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Military Mom's 42-Day Maternity Leave

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A young mother serving in the military discusses her short maternity leave.

Last month, the Washington Post reported on the military's short maternity leaves. Here, one military Mom's story.

Amy-in-uniform-with-Troy.jpg
Mom•Logic: Can you tell us about your maternity leave?

Amy: After having my son Troy, I was allowed 42 days of maternity leave. When my son was 3 months old, I was sent to Defense Information School in Maryland. At the time, my husband and I were living in Virginia, so during the week I had to attend school and live there, and I drove home on weekends to see my baby. I was away for three months.

When my son was 8 months old, my husband was transferred to San Diego, and I was still living in Virginia. While my husband was gone, I was told I had to deploy to Europe, the Gulf, Asia, and back, so I drove my son and dog to my parent's house in Indiana. They watched him for a few months until my husband's house was set up and we had daycare squared away. I was gone for seven months.

Mom•Logic: As a mother, how difficult was it being away from your baby for so long?

Amy: It was really difficult. I relied on the email and photos just to see him grow up. I missed his first birthday, my first Mother's Day, him crawling, and him walking. And it was hard. The cool thing is the very first package I got onboard the ship happened to be on Mother's Day from my husband. He sent me two cards, one from him and one from my son. I still have those cards.

Mom•Logic: What do you want Moms to know?

Amy: Being away from my son was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Some people forget that we're not just protectors of the country, but we're citizens with moms, dads, children, brothers, sisters, and friends. That gets overlooked.


next: Life in Mayberry, 2008
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lorelei March 14, 2008, 3:07 PM

Most women only get 6 weeks. She knew what she was getting into when she joined the military.

SugarPlumFairy March 14, 2008, 3:07 PM

While Dads are away from their kids as well, it is definitely harder (I think) for a Mom to miss those first milestones.

abbysmom March 14, 2008, 6:20 PM

How can someone only have 42 days for maternity leave!!, and then be expected to leave their child for three months. That does not give anytime for someone to heal from labour complications, let alone BOND with their new baby. In Canada, a parent gets up to one year of maternity/parental leave with full benefits. I have to go back to work in three months, and am unsure if I could have handled having to go back to work, and missing out on what my nine month old has learned already.

abbysmom March 14, 2008, 6:26 PM

How can someone only have 42 days for maternity leave!!, and then be expected to leave their child for three months. That does not give anytime for someone to heal from labour complications, let alone BOND with their new baby. In Canada, a parent gets up to one year of maternity/parental leave with full benefits. I have to go back to work in three months, and am unsure if I could have handled having to go back to work, and missing out on what my nine month old has learned already.

April March 14, 2008, 10:52 PM

I’m sorry, but what do expect when you join the military? My husband is a Marine, and I can’t tell you how many milestones he has missed. Our Marine friends have missed the births of their children - it’s all a part of their job. If you don’t like it, then don’t join the military.

ex-WAC March 15, 2008, 2:39 PM

Goodness sakes girl, when you signed on to be a mother you should have taken a discharge!! Single women and the service mix…mother’s do not!! regardless of whether or not they are married, but I’d like to see the result 15 years from now of these kids without mother’s who have been stashed away with strangers, older grandparents, etc…some life? Take care of what you produce first…

Soon To Be Soldier Mom November 24, 2008, 7:31 PM

I can’t believe how some people are bashing this mom. She is doing her JOB and not bitching about it. She is just saying that it is hard to be away from her kid. I have two kids and am leaving in a few weeks for basic training. I know it will be hard but if I don’t do it my family will be homeless by the end of January. And there is nothing wrong with a child staying with their father. My husband can do everything I can with my kids. HE’s their parent too.

Trying to pay the mortgage and start a family March 19, 2009, 11:23 PM

Yeah, you want to support our country and you want to have a family. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two. It’s not like you just got the flu!!! The military always says that they take care of their own… hmmm… All I have to say is Lorelei and April, you are just stupid and ignorant. You probably don’t even have children and if you do… You either are just stay at home mom or a low life piece of Sh*t who has no heart. The first year of a babies life is key. I could go on for a long time about how rediculous you sound. I was in the military and I know the pride you have about serving. I also know the pride you have about your child… If you can choose between the two then you should be a politition. There the only ones I know that can be that cold hearted…

Jshell February 3, 2010, 1:50 PM

I, personally, am proud of this young mother who not only serves Our country, but is an example of a strong woman and positive role model for every young woman today. This article clearly demonstrates an honest perspective of what it’s like to be a young mother in the military. You can see by the rank on her collar that she is a Lieutenant, meaning she was in the military and married long before she had a child, she clearly knew what she had gotten herself into. And not once in the article is she complaining about her 42 days of military leave, or complain about the fact that she deployed when her son was 8 months old. She just painted the picture for those of us who aren’t in her line of work. Lieutenant, I applaud you for your dedicated service to your family and Our Nation. I hope that young women everywhere see that they too can be strong and “have it all”. As for the folks here who have judged this fine American, shame on you. I don’t see you signing up to protect our freedoms. No, instead you choose to slam someone who has. Lieutenant, I apologize for the judgement these women have placed upon you. Thank you for your service to Our Nation and keep up the good work!


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