The scoop: I had a job interview on Wednesday! Hurray! I'm not getting my hopes up about getting this job because it's very likely that I won't. But, having an interview certainly made me think about many issues, most of them regarding Benny and my dissertation.
If I start working, we'll have to put Benny in daycare. I have VERY mixed emotions about this. But, just like everything related to Benny, we'll get through this by trial and error. I'm also a little concerned about my dissertation. I do have a decent amount written, but I don't like the thought of working full time while trying to finish a dissertation. That's how I wrote my thesis and it wasn't fun.
The issue that has bothered me the most, however, doesn't deal with the present. It's about the future. Of course, if we have another child, this child will probably be in daycare from an early age. With a house and two kids, I don't think I could take a year off to hang out with both of our babies. Because I'll probably work for a nonprofit, my maternity leave will probably be short and I'll probably have to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act. This act allows employees to take up to three months off without the threat of losing their job. Three months. That's not very long. The upside of the law is that it allows anyone to take the time off, including men. That means that Nate could take advantage of the law as well. Our second kid could, theoretically, stay at home for up to six months.
The problem: When I brought this scenerio up to Nate, he was insistent that he couldn't do it. What bothers me isn't that he probably won't be able to take it, but that he isn't even willing to try. I'm expected to (and I'm happy to) take the time off. In fact, I think it's a sad state of affairs that women AND men aren't allowed more time off to stay at home with their new babies. I realize that Nate is in an industry that doesn't really have to leave with maternity/paternity leave because it's considered a feminine issue. Engineering is male dominated. But the fact that Nate won't even entertain the possibility bothers me.
If more men made taking FMLA a priority, families wouldn't have to deal with this issue over and over and over again. It's not just Nate, it's our society in general. Men need to cherish the time they have with their new babies. I'm not saying that Nate didn't or won't, but it was certainly different for him.
I'm sure I'll struggle with this issue over the next year or so as we consider having another child. If you have any thoughts, please send them my way...