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 case...............so 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.
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 http://www.momsrising.org/ which looks like they are advocates for these issues too. Well there is my rant. :)