Over the next 12 weeks, I had regular panic attacks at the thought of handing my baby over to strangers. At three months, she wasn’t sleeping through the night, had only had one round of vaccines, was nursing every hour, and still very much needed me. As much as I loved my job, I chose to resign.
In that, too, I was far from alone. For the first time since the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, the share of mothers who choose to stay at home rather than return to work after their children are born has been increasing
— it has now reached 29%
. While 71 countries provide paid paternity leave
, there are only two countries that don’t offer any paid federal maternity leave: the United States and Papua New Guinea.
Like many women who find themselves stifled by this country's inflexible work options, I wanted to work. But I couldn’t justify leaving my infant. So, when my daughter was a year old, I finished my MBA, left the city, and moved my family to Long Island, so we could be closer to my mom, who was able to help out.