Negotiate for a Better Maternity Leave

IMaternity-Leave-Proposalt’s no secret that maternity leave benefits in the US are lacking.  You know it’s bad when our own President fronts us out.  To quote him directly, “the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.”  But, we can’t let that get us down because bringing a child into this world is one of, it not THE most rewarding and important thing we can do to in our lifetimes.

The good news is that even when you think the deck is stacked against you and you’re concerned that you won’t get a fair shake when you ask for maternity leave, there are experts out there who have successfully helped women to not only get a fair maternity leave but also a great maternity leave.  Today I would like to introduce you to an expert in this area, Pat Katepoo.

Pat has been a work options advisor since 1993 and her website Work Options has been online since 1997. Thousands of busy professionals have found answers and relief through her services.  Pat says, “Women aren’t socialized to negotiate and so they are less inclined than men to ask for what they need or want. And research shows that often women fail to see their options or even think to ask for them.   So maybe you don’t know what you don’t know.”  Pat can help you see your options and ask for them.

Whether you choose her do-it-yourself guides or her personal services by phone you get practical help negotiating various work options to make your life calmer and easier. Options such as job flexibility, a fabulous pay raise, and more maternity leave and other time off.

Please take a few moments right now to visit Pat at WorkOptions by clicking any of the links in this post.  I really think she’s the best in this subject area and definitely the most experienced.  I always keep a link to her site on the side of my blog posts because I think her services are so valuable to working women.  I’m an affiliate for Pat’s tools and resources so each purchase you make drops a few coins in the bucket to fund The Maternity Leave Coach, so “thank you” in advance.

 

Who’s Your Daddy and Why is He on Paternity Leave?

I just read a great article at Forbes.com about paternity leave and it’s benefits for babies, dads, AND moms.   I’m just curious… do you work with anyone who’s taken a full paternity leave?  In my experience new dads usually take about a week of vacation and they make sure to tell everyone they’re using vacation days just to be sure everyone knows they’re not milking the system for paternity leave.

Wouldn’t it be cool for a dad to say with pride, “I am taking the full benefit of my paternity leave (or FMLA) because becoming a new dad is awesome and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.”  I would venture to say that most new dads definitely feel that way but there are pressures (real or unspoken) to be at work or available for work 24/7.  Especially if the new dad is anxious about being the provider, anything that might rock the boat at work doesn’t seem like a good idea right around the time you’re adding to your family and have another mouth to feed.

So, the pressure keeps some dads from taking time off for the new baby. Are there stereotypes about what dad will do while he’s at home?  Like this promo photo from the classic 80’s movie “Mr. Mom”  Who wants to be this guy?

Mr. Mom

I’m just guessing that dads out there would rather think they’ll look like this (I guess moms wouldn’t mind either!)

David Beckham with Baby

Personally, nothing is more handsome, manly, responsible, mature and EMPLOYABLE than a man who takes care of his family.

What do you think?

Like Learning to Ride a Bike

This Labor Day weekend has been stressful.  Not because I had to work while everyone was off sunbathing by the lake but because I was off and decided to tackle a project that I really didn’t want to do.

That project?  Re-teaching my 8 year old son how to ride his bike.   Sounds easy because re-teaching should just take a gentle nudge, an encouraging word or a trip down memory lane to recollect about how he rode his bike last summer.  As a matter of fact, he rode his bike just two weeks ago.  But, two weeks ago he also fell off his bike (in the grass so don’t shed too many tears) and that led to the drama that we have experienced over the holiday.

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Summer Schedule’s Got Me Scattered

Hey working moms out there!  It’s been a lllloooooonnnnngggg time since I’ve posted on the blog.  Why?  No real valid excuse except that I’m all off kilter because we’ve done end of school, vacation and now we’re in the midst of summer camp.

End of school brings all sorts of meetings, awards ceremonies, parties and general chaos.   Vacation I can’t complain about because it’s wonderful!  Summer camp really throws me off my game.   Luckily I work a reduced work schedule so I’m still at work the same amount of hours for the week, but, the later start to summer camp pushes our day later, our dinner later, and our bedtimes later.  My son seems to adjust well since he can sleep a little later but for mom, it’s more time on the road driving both to and from school.

So that’s my bit of venting and to put it all into perspective, I only have one child!  I know a mom of six who has been doing summers for years so I shouldn’t be complaining.  But, I am admitting to you all now that I’m already stressing about how we’ll handle next summer.  We’ve got a good gig now because my son can go to the summer camp at his school but as he gets older he’ll want to go to the cool astronaut camp that only operates from 8:15 am – 1:13 pm or the underwater explorer experience at the aquarium that is Tuesday, Thursdays and third Saturdays from 2:12 pm – 4:44 pm.  Who can drive their kids back and forth with these crazy camp hours?  I’m so glad my work allows for me to adjust my schedule but it still has me tweaked out.

I’m thinking about hiring a college student next summer to drive him to camps and stay at home with him in between but that’s going to be a chunk of change.  I’m curious as to what other working moms do for summer kid care, so weigh in and let me know how you manage it all.