So you have baby fever, huh? FMLA has a prescription, but that prescription may not be enough & it certainly can’t be refilled…
“FMLA prescribes 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents but the average maternity leave often ends up being shorter. Approximately 70% of women report taking time off following pregnancy, with the average maternity leave lasting 10 weeks. Roughly half of new moms take at least five weeks of leave, while 25% take nine weeks or longer to stay home with a new baby”.
12 weeks are given, but 50% of new moms take only 5 weeks? Why? Here’s the most upsetting percentage to me, “16%–only take one to four weeks off work following childbirth”.
1 to 4 weeks? Ugh. We feel for those 16%!
Private Employers aren’t helping the situation either. “According to a 2018 Mercer survey, 40% of employers now offer some form of paid maternity leave, up from 25% in 2015”. 40% is good and we’re glad to see an increase even if it wasn’t that long ago.
Why do you think so many new mom’s end up cutting their maternity leave shorter that the FMLA standard 12 weeks?
1. They work for an employer that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. Emphasis on the paid.
3. Large monthly expenses.
Here’s why we love the FI/RE Movement…
Since paying off debt, increasing our monthly savings rate, and minimizing our monthly expenses while increasing our income has allowed us to fully fund Meredith’s maternity leave of 6 months. The FI/RE movement is more than just a set of numbers, percentages, or guidelines. Each step, each progression, each milestone achieved gives you the ability to spend YOUR TIME on things you want. When you manage your finances, you allow yourself the ability to be removed from employer standards & societal standards on how to use your time. Additionally, the burden of whether paid versus non paid maternity leave isn’t an issue. Having a plan financially puts you in the drivers seat and gives you control over your life.
Thanks to our RV Debt Free Journey, the FI/RE movement, & living minimally we can spend so much quality time with Eleanor through so many milestones in her life.