When I became a mom, I realized that there is much to be desired when it comes to working conditions for working moms. Here’s my wishlist for making the lives of working moms easier, and to allow us to continue working without feeling guilty for leaving our little ones at home. Some of these I want, some I already have:
1. Longer maternity leaves: here in the Philippines, it’s 60 days maternity leave for normal birth and 78 days for caesarian delivery. I think this is too short! I remember that when I was nearing my due date, I had wanted to extend my maternity leave even without pay for 6 months, but my then-boss did not allow me to do so. What I did was I used all my VL credits, so I was able to stay home until my baby was 3 months old. But I want at least 6 months ML, because the present ML now is just not enough. Paging Congress…
2. Bosses who are more understanding: working moms and moms-to-be need considerate and understanding bosses, who understand how hard it is to work while pregnant/taking care of a young child. Working in our condition is difficult enough as it is; hence, no”bawal magbuntis dito sa office” comments, please!!! Especially not in front of clients! Aaarghh. And that also applies to letting us pump milk in peace in our office, especially if we’re doing our work naman in spite of the additional demands of pumping. And no comments on how we want to take care of our child; if we want to “baby” our baby, let us be. Different people have different parenting styles; I don’t comment on yours, so no comments on mine.
3. Opportunities to take care of ourselves and/or our babies without the boss making us feel guilty: we feel guilty as it is about leaving our kids with yayas the entire day just to work, so if we’re doing our jobs well, just let us be. Please also let the preggies take good care of themselves while working, because they don’t need additional stress, and they need to take care of themselves for their babies’ sakes. I recall the time when I was pregnant and the clients were not only being unreasonable but mean as well. It got to the point that I cried so hard that I felt my baby getting a bit agitated inside my tummy, and I felt so guilty for letting my baby experience that. After that I vowed not to let my baby go through the same experience again (hence I got another job :P). This also applies to not making your pregnant employee ride in the car with you the whole day to go to meetings if you are sick; even if she does not get sick, her baby will get the virus (which happened to me; I gave birth a few days after that germ-riddled joy ride and my baby ended up staying in the hospital for a week because he had pneumonia!).
4. Competent yayas: a competent yaya makes a world of difference in allowing us to go to work with virtually no worries about our child’s welfare while we’re away.
5. Supportive husbands: because we can’t handle everything ourselves, especially those first few weeks post-partum 🙂
6. Time and place for pumping breastmilk: there’s a new law mandating this, but what I want is unrestricted hours (hehehe). After all, it’s hard to maintain milk supply if you can’t pump as much as you need to when you’re away from your baby.
7. No judgments: Let us pump milk to our heart’s content, with no comments or judgments, even if you think that we’ve already breastfed our baby “long enough.”
8. Higher pay for shorter working hours: wish lang naman eh. 😛