I was shocked to learn that the US is only one of four counties in the world that has no mandated national policy on the matter! A few states do have a policy. How would you like to be paid to stay home with your child for years? Central European counties have the longest paid leaves with up to three years per child. This gives us something to consider. With advance planning many families manage to arrange their finances so that one of the parents can stay home for an extended period. I notice many others who wish they had planned for this. Many just have no idea how expensive child care is and how difficult it is to find quality care. Some families choose to make the financial sacrifice and feel it is well worth it. They also fount it more manageable than they believed it would be. I notice that many mothers decide to stay home longer than they thought they would. Families need to make choices that work for them. These are my observations.
“Only four countries have no national law mandating paid time off for new parents: Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and the United States. In the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) mandates up to 12 weeks of (potentially unpaid) job-protected leave, including parental leave, for many American workers. Subnational laws also vary; for example the U.S. state of California does mandate paid family leave, including parental leave for same-sex partners.”
Here is the link to a wonderful chart with every county listed for comparison.