{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What is the maternity leave equivalent for ladies that don’t desire children?", "post_id": "61ede09dc9658e0034e69ccb", "reply_count": 145, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

What is the maternity leave equivalent for ladies that don’t desire children?

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I love that some of you all are talking about maternity leaves like they are smoke breaks. “BuT yOu ChOsE tO HaVE a BaBy!!” Good God. Listen, somewhere along the line, you were born. Your mom’s coworkers probably made some kind of sacrifice to support the precious little miracle of life that is you. So consider it your contribution back to society for being here today, exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide, working as a professional and posting on forums about how sometimes life isn’t fair in your eyes. Also, try to remember the totality of the circumstances that come with having a child. Yes, we (hopefully) were able to chose to have children. We also pay the price in our careers, as is evidenced by the fact that some people still think maternity leave is a cool little vacay. Side note: most of us end up working on our leaves anyway - covered in vomit, baby blowouts, tired as hell and super stressed. I mean, it’s not exactly Cabo, but it’s close.

likesmart

So a lot of places have paid family leave, rather than maternity leave (although it’s usually referred to as maternity). This allows people to take leave for various necessary family reasons. For instance, I know someone who used it to take care of an ailing parent who needed full time care. Or sometimes people use it when they have a medical reason to be out that normal sick time doesn’t cover (ie a colleague who had knee replacements or unfortunately for cancer treatment). I think THIS should be the norm. I understand sometimes it seems unfair that a life choice such as having a child enables one person to take time off of work, but that time off isn’t a vacation. People NEED that time off because you cannot possibly function with the lack of sleep, anxiety, and demands that a newborn puts on a parent. Having a child is absolutely a choice (most of the time). I have a one year old and just went through this (with no paid leave at my old employer). I went back to work after 6 weeks after having had a c section. Major surgery, after which doctors recommend 12 weeks of recovery time. If I had a colleague who had back surgery necessitating prolonged recovery time, that would have been covered by work, but because they offer no paid maternity (my current job has the paid family leave that covers multiple things), I had zero days covered. All this to say, I understand the thought behind the question and I can appreciate that it seems unfair that someone might get 8 weeks off for something that is a choice, but it’s not a vacation. It’s a necessity for a woman to heal and for both parents to bond with and keep alive the living sack of potatoes that requires pretty constant attention. Trust me when I say you don’t want a sleep deprived, hormonal, lactating mother working on a motion after having just given birth. And frankly, we should normalize men taking paid leave so they can bond and assist mom with the share of the burden. All of this to say, in short, I think prolonged paid leave for necessary medical recovery and family events (such as a sick parent or sibling or child) should be the norm. This would include maternity/paternity leave. And while it may seem that it’s unfair policy, sometimes policies aren’t about making sure every single person gets the exact same number of helpings of food. It should be about making sure everyone is taken care of and in a position to excel for the company. Trust me, as a new mom, I would love an actual vacation, but lately I have to use all my vacation days to take care of my daughter when day care is closed or she is sick. And that’s right, because it’s my choice, and I don’t begrudge my friend who just went skiing for a week. Hopefully, should you have need of a prolonged leave (ie longer than 2 weeks) to take care of a family member or because you have a prolonged illness or recovery from surgery, your job will give you the help and time you need. And maybe you can use paid parental leave to bolster why they should accommodate you, if they don’t.

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This.

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Here are some ideas of things you could do to get a few months off work: develop a serious chronic health condition, have a major surgery, find a sick family member who needs constant care, lose a really close loved one and take time for bereavement, grow and birth a human being that you can’t leave alone for more than 2 seconds and that won’t let you sleep for more than 2 hour stretches for months on end. Just some ideas. Oh you wanted a few months off to travel and do whatever the hell you want while in perfect health? Yeah no that’s not really a thing.

likefunnysmart

I DO understand that pregnancy is a serious health condition. I DON’T understand why mens’ pants pockets are so much larger than women’s.

likefunny

I’m interested in hearing what it would be for? If you’re stressed and need a break take mental health leave. The tone of the post almost implies that they aren’t doing anything, but their bodies underwent serious trauma and even if not the birth givers they are now responsible for keeping a tiny non communicative being alive. And I don’t even have kids yet. I can agree we make a lot of concessions for people with kids but it’s not without reason.

likesmart

O1 - I think you may be too stuck in the perceived offense of the argument to pick up on what was being said. 1) taking one for the team requires give and take. Where one group is disproportionately sollicited, that is an issue, no matter how justified the reason. 2) Not denying the trauma of birth, or need for recovery. I was born under communism - so the general context was very different and in some aspects better than what we are talking about today, (by all means bring out the pitchforks). What I alluded to widens a point that has been made a few years ago in an article I unfortunately can’t find anymore, in which it was argued that in particular women in high stress jobs are “penalised” by others having children/a push for more paternal implication & paternal leave, because their bodies in particular respond to stress differently, frequently through infertility - which, paired with parents being “given perks” (no matter how justified) can lead to resentment in the childless/free.

Why does this post come up every month? There is no “maternity” leave anymore: it’s disability followed by parental/family leave. So you can have major surgery, followed by being a primary caregiver for a family member (and change their diaper 8-10 times a day). That’s the equivalent. Stop pointing fingers at other women and blame the man for not giving you more time off.

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Having had maternity leave and medical leave - yeah. Closest I got to maternity leave was having a major major surgery where I was hospitalized for a week and unable to work for about a month while also working on my own mental health while raising a toddler (thankfully with a true partner). Neither was anything close to a vacation.

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Y’all don’t come for me. I’m literally advocating for paid sabbaticals with 0 stigma attached

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Your "tone" is so much more polite than my actual response which, of course, is not put into print. Suffice it to say I have never wanted children. Extended paid time off when you are not practicing law should be equal to employees.

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I’m not sure there is a (non) maternity leave equivalent for creating a human, pushing them out of your vagina (or undergoing surgery), and then taking care of them around the clock while you recover physically and mentally. Maybe what you’re looking for is a sabbatical?

likesmart

I really enjoy my life but nevertheless, things can always “look up.” Your good vibes are appreciated A5. A blessed 2022 to you as well.

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I totally support this question and don’t know why all the other comments are so negative! At my firm, paid maternity (or paternity, we don’t discriminate) leave is 6 months off work, then people work 75% hours for the first 6 months they’re back. Of course I know parenthood is work and not a “break,” but I don’t want kids so I’ll never be able to take that much time off work. I genuinely love my job (in NYC biglaw), but sometimes I do get jealous that people who have kids get huge chunks of time away from work and I never will. I think this is what the original poster is getting at and I totally agree.

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A7 comments are negative because so many mothers have to work so hard to combat the stereotype that they are not committed to their jobs and hoard “extra” supports when really things like holding your job for you while you recover from a medical procedure and caring for a family member who cannot care for themselves are supports available to everyone. It’s frustrating to have to combat those false ideas every day on top of all the other things we have to do.

likehelpful

This post is made every couple days. Y’all seriously — take an extended leave of absence and work on the bitterness.

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💯💯💯

Didn’t we just have one of these posts? As a woman who doesn’t want children, please stop equating everyone’s need for sabbatical to pursue rest / joy outside of work with parental / care-based leave. 😭

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I agree 100% Happy Monday, queen!

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I mean, a good chunk of us are the LUCKY ones to even have a paid maternity leave. There are poor women all over this country being forced to go back to manual labor two weeks after pushing a literal human out of their bodies. Google placental wound or any of the other shit we deal with after birth and you’ll realize how inhumane it is. If you’re feeling burned out or whatever, take some leave. If you have an actual medical issue, take disability. Maternity leave is so important. Paternity leave is equally important it. Without it, moms are left vulnerable and on their own at a time they need help the most. Let’s not equate it to the other things you’re suggesting.

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SA3, assume you’re then saying that only companies that provide paid maternity leave need provide comparable leave to those who choose not to have children? Because then we’re talking about a really small subset of employers.

FMLA leave for a mental health condition

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Medical leave

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Enjoying your evenings and weekends.

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True 😂😂

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Here’s what you meant to ask, it looks like: is it possible to take a couple of months off while getting paid? Not sure how maternity leave is relevant.

likesmart

A few years ago, I burned out and went to rehab for 9 months. It was awesome. #takemeback

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Not. Everyone. Has. The. Choice. To. Not. Have. Children. If your whole point is that every maternity leave is blessed with the joy of a child you wanted and prayed for, you are wrong. The mat leave equivalent is STD, FMLA, and other benefits for people who need to step away from their job for reasons that aren’t related to recovering from childbirth and caring for a child.

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Maternity leave is not different than any other medical or caregiving leave. Need to have a medical procedure that is similarly debilitating as giving birth? Take medical leave. Have a family member who is just as unable to care for themselves as a newborn? Take family leave.

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Currently on mat leave. No payments from my firm.

My apologies if this has been covered in a reply I missed above, but the amount of presumption on this thread is…thick. Folks, most firms don’t offer “maternity leave”. (Read that again please.) Want to know where the frustration to OP’s question is coming from? For most attorneys and other full time employees taking leave under FMLA after giving birth, a portion of the time off is paid through an employer-provided short term disability policy and typically only covered at a percentage of pay (like 60% for 6 weeks) like any other major medical event or surgery where you would take a medical leave. (If that employee wants full pay, they’ll need to seek out and buy their own supplemental policy before getting pregnant that will cover the gap.) Once that disability coverage is exhausted, any remaining time taken may be paid at 100%, but only to the extent the employee has any PTO time available. To the extent an employee exhausts that PTO time (assuming they have any PTO time), the remaining time off is unpaid. For fathers or those who become parents without undergoing the major medical event of giving birth, disability coverage won’t apply, so at most firms and other employers, any leave taken after the birth of their child would be covered only by any available PTO time (or unpaid if PTO is exhausted). So the outrage is that “maternity leave” in the US is largely a myth. Most employers don’t “give” women or other parents any paid leave (and the target of threads like this is always women). It’s disability and PTO — can we start calling it what it is so the offensive “how do I get extended time off like women get with maternity leave” questions will come to an end? Take disability leave if you qualify and PTO or unpaid leave if you don’t — that’s how you get time off like “maternity leave”.

likesmarthelpful

Unfortunately this post has been shut down for maintenance. 😞⚠️🚸

....a sabbatical?....to work on another project?

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