My post from yesterday describing the struggles of working mothers and returning to the workforce after giving birth, received a lot more views and comments than I am used to. I was glad that my post was read and responded to by several mothers. One mom even pointed out that she quit her job because she had to use some of her 12 weeks of FMLA for bed rest before her baby came so she could not take off enough time after the baby was actually born. She tried to come back to work, but after a few weeks ended up quitting her job. Luckily, she was in a position to quit. For many moms, this is not an option.
Unfortunately, no incredible ideas have popped up yet in the comments section to help solve this dilemma of maternity leave. There are no easy answers to solve this.
This just goes back to what I have said in recent posts about having a job. When you are relying on employment for your entire livelihood, you are 100% at the mercy of the employer. The amount of time they will allow off after a major life event (such as having a child) is completely up to the employer (if the mother plans on keeping her job). If a mother insists on more time off, even taking it unpaid, she risks losing her job.
Since I have not yet become self-employed, I find it hard to preach how important this concept is. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. But I have a hope that I will get there. It often takes 10+ years to have "overnight success". The nights spent grinding after work hours and on the weekend takes time to pay off. But if you never try, you'll always be chained to that 8-5, at the mercy of your boss.
Being your own boss is not an easy answer either. But it is the only one I can think of so far to best ensure that you are not relying on your bosses permission to be there for your baby.