Maternity Leave - Should You Worry About Your Job?
I have a friend who will be going on maternity leave in a few months, and I know she is scared to death. She is happily married, but was not expecting to be a mom yet, and she wasn’t sure she was really cut out for it. She is now at peace with having a baby, and is becoming very excited. She is, however, a little worried about her job. She has a great job, and her position is sought after by many in her field. Though she knows what the laws are about leave, she is still worried something will happen and she’ll lose everything she has worked so hard for.
This is a common concern for women when going on maternity leave. Though the law is supposed to protect them, there are loopholes that women often fall through. This is a sad state of affairs, and it’s sad that it is such a worry here. Other countries offer more time than the US for maternity leave, and the women rarely worry about coming back and finding themselves replaced. They my still have a job, but it might not be the one they left. I understand that the twelve weeks often given for maternity leave is a long time, but that’s what temps are for. Someone can take over a position with the help of temporary workers, no matter what the position may be.
Maternity leave should be a happy time for women, and all they should be worrying about is getting to know the new little person in their life. I find it a shame that some women can’t enjoy this time as much as they should because they are facing the unknown. Some even cut their maternity leave short for fear of being replaced in their current position, and that is not good for the baby or for the mom. It causes heartbreak all the way around.
Until there are better and more thorough laws about maternity leave, women will live with the fear of not being able to go back to where they were. I understand that business is business, but there is something to be said for loyalty. Luckily, there are a lot of great companies out there who value their employees and maternity leave is just a blip on the radar. When it comes time for the new mom to come back, she is welcomed with open arms and can pick up right where she left off. If you work for such a place, consider yourself blessed!