{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”300″ height=”169″ align=”right” !} We’d fix this: 

My husband was also able to stay in the hospital every night with the baby, even when I couldn’t, so he always had a parent nearby, and brought him home when I was hurting too much to want to get in a car. He was able to do that because when he told his employer last Friday that the doctors thought the baby might need a week-long hospitalization, they offered him another week of paid leave on top of the four he was just finishing up. Most families in the United States aren’t nearly so lucky, as this country is the only industrialized nation (and one of only four nations in the entire world) that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave, and forget leave for dad. Too many fathers in the United States are discouraged from taking leave if it’s even offered.

And I suppose the bootstrap-fetishists would tell people who aren’t wealthy not to have sex, then, or children, because children are a luxury reserved for the upper-middle-class and above. Just keep your legs closed. Just have the baby. Just do this. Just do that. As if any of this is “just” anything. As if there aren’t a thousand things that can go wrong, even when everything goes right.


Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.