A mom from Illinois had her first child just weeks after she left the company she had been employed at.
“It was like an out-of-body experience, but not really,” said Nicole Lebovic, whose story of childbirth and motherhood has touched the hearts of millions around the world.
Lebovics first pregnancy, the result of a C-section in April 2018, took three years.
“I had a wonderful experience, and I had the best life I ever had,” Lebovich told The Huffington Report.
“But I had to stop working.”
The birth of her second child, a boy, was not so easy.
“We took a week off, but we were back in business,” LeBovics said.
“When I got back, I was able to take time off.
And I had two wonderful boys.”
Lebovačs story, along with many others, has touched a nerve with parents around the globe who are searching for answers about what it means to take maternity leave and what it takes to raise children in the first place.
“A lot of parents are trying to figure out how to manage this,” said Stephanie Gaffney, CEO of the Institute for Human Capital at the University of Michigan.
“Some are just trying to keep a job and get back to their families.”
LeBovač’s experience has been the subject of several studies, including a 2016 study that found nearly 1 in 4 mothers in the United States report feeling like they’re “at the mercy of the economy,” according to a recent NPR report.
“If you look at what is happening in this economy, and the economy is doing the exact opposite of what you thought it would do, you’re seeing a huge surge of families leaving their jobs,” Gaffner said.
Some parents are opting to put their kids in the care of relatives instead of their employers, a move many parents say can have a positive impact.
“That is a way of managing that and being able to say, ‘You know what, I’m going to have the time of my life,'” Gaffneys said.
The Institute for Humans at the university estimates that about 20 percent of parents who quit their jobs because of the economic downturn have found new jobs within the last three years, but the researchers also found that nearly a third of the parents who remain employed say their employers have not paid them enough to cover their healthcare, utilities, and other expenses.
“You don’t see people who are doing this because they are financially strapped,” Gaffe says.
“People are really struggling with it.”
Gaffreys research found that the average time parents spend on parental leave in the U.S. is only one month.
But many parents are spending far more than that.
According to Gaffey, about 25 percent of moms and fathers who have had a child have spent more than one month off work.
“The average stay in the workforce is only two weeks,” she said.
According, the American Pregnancy Association estimates that nearly one in four moms and dads who have a child in the labor force is working.
“What we are seeing is that it’s more of an opportunity than a necessity,” Gafey said.
Parents who work long hours to support families are also finding that they are also putting their own families at risk.
“In addition to putting them at risk, what is going on is that they’re actually putting their employers at risk,” Galdini said.
Many parents have experienced layoffs, leaving their children without care and a safe environment to care for them.
“There’s a very strong belief in the American workplace that we are all employees, and that is very problematic,” Gattis said.
One of the most common myths about parental leave is that if you leave your job to have a baby, you can’t return to it after your child is born.
But that’s not always true, experts say.
In fact, many parents choose to stay at their jobs to give their children a good start in life.
“They’re not just leaving it because they don’t like what’s going on,” Gassini said of those parents who choose to leave.
“One of the things I’ve heard from moms and families who are going through this is that you are never really going to go back to your old job again, and it’s a great thing to have that opportunity.”
Many people believe that if they quit their job, it will only take them a few months to get back on.
But Gaffay said that’s rarely the case.
“Moms and dads are working so much overtime that if it’s one week, you might have to work another week, and you might not have enough money for childcare,” she added.
“As a mother, it’s hard to get on in your career.”
Lebsovic says that in the end, the experience has taught her a lot about what to expect when