Better Maternity Leave in the United States

Tonight I’m revealing one of my true life passions: better maternity leave options in the United States. Most people would think my passions lie with breastfeeding because of the popularity of my Mama’s MilkBox but while I personally enjoy and promote breastfeeding (when it’s an option), my real purpose (outside this fun I’m having with Maternity Girl and Mama’s MilkBox) is to leave the United States (ie, when I die; sorry for being morose) in a better state so that my daughter, her friends and my son’s wife feel like they have better options.

I have done some reading (I would like to do more) on Canada and how/when their 1 year maternity leave came to fruition. Surely we can do the same here in the United States, yes? But in the little research I’ve done, I’ve realized the key concept is something called their “EI” – Employment Insurance. I haven’t come across such thing in the United States but it’s fascinating and with all the insurance and politics we have here, I’m wondering, “Why not?” and “Could we?”

EI is something you buy in to according to what I’m reading here. I’m thinking it’s almost like a savings plan – and I kind of like that. It might also be like an insurance that is half paid by the employer and half paid by the employee. But before I think about it further, I’m also thinking about misconceptions we might have here in the United States based on what we hear about Canada. For example, I have heard (and previously thought), “Canada will pay 1 year full salary and guarantee your job after you have a baby.” Like all things I hear, I want to read it/find it for myself and since I’m realizing we might want to stop comparing *exactly* as we do (with potential misinformation because I haven’t exactly found that), I’m wondering of United States Moms:

1. Would you buy into Employment Insurance if you could have a year at home with your baby (with potentially reduced income, but income nonetheless) and

2. How do you think we make it happen?

I have talked to (almost/maybe) 1000 Moms and the one thing I am certain of is that most Moms are ready to return to work after 12 months (myself included). After my first child, I felt I had given him as much as he needed and quite frankly he was so independent that I felt bored/useless at times. But I do think babies need us the most during their first year of life and if I can make that happen, well then hey, I’m in. I love my babies and I love being their Mom but I’m really into helping too and making my community/world a better place. So help me. What do you think of my 2 questions above? Let’s get the party started …