While I am very much looking forward to going on maternity leave and spending a whole year with my kids, I am extremely stressed out about it. I’m not stressed out nap time, the crying, the being a slave to the schedule for the first few months. That I can handle. That I expect. It’s the losing 45% of my income that stresses me out. Just because I am going on maternity leave, doesn’t mean the bills stop coming in.
In Canada, us lucky Mum’s receive 50 weeks of paid leave (2 week are not paid as you get set up with the government). Add these together and you get 52 weeks to be a super star Mum. However, we get paid leave but it’s 55% of your income (there is a limit that it caps off at). This is the part that stresses me out. I will have two kids, there basic needs are still the same, they don’t drop down 45%, if anything as they grow they increase.
Yes, I realize how lucky I am but it doesn’t make the stress any easier. Our southern neighbours (USA) only get 3 months off and no pay. What the crap is that all about. I think that is just horrible if you ask me. Take a moment to watch John Oliver and what he has to say on maternity leave.
My husband is always reassuring me that we’re going to be fine. We were fine the first time and we’ll be fine the second time. He’s not wrong, we were fine. We did quiet well. Don’t tell him, but he’s right (again). I just can’t help but worry. I always worry about money and income and paying bills on time. I don’t like asking for help… as you may have noticed I’m a little stubborn in that department.
We’ve never been late on our bills, we’re always on time. So why worry? Because it’s what I do.
Another bum to diaper, another mouth to feed, another body to cloth.
The wonderful surprise that I found out when on maternity leave the first time is that the government takes off a total of $2 in taxes each cheque they issue you. $2. I was shocked. I had made the rookie mistake and assumed the government of all people would take off the appropriate amount in taxes so you wouldn’t have to pay ohhh $1500 back that you don’t have at tax time because you were taking care of your children, rather than working at a job that gives you a pay cheque.
When i called to inquire about it. I thought it had been made in a mistake, the lady from the government ensured me that there was no mistake. I asked why taxes weren’t taken off, her response was because Mother’s on maternity leave need all the money they can get. My response was, yes and I still don’t have money to pay back to you because I was on maternity leave. Her response, well you should have calculated and put that money away so you could pay it back.
Didn’t she just say mothers need that money?
Clearly I was getting no where with her. I was extremely upset.
But now I know. Now I know from my first experience of the first maternity leave. 55% doesn’t make the stress go away, I suppose it does help. It is better than nothing, but there are holes in the system. A mother, weather it’s her first time, second or ninth, it’s still stressful. Last thing a Mother should have to worry about is money.
It’s a work in progress, our system. There is always room for improvement.