Monday, April 14, 2008

Is there a real balance?

I found class today to be extremely interesting and it raised important issues. It was apparent that individuals were persuaded on whether they wanted to stay-at-home with their kids if their parents had and vice versa. This holds true in my life. Both my parents worked and while I was in middle school my mom actually went back to school to get her masters degree while working full-time and raising three daughters. If that is not balance, I am not sure what else is. My mom is amazing and because of her, she has taught me that I can achieve whatever it is I want - as long as I prioritize and use discipline.

I actually called my mom after class and asked her if she ever considered being a stay-at-home mom and she said, "No, but I did take an extended maternity leave. I had my usual 6 month maternity leave and then I got an extra 3 (paid) weeks only because I did not take any days off. I saved all my vacation days so I could use them later. Then, I convinced your dad (my dad was worried about money) that she was going to take an additional month off (unpaid) to spend more time with the girls."

After speaking with my mom, I believe the government should intervene with regulations (assistance programs/paid time off/something similar) that help parents . My mother should not have had to save all of her vacation days to use that...even though it was her choice. I understand that many believe that you would not have the work ethic that you have now, but that assistance would allow your mother/father to be rewarded in some way for the work they constantly do. Comments?


Blogger Abbey Stemler said...

I agree 100%. I believe that if employees were given mandatory time off the American outlook on work ethic would change. If it became "socially acceptable" to take a week off away from the office to spend time with your kids, then more parents and children would be able to spend time together.

I am glad you talked to your mom. I haven't talked to mine recently about work/life balance, but I do believe that my parent's strong work-ethic, worry about money, and desire to provide for me and my sister led them to work too much. It also made them lose sight of what is reasonable, and I would suggest, reduced their ability to relax and enjoy life. If we had policies in place like EVERY OTHER industrialized countries, then taking time off would not be considered a "slacker" move or a move that could interfere with someone's ability to put food on the table.

10:55 AM  

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