FML-Absurd

I had a horrible dream the other night that I was pregnant again.

NOOOOOOOOO!

Why so horrible? After all I had a pretty easy pregnancy (all things considered) and hope there’s time in my biological clock to have another. The problem is the FMLA, aka the Family Medical Leave Act, that enables women to take time off (unpaid) to have their baby for up to 12 weeks and have their job guaranteed. FMLA really should stand for:  Federal Men Lack Awareness, Frustrated Mothers Lose Atrociously, or Fetus Might Live Alone… you get the point.

Here’s the problem. The FMLA only allows you to take advantage of leave every 12 months on a rolling basis. So my recent maternity leave ended July 1, 2013, I would not be allowed to start another leave until July 2, 2013. If my dream were to be accurate (and it’s not), I would be due in April 2014, 3 months before I would be permitted to take another leave of absence. So it would be up to my employer to decide whether or not I was valuable enough to keep on board for another maternity absence and I would have no federal protection for my employment.

This stuff makes me a little crazy. Where is the Religious Right when I need them? For all they go on about “Family Values” we don’t have many safeguards in place to protect mothers, or aspiring-mothers, in the work place. Even the crappy pay you get on maternity leave (if anything at all) is called ‘short term disability’. Hello? I was not disabled, I had a BABY.

Our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle need to wake up and realize that many mothers do actually have to work outside of the home and we need to protect these mothers so they can find the balance they need to raise their children, be a valuable employee and pay their bills. We all can’t be [insert wealthy white politician’s wife name here]. Plenty of families in this country depend on the paycheck mommies bring home, and more and more frequently that paycheck is more than daddy’s. You don’t want us to have abortions but you don’t want mothers to be able to actually provide for our families either. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways, Misters.

Can’t we do better? Looks like I am about to send another donation to Emily’s List. In the meantime, my dream better not come true.

Posted in WTF

Three Months In.

All good things must come to an end. Like maternity leave.  After about 13 weeks I went back to work this week and Baby B. was downgraded to day care. It has been a really tough week adjusting to the change of pace for both of us.

I really like the day care we picked and I am confident that baby B is well care for and adored by his care providers. But nothing can replace his mamma….right? RIGHT? Each evening he has come home simply exhausted and a bit fussy, surely from all the extra stimulation he is getting all day long surrounded by other kids and adults.  At least that’s the story I am telling myself, and not that he has lost interest in me and Damir and no longer wants to laugh and play with us at home in the evenings.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t yearn to hold him all day long. I do. Thank goodness at least I love my job and the people I work with. If I didn’t, I can’t imagine how I would bear the separation. Though at the same time it’s weird. Back at my old desk in my old routine sometimes its like he never happened. Baby? What baby? Was it just a beautiful dream? I am thankful that it was approved for me to work part of the week at home. I actually get more work done in my quiet space and I get to spend an extra 2 hours a day with the baby that would otherwise be spent commuting to/from the city.

Three months in, I have to report that this whole motherhood thing is so much more than I expected. It is really all-consuming. I have turned in to one of those annoying women who only wants to talk about her angel of a kid. Ask me if he sleeps all night! Ask me how much he eats! Ask me how big he is! I could talk about the little guy all day long. My friends are going to start unfriending me soon from Baby B photo overload BUT I CAN’T STOP MYSELF.

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Three Months Already!