Why American Moms Should Be Pissed

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I hear that women are natural multitaskers. Natural if you consider that we have no choice.

At this moment, I am uploading photos to my Flickr account, checking the primary election results, listening to the new babysitter play with August downstairs, answering emails and writing this blog. In a moment, I'm going to start reading the final Harry Potter book with my left eye because, hell, it's just sitting there doing nothing.

This might be the only time I can bring this up, but I won an award for Outstanding Office Aid in my middle school when I was in the 8th grade. When I accepted that award I specifically remember thinking two things, "Wow, they like me because I can do several things at once." And "Wait, does that mean that other people can't do that?" I admit, I was a wee bit proud of myself.

The unfortunate twist of my "special gift" if you will, is that it does not work unless I have had an adequate amount of sleep. Looking back, I'm all like Of course I won that award in 8th grade! I wasn't a mother then.

Did you know that the US is one of only 4 countries that have no policy regarding paid maternity leave? The other countries who treat their mothers the way we do is Swaziland, Liberia and Papa New Guinea. Did you know that the French government provides in home help for new mothers? For free.

I have a friend down the street who was a single mom at 18 years old. She worked three jobs and supported her son. He is 15 now - great kid. She's married, has another son who is three and is pregnant with twins. Her husband works seven days a week to support them. And when I see her, all I do is wonder how the hell she's going to survive having all these kids to care for with no help. Holy hell. I mean, she'll do it. She's amazing. But when will she sleep??

Ya know, you're not supposed to drive a car if you're tired. But you can be responsible for a helpless baby who needs non-stop attention. That's how we roll here in the US. We give moms all kinds of advice and then send them out to the war zone with no freaking help. Good Luck! Some people actually laugh when we tell new moms how little sleep they'll be getting. Sadistic little shits, they are. 

As these election results come in, I can't help but wonder what these candidates would have said to a debate question like this. "What plans do you have to provide assistance to new mothers so that our current maternity policies will no longer be that of a third world country?"

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