Hi there nesstie,
A friend of mine is rejoining the workforce soon, four months after having her beautiful baby girl. She was only offered get unpaid parental leave during this period due to both a reductive company policy and a state system that doesn't make paid leave easy and accessible for new parents and caregivers, thereby failing them in the process,. It’s no wonder millions of women left the workforce in just the last year alone, or are returning to work before they’re mentally and physically well enough.
Right now, my friend is in the process of looking for a part-time, local babysitter, which she describes as “a fucking nightmare.” Finding someone she can trust and is safe and responsible (and vaccinated) in these times is trying on its own. Add on the anguish that comes with the awareness that your only two options are finding a stranger to look after your baby or being a stay-at-home parent out of necessity (if, of course, you have a partner whose income is sufficient to support your family).
Caregivers—whether you’re supporting your child, an elderly parent, a differently-abled loved one, or yourself and your partner after losing a child—deserve the WORLD. They are the pillars of a healthy, able community. Companies should value that in the form of paid leave and flexible working conditions (not well wishes).
In the absence of these policies and work cultures… do any nessties reading this have advice for a new parent navigating the draining and often lonely journey of finding help as they return to work?
Asking for a friend,
Melanie, editor at The Nessie