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Original Posting at NewlyParents.com

New-BabyWe are now in our six month of pregnancy and as a dual income household it's time to start figuring out who's taking off of work when and coming up with a schedule to maximize our family time together. Basically, Mommy will be taking her 6 weeks of leave (obviously since she did all the work) while Daddy will take a couple of weeks vacation when baby is born. After vacation, he will go back to work and various family members will spend a few days with us to help out a bit at the beginning. When Mommy's six weeks of leave is up she will go back to work while Daddy takes six weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA act. (Have to start saving money now for six weeks of no paycheck!)

Will all these finagling of sick days, vacation days and FMLA days it got me thinking. Why do companies not have designated days to take when you have a child. When a family member passes away they give you bereavement pay (typically 3-5 days of paid leave that does not count against your vacation or sick day balance), so why not have a some form of new child pay?

Since our baby will be born in February we are essentially using up most of our vacation/sick days for the birth at the beginning of the year. Leaving you little wiggle room for the rest of the year should you need to stay home, go to the doctor, etc. What I'm looking for is your company to allow you 5 days of paid leave when you have a child just like they allow you 5 days of paid leave to cope with the lose of a family member. You have just as many responsibilities/stress when a child is born as you do when a family member passes away so it only makes sense. I really don't see a family having a child anymore often than they have a family member pass away.

In a world where the bottom line seems to be all that matters in the business world and the moral of the employees rests at the bottom of the list, your raises are few and far between, your health benefits cost are all screwed up (and getting worse with every 2,000 page health care bill) and a bonus is not a guaranteed, this may be a far fetched idea but it's still worth exploring.

I'm going to continue to research and work on this and in the meantime and make a more formal post in the future. Right now this is more of a "thinking out loud" post. In the mean time, I'm interested to know what your company's policy is when you have a child? Did you have to use all your sick days or vacation days? Let us know in the comments below. Maybe someday we can make a change for the better.

Here's to healthy, happy babies!

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