Baby showers are lovely because people are getting things they actually need for their new babies (and because sometimes there’s champagne). You can buy a stroller, or adorable outfits, or cute towels that turn a baby into a teddy bear, but the one thing you can’t buy is time.
And that’s too bad because it’s something all moms could really use.
But that’s changing now that some states are allowing employees to donate their paid vacation time to new moms so they can stay home longer with their wee babes.
“It really, really meant a lot to me… I was extremely appreciative and very humbled.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 18, 2018
Good Morning America wrote about the trend, to varying reactions. At first it seems like a really kind gesture — and don’t get me wrong, it is — but once you think about it a second longer, you realize that maybe the job should be providing good maternity (and paternity) leave to their employees, instead of having their other employees have to pool their time together.
People on Twitter couldn’t help but point this glaring error out.
How fucked up is our country that we now expect people to give up their already paltry vacation time to make up for our lack of decent maternity leave, and somehow paint it as "trendy"?
THIS IS ACTUALLY TERRIBLE
JUST GIVE PEOPLE DECENT PARENTAL LEAVE
AND DECENT VACATION TIME https://t.co/TrCERNU2Ol
— sam (@verysimple) July 19, 2018
Person after person tweeted about the real problem — the lack of maternity leave in the U.S. According to 2016 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States is the only country among 41 industrialized nations that does not mandate paid maternity leave.
Others compared the U.S. to the rest of the world, a comparison in which the U.S. did not come out too favorably.
Some people shared stories of how quickly moms had to go back to work after giving birth.
This “trend” isn’t showing up everywhere yet, though. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2018 Employee Benefits Survey, (which GMA points out is not a scientific study), approximately 15 percent of U.S. employers currently allow their employees to donate their own paid time off to their colleagues.