Pregnancy, childbirth and the ensuing days of caring for a
baby can be very challenging. However, we live in a society that
appreciates the importance of that time period and how involved
parents need to be during the early years. This has resulted in
very flexible maternity benefits and parental leave options and
benefits. Most companies or employers recognize the importance
of offering maternity benefits for their employees.
When I became pregnant for the first time, I was very sick and
did not deal well with pregnancy. I was working in a mailroom at
the time and this required to be on my feet for as long as
eight hours a day. I lasted a little over three months and then
found that I just had to get off my feet. I ended up taking a
job in a call center where I could sit for most of my shift
which was usually limited to four hours rather than eight.
By around the five month mark, I found that I was merely
dragging myself from bed to work and back again. The company
I was working for decided to lay off a lot of workers, so
I ended up
taking my maternity leave early, after which point I had decided
to become a stay-at-home parent. Unfortunately, I never received
any maternity benefits until three months after our son's birth.
This was due to a mistake on my Record of Employment stating
that I had quit, rather than been laid off.
By the time I had tracked down my previous employer and obtained
the corrected documentation, filled out the appropriate forms
and allowed time for them to be processed our son was three
month's old and we were in dire financial straits.
Finally, my maternity benefits kicked in and I received long
overdue payments much to our relief. I finished up my one year
of maternity benefits entitlement and continued on as a
stay-at-home parent until our son was two.
Five years later I was pregnant again, however this time, I
stuck it out and worked right up until my due date. That way
would have a full year of maternity leave after the new baby was
born. This time I was smart and had filed all the paperwork as
soon as possible. I had no difficulty being approved for
maternity benefits and received all payments promptly.
As it turned out, my husband opted to take a portion of the
maternity leave quota as parental leave. I had again decided to
be a stay-at-home parent during the early years of our
daughter's life, so a portion of the time was spent with both
parents at home. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also
provides for maternity benefits and maternity leave for
Families have many choices in maternity benefits today.
We are both very pleased with the maternity leave benefits
available to parents today and the opportunity this time has
afforded us to be the primary caregivers during our children's