Employer Gives Mom 3 Years Off to Raise Kids -- Where Do We Sign?

mother infant holding hands

Imagine a job where moms could get three years off to raise kids. Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? Well, that's now a reality for Shannon Williams, who gave birth in late February. And you'll never guess where she works: the U.S. Air Force. Wow -- well, sign me up!


It's called the Career Intermission Program -- a new initiative that allows eligible servicemen and women to spend up to three years pursuing personal goals, like college or caring for a family member. Then, once they're ready to resume work, they return to their old jobs right where they left off.

During their leave, these people would get paid 1/15th of their old salary, plus they'll have to redouble their time commitment once they return. So, Shannon, a pilot, will have to serve six years for the three she took off.

More from The Stir: 13 Maternity Leave Horror Stories From Working Moms

That said, Shannon says she now plans to spend her entire career at the Air Force, and who can blame her? She'd been dreading spending months away from her newborn on active duty. In fact, she admits that she was planning to leave the Air Force to start a family, before this opportunity came along that allowed her to stay.

All I can say is I sincerely hope that more companies -- heck, the whole country -- hears this loud and clear. They need to see how offering time off to pursue personal goals like parenthood isn't a concession, but a way to attract and retain valuable employees and, as a result, is in everyone's best interest. If the U.S. military can do it, then why can't more companies march to this drummer?

How long was your maternity leave?


Image via alphonsusjimos/shutterstock

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