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: 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.