Pros and Cons of Maternity Leave for Parents

By | 14/08/2017

Paid maternity leave or parental leave is a great benefit to young couples.  Being able to take paid leave to care for your new born is a wonderful benefit and that is one of the pros.  The problem is there are both Pros and Cons of maternity leave for mums.  Today I want to discuss the two edged sword that is maternity leave.

  • Looking back to days gone by
  • How the employers feel about paid maternity leave
  • Time to bond with baby
  • Finding affordable child care
  • Going back to Work
  • The alternative

Looking Back At Parents  in the Past

The roles of both men and women have changed over the years.  In the past women were not expected to work outside the home.  The roles of men and women were clearly defined. The man went out to work and supported his family.  He also mowed the lawns built the fence and did the general home and car maintenance.

The man went out to work and supported his family.  He also mowed the lawns built the fence and did the general home and car maintenance.  The woman of the house was expected to keep the home clean and tidy cook the meals wash the dishes and generally care for the man of the house.  Everyone knew what their role in life was.  The man the provider and the woman the nurturer.

Having and caring for the children was the mother’s job and the discipline was left to the fathers.  It was clear cut and simple and even though there were exceptions to the rule this was the way most households were organized.

Women’s rights saw women gain the right to vote, the right to an education and to go to work.  Women gained equality.  The lines between the roles of men and women that had always been rigid in the past began to blur and both men and women found themselves taking on responsibilities in the home and family that went against everything they had seen in the past.

Today, men and women are closer to having equal rights than ever before.  Many women don’t just work they have careers and they began to put off having children.  Many left it too late.  The demand for parental or maternity leave grew and was eventually accepted.  Paid parental leave became compulsory but how did the employers feel about that.

Pros and Cons of Maternity Leave for Parents

Employers And Maternity Leave

Of course, employers were against another paid leave for employees and who could blame them.  Losing a key employee for several weeks can create a headache for any employer.  In some cases, employers were forced to replace the employee with someone who was willing to fill the position for a short time.

Not all employees were eligible and the government restricted maternity leave entitlements to only full-time employees.  In Australia, the maternity leave must be taken continuously and is for 18 weeks.   This can leave the employer in a bind.  Despite the problems for the employer the government passed laws and Paid maternity leave went ahead.  Not all country’s maternity leave laws are the same so if you live outside Australia you will need to look up what your entitlements are for your country.

Time To Bond With Baby

You have had that tiny life inside you for nine whole months, kicking, upsetting your stomach, giving you heart burn and making you go to the toilet through the night.   Of course, you know there is a baby in there and you know you will have to push him into the world soon.  The truth is it is not until the day they place him or her in your arms that enormity of what you have done hits you.  suddenly you are faced with the miracle, the responsibility and the love for this tiny human you have created.

Maternity leave gives you time to bond with your baby.  In the remaining weeks of your maternity leave, you have some pretty big decisions to make.  One of the biggest is who will care for your baby when you return to work?

Finding Affordable Child Care

You have probably made inquiries about this before you had the baby and have come to some tentative decisions.Pros and Cons of Maternity Leave for Parents  Child care costs may be more than you can afford and you are faced with the question, ‘Can I afford to go back to work?’.  Rising child care costs are forcing a lot of mothers to quit work.

If you are one of the lucky few who has a doting grandmother just waiting to spoil your new arrival you won’t have a problem.  If you are not one of those lucky few, you may have a problem that is almost insurmountable.

There are a number of options you can consider when it comes to finding the right care for your baby.

Your maternity leave is coming to an end soon and you are beginning to realize what a wrench it will be to hand your baby over to a stranger.

Going Back To Work

Some mums are looking forward to getting back to work and having the adult company of their colleagues.  Some mums hate the thoughts of leaving their baby.  Most of the new mums have kept in touch with people from their workplace and they know the problems and possible discrimination they may be walking into.

There is no guarantee you will get the same job you had before you went on leave.  The law states that the position you go back to must be equal to what you were doing before and there are laws against discrimination.  That may be the case but we all know how subtle discrimination can damage our chances of continuing your employment with the firm you are going back to.

This is when you start to realize you may miss your baby’s first smile, see him starting to crawl, miss his first step or be at work when cuts his first tooth. How many of your babies milestones will be when you are at work?

Do you really want to go back to work or would you rather stay at home and care for your child?  That is the question a lot of mums wrestle with when their maternity leave is running out.  The good news is you do have a choice.


What Is The Alternative

If you hate the idea of leaving your baby with a stranger you could look into setting up your own business and working from home.  That is what I did when I was forced into early retirement and I know of hundreds of men and women who have done the same thing.

You have access to the greatest subject matter anyone can hope for.  You have a baby.  Why not set up a website and write about the trials and tribulations of a young mum.   I did a google search on babies and 1,080,000,000  websites came up.  This is a subject the entire human race is interested in and the good news is there are thousands of new babies born every single day to young mums who need some help and advice.  That is why I chose this niche for my website.The

If you want to be know how to start your own online business and work from home you will need three things to start with.

  1. A website for your business
  2. Training from experts
  3. Support of a community whenever you need help

You can check out all of those three things for absolutely no cost.  It is free to start and it may be the answer to your problems.  It was for me.  Your free start includes a free website,  education, and support so you don’t need your credit card or any other payment details.  This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss out on.

Pros and Cons of Maternity Leave for Parents

Thanks for reading my post.  If you have any questions or comments I am always happy to hear from you.  If you want to know more about me you can read my profile here.

4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Maternity Leave for Parents

  1. shrey

    It is so true that the roles of men and women have changed in the past few years. I remember my mom never went to work and she was a homemaker and cared for us while our dad always came back at 7 pm and we all were disciplined by him.
    Now, I go to work, my husband goes to work and the kids stay at home. Things have changed and yes, this article helps us to understand how to take benefits of maternity leave.

    1. Margaret Kennedy Post author

      Hi Shrey,
      My childhood was like yours. If I did something wrong during the day my mother would wag her finger at me and tell me ‘Wait till your father gets home.’
      As an adult looking back I realize it wasn’t very fair on poor old dad because it made us nervous around him because to our childish minds he was the cranky one.
      I think the changes in society are good for everyone and giving parents time with their new baby is wonderful
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  2. Maria

    Thank you for such an informative article. It’s very nice to see someone touch on the fact that men should also be able to get paid maternity leave. I feel that bonding is not just a “mother to child” occurrence, but something the whole family should be involved in, including the daddies!

    1. Margaret Kennedy Post author

      Hi Maria

      You are right and giving the father the time to bond is just as important as giving the mother the time.  Maternity or parental leave does give the whole family time to get to know the new baby.  The hard part is leaving the baby when that time is up.

      Thanks for your comments



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