the problem with maternity leave as it stands

I don’t know about any of you, but I was naive enough to think that after child-birth everything would go back to normal. I could go to beach and swim, exercise, in general would be able to do anything I could do before.

Low and behold, that was not the case. The first two days I felt like I got hit by a truck and when I started to feel better physically, I came down with a child-birth related infection. I am now 4 weeks postpartum and still being reminded of things I can’t or shouldn’t do. I am not complaining – my body created life – in short, a miracle, a beautiful and amazing child that I can’t imagine life without. Recovery time is understandable and necessary. But I am reminded now that in 8 more weeks, I am supposed to return to work. For another 2 weeks, I am still 100% limited on certain activities. At my next doctor’s appointment, they can determine that I still need more time to heal, etc. The gist that I have gotten from mothers – in about 2-3 months things start to feel back to normal but it can continue for as long as a couple of years depending on your unique situation.

The guaranteed maternity leave of employers with 50 employees within a 75 mile radius, the Family Medical Leave Act is 12 weeks. That is, in 12 weeks from your last day at work, you can return and expect to receive the same salary and an equivalent job. During those 12 weeks however, you are not paid and if you are on the company health insurance you have to pay for that out-of-pocket.

We as a nation, as a community, are telling mothers that 1. you can take 12 weeks off, if you are able to forgo your expenses for that time and 2. just when you are starting to feel like you again and starting to get the routine of parenting your child, we are saying, stop all that and go back to work. Now this is only if you are lucky enough to be at a job that is mandated to give you the FMLA. Forget about if you work for a small shop with a few employees. You probably will either lose your job or be forced to deny your child the parenting they should receive.

12 weeks is not enough. A guarantee of your job/salary is not enough. We can and should do better than this.

Putting yourself out there

Hello Everyone,

In the midst of trying to figure out my life, this blog has been on the back burner for the last few days because I was working to create my website for my Virtual Assistant business. Because I am trying to be savvy, I started with GoDaddy domain purchasing and hosting. I built my professional website using website builder from GoDaddy. Any suggestions? (Especially from those in the Virtual Assistance world?)

From everything I have read about this career choice, it is so important to put yourself out there and network. Part of the reasoning behind this blog is it being another way for me to get out there and network on the web. As part of my journey, I have also joined several Facebook groups and purchased a book called The Bootstrap VA.

Click here to visit The Bootstrap VA. This book has  been extremely helpful to me in starting out in the Virtual Assistant world. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested! I will talk more about this book in a later entry.

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Moving along, I have had a very lovely holiday weekend!

We went out on Saturday for a friend’s birthday brunch at Neely’s Barbeque Parlor. Excellent food and service. I definitely recommend taking a group there!

On Saturday evening in celebration of Valentine’s Day, my fiancé and I made surf and turf for dinner.

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How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? How was your Holiday Weekend (for those of us in the U.S.)?

Thanks for reading!

questioning my existence (in my current work environment)

There isn’t much worse than working your ass off and feeling like no one noticed or appreciated it. I fell into the non-profit industry mostly by accident. I have asked myself over the last year and a half, why am I still here?

rest assured

Making a difference? Sure. Helping those less fortunate? Yes. But I realize that I don’t have to work here to do those things. I could always do them on my own. and I have done them in the past in variety of ways before I was even in the working world.

Now I am in the position of thinking about how I will take care of my child in the future and the way I have been treated at work combined with my overwhelming desire to stay at home with him or her makes me question my future at this current job or at any job where I can’t work from home most days.

I need to find a way where I can be in charge of my own work flow, feel appreciated, and take care of what is and will be number 1 to me, my baby. Thus, I have discovered the world of Virtual Assistance-ship.

My experience working in a very small non-profit, if you haven’t done so yourself generally makes you a jack of all trades. I do everything from entering gifts, writing sending acknowledgement letters, soliciting donors, planning events, editing, writing, e-mail client use, social media, mailing, stewardship, vendor relations, researching prospects, public relations, confidential filing, working with wills, trusts, estates, stock gifts, etc.

I think this could translate well into a VA career. What do you think? Thoughts? Advice? Comments? Please leave below.