Moms at MOM’s

Nearly 15 years ago, my wife and I had our first child.

One night soon after, I heard my wife semi-silently sobbing in our bathroom.  I walked in to find her sitting on the edge of the tub, rocking back and forth (almost in the fetal position), crying “I don’t want to leave my baby.”  This was the eve before her return to the office after taking 3 months of unpaid leave from her work as a lawyer at a Bethesda firm.

We had an in-family nanny; my wife’s sister-in-law.  Even so, with the intention of making my wife’s first day back at work a bit easier, I stayed home from work the next day.

Having a baby is an odd mix of joy and struggle.  On the joy side of things, there is no experience in life that rivals becoming a parent.  About an hour after the birth though, instincts kick into high gear and the joy gets a bit diluted by an intense focus on the care (i.e. survival) of the child.  It’s a time for the mother to recover physically, learn how to breast feed the child, and bond.  It’s an intense, high alert time no matter who you are.

Once a baby is born, many families need for both parents to continue to work- and when both parents do work, some parents find that the expense of day care is a substantial (sometimes majority) of at least one spouse’s salary.

Fast forward 15 years- as active parents, my wife and I still have very little free time.  It’s been a joyful, yet stressful period.  Of my friends with children, I don’t know any who haven’t had roughly the same experience.  Having children is an upheaval of sorts.

The US has a history of having noble priorities.  Unfortunately, I believe over the past few decades, this country’s priorities have began to shift away from families, empathy and service to others, and spiritual principles.  We now give more priority to corporations, judgement and righteous indignation, and status/wealth.

When it comes to supporting families (rather than corporations), the US ranks low.  We are required to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave, while the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, and Iran offer 40, 26, 14, and 12 weeks of paid leave respectively.  The US falls short relative to other developed countries:

CP_midyear_report

Much of our training program here at MOM’s revolves around reading books.  About a year ago, our female CFO read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and recommended we offer trainings on it.  It was an enlightening book for many of us.  As a result of those book sessions, a committee was formed and the group came up with a number of ideas that we’ve implemented to help working mothers.

MOM’s is proud to now offer 6 weeks of paid maternity leave to all full time employees.  We know of only one other retailer in the US who offers as much (Patagonia).  When a baby is born, families need support during this crucial and stressful period.

This entry was posted in family, family support, maternity leave, pregnancy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Moms at MOM’s

  1. lezrtst says:

    Amen. We, as a nation, have traded pride in our craft and family-informed ethics for acquisition and self-centered focus. There are signs, Mom’s is a case in point, that some of us are learning that, in order to evolve, we have to learn from our past.

  2. San-Dee Ostrach says:

    You offer this wonderful benefit to “all full time employees” and I hope that includes the fathers, too. My husband was unemployed (thank you Reganomics!) when out first child was born and did primary childcare as I had a job to go back to. The bond between them is so strong that 30 years later it still seems like they are “joined at the hip” most of the time.

  3. Rebecca McCormick says:

    Does “maternity leave for all full-time employees” also count for men/fathers? Do you have paternity leave or plan to introduce it? Thanks!

  4. ncthomeexp says:

    Congratulations. I am proud to have been associated with a company that thinks outside the box and is progressive in creating changing.

  5. grace horowitz says:

    Do you offer maternity leave at the rate of the new Mom’s full salary?

  6. John Payne says:

    Very nice Scott. I am very proud of you. You are a great example of what a loving couple can accomplish. I refer to your own parents and to you and your wife.

  7. props for taking the initiative and not waiting for a gov mandate. respect.

  8. Michael says:

    One more reason to shop at MOM’s, as consumers we need to vote with our wallets.

  9. Scott, congratulations on your success with Mom’s. I just passed one of your future stores in the old Hecht building on New York Ave. I decided to check out your success online and came across your blog about working mom’s and family & how things are different now.
    Great blog and KUDDOS for what your are doing.
    I wish you continued success.

    My best,
    Nancy Conway Wyandt

  10. Dot says:

    Do you carry Pipsnack pipcorn products

  11. ang says:

    Wonderful example you are setting. Hope it will catch on! Also wanted to let you know about http://www.Safebabyproject.org

  12. Sonia says:

    So proud of your organization… for more ways than I can count! Thank YOU for being a pioneer and always pushing the envelope! Thank you for making it easier to be part of a healthier happier world! It is astounding that the US still lags so behind. After, knowing what support and help moms in other countries have… i take my hat off and then some, to all the parents here in the US who have managed to raise their children despite enormous obstacles!!

  13. Matthew Foust says:

    Has MOMs looked into Paternity Leave?

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