Friday, October 9, 2009

Stressful news

This week things got kind of stressful. Thank god I've been feeling ok physically because the emotional stress was really bad.

First, I met with HR and confirmed the abysmal maternity leave policies of my employer. Well, actually, every employer in the US. This country is truly barbaric when it comes to maternity leave policies. 6 weeks at 60% pay and thereafter unpaid? Not so easy for a single mom. My workplace used to pay 100% (which is actually very unusual) but changed the policy last July (yep, just when I got preggers) because of the financial crisis. It's just depressing. But I've decided that I will still take as much time as possible, even if it means asking to borrow money from family members or going into my savings. I will never get this time back with my newborn child. I'm not taking him to daycare at 6 weeks (hell no). I think I can stretch to about 4-1/2 months if I cash in on sick time, vacation, and a maybe a loan or two. Of course I would like to have even more than that.

I wish I lived in England. Or Canada. Or France. New moms have it really good there.

The second source of stress is that my supervisor at work received the terrifying news that there is a mass in her lungs. She's going into surgery next week and will be out for 6 weeks. It's extremely scary, and the first word that comes to mind is cancer, of course. Which means this could be just the beginning of her trials. She is someone I care about--a lot--and the thought is truly horrifying. She is only about 55, with a child in her last year of college.

In addition to the emotional stuff, this adds other stresses to my life because I will be heading the department in her absence. I need to keep a pact with myself that I will say no to extra work if I need to. I really can't be overdoing things, and I MUST take the best possible care of myself. (I am writing this down as a kind of contract, because I am REALLY bad at saying no at work).

Yep, it was one of those weeks when things didn't seem quite so easy.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Jo, sounds like you did have a stressful week.

If it makes you feel any better, getting 60% pay while out is better than what I would get. I'm pretty sure I get state disability only which is less than $200 per week. And my $50+ medical insurance premium has to come out of that. I completely agree with you - some other countries do have better benefits!

I hope your supervisor's surgery turns out okay. And I hope you do say no to that extra work and take care of yourself!

Billy said...

So sorry, having only 6 weeks (and at 60%) sucks.
Hope supervisory will be o.k, and that you DO say no at work when needed.

Demeter said...

I was not employed at the time I got pregnant so that meant, no maternity leave for me in Canada, but I rented out my house, moved in with my family (who helped me out tremendously) and was able to stay with my son for almost one full year, so I could take close care of him. Nothing compares to that and even though I am in debt (took a second mortgage on my house) I do not regret it. This time with your child never comes back!

cmay said...

I was lucky. I got 6 weeks at full pay, but that was 6 years ago--before the banks folded and all the finacial woes that happened recently. It SUCKS that you suffer in this most special time with your baby. I took all my saved up vacation and was able to put off going back to work when he was nearly 5 months. My advice is do whatever you can to stay at home with your baby. No matter the debt, you will never regret taking the time.

cmay said...

And I pray that your supervisor finds her way back to health very soon.