As I prepare to return to work in a week and a half, this article makes me shudder. As the author states, "A mother should never have no choice but to leave her infant with a stranger at 3 months old if that decision doesn’t feel right to her."
pear / 1770 posts
I read this right before bed last night, which was a bad choice. Such a horrible story that reveals so many issues with the US' abysmal support of babies and new families.
GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts
I read this a few nights ago and seriously ALLTHETEARS. Such a tragedy and makes me so sad about the state of maternal support in the US.
pineapple / 12566 posts
This is such a sad story. I feel so incredibly thankful that I was able to stay at home for as long as I wanted with both of my children. I wish every woman had the ability to make that choice.
hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts
I read this the other day and felt it was so beautifully written by this woman who lost her child. I cannot imagine what pain she must have felt but am impressed she was able to write this after everything she went through.
We went through the exact same things she and her husband did "what can we do to make this work?" In the end, nothing. I went back to work because we needed my paycheck.
We really need to do something more for mothers in our country. I would love to see a change before my daughter is a mother someday.
persimmon / 1188 posts
This is so upsetting. I left my son with family so it was a little easier but still felt unnatural. We could survive on one income but there are a lot of other factors and there's just no way it made sense for me to stay home. A longer leave would have been so nice.
I also worry that sometimes it seems like lower income moms have to go back sooner, and also may not have the best childcare options available, so after reading this story, that's a terrifying thought.
grapefruit / 4066 posts
That was heartbreaking to read I wish I could stay home a few more months but not sure if it's possible. It's so sad that so many mothers don't have a choice, I really hope that our maternity leave laws change for the better
pomelo / 5220 posts
Blah. I read this yesterday... our leave policies in the US suck so bad. And there are so many sketchy daycares out there, its terrifying!!
pomegranate / 3314 posts
I remember seeing this story on the news back when it happened and I was home with my newborn, feeling extremely lucky to be able to stay home with him. The lack of support for working families in this country is absolutely abysmal and I don't even know what it would take for meaningful change to happen.
grapefruit / 4278 posts
I read this in an airport a few days ago... such a mistake. Then I read the comments section and lost my faith in humanity. Never read the comments section.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
That is so, so, so sad. I can't imagine being buried by the "what ifs" for the rest of your life. That sweet baby boy
I def remember that when it was time to go back to work after 12 unpaid weeks, it wasn't so much that I wasn't ready; DD wasn't ready! She had barely come out of the 3rd trimester. I really think that if I wasn't forced to leave my baby and pump, our nursing relationship could've gone on for longer.
I keep saying that I feel like I'm being punished to have a child. I hope too that one day, that won't be the case.
cantaloupe / 6885 posts
That is heartbreaking. I can't imagine going back to work at 3 months, let alone 6 weeks like a lot of American moms have to. I really hope some positive parental leave changes are coming soon to the U.S.
kiwi / 556 posts
This comment has been deleted by the original poster.
honeydew / 7303 posts
Ugh. I just can't imagine the heartbreak. I am crying thinking about my baby boy. I think her son was born around the same time as mine. Such a horrendous tragedy.
I hate reading things like this even though it was a truly beautiful article. It send my anxiety into overdrive.
pear / 1837 posts
I read this earlier in the week and my heart broke. We should have a year long maternity leave, end of story.
cantaloupe / 6630 posts
Beyond heartbreaking. Those poor, poor parents and sweet boy. I really hope something changes soon to at least give parents the choice to stay home for just a few months more.
apricot / 443 posts
I worry so much about staying home because financially there's no way my husband can save for my retirement in addition to his own. But we literally cannot afford daycare where we live so I quit my job and I love SAH so much, I feel so much for this woman. I can't even imagine. I really hope she is in a place where she can heal.
apricot / 343 posts
I didn't read the article because I'm trying to avoid getting drawn into the hole of sadness
But I think there are two separate issues:
-Access to affordable, high-quality daycare. (Certainly no one should have to choose daycare that puts their child in danger!)
-Paid maternity leave, which I think has lots of benefits for mother and baby and would be a valuable investment for society but shouldn't be about the physical safety of the child.
I went back to work after 5 months and felt completely comfortable with leaving the baby at her childcare. I could take a long leave (mostly unpaid) because I have a job where employees are valued enough to not want to loose them and we earn enough to sacrifice a bit of income; and we can afford really excellent childcare when we need it. But I know that both a long leave and good quality childcare are not available to everybody in the US, which sucks.
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
No mother should have to endure what the author endured, never.
The solution is so complicated, it's like 1 million things need to be addressed in order for things to fall into place for extended maternity leaves. For starters, we'd have to uncouple the employment/affordable health insurance coverage link. Before that can happen, the cost of health care has to be reformed. There are so many "before thats" IMO, that I worry we'll never get there.
wonderful clementine / 24134 posts
So incredibly sad. I guess I do wonder though, what's the "right" length of leave? When is it "safe" to leave your child?
kiwi / 545 posts
I skimmed the article - it was beautifully written but all too tragic and real. The pain of last year when a 4 month old who died at my son's daycare just came back - I can only imagine what this family and the one in the article went through/is going through.
3 months leave is really not enough. I think babies are too young and mothers are not ready to return (for the most part). At least, I was not ready to go back.
pear / 1703 posts
I too want to express my sadness for mothers that have to return to work when their babies are still so tiny. I am incredibly grateful to live in Canada and be afforded the ability to stay home with my babies. I didn't even leave the house until six weeks post partum with LO and even that was a major struggle! My heart goes out and hope things change in the US sooner rather than later.
nectarine / 2086 posts
@looch: I feel the same way. I worry we will never see real change in this area, or not for a very long time.
cantaloupe / 6669 posts
This article broke my heart as well. Beyond the obviously tragedy of the story, I thought this was a really great point: "Parental leave reduces infant death, gives us healthier, more well-adjusted adults and helps women stay in the workforce. If we truly valued the 47 percent of the work force who are women, and the value of our families, things would look different. Mothers could go back to work after taking time off to recover physically from birth and bond with their young children. Health care could be available to bridge that return to work so that our children could get their wellness checkups and vaccinations."
Parental leave isn't just nice. It's been shown to be better for society!
@T.H.O.U.: I know. I wrestled with the same thing. I think when a child is old enough to be beyond the risk of SIDS is one answer. LO was older when she started daycare and I loved & trusted her teachers completely. Still, I feel like until she can communicate well enough to tell me what happened to her at school and answer questions, any time she is not in my care I will feel nervous. I SAH now and I get a little nervous with the gym daycare for 50 minutes.
My mom put my brother in part-time daycare for socialization when he was 3 and when she picked him up early she found him hiding in his cubby and ignored by the teachers. When she asked him why he didn't tell her that he didn't like it there, he told her he thought she wanted him to go.
honeydew / 7235 posts
Ugh I saw this shared on FB, my baby is 6 weeks and I go back in 6 weeks and I can't even bring myself to open and read this article
My company also extended the maternity leave 3 weeks ago for another month; but since I'm already out I don't qualify. I can't even talk about how frustrating it is.
apricot / 490 posts
@T.H.O.U.: The research in this article says about 40 weeks and that felt right for me too: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/12/maternity_leave_how_much_time_off_is_healthiest_for_babies_and_mothers_.html
grapefruit / 4418 posts
@ldh112: I personally think it's important to stay away from the it's unlicensed issue here. In some states, unlicensed doesn't mean illegal. Also, I know plenty of licensed daycares that are not all that great and are allowed to continue operating despite multiple violations. In my state, where being unlicensed is illegal, you would think licensing would mean high quality but it just doesn't. I think ultimately this child died of SIDS and very likely could have happened at home, too. Maybe if the provider was up to date on CPR and performed it correctly it would have charged the outcome but maybe not. I just don't think unlicensed means low quality, bad and dangerous and licensed means good and safe and high quality. I think focusing on it takes away from the real issues that need to be addressed.
persimmon / 1316 posts
So heartbreaking. I had 4.5 months off and it still felt way too soon. My lo only goes to daycare 2 days a week and it still feels like 2 days too many some weeks.
nectarine / 2086 posts
cantaloupe / 6669 posts
@buttermilk: Thank you for sharing this!
apricot / 320 posts
This article has been on my mind since I read it a few days ago. Some of the commentary I've seen has been heartless - arguing that she *did* have a choice, she could have chosen to live in a lower COL area, her husband could have looked for a more lucrative job with benefits, and so and and so forth. So much superiority and blame. The tragedy to me is that you can do everything "right" and find a job you enjoy, a great partner, reasonable financial stability, and you can still feel you have no "choice" where parental leave is concerned.
I feel very grateful to work for a company with a generous leave policy - 16 weeks. That's nearly unheard of in my circle of friends and acquaintances. But that still translates to a less than 4 month old infant who will need full-time care and a mom returning to the workforce who may be pumping, experiencing sleepless nights, etc. It does feel like the cards are stacked against us sometimes (both WOH moms and SAH parents who make great financial sacrifices to do so). I hope the visibility of stories like this one will fuel more change across the board.
kiwi / 556 posts
@catomd00: I understand and agree with your perspective. I removed my original comment and will save that conversation for another place and time.
pear / 1703 posts
@buttermilk: I just went back and read the comments on the article. Yikes, some people are harsh.
olive / 62 posts
My husband and I run a small business (under 10 employees) and we offer four months paid maternity leave -- one month before due date and three months after. I used to think that was generous, but not now that I've had my first baby. Even if she weren't fussy/high needs, I don't know that I would have felt comfortable leaving het in someone else's care. Thankfully, I was able to work parttime from home.
I would love to offer our employees six months' leave... Or more. But it's so hard with a small business, where all the positions are critical and hard to fill. Our two sales people are both women of childbearing age. They have 5+ years ecperience selling our products. If we lost both to maternity leave, we'd be out of business.
apricot / 490 posts
The mother and father of the baby who passed were interviewed on my favorite podcast. They also have happy news about their new addition. http://www.wnyc.org/story/amber-scorah-lee-towndrow-death-sex-money
honeydew / 7504 posts
@T.H.O.U.: Agreed. I got 12 weeks with both kids. With my son (now 3) that was the perfect amount. With my daughter (now 5m) it was too long. She was not an easy baby and I was losing my mind being home with her. Had I not gone back to work when I did, I would have spiraled into PPD. NOT AT ALL saying that PPD is the end of the world, because I know it's not, but PPD can be a slippery slope. So I'm not sure that forcing women to stay out of work for 12 (or 40!) is the right thing, either. I think what's "right" is very subjective. I like that in some countries you get a year to take however you choose. I would have loved to have had the option to go back to work at 8 or 9 weeks, then taken another few weeks off later in the year.
nectarine / 2433 posts
@littlebug: In Canada at least we are entitled to a year but there are some restrictions. The first 17 weeks is for the exclusive use of the mother and is the "maternity" portion of the leave. The remaining 35 weeks can be split between the mother and father but you can not return to work and then go back off later. In our case I was off for 5 months with our daughter, had a very similar experience to yours with my DD.
My SO took the remaining time off.
We could have overlapped our leave to both be off for some portion of the time but since you are not being paid at 100% (in my case it was only earning 53% of my salary) this can be a costly option.
I bow down to you ladies in the US who are sometimes only getting 6 weeks of leave it is not enough
pomegranate / 3391 posts
That article was like a punch in the gut. My heart breaks for her and her husband and their sweet boy. I remember the feelings of anxiety and vulnerability as a new parent. No one should be forced into that choice, as the author writes.
For the millionth time, I weep and shake my fists at the US's inhumane lack of parental support, universal healthcare, etc. Shame on us.
apricot / 386 posts
I wondered why this article was coming up back now. I found a more recent interview with the author, and she's 6 months pregnant with a baby girl. I can't imagine their pain, but it somehow makes me feel a little better that they have decided to have another child. http://www.wnyc.org/story/amber-scorah-lee-towndrow-death-sex-money/
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
So incrediby sad & every parent's worse nightmare. I went back to work today and have to leave LO with my mom tomorrow. I'll be thinking of him all day.