So here’s what’s been on my mind as we kick off 2015: I’m a solopreneur with a husband working a traditional job, and we’re getting ready to start our family. Our predicament, that many in my situation have faced, is planning for how to deal with the complete and utter lack of paid parental leave in this country, along with the complete dismissal of solopreneurs when it comes to being able to get benefits like short term disability insurance. You see, I can’t get that for myself through my spouse’s healthcare (only he can for himself), and companies like AFLAC only offer it to business owners with at least one employee.
With my husband having a whole two weeks of vacation and me having no paid time off, we know that we need to save up a shit ton of money. FMLA policies dictate my husband must be at his employer for at least one year, which means that I can’t technically have our baby until at least October – you know, if he wants to have his job protected and take that whopping 12 weeks off without a paycheck.
So not only will I have the unique challenge of putting my business on hold while not stopping it altogether, as I’m the top earner (my husband’s traditional job gives us truly affordable healthcare – because FYI, the Affordable Care Act did not make healthcare affordable for middle class folks, let me tell you), I also have to make sure we have living expenses for at least three months at the very least, along with a plan of how to run my business as the baby goes from being a “thing” to a more sentient creature. You know, a little person. That’s of course what everyone deals with – and we know we’ll figure it out, that it will all work out just fine, but in the meantime? I’m working my arse off to get as much work and therefore money saved.
It’s important that we refer to this as PARENTAL leave as well. I’m so sick and tired of articles about Marisa Meyer from Yahoo and how they all asked her about work/life balance, while no one ever asking once to male executives how they’re going to handle their impending parenthood. It’s a twisted world we have out there, y’all, when mothers are treated as and expected to be primary caregivers with fathers being minimized as paycheck-providers.
And because I’ve always thought it sucked how things worked in this country when it comes to our being one of the only three countries in the world without paid parental leave, I thought I’d share this very telling infographic about the topic…