but they forgot to tell me - I can't have it all at the same time."

-Sarah Hosseini, So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood

When I was considering going back to my job after maternity leave I knew I wanted a more flexible option. I worked in TV news which can be a profession filled with long hours and lots of overtime expectations. I knew I needed more time with my baby, but not forever. Certainly longer than the three months that my company was willing to hold my job for me.

The paid leave policies in this country are basically criminal. I got six weeks at full pay, two more at half (because I had a c-section) and the rest unpaid. Because THAT's maternity leave in this country if you work for a "good" company. When it came down to asking for a more flexible option at my job, I was told there was none. So I had to leave. It wasn't a choice. It was a forced decision. Women are choosing to opt out of the workforce, because they aren't being presented any viable options.

I was flabbergasted and disappointed in how easily having a child can throw a woman off of her tenure track. I was in my 20's, and just starting to climb the career ladder. How would gaps in my resume look at that point? How could I make a future potential employer understand that I took more time out to be with my baby than my maternity leave allowed? Was taking a time out to be a mom, to be with my newborn, a valid enough reason to bow out of the workforce temporarily?

Read my story about the search for having it all in motherhood, the realization that it will never happen, all while watching your career after kids crumble. How I picked up the pieces and built a better career outside of the mostly outdated and sexist corporate culture.



Read the stories of women who are all #sogladtheytoldme truths, lies and realities of motherhood.

The book is available now in paperback on Amazon!

2 comments:

  1. I don't even know what to say. The maternity leave situation in the USA is terrible, to say the least.

    I can't even imagine the stuggles new moms face when trying to decide whether or not they can live off of only one income, let alone single moms who do not have their partners incomes to rely on.

    In Canada, I believe the current rule is that you must have worked for the same employer for at least 7 months (and a certain number of hours) to qualify for maternity leave but then you get 55% of your wages (to a certain maximum amount - around $25000 I think) for up to a year. After going back to work at 8 months with my first, and 1 year and 2 weeks with my second, I can definitely say there was a huge difference in how easy it was to transition the kids into daycare if they had been older. I can't even imagine having to send a 3 month old to daycare, especially if you are breastfeeding.

    Something needs to change.

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