Economic Realities of Parenting - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-23-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I thought you might enjoy this article. In light of the insane economic situation, and the superficial focus on families, this piece highlights what I wish the candidates were really discussing:

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2...ning-parenting

Thanks!!

Amie
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:11 PM
 
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Very true
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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Very true
Yes, and sad. We truly live in (what seems like) an anti-family or at least not pro-family society.

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Old 09-24-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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wow, and I hear some people complain about what we get in Canada! American women, you really need to demand more from your government. Everyone here has health care covered (although it's slow and I didn't have a family doctor for 4 years....gahh clinics) and we get Maternity leave for 17 weeks and Parental leave (either parent is eligible) for the remaining time, up to a year total. Your job is protected for that time and you get 55% of your income covered by the government.....Why would you even consider having children in the states? It seems as though you're being punished for populating the country :

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Old 09-24-2008, 05:01 AM
 
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American women, you really need to demand more from your government. Everyone here has health care covered (although it's slow and I didn't have a family doctor for 4 years....gahh clinics) and we get Maternity leave for 17 weeks and Parental leave (either parent is eligible) for the remaining time, up to a year total. Your job is protected for that time and you get 55% of your income covered by the government...
All this. It never occurred to me, until I got a lot older and started realizing that some people have to WORK right after they have a baby. For the life of me, i can't imagine why this is acceptable in the U.S. Isn't it better for everyone to have mamas stay home with their babes (if they want) for the first year? Or at least longer than 2 weeks!

I was reading somewhere that the U.S. Department of Health has goals for 2012 to get so many women breastfeeding for so many months. I'd be interested in finding out how they propose to do that besides with advocacy ads, if many mothers have to go back to work 6 weeks after the baby is born.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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My Dh and I are 24 and expecting our first. Everyone keeps telling us how expensive babies are. We always assure people that we're breastfeeding and cloth diapering and don't need a lot of gadgets, so for us having a baby will not be that expensive. However, what will be expensive is birthing the baby. All of our money is going into medical bills. We had the hassel of switching my insurance to a better plan and still needing to pay large amounts out of pocket. I'm not even having the homebirth I want (b/c in case of a transfer, we were told the transfer wouldn't be covered). I'm birthing with a mw in a birth center, but we're still paying thousands of dollars for it. I cannot believe the U.S. doesn't pay for births. I can somehow wrap my head around the rest of the things that aren't covered by national healthcare, but everyone is born at some point.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Nautical, it almost seems as if they want to keep the American citizens in poverty. If you have a livable wage you lose the insurance benefits of medicare/medicaid for pregnancy and your new child. The middle class, if there even is one, is sorely punished. I am on mercycareplus for the duration of my pregnancy, and my child will be insured through the state (maybe with a co pay, and maybe not). This wasn't what I intended, my hubby was inconviently laid off right as I found out I was pregnant. But maybe it's for the best, because our income wasn't that much higher at the time, who knows if we could have afforded the healthcare costs.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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I really am hoping and praying some of this stuff is looked at and addressed in a more positive family friendly way.

It is utterly sickening how we are treated in he states and it is a very hot button topic with me.

My work provides 3 month paid at 100% short term disability... but the short term disability has it's own rules for procedures and how many weeks are covered... They only give 6 weeks for vaginal delivery... I will miss working at my current position by one months time, so am not eligible for FMLA... I temped for 4 months prior to hire here, and that time counts for NOTHING.

Potentially I could lose my job after birth because I am simply refusing going back to work after only 6 weeks time. It is utterly ridiculous. I am praying that my midwife can document enough BS to appease my short term disability company for my "secondary illness" of fibromyalgia to get me approved for more paid time off.


And unfortunately... I will be one of the women resigned to pumping in a tiny bathroom stall. Certainly not ideal, but there is not a single office at my company with a door without a window... truly annoying. A collegaue of mine was telling of a friend of hers that actually works at a place with a short of "nurses" station, it's a quiet private room with a cot and one of those drape curtains to enclose it... it's utilized for women pumping, or anyone feeling not well that day at work, like being attacked by a migraine or whatever. Wish more companies offered something like that... much better than a bathroom stall.

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Old 09-24-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I am so disgusted with the maternity leave in the states.

The sad part is, I didn’t even understand how bad it was until I moved here from Canada and got pregnant. When my company told me the 12 week maternity leave was unpaid at my orientation I almost had a heart attack.

I can’t believe how women are treated in this country. The government doesn’t give a crap about families. All they care about is money and helping women to have kids is not high on their list.

Frankly, I am not happy with either candidates plan for maternity care. It’s just not good enough. It’s a step in the right direction but still far from ideal.

If my sister in Canada can have 1 year off work with 60% of her paycheck then why can’t the richest country in the world do that for their families too? Oh that’s right…..we need to pay trillions of dollars on rebuilding Iraq :
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:01 AM
 
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American women, you really need to demand more from your government.
This is so true! Our three kids were born in Canada, and we moved to the US right after our third was born. I actually stayed in Canada while pregnant even though DH had already moved so I could have DS there before coming to the States.

I've said over and over again that I can't believe so many people even bother having kids in the US with the horrible state of things. At DS's one month check-up the doctor asked me if DS was with me... I stared at him blankly thinking, "um, he's a four week old baby, where the hell else would he be?" I had totally forgotten about the rotten situation with maternity and parental leave here.

It astounds me that some people pay out of pocket to cover the cost of delivering a baby in this country. I want to cry when I see people posting on mothering that they have bills from birthing a baby. The government will send coupons to US residents to get a digital to analog converter box for their tv when the switch to digital happens, but they won't universally pay for childbirth! Talk about having your priorities messed up.

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Old 09-25-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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We keep having children here becase we want a family... it's not our fault where we live... As much as the conditions are better in Canada... I can't fathom moving that far away from my family.

It sucks and it's not fair, but when I posted on a different community about the governement doing something to help... I was pulled apart and astounded with the women's reactions that they don't want governement hand outs and that they chose to have a family and the governement shouldn't be responsible for it.

Never mind that every other civilized country grants better benefits and maternity leave.

Part of growing a country is growing people to inhabit the country... you would think with all the family values the politicians preach about being important that they would actually do something.

And becasue insurance policies are so wonderful these days... I have insurance through my work and will still be looking at paying about $3,500 for my prenatal care and birth. Yay America.

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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when I posted on a different community about the government doing something to help... I was pulled apart and astounded with the women's reactions that they don't want government hand outs and that they chose to have a family and the government shouldn't be responsible for it.
I've noticed a lot of this attitude here... not just in relation to supporting families, but in general.

The image of people working themselves into the ground is romanticized. People actually embrace it! The idea that America is the land of opportunity and anybody can do anything if they only work hard enough sounds inspiring and beautiful, but the darker side of this ideal is the feeling that people who can't do it on their own deserve their situation, or are somehow not as American. It discourages people from demanding support from their government.

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Old 09-25-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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The rest of the world is there to support you, if you demand it. You have a platform here- through the MDC forums, you can reach millions of women to get this issue put on the agenda for THIS election, right now. With the power of communication that the internet has given us, it is possible to change history.

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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I've noticed a lot of this attitude here... not just in relation to supporting families, but in general.

The image of people working themselves into the ground is romanticized. People actually embrace it! The idea that America is the land of opportunity and anybody can do anything if they only work hard enough sounds inspiring and beautiful, but the darker side of this ideal is the feeling that people who can't do it on their own deserve their situation, or are somehow not as American. It discourages people to demand support from their government.
I think you hit it right on... Many of our ancestors came here with nothing and managed to build lives for themselves, so it is expected we are able to do the same since we are given "so many opportunities."

No one takes into consideration the vastness of how things have changed though... everything costs more... things keep going up and up every single year, but most companies don't even do a standard of living pay raise each year anymore because it's not in their budget.

America is all about the CEO's making money... money is always the bottom line and anything that would involve not quite as big a profit share for the big owners, then screw all the little people.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing that.

I want another baby so badly .. but the reality is that we need my income. I don't want to have a baby just to put it in daycare, plus that would take up a large chunk of my income that we can't spare anyway.

Right now I work about 30 hours a week, all while ds is in school. My schedule is flexible and I can work from home some days .. but there is no way I could do it with a baby around.

DH works for a HUGE national company, and their benefits blow. It's awful. He had to have two surgeries this year and we are going to be paying on those bills for a long time to come. No way I could add a childbirth onto that. Not to mention midwives are illegal here and if I wanted to birth with one at home, it would be out of pocket expense.

It's depressing really. Having another child may never become a reality for us.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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my husband works for state gov. (teacher--new jersey)

we paid $5 for our initial prenatal visit with a midwife. that was it.

i'm not saying healthcare isn't a problem in the states...but there are people who get covered...for it all. perhaps that is why nothing is done to make everyone better off...because enough are getting by just fine.

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Old 09-25-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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its like that here because of the abortion industry and bc industry....if we were given a better opportunity to deliver our babies and raise them people wouldnt buy birth control as much. and they wouldnt PAY to have abortions..... its sad really how things work in America.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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we paid $5 for our initial prenatal visit with a midwife. that was it.

i'm not saying healthcare isn't a problem in the states...but there are people who get covered...for it all. perhaps that is why nothing is done to make everyone better off...because enough are getting by just fine.
I actually hate this. The inequality really bothers me.

DH has crazy, fantastic benefits here in the US, and then I come here on MDC and read what other people don't have. It's no real fault of their own. They just aren't fortunate enough to have support from their employer. Other countries have a government that supports everybody equality in areas that benefit the society as a whole though.

I think you're right. Enough people are getting by okay, mostly the people with money and power, so there isn't the lobbying initiative to really do something. Maybe if the NRA decided that prenatal care and SAHP were a good thing the cause would actually have a chance.

It's no wonder the rich get richer while the poor get poorer here.

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Old 09-25-2008, 11:03 PM
 
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its like that here because of the abortion industry and bc industry....if we were given a better opportunity to deliver our babies and raise them people wouldnt buy birth control as much. and they wouldnt PAY to have abortions..... its sad really how things work in America.
We have abortions and birth control in Canada and Quebec has universal $7/day health care and the government will pay you a bonus for your kids, and they have a very low birth rate - way lower than the US. If I remember right, the same is true elsewhere in the western world.

I'll speculate on the reason... here, kids are UNDERSTOOD to be a lot of work. Too much work, in fact, for one family.

So we have maternity leave to support the kids' need for bonding (not for self-employed mothers although that is an election issue) and universal health care (which is not necessarily as good as US health care at its best, but is at least there) and in some provinces daycare and junior kindergarten and early years centres (kid friendly spaces for parents and kids with staff and programmes all for free).

And what people take home from that is: it takes a village! I should be careful! (Even though careful means different things for different people.)

That's my theory anyway.

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Old 09-26-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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my husband works for state gov. (teacher--new jersey)

we paid $5 for our initial prenatal visit with a midwife. that was it.

i'm not saying healthcare isn't a problem in the states...but there are people who get covered...for it all. perhaps that is why nothing is done to make everyone better off...because enough are getting by just fine.
Im a teacher too - and I have excellent excellent healthcare. I feel I busted my rear end in school for all those years and now its paying off.

Im also in a good district - when my hip went out before my LO was born - I was paid out of the union sick bank.

Hubbie and I were lucky -when we conceived both children - we planned things so they would be late spring babies and Id get summer break with my babies.

My husband is canadian and he is constantly saying how bad it is - and if its all you know - it doesnt seem so bad?

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Old 09-26-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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my husband works for state gov. (teacher--new jersey)

we paid $5 for our initial prenatal visit with a midwife. that was it.

i'm not saying healthcare isn't a problem in the states...but there are people who get covered...for it all. perhaps that is why nothing is done to make everyone better off...because enough are getting by just fine.
I hope you understand how lucky you are... that really isn't the norm around here.

More companies around here used to offer decent plans with just co-pays. Not so anymore... even my Mom's has been changed to the crap co-insurance, high deductible that all companies are changing to around here. She works for Crayola and used to have just $5 and $10 copays for everything.

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Old 09-26-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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This is one of the reasons I went back to work. I also work for the state and it was the only viable option as the health care benefits are so good (I pay a little over 100 a month for me and the children) and get almost a month a year of combined sick and annual leave as well as 15 holidays, no weekends ect. I work with all women, most of who have children so when I need to be out due to the kids it's not a problem.

My husband works in the private sector. To cover our family cost a fortune. Even though we had insurance we would go to health/ dental clinics because it often cost less than the co-pays and deductibles. His job is also not as flexible with time off.

We struggled for a very long time and really, we were the majority.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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wow, and I hear some people complain about what we get in Canada! American women, you really need to demand more from your government. Everyone here has health care covered (although it's slow and I didn't have a family doctor for 4 years....gahh clinics) and we get Maternity leave for 17 weeks and Parental leave (either parent is eligible) for the remaining time, up to a year total. Your job is protected for that time and you get 55% of your income covered by the government.....Why would you even consider having children in the states? It seems as though you're being punished for populating the country :
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Absolutely.

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All this. It never occurred to me, until I got a lot older and started realizing that some people have to WORK right after they have a baby. For the life of me, i can't imagine why this is acceptable in the U.S. Isn't it better for everyone to have mamas stay home with their babes (if they want) for the first year? Or at least longer than 2 weeks!

I was reading somewhere that the U.S. Department of Health has goals for 2012 to get so many women breastfeeding for so many months. I'd be interested in finding out how they propose to do that besides with advocacy ads, if many mothers have to go back to work 6 weeks after the baby is born.
:

So true!

I don't think staying at home with your children is a right, but at the very, very least, the United States should have protected job leave following for maternity and health reasons. I would like to see it be a minimum of one year, and more like 2 or 3 years.

And I'd like to see 6 months or a year of paid maternity/paternity leave. Now, there could be rules in place that you have to be with the company for a certain amount of time, similar to unemployment perhaps.

But, yeah, it truly boggles my mind that the US is so woefully behind other industrialized nations when it comes to maternity/paternity leave.

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Old 09-26-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I agree with this to a certain extent. The flip side of getting any childrearing help from the US government is that then they're all up in your business telling you what to do and how to do it. No way in hell I'd invite our government into my parenting.

However, I think our tax dollar would be better spent supporting healthy families than minding everybody else's business all over the world and bailing out financial institutions when their greed backfires on them. Not that I can see it working here. It would be doubleplus ungood.

Now where's my tinfoil hat?
I am not from Sweden, Canada, Britain, etc, but I don't think the governments there get up in people's business about childrearing AND they still have extended family leave programs.

I think it would be a good use, make that a wise use, of public funds.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:18 PM
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I am from Sweden. And although we would have gotten a lot from the government there (about 16 months paid parental leave, even if you do not work + child benefit for every child etc.), they do tell you how to raise your child. Home-schooling is in effect against the law, as all the political parties claim school is essential for socializing(very few people get special permission to home-school). And in my opinion, bringing children up to be "good citizens"is something schools really focus on. There are midwives, but they are part of a very rigid system - you go and see the midwives at the local clinic for check-ups before baby's birth, but give birth at hospital, with other midwives (and doctors). Home birth is virtually unheard of. The political parties have been trying for years to make half of parental leave paternity leave - no choice. Physical punishment is against the law, of course. Teachers are not allowed to deal with students who, for example, are violent to their classmates. Government run daycare (from 1yo -) is seen as vitally important too, and you are depraving your child by keeping him at home. You have very little choice with doctors, dentists, Well Baby Visits, although you can go private and pay through the nose. If you need a doctor you go to a medical centre, and get to see any of the doctors there - and the doctor you saw last may be at another centre now. I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of now.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I am from Sweden. And although we would have gotten a lot from the government there ... they do tell you how to raise your child.
So in effect they are buying control with the money and helpful regulation they send your way, right? Meanwhile my family pays out of our own pocket for everything but pays low to no taxes each year as we're lower middle class and have child tax breaks and education credits. We don't have anything much handed to us, but we get to pick what we pay for ourselves. I'm happy with the USA in general, though the current economic and energy situation makes us have to curb excess spending by a lot.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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I think Canada is pretty good about staying out of parenting business. Maternity leave is under the same umbrella as Employment Insurace. You can take as little or as much of the year as you want. You can split the time with your partner or even take it concurrently (6 months off together, each getting 55% up to $400 a week each). We have public schools, but also private (I teach in a private school) although if you opt for private you still have to pay public school taxes. Homeschool is allowed, non-vaccination is ok, but you have to apply for special permission. We have midwives that are regulated by the goverment (in Ontario). They have large waiting lists though so not everyone who wants midwifery care gets a midwife. You can choose a home birth or hospital birth, both are covered. I wanted a home birth but had to transfer to the hospital. No charge. That being said, we have significant taxes. I have heard that all our taxes put together (income tax, provincial taxes, General Sales tax, property tax, EI premiums etc) it works out to about 50% tax rate. I think it's worth it. If I get sick, we have disability insurance. If I lose my job there is employment insurance. And I don't look at it as a handout from the government. I have paid into these plans (through taxes) so that they will be there when I need them. I will admitt to a little sigh though when I look at my paycheck every couple of weeks lol.

slingtwin.gifMontessori teacher working part time and trying to keep up with the kiddos. blowkiss.gif DD1 (June 08)ROTFLMAO.gif DS1 (June 10)love.gif DD2 (June 10)

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Old 09-27-2008, 05:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Katie063008 View Post
I think Canada is pretty good about staying out of parenting business. Maternity leave is under the same umbrella as Employment Insurace. You can take as little or as much of the year as you want. You can split the time with your partner or even take it concurrently (6 months off together, each getting 55% up to $400 a week each). We have public schools, but also private (I teach in a private school) although if you opt for private you still have to pay public school taxes. Homeschool is allowed, non-vaccination is ok, but you have to apply for special permission. We have midwives that are regulated by the goverment (in Ontario). They have large waiting lists though so not everyone who wants midwifery care gets a midwife. You can choose a home birth or hospital birth, both are covered. I wanted a home birth but had to transfer to the hospital. No charge. That being said, we have significant taxes. I have heard that all our taxes put together (income tax, provincial taxes, General Sales tax, property tax, EI premiums etc) it works out to about 50% tax rate. I think it's worth it. If I get sick, we have disability insurance. If I lose my job there is employment insurance. And I don't look at it as a handout from the government. I have paid into these plans (through taxes) so that they will be there when I need them. I will admitt to a little sigh though when I look at my paycheck every couple of weeks lol.
No you don't. There are two provinces that want you to fill out forms if you choose not to vaccinate, but vaccination is not mandatory and they cannot require it.

http://www.vran.org/legal/legal.htm
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
I am from Sweden. And although we would have gotten a lot from the government there (about 16 months paid parental leave, even if you do not work + child benefit for every child etc.), they do tell you how to raise your child. Home-schooling is in effect against the law, as all the political parties claim school is essential for socializing(very few people get special permission to home-school).
I am having a tough time believing this.... I am in Finland and home schooling is very rare but legal here. Are you sure that you are not talking about how things "seem" to most people, rather than how it really is? If you ask someone here, they will prob. tell you home schooling is illegal, etc. However, that is simply because it is so rare yet that most people have no clue.

We have the same system with midwives (medwives). However, once again, the option are out there, if you are enough of a free thinker to search.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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