Monday, October 27, 2008

Amazing party

So Em's party turned out pretty amazing, but I was so busy I feel like I ignored so many people. When you send out invitations you can normally count on getting half of the people you invited. I sent out 25 invites and got 26 kids?!?!!!! CRAZY HUH? Imagine 26 kids running a muck in your house. The mad scientist we hired was a huge hit, and the kids loved the Carmel apples I made them. Luckily I had made 25 apples just in yes I was 1 short.............but one little girl had a carmel allergy and couldn't have hers. So here is Emily in her "Zombie Cheerleader" glory...ha.

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So let's talk about maternity leave in this country because I go back to work on Monday. I was reading an article in Baby Talk, and the statistics amazed me. I have had 8 weeks maternity leave, and my job was good about everything. Although, did you guys know that the US is 1 of only 5 countries that does not provide a longer and PAID maternity leave??? (That's out of 174 countries...sad huh?). The other three are very very poor countries, and the fourth....well it's Australia and they require 12 months off unpaid with small lump sum payments. That's a lot more than the US...... you know what we give?? 12 weeks unpaid, and that is only for employers that have over 50 employees. While traveling through my difficult pregnancy journey I found several support forums that had a long list of women from different countries. Most had paid healthcare, and long paid maternity leaves. France has 16 weeks paid, Norway has 42 weeks full pay, my friend in the Netherlands had a long time off too. Granted their healthcare isn't as nice as ours at times, but no one is left out and everyone has care. It is proven that babies who have more time with their mothers are less violent, and develop better physically and emotionally, and also carry a lower mortality rate. Although, 70 percent of women in this country have to work and have to return to the workforce and leave their children. Now some truly enjoy their careers, and I am not bashing them by any means to each his own. So then we debate on what the cure is. Is it to refrain from having children unless you can stay home? That's a bit ridiculous. Plus, our country also has social stipulations put on us that require college, etc and that requires money. I love America, but there are some things I think need changed. Our healthcare, our prison system, and maternity leave... yet I have heard the first two mentioned in the current presidential debates, but not the third. Plus, let me just mention that by the time you pay for decent healthcare, and decent childcare it takes most of what you make at a job. I am lucky and have a family member to take care of Jude. Don't even get me started on our prison system. Maybe if we were more like Amsterdam etc, and didn't provide nice places (prisons) for people to go then they would not do the crime in the first place. Basically they also believe if you do the crime you do the time and there is NO probation! So basically people avoid criminal activity there.

So what to do? How do we improve our healthcare system, and our family leave? I did find this website which looks like they are advocates for these issues too. Well there is my rant. :)


Dawn D. said...

I read the same article and was just commenting to my husband about it. Canada gets 1 year paid. I was watching Regis & Kelly the other week when I heard that one. By the time this country catches up, I'll be a grandmother. :o(

I go back to work Dec. 1 and will be having my neighbor who does daycare across the street from me watch Tommy. My 13 year old will be able to go over after school to check on him, but I know I'm just going to miss him to death even though I love my job...

A year off would have been much better. I asked my husband if he wanted to move... ha ha.

Cjengo said...

Lol, I saw that episode and asked my husband the same thing :)

Karen said...

Well, one thing is that we all DO have access to healthcare, we just have to PAY for it. So, most of us either don't get it or just get it when we absolutely can't do without it any longer, putting us at risk for greater health problems. On the other hand, people in the US who are on gov. assistance and get their healthcare free are the ones clogging the system by going in to see the doctor for colds but NOT getting adequate care during pregnancy, another way of draining the system dry. I won't even mention people that don't have permission to live here who are getting free healthcare at our expense (and then I can't even pay for my kids teeth cleanings without putting it on a credit card).
It definitely needs to be changed in a way that would benefit all of us Americans.

Cjengo said...

I agree with you 100% Karen. Something needs to be done.