Nicolette Dammacco: Should you be paid to be a stay-at-home mom?

aMotherhood.

Many say it’s the hardest job in the world but if that’s true, why is there no revenue that comes along with it?

There has been talk that stay-at-home moms should receive a base salary for having a child. This money would go toward childcare so the mother can still work, or toward groceries, healthcare and other needs so the mother could stay home and care for the child(ren) until the child(ren) are at an age of being able to attend school full-time.

The United States is one of the few countries that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act grants qualified employees 12 weeks unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a biological or adopted child (among other family and medical reasons).

But what are mothers to do after that one-year grace period?

bWhen women don’t receive paid maternity leave, they are more likely to drop out of the workforce, consequently losing income that benefits themselves and their families. Reversely, if a mother returns to work too quickly, it can be harmful to her and her baby’s health. There would be less time to bond with her child, an increased risk of postpartum depression, and less time to breastfeed— which is extremely beneficial for the baby’s health.

Only four states have publicly-funded paid maternity leave laws — California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. California offers up to six weeks, at 55 percent of the mother’s salary, New Jersey offers six weeks and two-thirds of their salary, and Rhode Island pays four weeks at 60 percent. Massachusetts’ law (which also included paternity leave) is a bit more complicated so I’ll just leave this here.

If paid maternity leave becomes a federal law, it will obviously have to be regulated because there are those who like to take advantage of opportunities like this, as well as those who may need more assistance due to disability issues, but it will undoubtedly be a change for the better.

 

 

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