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Ellen Pompeo: Why I Only Took Four Weeks Maternity Leave

03/17/2010 at 03:00 PM ET
Courtesy SELF

After years of wielding her scalpel as Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo was ready for her life to expand beyond her career.

However, many were surprised to find the actress suited up in scrubs and back on set just four weeks after delivering daughter Stella Luna.

“A lot of people couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t take my maternity leave,” the actress admits in the April issue of SELF.

“I felt like I needed to work while I had this opportunity. The writers and producers were really gracious and wrote my scenes so I could preshoot them.”

While she has successfully managed to balance motherhood and her career so far, Pompeo, 40, insists Stella will forever be first and foremost — despite her initial nerves as a new mom!

“I got pregnant and I was like, ‘Oh God, it worked! Oh, no!’ Will I know how to do everything right?” she muses. “Of course, nobody does everything right, but as long as your baby is the priority, that’s the best you can do.”

And Pompeo is doing just that, savoring each moment — and impromptu dance party! — with her sweet 6-month-old baby girl.

“I sing [Beyoncé's] ‘Single Ladies’ to her: ‘Put your hands up!’ Even though it’s probably an involuntary movement on her part, I think she’s really doing it.”

When they’re not rocking out to their favorite tunes, Pompeo is busy instilling a strong sense of self in her daughter. The trait, she says, is one she hopes she passes on to Stella.

“I don’t believe in putting on airs. I call it like I see it. I am who I am, a Southie,” the Boston native laughs. “I hope Stella has more self-confidence than I did as a child. Because when you believe in yourself … you don’t look for validation from others.”

As for her relationship with husband Chris Ivery, Pompeo is always making an effort to add a bit of spice to their marriage. ‘

“It’s easy to get lost in the baby. You have to make sure you give your husband attention,” she explains, adding that the same principle applies to her circle of friends.

“You learn things from your friends, and they bring you joy, and you bring back all that happiness to your baby.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 146 comments

Lesley on

Ellen Pompeo is probably one of the most realistic, down to earth women in Hollywood. Good for her!!

Dani on

She is fantastic and very sexy gorgeous inside out.

Check out her behind the scenes video at Self.com
Shes a gem

http://www.self.com/magazine/blogs/selfystars/2010/03/behind-the-scenes-ellen-pompeo.html#

joy on

If Ellen Pompeo lived here in Canada she would get up to 1 year Mat Leave with paid benefits from the gov’t.

Chris on

It’s obvious…she went back to work because her job is more important than her baby.

carissa on

I like Ellen..She is such a good actress..She seems to have a good relationship with her husband and also seems to be such a good person..She doesn’t appear uppity at all..I love her..

Mag on

Joy, wake up! Your “paid benefits from the government” are NOT paid for by the government. They are paid for by taxpayers just like you. Another reason I am glad I’m not Canadian!

Lisa on

Wow, she is so awesome and well grounded and cool.

To Chris and other naysayers – she goes to ‘work’ which means her baby is in her trailer 2 feet away while she shoots a couple of quick scenes. It’s important to keep your job and have money to raise your child. My company only gave 6 weeks unpaid – not much different than 4 weeks to be honest.

maggie on

LOL @ Mag. Not too sure you know anything about Mat Leave in Canada. FYI: Both Canada and the US are great places to live!

Ellen looks great :) Though I’m still not clear why she’s back at work so early! Oh well, more Grey’s for us.

Michelle on

You WISH you could be so lucky to be Canadian! How rude are you? We are all well aware of who pays for our maternity leave…I help pay for other women to be at home with their child for a year and I am fine with it!

Jackie on

Mag, you are happy you aren’t Canadian because they provide for all mothers to stay home with their children? Yes, Canadians pay more taxes, but they have more benefits as a result, something us Americans do not seem to understand. We want more, more, more, but aren’t willing to pay any more taxes. As a result, this country is saddled with a huge debt that continues to grow out of control.

Upnorth on

“Joy, wake up! Your “paid benefits from the government” are NOT paid for by the government. They are paid for by taxpayers just like you. Another reason I am glad I’m not Canadian!” – Mag

Actually MAG as a working Canadian we pay into our own benefits from the time we start working at the taxable age of 16. So I had my first child at 28 I have paid into EI for over 12 years – more than I will ever get back in EI claims for my two pregnancies, it has a cap on the amount of money you get per claim. The government actually has a few billion surplus in EI collections. When I retrun to work I resum paying EI until I retire. Maybe you shoulds learn a little bit about our tax structure before you make inaccurate statements. For the record EI is not the same as welfare.

Val on

Love Ellen Pompeo!! I also really love to hear when celebrities put their kids first. I totally understand why she went back to work so soon – there is a vacation at the end of the seasons shoot. Besides I’m sure they accomodated her and the baby. Wish all employers were as helpful.

erin on

I don’t know how this chick is, but I can’t conceive of going back to work after 4 weeks when you don’t HAVE to. I had to come back to work after 6 weeks (unpaid) leave because had no choice, financially. Yeah, the way our country (U.S.) deals with maternity leave is pretty damn f-ed up.

Mag on

Those of you in Canada are obviously paying WAY more into this “El” program than you will ever recoup. It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of you after you have a baby – it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure you’re financially ready before jumping into parenthood! My first child is due in a month and I plan to stay home permanently. My husband and I specifically took this into account when purchasing our home, our car, etc. Bottom line – don’t become a parent until you are financialy ready to take care of yourself!

elaine on

i think she is so lovely & graceful & like someone said in these comments, realistic & good on her for going back to work after 4 weeks (i couldnt have managed that haha) her daughter is so cute to, she looks very very happy, im a big fan of her’s & the show..xx

Lyoness on

This is Ellen’s first major, major (or at least memorable) role as an actress that I know of. She’s in her late 30s or early 40s. If she’s not going into movies, doing another sitcom or drama, what is she going to do after Grey’s? She’s an amazing actress but I hope she doesn’t get stuck in “mother roles” or anything. Ellen is trying to do the work while she can. I’m sure she brought itty bitty with her like someone said. Many actors have schedules where they work then have extended periods off while the show if off of the air.

I know a young lady who had a baby in during college and came back 2 weeks after having the baby so she could complete her finals. She didn’t want to be in school for another semester. I doubt she put her work above the baby. This isn’t the 50’s or 60’s where you’re confined to the home because you’re having a baby. I’m sure she and her husband work as team and prioritize what is important for their family. They’re adults and that’s what adults do.

Lee on

Actually Mag you shouldn’t disrespect Canadians or their heathcare system. They are living longer than Americans. You must only watch Fox News.

Brooke on

Ahhhhhhh…so glad we could stay on the topic of Ellen Pompeo for like 3 posts before the politics came into it :-)

Sam on

This woman can only play ONE role so it’s no surprise she is milking it for all it’s worth. After Greys she will have no career and she knows it !

Poor baby. Mother too busy at work. Father a convicted felon.

Kristen on

Well I love that she is getting back to work, but still spending time with Stella and her husband. After all she is wearing scrubs so she doesn’t have to be in perfect shape for a while like other actors that have to where normal clothing.

Cathryn on

Mag, EI is not just for maternity leave, so there are actually lots of ways to “recoup” what you have paid into it. People can also receive benefits for a set period of time (which they have contributed to through previous employement) if they end up sick or laid off. So, as a previous poster said, the government is not taking care of us after we have babies. We are collecting benefits from a program which we have contributed to on each and every pay cheque we will ever receive. It’s a pretty good thing, this living in Canada, if you ask me!

LN on

I don’t understand why the conversation has switched to debating US vs. Canada maternity leave. Isn’t this article about Ellen Pompeo? Whatever she decided, it was HER choice to make. This coming from a Canadian (well aware of the awesome mat leave benefits) now living in the US.

Heather on

Mag, congratulations on landing a husband that has the means and desire support you 100%. What you don’t seem to understand is that most hardworking couples cannot pay for mortgages, car payments, and everything else on a single income. It’s not the 1950s and for most families a single income is just not realistic. Most women are not comfortable relying on men to take care of them. Kudos to Canada and all employers who give working women the necessary maternity leave to maintain strong families and their sense of independence. So cut it with your elitest BS- when your husband leaves you, you’ll wish you had a safety net.

Diana on

I have been on a cancer website dedicated to patients, caregivers, and survivors where we exchange a wealth of information. One thing I became aware of quickly was the long wait to obtain medical care – weeks to see your primary care doctor, 6 months to see a specialist, and 6 mo to a year to get an MRI, PET, or CT Scan. Also, certain medicines are denied because they are too expensive (aka rationing). I told one woman of a chemo drug that was working on a friend with pancreatic cancer. They turned her down due to the expense. Another young man was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor. It was considered “elective” surgery and the doctors were told just to keep an eye on it. Well it is now malignant but it is no longer operable. The system’s refusal to pay for the surgery when it was possible to remove it handed a death sentence to a 37 yr old husband and father of a 3 and 5 yr old.

I recently asked good friends who are from Canada how they like their health care. They said they love it and it’s free. No, it’s not free, it’s incorporated into your taxes – response was “well everyone has to pay taxes. Then I brought up how some Canadians who can afford it come here for health care – not because it is superior but because it can be gotten quickly. I saw 6 medical people in 7 weeks because I was extremely tired all the time and just felt like something was wrong. I saw the 6th one – a cardiologist on Mon and she immediately referred me to an ENT specialist on Wed evening. I was in surgery the following Mon morning and diagnosed with a fast growing aggressive cancer before leaving the operating room. My Canadian friend admitted that would NEVER happen in Canada with all the red tape they put you through. I would not be alive today if I lived in Canada.

Diana on

The health care reform is a little higher on our list of priorities than if Ellen chose to go back to work 4 wks after having her baby. Her choice! Isn’t it wonderful that she doesn’t need our approval!!

Cathryn on

LN: lots of simple discussions turn into deeper ones. It makes things more interesting than just hearing: “cute baby, she looks great, wow she went back to work fast” over and over and over on this site!

Mag on

What if, instead of paying into “El” for your entire working life, you put that same amount of money into your OWN bank account so that you could be prepared for any unforeseen expenses that may come up? I’m glad you all enjoy living in Canada so much, but I personally prefer as little government interference in my life as possible. Maybe that’s just me.

Karen on

Very sad. Glad I am able to stay home.

ProudCanadian on

Mag, you are truly ignorant…

If you only compared how much you will be spending out of your own pocket with how much we pay through our taxes, be it Maternity, Health Care…. you would actually realize that in the end… we are most definitely getting the better deal of the bargain….
Canadians are proud to pay their taxes if it allows them to live a much higher standard of life than the average american…

Mag on

Thank you, Diana! Glad they were able to catch your cancer early!

GetReal on

MAG congrats on being one of those RHOC… here it is folks: WE LIVE IN A NARCISSISTIC SOCIETY FILLED WITH PEOPLE WHO FEEL A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT TO EVERYTHING.

Cathryn on

Mag, what about the MANY people that wouldn’t/couldn’t do that though (put money aside) and then when they needed help, they would just have to turn to welfare, which truly would be out of your taxpayer dollars? It sounds like you are happy with the system in your country though so that is good!

Mag on

GetReal – I am not sure what a “RHOC” is, but I certainly hope you are not calling me “entitled” because I would rather take care of myself rather than having the government do it for me…

Stefanie on

Mag, it’s people like you that give the U.S. a bad name. Heaven forbid we should all look out for one another….heaven forbid that we should ALL receive better maternity benefits. Take your ridiculous views elsewhere.

Lee on

I love your comments Stefanie and I agree.

enough already on

Sounds like Mag’s husband pays all the bills so maybe we should get his opinion and she can go back to filing her nails.

Glad to be Canadian on

Meg, thankfully your the “exception” and not the “norm” as an American with your arrogant and rude comments about another country. Seriously, what is YOUR problem! Yes, as a VERY proud Canadian I am VERY grateful for our health care system and the arrangements that are made for Mothers. I took my one year PAID maternity leave with my daughter and I am very thankful for that precious time with my daughter. Ellen went back after 4 weeks but you can’t compare..she is in Hollywood and they have lots of benefits too and I am sure she got to see her daughter around her work schedule every other day. Kudos to her! And Meg one more thing…..suck it up princess you just WISHED you had the benefits we had because any new mother would….and maybe after my one year mat leave is up…I may just decide to stay home for good! God Bless Canada and the many options its gives us when we decide to have a family!

jenn on

i have never had a child-and i don’t feel at all bad about paying into a fund that lets mothers’ stay home for a year. Canadians look out for each other-not just ourselves!

Mag on

enough already – Yeah, thanks but no thanks. I have worked my butt off since I graduated from college to pay off debt and put away enough money so that I’ll be able to stay home and raise my child, rather than paying a daycare center to do it for me. It’s called planning ahead, not taking on debt that you can’t afford, working hard, and taking care of your own family. Look into it.

Erin on

Chris, do you feel that way about every mother that returns to work after having a baby? I mean, that seems like a very ignornat thing to say. A lot of women return to work after having a baby and there’s no shame in it, whether it be four weeks after, four days, four months. It’s a woman’s choice and women, all mothers, should be commended for being able to balance being a mom with another full time, or even part time, job.

Lisa on

Mag is a sad, ignorant person. Rather than taking the time to educate herself on the facts, she has instead latched onto a few Fox News headlines. Canadians are not dying in the streets and women who take maternity leave are not financially irresponsible. You are an embarrassment and one of the reasons why all Americans are unfairly stereotyped.

Anonymous on

I agree with Mag, pay for your own child!

canuck on

Not only does the government pay you 70% of your wages but many employers also top up your salary to 100%. For instance teachers have this benefit. Also if the female makes more money than her husband than she could choose to go back to work after 6 months and YES her husband is eligible for 6 months of paternity leave

Kris on

Why does it matter when she went back to work. The baby comes with her with a nanny im sure. She is never a few feet from her baby. I went back after 3 mos of paid time off and loved every min of it. My baby could not come with me so I wanted every min I could with her if I was in Ellen’s shoes I would have gone back sooner. Im in California and we get paid up to 4 weeks before baby is born and up to 12 weeks after the baby is here. We pay in to it with our taxes and must be at the job for so long, have so many people workig there but we still get paid and this was the only reason I was able to stay home with my daughter and not go back to work at 6 weeks.

Stella Bella on

“Mag, it’s people like you that give the U.S. a bad name. Heaven forbid we should all look out for one another…”
Said exactly like someone who expects me to do all the work while she takes all the benefit.

Remy on

I love being Canadian but the year maternity leave guarantees your position is available when you return and as for the gov’t money, it’s 48% of your pay capped at $40K.

So Silly on

Mag – really??? Do you realize how you sound and come across? That is great that you are able to live your life out of debt and within your means..but does it honestly make you feel better to try and be little people on here??? To be honest..I wish we did have a better system here in the US for maternity leave, my work does not offer paid time off, and even tho I have done everything to “TAKE CARE OF MYSELF” sometimes situations prevent from having enough money to have all the things in life we need to live without having to go back to work early. So before you go and make more comments..how about reading what you wrote, and holding your tounge..because frankly you are coming across as holier than thou.

A proud woman on

This actress (no doubt) has a nanny, driver, maid, etc. for hired help.

She is a part-time Mom (unlike some of us).

Most of us have to work to earn a living.

She works (good for her) but she has tons of help. Life is so easy for some folks.

olivia on

i love love ellen pompeo i love love love grey’s anatomy ellen look’s amazing and the fact that she returned to work four weeks after giving birth wow! she is beautiful sexy sweet talented georgous also she is fiery i love her!

Kerri on

That’s it, I’m moving to Canada!!!

TJ on

Mag- Just a question for you- what if a woman gets pregnant before she is financially ready for it? Did you ever stop to think that although sometimes, you can plan for a child, other times, a child is a wonderful, non-planned event? What is your solution then?

Some people don’t live a perfectly planned life where everything happens just as they plan it.

We were fortunate to plan for our baby, but I still returned to work 6 weeks after giving birth, when my maternity leave was up. We have no debt, and are able to afford a nanny to care for our baby. I choose to work for many reasons, not the least of which is knowing the future is uncertain and I should always be ready to take on the full burden of financial responsibility should the need arise.

I'm proud to be a Canadian!! on

I’m sorry Mag, I have to say it:

Candian new moms are not being supported by the government!! They’re not taking on debt they cannot afford- Canadian moms on mat leave are receiving their own money back- what’s wrong with paying taxes?? What’s wrong with looking out for yourself, or your neighbour??

Good for you for working your butt off in college to pay off your debt… I’m currently doing the same thing. And here’s a newsflash: IT’S WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DO! And I’m fully planning ahead- which is why I don’t have children yet. But I think there is nothing, at all, wrong with paying taxes so that you can take the time off work to be with your new baby.

And just so you know, the money new moms receive (again, from EI- which is EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE- which is something EVERYONE pays into as soon as they start working- and is so far from being “welfare”, it’s not even remotely ok that you’re associating it with being the same thing) is a percentage of their pay- it’s not like they’re receiving their full pay for a year off. I believe it’s 80% for the first 16 weeks and it goes down to 60% for the duration of your mat leave… maybe it’s dependent on the place you work, but that’s how it is for Ontario hospital nurses.

I’m sure you have home, car, and health insurance among so many other forms of insurance… why not pay into employment insurance- just in case, Mag… just in case! You can plan ahead all you want but you can’t predict every unforseen event you might just find yourself in.

Rebecca on

Not everyone who is able to work, works in this country. Very sad. It isn’t fair for others to pay for people who want everything for free. That is frustrating, and that is why it is difficult for some to want to pay for more taxes when clearly some of us pay a lot in taxes each and every year. Also, with the billions we pay in taxes, it should be enough for our country to run, but many departments and agencies overspend on things that should not continue and don’t plan for the future things that do need to be taken care of (i.e. roads, bridges, medicare, medicaid). If you cannot take care of 3-8 children, or however many, don’t have them. 4 weeks is not so different from 6 weeks. I stay home with my children, I am lucky to do so. There are those of us who need to work to bring home a paycheck. There is a level of living that everyone decides to have. That is their choice. Accept your choices and don’t judge other choices. Think of the people staying home with their children who are abusing their children day in and day out, some even killing their children. Bet those children pray their parents would go to work and give them 8 hours of peace and safety. Think of Ms. P here…doesn’t appear she’s having DFS show up at her place, it appears in pics her child is happy (an unhappy, abused child will show up in pics)…so before you judge Ms. P for going to work and doing what she wishes to do…I am sure her child is loved and well cared for. We have no right to judge others unless they are harming us, or the child in question. Canada is no better than US and US is no better than Canada. Each have their positives and negatives I’m sure. Canada is amazing…been there, have friends. US is amazing…live here. It’s just a story to read to get away from everyday life. Not worth it to get into a pissing match with some blogger you don’t know from Adam.

GrownUp on

I’m with Mag. Unless you’re mentally and/or physically handicapped there is no reason to ask the government or your fellow citizens to subsidize you and your choices, whether it’s maternity benefits, health insurance, or whatever. You are responsible for your own life, and your family’s life. So grow up and act like an adult! Everyone is free to support private organizations that help people in need. But compelling hard-working people to give up their hard-earned money is not fair.

I’m proud to be a Canadian!! on

Ok Mag, I have to say it:

EI- what Canadian moms (among many other people, under many other circumstances) receive (and it’s only a percentage of their full pay, 80% for the first 16wks and 60% afterward- that’s what it is for Ontario hospital nurses, I don’t know what it is elsewhere or if it’s dependent on place of work)… it’s EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. I’m sure you have home, car, health insurance, among many other kinds… so, does it not make sense to have employment insurance? You can plan ahead all you want, but you can’t predict everything Mag.

EVERYONE pays into EI as soon as they start working… it’s taken off with your taxes, what’s wrong with taxes? I personally don’t mind paying a little extra so a new mom who otherwise might not be able to take time off work can.

Good for you for planning ahead and working your butt of in college- I’m doing the same thing, and I also plan ahead, which is why I don’t have children- and here’s a newsflash: IT’S WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DO!!!

And I have to say, the fact that you’re associating EI with welfare is so far from being ok. They’re completely different systems. Maybe if more people had programs like EI, their welfare rates would decrease because there would be no need for it- should you get sick, or god forbid- your husband gets laid off, you’re getting your own money back.

Workerbee on

I am sure Ellen’s daughter is well loved and taken care of! It is difficult to take time off of work and in her profession (where she has a trailer and can be with her child), going back earlier is realistic. So many judgemental people…especially fellow mothers. Its a shame we don’t support each other more.

linda on

Why is going back to work after four weeks instead of six make her a bad mother who puts work first? Women like Ellen Pompeo don’t love their children any less because the go back to work early. Obviously a comment made by a man or someone who has more money than brains. Most women have to go back to work as soon as they have medical clearance. Let me break some news to you, unless you are one of the lucky ones you don’t get six to eight weeks paid maternity leave. Women received those as unpaid leave. I like most other women can’t afford six weeks without a pay check as we have these things called bills that must be paid.

Emma on

TJ – loved your comment.

Cheryl F on

Diana, so glad they caught your cancer early! That is wonderful news.

However, I do have to say that your perception of Canadian health care is not accurate. My doctor suspected I had cancer and sent me for tests including a CT scan the next day, saw a specialist within a week, and so on. Stories of long waits and red tape may be true in places, but no one I know has experienced that. I am grateful for our health care system and our maternity benefits!

And Mag, one could argue that you really are not looking after yourself, your husband is!!! (I say this as a stay at home mom;))

Jessicad on

I love Ellen and Grey’s Anatomy! She seems like a great mom in the interviews I’ve read lately. I think whatever women choose to do in terms of staying home or working is their choice and we should support them instead of tearing them down.

As someone who was left alone to pay for a pregnancy and raise a child, I’m glad the government was able to help me when I needed, but it’s still an extremely flawed system.

I hope the Canadians here aren’t too offended by some of the comments.

Kelly on

Why does everyone rip on people who watch Fox? Fox as a news channel is very balanced. No, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc. are not balanced but the actual news that is reported is relative to what is reported on all the other Obama-worshipping networks.

P.S. Who cares that Ellen Pompeo went back to work early? Not me.

leslie on

for those of you who continue to argue and bicker back an forth about america vs. canada….why don’t you go to another website and continue this or better yet, exchange email addresses so that you can continue your discussion in private. i thought this article was about ellen pompeo.

Liliana on

Please don’t pity Ellen’s daughter. She did not abandon her. Unlike the majority of other careers, Ellen can bring the baby on set therefore she is in no way neglecting her needs or putting work before her child.

Even though financially I must work to provide for my sons, I would’ve done so regardless. I love my job. My priorities are more than in order as my sons will ALWAYS come first so as long as this is true for all working mothers, why should they have to give up their careers?

Anonymous on

Okay, so I think its great that she went back after four weeks. No where does it say you are required to go back after six weeks, in fact most doctors only recommend four weeks. Only if you have a c-section do they say six weeks. So for all of you complaining that she went back too early, read more often to find out actual information.

Lucy on

Gag me Ellen

Teresa on

Hey, give it a rest. Congratulations to Ellen, her husband, and little Stella – who I am is very lucky to be born into a family who loves her so much!

Carla on

Wow, Chris, I guess you think women should be home 24/7 or it means they don’t care about their children. Honey, it’s 2010. Women are allowed to have a life and job these days. Her baby is on the set with her. It’s not like she left it on the curb. Get real.

Jen on

Actually Diana, less than 1% of Canadians cross the border into the US to receive medical treatment, and some of that treatment is actually paid for by the Canadian government.

Canada has a higher standard of living, lower obesity, and lower infant and maternal mortality rate, among other things. They have single-payer government funded healthcare (NOT socialized medicine). They provide adequate maternity leave (like most European nations) and take care of those who are unable to work or who have lost their jobs.

AND the Canadian government is paying off its debt, even with all these social programs.

I’m American and proud to be American, but we could learn a thing or two from our neighbors to the North.

Jen on

Kelly, the fact that you refer to all other news networks as “Obama-worshipping” tells me you aren’t the most objective yourself when it comes to how “fair and balanced” Fox news is.

If Fox would just admit that all of their programming is geared toward the conservative viewer and not entirely objective, people would back off…at least a little.

Rachel-Jane on

As a Brit who is fiercely proud of our welfare state and the NHS (and that doesn’t mean welfare as in benefits, although I see no problem in benefits for those who can’t work/find work) I cannot even fathom Mag’s point of view. We have a similar thing to EI, but ours is NI (National Insurance) and like EI everyone pays into it as soon as they start working. What is wrong with that? Babies should be with their mothers for as long as possible/as long as the mother wishes to stay at home for, and I have absolutely no problem in paying tax to enable mothers to take maternity leave.

SP on

I hate to tell you all, but after speaking to my many American friends, we Canadian friends don’t pay that much more in taxes. I won’t claim that our government is “better” but maybe our money is less wasted. I also won’t claim where the “waste” is, I wouldn’t want to start an unnecessary fight.

Lee on

I’m sorry but if you think Fox news is balanced, you are very naive. There is a reason why even some republicans don;’t take them seriously. Just come out and admit that you’re a republican instead of inserting politics into any topic. This blog isn’t about politics so really I don’t get why some of you are trying to make it into one. Fox news has a blog, go on there to complain about how much you hate liberals and anyone that supports Obama.

Lee on

@Carla, I know. Sometimes I believe people don’t realize how bad the “golden age’ of the 1950s were. The media makes it sound great but if you really do research it was a horrible time for women and minorities. When I see people saying it’s better to be a stay at home mom, I think they don’t respect women and believe that men run the home.

Cynthia on

This whole Mag thing appears to have got out of hand. First off to Mag: I agree with you in respect to your comments regarding making sure you’re financially responsible before committing to children. I think it’s very important to be aware of ones finances when introducing a new life to the world and that not enough people respect the fact they are creating another human being. However, there are circumstances beyond your control. I am Canadian, and I attempted to secure my financial situation by obtaining employment with a reputable company. However, this company was American, and when your economy started to slide, while ours was actually thriving back in 2007 -2008, they packed up shop and left us jobless. Had it not been for the EI my country affords me, not just me, but my child would have suffered greatly. I’m not saying you’re wrong and I’m right or vice versa, I’m saying that as people, we have choices and we make them for our situation. You like your health care and how it works? Great! no problem, stay in your country and live with that. If you do have a problem? look at immigrating to a country that has what you want. Last I checked, both were free countries that weren’t shackling us to our home country.

canadagirl on

im willing to bet that all you against canadian benefits would accept them if you were given the choice. if you were given the option of paid leave with your baby… you cant even try to say you wouldnt take it.

and what about if you have a baby, and then your husband gets laid off or loses his job entirely? or gets ill?
id like to see you plan for all of these occurances.

HeatherB on

Mag – For someone who claims to be a stay at home mom so they can take care of their child instead of a daycare, you sure spend a lot of time on the computer. Your child might be better off at the daycare where they can get some interaction with a responsible adult.

Notamomenttoosoon on

I’m an American with two children and I do really wish we had better maternity benefits across the board in this country. However, the problem a lot of Americans have with paying more taxes for things like ‘employment insurance’ is that they are widely abused, at least here in the States. Too many people take advantage of programs that in the first place were designed to help people but have just become a behemoth of tax waste and fraud. I have a feeling that most American women would also choose to “take care of each other,” as one poster said, if they could be sure the money would actually be supporting another mother and not some welfare chick looking to make an easy dollar off of another kid.

calla on

Who cares how much mat leave Ellen took! That’s her personal decision. Even if she went back to work the day after, who are we to judge. People should be more concerned about their own lives rather than judging other people’s lives and decisions. Ellen’s length of mat leave has absolutely no bearing on our own life so get over it.

BTW…..CANADA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus we kicked *** at the olympics!

JM on

wow mag, and HELLO Mrs Capitalism. yes, let’s all just take care of ourselves and make sure we never look out for others. because if other people are poor and maybe need help from state benefits, or a single mum get pregnant unexpectedly, or one parent gets fired, or just in general if people are living poverty it IS really their fault isn’t it? now let’s all go and watch some more fox news. did you hear obama is trying to make america socialist? and i hear that is evil, i don’t really know why because i don’t really understand what it means. i just heard that it is russian and bad.

seriously guys COME ON!!!!

Diana on

I assure everyone that I would not – and did not – take what I felt wasn’t due me during or after my pregnancy. My first husband walked off and left me with two babies and expecting a third. I could have taken public aide and collected “welfare” but that is not the way I was raised. I was raised by parents who taught me that I had two arms and two legs and should provide for myself. I worked until I was no longer able to in my pregnancy – then I babysat for children whose parents worked as well as took in ironings (and if you knew how much I hate to iron, you would know how committed I was to taking care of my own – if someone gave my children an item of clothing that had to be ironed, they outgrew it before they could wear it a second time) to support my children.

If the current health care reform bill was so great – the Dem are in charge of the House and the Senate – it would have passed but they have to resort to behind closed doors bribes to get the needed “yes” votes (and still working on it).

While I am somewhat familiar with cancer patients and what they face in Canada, I am not at all familiar with how Canadian Gov runs but I do know how our Gov has screwed up the U.S. Postal Dept and Social Security (Dem & Rep) so I do not want them in charge of my health care (either party).

I love Nancy Pelosi’s answer to the shortage of doctors in the U.S. though – just lower the standards to get into medical school. Now that is the doctor I want when I have a serious illness – the one who wouldn’t have made it in if the standards hadn’t been lowered.

As for the maternity leave, I would like to say Canadian’s program sounds great except I don’t think it is fair overall. I had 5 children and I think it would have been wrong for me to take maternity leave 5 times for a year each child (5 yrs) when someone who had one child took only one maternity leave (1 yr) especially IF we were each paying the same amount of money into the system.

Jen on

ok all though this article was about ellen which i’m happy she was able to do that it’s great.
Mag- you make good points and Bad points. I am a 25 year old spouse of an Army solider who is deployed met him through work at a detention center. never did i think i would fall in love with a man in 7 weeks and be Married and Pregnant. I worked my butt off until the doctors looked at me and told me that i had to stop working for the health of myself and my child. I had preclampsia. Delivered my child 3 weeks early. I am now unemployed part because i want too but part because i couldn’t take more leave. I want to because of i want to see my daughter grow in the year that her daddy is gone, but i think it would be awesome to have mat. Leave like Canada 1 year paid Mat. Leave In that time i could watch my child grow finish my degree all while knowing my job was there waiting for me. AWESOME!!!! Darn I want to move to Canada NOW!!!!

sinclair on

“Gag me Ellen”??

Wow, miss the old CBB in more ways than one.

Helloe on

I think a lot of Americans are just tired of having to take care of the lazy people. I’m all for helping people out when in need, but there are so many people that take advantage of the system. I think we should pay taxes, but less taxes. Let us have more of our own money to save and do with what we want. The welfare system is so screwed up that it actually discourages a lot of people who are on it from getting a job. The Healthcare system needs improvements, but Obamacare would be detrimental to this country…people wouldn’t get the care they needed in a timely manner and doctors would quit adnd take up other professions because they couldn’t do what’s best for their patients. I know a lot of Canadians that hate their healthcare system and from reading this, there are a lot who love it. Sounds like the United States…it probably depends on your circumstance. If everyone would work hard, love one another and most importantly love God…the US and Canada would be two happy places to live!

ann on

The difference between the USA and Canada is that canada only has about 35 million people while the USA has over 300 million…we can’t afford the same system that Canada has…

You would think that with 300 million we could afford govt assted benefits like staying home w/ pay after child birth….but unfortunately in the USA there are more americans receiving benefits than actually contributing for these benefits….

Rebecca on

My friends husband just died in Canada bec. of their “wonderful” health insurance. What started out as s/t benign soon turned deadly because the doctors would not send him for tests even though he kept asking for it. By the time the doctors agreed that something WAS wrong the tests showed that it was too late.
Yes, US health insurance is FAR from ideal and incredibly expensive, but I’d take it any day over a Canadian plan.

Michelle on

Mag, are all American’s like you???

So glad I am an Australian!

So she went back to work 4 weeks after giving birth?? So what??
It doesn’t make her a bad Mum.

I have three children and I work full time. I love my kids and I love my job.

Tracey on

I lived in both the US and Canada. I’d rather wait an extra week or two to get my wart removed in Canada than watch my neighbour die at home because he couldn’t afford to see a doctor.

For those Americans that are scared to death of having healthcare like in Canada… you should honestly take a poll of Canadians and talk to them as I ‘m sure the majority would say they are relieved that they can receive health care regardless of their income level. My baby was born with a rare blood disorder at birth that could have killed her and she had about 10 of the best specialists at her side within hours that eventually saved her. I never once had to fear for her safety and well-being as it was all covered by my Canadian taxes, thank GOD!

That’s the difference between US and Canadian Govt. Our government believes that every citizen deserves the right to healthcare regardless of their ability to pay, period. And I think that is a beautiful thing.

Maddie on

All this talk about unpaid maternity leave (and only 6 weeks at that) makes me scared. Here in New Zealand we get 14 weeks paid leave by the govt (plus i imagine you would pay for some thru taxes, same as welfare) , but its not 100% of your income. I think the most you can claim for is $500 a week. New daddys can get 2 weeks paid paternity leave to help mum and bubs. The canadian health care system sounds very similar to New Zealand’s way of life.
Ellen is lucky that she is in a job where she can take her baby to work, and also get long breaks, whether it be during filming or off season. Can’t believe wee Stella is 6 months already!!

Anonymous on

Why do liberals have to make all arguements personal? Why attact Mag? She has opinions… argue the opinion, don’t call her sad or make fun of her. Go read the bible or something. All she was saying is low taxes are good, less government is good and being a stay at home mama is good. Being proud of your country is a good thing too. Don’t stoop to insults when you can’t back up your views. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

Etsy on

Ellen NEEDS to go back to work to pay for all of that EXPENSIVE HEALTHCARE she and her family will one day need! Wouldn’t Americans rather see the money they spend on WAR go to HEALTHCARE? No one seemed to bat an eyelid when George W. decided that spending money on killing was better than spending it on healing! All of the ‘safe and healthy’ places in the world have paid maternity leave, national healthcare, and gun control! With so much of American politics being based on religion, I am mortified by the moral compass of America today! Shame shame ( and I am American:)

smd on

I respect her decision about returning to work. She’s barely in the show so she can’t be working all that much anyway. Everyone is different. The politics of health care shouldn’t be debated in this forum. If you are passionate about your position do something! But this isn’t the place for it. Ellen looks beautiful and is still glowing months after.

Lee on

@Michelle,not all Americans are like her…at least all of the people I know including myself :D

Northern Cowgurl on

Before you start ripping into another country’s health care system, at least get your facts straight!!! sheesh! EI is something ALL Canadians put into as a safety net. You lose your job, you get EI, you get sick and cant work you get EI, you have a baby you get EI, you ADOPT A CHILD you get EI. Its not welfare, its not “subsidized” payments from the government…its your OWN MONEY! Consider it “planning ahead” which is what you claim you have done Meg. Good for you for standing on your own two feet, but why put a whole Country down??

GO ELLEN GO! you’re beautiful, you’re down to earth, you’re a great mom!! Moms go back to work every day, she wont be the last mom to do it.

CANADA rocks for its own reasons…every country is unique and different.

Liz on

Guess she probably has a nanny and night nurse. Can’t see her getting up all hours of the night and then spending 12 hour days on a set. So sad when people decide their work is more important than their children. She can say whatever she wants, but the bottom line is she doesn’t want to be home with her baby.

Chelsi on

Michelle–No not all Americans are like Mag, and thank goodness for that!

I just wonder what really happened to people in this world? It’s all about money and being self-absorbed. What happened to the time where you would invite your neighbor over for dinner or not be afraid to say “Hi” to the stranger you see on the street? I know there was a time like this, where everyone could at least try to get along and not put others down, just to make themselves feel better. I think it’s great that there is a program like this in Canada, I wish that more moms here could use a program like this. And as for sending your child to daycare, some parents want to work and help provide, but does that make them love their children less than stay at home parents, no it does not. Some parents love their kids with all their hearts, but feel the need to work also, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I know stay at home parents who do absolutely nothing for their kids except place them in front of the TV while working families spend every free moment with their children. Also, not everyone is fortunate enough to be completely out of debt before having kids, or can’t wait that long to have children. Yes it’s great to be out of debt, but even if you are doesn’t make you a “less qualified” parent. There will always be bills and for some people they would never have children if they waited to be out of debt. As long as they an provide love, attention, and what the child needs in life, then by all means, have children. I’ll get off my soap box now, just had to throw in my two cents.

Sincerely,

A mom who has debt, works part time, school full time, and loves her daughter more than anything in the world and will do anything for her.

Susan on

No, all Americans aren’t like Mag — and in so many ways. What a blessing it would have been to spend a year at home with each of my 2 children instead of returning to work after 6 weeks to avoid losing my job. Actually, I’d love to hear from Mag how I went wrong here — I worked my way through college, ended up with a ton of debt that took 12 years to pay off, spent 10 of those years also setting aside money every paycheck to save for a down payment on a house. Meanwhile, the biological clock kept ticking. Yep, Mag, please tell me where hubby and I went wrong. Child too early? Yeah, I was 35 but should we have waited another 5 or 10 years before we gave in and had a child too soon? Clearly you figured out how to live on 1/2 as much but still pay the mortgage, put away money for your little one’s future college expenses, have a slush fund ready when the $5000 orthodontist bill comes due, etc. It’s too late for me, I’ve already paid the orthodontist and the college fund is nearly gone with 6 years of higher ed. so far between our 2 kids, but maybe you could clue in some of the 70 million or so other families here in the good ol’ USA who think they need two wage earners to get by?

Eca on

Indonesia even have 3 months of mat leave.

Sue on

Don’t tell Mag, but most Canadians get at least 3-4 weeks vacation too. I personally get 8 weeks. I can’t imagine only having 6 weeks to bond with your baby? How do establish breast feeding etc?

I have two children and enjoyed 2 PAID years at home and worked part time until they were in school full days.

Pat on

I think that there should be a page for people to discuss Canadian v American health care, not on a page discussing Ellen Pompeo. Anyway I think that she is great and I think that her coming back to work early isn’t going to affect her baby, at 4 weeks old she is too young to notice and it’s not like an ordinary job, I expect that between takes she was able to go to her dressing room and be with her baby. Sam I don’t know whether her husband is a ‘convicted felon’ but I wouldn’t think he was a murderer so what’s that got to do with anything.
I’m glad she is back and that Katherine Heigle has left.

denise on

a rather weird discussion it seems to me. isn’t it ellen pompeo’s very personal decision? I guess I wouldn’t have returned after 4 weeks but as someone already mentioned, her daughter is in her trailer a few feet away from her and she sees her more than most working moms can spend time with their babys.
I’m glad I’m not living in the US. at least here everyone has health insurance and no, it’s not a 6 months wait for a cancer patient. AND new moms get 67% of their monthly income for a year until they return to work. europe does have it’s benefits.

Maya on

Mag – It seems like you have WAY too much time on your hands. Maybe you should do something productive with your life instead of arguing on blogs… (And yes, we get it. You’re a capitalist. You’re against national healthcare, bluh, bluh, bluh. Enough already!)

Cara on

Gosh, I wish someone would bring in a law again Photoshop, she is barely recognisable ! It is getting beyond a joke now how these magazine covers are being churned out !!

jello on

Ann,

The reason that the US could not have the same system as Canada is because they spend far too much tax payers money on their military than anything else.

kate on

Well said Tracey. I feel the same way. I’m Australian. My mother had cancer twice while I was growing up, and I never had to worry if we were still going to be able to afford to live or if she would get the help she needed. Medicare took care of it all. She had great doctors and the process was relatively quick (within a few weeks as opposed to a few days). We didn’t have to pay a cent. Sure, people abuse welfare systems, but I would rather have it that way then have people unable to afford to live or dying from treatable conditions because they can’t afford health insurance. I’m currently on disability because I have a rare metabolic disease. I shudder to think about how much debt I would be in and how much more difficult my life would be now if I lived in the US.

mom_of_2_kidz on

Mag – not everyone can marrry a rich guy and stay at home all day chasing around our children. I went to college, got a job, married and then waited 3 years before having my 1st child which I stayed home with for 9 months and then happily went back to work. Working is a choice, staying home with the baby is a choice, but its not up to you to decide.

Lauren on

I’m with Mag. A couple can save up for their own childrearing plans in advance of having kids. I see it as a wash—either pay it out in your taxes or save it into your own account. Because I believe government should interfere as little as possible, I favor the latter.

Kristen on

We don’t require that parents save up and pay for their children’s educations- we see a value in education for every child and for our society. I think it really speaks to our selfishness as a country if we don’t see healthcare in the same vein. Healthy, happy, functioning children and adults, who all have access to healthcare, are truly benefits to our society. We are not all blessed with the same stability to start, but if we have a baseline for education and health- it gives all families a chance to grow and prosper and be self-sufficient in all other aspects of their lives.

Jen on

So MAG, I am assuming that you’ll forgoe utilizing any social security and Medicare benefits when you and your husband are ready to retire? Because those two things work nearly the same as Canadians EI and since you think so negatively about that, one would assume you feel the same about Social Security and Medicare right?

Roxy on

Liz, you do not know Ellen personally so judging her as such makes you look like a fool.

The debate on politics between two countries is pointless. Find a forum that caters to it and hash out your opinion. How Ellen Pompeo sparked such a debate is beyond me especially because she was talking about her own, personal experience; not that of her country.

h on

i’m starting to like the name Stella, not sure about Luna though, it’s a cat name in my opinion.

Proud American on

Some people implied that they were “forced” to go back to work after six weeks or lose their jobs. Anyone heard of FMLA? Provided you have worked enough hours the previous year, you can take up to 12 weeks off without fear of losing your job. I personally took only the eight weeks my employer paid, which was followed by a four week gradual phase back. I was more than ready to get back to work!

There is no way I could have stayed sane at home for an entire year. I much prefer going to work and letting my daughter have daily social interaction with other children.

Someone else acted like that’s not long enough to establish a nursing relationship. Newsflash, Skippy, that’s why they have breast pumps. My daughter is 13 months old and just decided to wean herself this week.

proudcanadian on

I am a mother and I work full time, these days you really have to. My Son was planned and I was a little older and financially stable. Myself I live within my means but I am always prepared that if something is to happen to my husband I know I can take care of myself and my child. I have to say stay at home moms do have a hard job but it is also hard for moms to work full time at work then at home too. As a mother I really enjoyed taking the year off to spend with my son and to bond with him. I am very happy that here in Canada you have the option of collecting maternity benefits. As far as saving enough money to take care of your own child not everyone can do that and not all pregnancies are planned. EI is 55% of your normal weekly earning to a max of $457 per week and then they take tax off of that. So some people take a big drop in pay to stay home but it is well worth it. I actually work for Employment Insurance and I see not only people on maternity leave but also people who end up getting sick with no benefits from their employer or their employer closes shop or lets them go with no warning. I think paying into EI which is a max of $747.36 for the year depending on what you make is a great thing. At least it gives a person options and doesn’t put them on the street.

Trina on

I think Ellen is a very smart woman who made the best choice for her. As a Grey’s fan I thank her for being considerate to her fans, the show fans in coming back so early.

The rest it doesnt matter; people’s opinion come down to nothing.

ana114 on

I truely don’t get what is the big deal. I think is good idea that she took short mat leave.

dfs on

Liz, plenty of MEN go back to work not long after their wife has a baby. Does that mean they value work more and don’t want to stay home with their child?

Someone has to earn money in the family, and it may be that Ellen is the primary wage earner and that her husband is staying with the baby most of the time.

denise on

some of you are probably going to hate germany… here moms get A WHOLE YEAR off at 67% of their income. if you haven’t had a job before or want to work you get 300€. and you HAVE TO take off at least 6 weeks after giving birth. it’s the new system to have also well educated women with good jobs having children and not only people who don’t have jobs and who didn’t receive any further education. you can take another 2 years off but without payment. the german government realized that the state earns money when children are born (future taxes) and there are not enough kids born any more.
i can’t think of a positive aspect of a country where people don’t have health insurance, where people can’t afford it. and where people think FOX is neutral and offers balanced news.

Sarah on

I wonder if all the people on here who are criticizing Ellen for going back to work 4 weeks after her child was born are also as judgemental of men going back to work just days after their child is born. Why are men never accused of loving their job more than their child when they go back to work. It’s truly disturbing that so many people act as if mothers should only work if they absolutely have to. The double standard is nauseating.

Jen on

Because, Denise, there are people fighting for insurnace coverage for all and who don’t believe FOX news is the end all, be all.

The U.S. is diverse and it’s people can not be steretyped or neatly squeezed into one tight little box.

ecl on

Mag clearly has no idea how capitalism works. First off, capitalism requires that some people be richer and some people be poorer. So what about all the poorer people? Are they all lazier? No. Many janitors work very hard, but have not had the same opportunities. So if they can’t afford to save up, what should happen? Does Mag argue that poor people shouldn’t have babies? How about the fact that blacks in the US are disproportionately poor? Does that mean that blacks shouldn’t be allowed to have babies? Many can’t afford to have one parent stay at home full time. Seriously, people – think through the implications of your arguments before you make them. If we weren’t wasting all of our tax dollars on ridiculous wars, we would have money for maternity leave, health care and schools. This is about our priorities as a country, which unfortunately are more about killing brown people than helping take care of our own.

SD on

Based on her limited screen time I have to assume Ellen is back only part time. She was on the show more when she was pregnant than since she has come back. She does have a nanny or nurse who she gratefully thanked on the Ellen DeGeneres show and said she couldn’t do it without her. She’s beautiful and looks so happy so I am happy for her. And I’m very appreciative that she came back. She makes the show for me.

What ever each woman decides to do is their choice and I support it if they want to come back early or stay out for longer periods of time. I find it shameful that so many people, especially other woman, choose to tear them down for what ever their choice is.

Concerned on

“So what about all the poorer people? Does Mag argue that poor people shouldn’t have babies?”

I don’t know what Mag thinks but poor people tend to have larger families because they can’t or won’t buy birth control. While I believe we owe everybody a helping hand, we still need to foster RESPONSIBLE behavior. If you can’t afford an addition to your family without govt assistance, why do I need to continue to pay for YOUR choices?

Ironic, everybody seems to use the “that’s what European countries have been doing for years” reasoning for public assistance or employment insurance. If European countries have it all right, why is it that when the first sign of trouble arises, they call Washington for help?

At what point, will people see that our country can NOT keep giving people less and tax us more than ever. Until we can get our CURRENT economic mess under control, we have NO business adding yet another FUBAR to happen. Why do I need to continue to pay for YOUR choices? YOU make a choice, YOU pay the price.

jenn on

My first question is to all the people who said that they prefer the government stay out of their lives as much as possible, does that apply to gays as well? Should they be allowed to marry and adopt, or do you just want the government to stay out of the lives of straight people?
I fancy myself a libertarian but Canada’s EI program sounds great. No different, in my opinion, than a 401K, if I’m right about what a 401k is, haha. The problem with Americans is they want to believe if you aren’t a firm believer in the “America is the greatest country in the world” motto, then you aren’t patriotic. What’s so wrong with wanting your country to live up to its fullest potential? We can do better than we are currently doing and have been doing for the last ten years. At least Dems gave Dubya a couple years before they started trashing him. Politics between Republicans and Democrats have become one big, dirty pissing contest. The same people who want the government to dictate what you worship (previous comments include “love god first” and “read the bible” as if the country is made up only of “Christians” and “bad Christians” who need the “Christians” to alert them whenever they sin) and who you sleep with, but then complain that the government is too involved with their money. Tell me, just how hypocritical can one be? You either want an intrusive gov’t or you don’t.
Yes, I see that I’ve gotten off-course. Whether it was the point of this article or not, I think we all can take from this argument to accept that not everyone takes the same route in life. We all want to be happy and support ourselves, but sometimes that doesn’t happen for us. I, personally, will probably never have a baby because I would be too ashamed to have to go on welfare and I can’t afford a baby on my own. I would hate for my child to grow up sensing my shame over having to use W.I.C. Maybe that’s for the best. But I also believe having a child is a biological right that transcends whether or not you can afford it and defies rationale. I haven’t figured out the solution yet, but I think any woman who wants a child will have a part of her die inside if she never haves one in some capacity. By the looks of these comments some people will say it’s her own fault for not planning better. Heartless.

jenn on

I saw the video from this shoot on E! and she looked just like this. So, airbrushed, maybe. Photoshopped? Nope.

Anonymous on

@Concerned When was the last time Europe needed America to come here and save us?? And it’s very silly to imply that WWII was caused by our “public assistance or employment insurance” policies!

Fact- European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and almost every other DEVELOPED nation in the world have better healthcare and take better care of their citizens than the USA. Why? Because they percieve that it is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to be taken care of when you find yourself in times of adversity. Health shouldn’t be treated like a commodity. Do you also disagree with the government funding public schools?

And as for Ellen, good for her going for back to work. Not all woman can (or want to) depend on their husbands to finantially support their children. I doubt her daughter will grow up feeling any less loved because her mom spent a couple of hours away from her.

HLCS on

Joy- Yes, I agree that the US should adopt longer maternity leaves like Canada and even paternity leaves without fear of losing your position but I really don’t think that would extend into such a unique role as being the star of a hit tv show. I think all she means is that she waited a long time to have the opportunity to be part of such a popular show. Hollywood does not work like the rest of the world.

helene on

I think everyone is being entirely unfair to Mags. I agree 100% with her point. She may sound defensive because all of you jumped on her opinions out of guitl you may have deep inside. I lived for 15 years in the UK and returned to the USA to give birth to my son. Now while in the UK they kept misdiagnosing an illness I had through their wonderful health care system. Turns out I had cancer- they said it was anemia. So after the birth of my son I also lost both my breast and my uterus. I am only 32!

I stay at home with my son- and it is hard because my lifestyle is radically different then it ever was. I used to own 2 homes that I PURCHASED myself- have 2 cars and earned over $250,000 a year base salary. I was raised by my mom alone who was widowed at the age of 30 so everything I have I made on my own- by working 3 jobs to put myself through school.

I decided to sell both my homes and moved into a simple townhouse- I have used up a good portion of my savings- yet the fact that my child is one of the happiest, most intelligent and belssed children is all I need to convince me that I did the right thing.

My husband left me when I was pregnant and they found out I was sick- because he did not want the responsibility/ SO NO I AM NOT A PRIVILEDGED WOMAN..

We all make choices- stop condemning MAGS because her views are conservative and traditional. How many of you benefited from a mother who was home everyday? why should she have to be any different.

we have becomeing a country of whiners- how did our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers survive- it was out of a sense of respect for themselves- and a do it yourself attitude. We are the first generation who will be worse off than those before us. because we have become a society of takers.

Lisa on

As far as I can tell, the condemnation of Mag was not for her conservative views, but for her bashing women who take advantage of maternity leave. PS- your attitude and life story makes you appear to be more of a ‘whiner’ than any of those critical of Mag.

helene on

hey lisa- Bitter much???????

helene on

lisa- if never taking a penny from anyone, raising my son on my own- through no fault of my own, surviving cancer due to a misdiagnosis from national healthcare systems, putting myself through Harvard and Wharton- while working two jobs and looking after an elderly parent, changing my lifestyle to give my child more time with me- and respecting others opinions, but not always agreeing makes me a whiner…..then i am one with a big fat neon capital W!

By the way- I am a democrat who watches Fox News…..how ill informed am I!!!?

AJ on

Y’all are crazy over here on People.com, aren’t you? Although I did just read through every comment, so I guess that makes me crazy too. :) Just wanted to shout out to the small handful of non-parent Canadian women who voiced their willingness to pay taxes so that all Canadian mothers can spend time with their newborns. Your country showed a lot of class during the Olympics, and you have represented that very recognizable generosity of spirit here on this forum extraordinarily well. Hope to visit some day!

Janessa on

I am canadian i like my health care it could improve and be better but i would not want the american one. Also i am also on mat leave for a year. I have been working sinced i was 12 years old I have paid into the system .I needed the a break and time off to be with my son and i wam so happy that we have EI here. Also if Republicans are such Christian WWJD = What Would Jesus DO? Jesus would pay health care for everyone in need and would not watch people die that is a Christian thing to do isn’t it not?

elby on

You should all move to the UK, I took a years maternity leave with both my pregnancies and relished that time at home with my children with the reassurance I would still have a job when it finished and had a regular maternity leave paycheck arriving. Not only that but I get subsidised childcare for my 3 year old daughters and we all get free healthcare. I don’t know what the differences in taxes are but I would much rather live here, pay more taxes and know that anyone can get healthcare, education and social care whatever their income or socio-economic status. Am I right in thinking that you don’t get benefits in the US as well?

JD on

First – Fascinating to see an article of social interest become a debate on social issues. I think it’s great! And you know what, I don’t think you’d see this kind of exchange on a ‘men’s’ website! Too bad we don’t have more women like those above in politics, both sides of the border! We are really short-changing ourselves there.

Second – Wrt Ellen’s choice. It always saddens me to see women attack each other on the issue of whether and when to go back to work after having children. To me, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, it is a question of personal choice, and too often, especially these days, there really isn’t a ‘choice’. It really sickens me to see women go at each other on this issue – too many have made it a ‘moral’ question, of ‘right and wrong’. Personally, I followed through on a significant amount of post-secondary education, was told I could be anything that I wanted to be, and I love/ need to have some kind of intellectual work in my life. When I would see other colleagues with kids who needed more flex time, I understood that they were raising the next generation for my country – who would be future contributors to our society. We are not islands. We need to understand that everyone contributes in many different ways to society, not just through working, and appreciate that taxes and insurance programs are designed to serve as equalizers – from reducing seniors poverty, to employment insurance, health coverage, education, on down to maternity leave. Sure, there are always flaws in programs, and always people who will take advantage of systems. We see the rare cases make the news, and think that the problems are rampant, but check the stats, they are the minority.

As for me, I had my daughter a bit later in life, am a single parent, and so must work. Life didn’t turn out exactly how I thought it would when I was young and thought everything would one day fall in place. But I LOVED my year off with my daughter. The Canadian system is on par with most in developed countries. Looking at OECD countries, the US system of maternity leave is the worst, and indeed, is worse than many developing countries. Nothing personal against the US, but what makes that sad is that you in the US have the brain power and the opportunity to create a system that offers CHOICE. If women don’t want the leave, they don’t have to take it. And indeed, men have the option of taking up to months of leave now under EI in Canada.

As posted previously by others, the EI system in Canada is indeed an insurance program. There is a maximum you pay into it yearly. EI does 2 things: it legislates job protection for up to one year of leave, so that you can come back to your job, without risk of being fired. If you are let go, you have recourse to legally pursue your former employer. Second, it provides up to $400/ week for up to one year while you are on maternity/ parental leave. Your employer may choose to top this up at a percentage of your total salary. Federal and provincial governments are the most generous with top-ups – in order to demonstrate the ‘model’. Many in the private sector only top up for a few months, and at low rates, so that often, women cannot always afford to stay off for the full year.
The main short-coming up to now of EI was that self-employed women could not take advantage. The federal government is now introducing an option for the self-employed to voluntarily start to pay into the insurance program, so that they may benefit from taking leave.
Next thing we need to focus on, though, is child care. Not enough out there, very hard to find. I am lucky to have found excellent care for my daughter, but it is expensive!! (Quebec model is the best.)
Overall, I think that we all need to respect each others’ choices, and appreciate that there is no ‘wrong’ answer to maternity leave/ child care/ stay at home. And regardless of what we do, chances are good that women will always feel guilty, that they aren’t doing enough for their children. But I say, good for everyone who is raising the next generation, just do it with love, and the results will be amazing. Understand that we all benefit, in so many untold ways, when we work together – it is the foundation of great societies.

J.
PS I love Grey’s Anatomy, from day one!! :)

Amanda on

Mag, EI also allows you to take time off while your child is sick. My mother collected EI while my sister was in the hospital fighting cancer. It allowed her to be with my sister everyday and not have to worry about paying the bills.

momof3 on

Canadian healthcare is awesome! We are proud and happy to take care of each other up here! All the extra taxes don’t seem to have hurt our economy! We are doing just fine! However in defense of all things American, Grey’s Anatomy is pretty good too.

Martha on

Why is this news? I only had 2 weeks and had to go back to
my job, which I am sure is longer than shooting a 45 min tv episode is. Celebs have it so easy.

helene on

JD- I applaud your intelligent compassionate and balanced post. You are indeed correct -we as women are our own worst enemies. As long as our children grow up happy and healthy -that is and always should be the priority.

We cannot fool ourselves with the thought that we can have it all. Its impossible and eventually something suffers. I personally chose no to risk that for my son. HOWEVER I do not judge any other woman who follows a different path. It is quite evident though from the majority of these post that there was quite a backlash against one individual’s particular traditional view of the role of the mother. She may not have articulated her point clearly or delicately enough but the personal attacks were unnecessary.

I may disagree with government run healthcare- I am an ardent believer in the govt having very little fiscal involvement in my life. But your non arbitrary response is the type we need more often..
good job-

Jane on

In our country we can stay home 3 years and get 1,5 years almost full salary and if you didn’t work then you still get minimum salary. Plus when you go to maternity leave you get like 3 months salary directly. After having the baby like 500$ from the government…. Its very nice.

Lorus on

It seems like a lot of people seem to think our EI is a hand out. Women (and their husbands) pay EI on every cheque they receive. It’s for in case you are laid off, fall ill, become pregnant, etc. In order to receive benefits you have to have worked 600 (or maybe it’s 800) hours at the same company before your claim. Each couple is given 12 months and they can choose how much time they want each. Men can only claim a maximum of 6 months (if they have worked 600+ hours themselves). Families who adopt children and Gays & Lesbians receive the same rights.

Again, each person who works pays into this system so they end up paying for their own leave. Then once they are done having/raising their children and go back to work they are paying into it again. It all works out and it’s great that we are able to have this benefit.

Lorus on

I also wanted to add that my 60 year old Mother was hit by another driver and was pretty seriously injured. She has been off work since August. EI paid for the first 3 months (maybe it was 4) and then her extended health plan through her work started paying after that point. You can plan all you want but most people don’t expect to be unable to work for 8 months because of a car crash.

linda on

Ellen says she wanted to go back to work while she had the “opportunity”…doesn’t she realize that her daughter will only be four weeks old once?? What about that opportunity??

Angelica Sanchez on

I moved from u.s to Canada and I love the benefits.
We all contribute to this with our taxes, it may be me who needs it today and tomorrow it goes to somebody else, it’s not the goverment taking care of us, is Canadians taking care of Canadians.
I love this country, just like I love America, but we have to say in America we dont take care of our own people, is very sad that women have to return to work after 4 weeks with their babys because they have to. Ideally woman should stay home with babies at least the first 2 years.
So Im really happy health care bill passed and that will help another 30 million american!!

Inez Bean on

I love Ellen and I am so happy that she decided to come back early. She looks great with her mommy figure. Please Ellen keep those curves! I love the glow of happiness after bringing a baby into the world. Congrats to you and your hubby. thank you for coming back early. I love you and the whole cast. Christina and Meredith are so much fun!!! I want Greys to live on forever in primetime. A thank you to Shonda, keep doing what you are doing!

Connie on

I think it is sad that she wants to work while she can instead of stay home with her baby a little longer. That baby will be grown before she knows it and she will have missed out on an important part of her life.
As for those of you who think she is so nice and down to earth? You obviously didn’t see her on Punk’d. Her then boyfriend now husband was obviously embarrassed by her reaction before they let her know she was being punk’d. It definitely changed my opinion of her.

Emma on

Mags-let’s hope your husband doesnt leave you (and 50% of marriages end in divorce)
Let’s see how great your ‘plan’ goes then to stay at home.

A proud Australian who gets 14 weeks paid maternity leave.

Emily on

I’m Australian too (as Emma) and I consider that a system which enables us to acquire paid maternity leave when needed is wonderful.

Having children is something that *most* women/parents do at some point (and this is in no way, shape or form, a judgment of those who choose not to). Despite the fact that motherhood is something that most women pursue, in today’s world, it’s increasingly harder to support a partnership – let alone a family with children – on one income. Women are under more and more pressure to continue working as much as possible to support their families. As a result, our (Australian) system (where our taxes contribute to paid maternity leave for 14 weeks after giving birth) gives women the opportunity to stay at home for at least awhile before being obligated to dive back into work; after that point, it of course becomes their choice as to whether they sacrifice more income and stay at home, or continue working to contribute to or support their family (and more so, if they are a single parent).

IMHO this debate is getting out of hand, and slagging off Canadians – or Americans in retaliation – is not going to help anyone. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but to people like Mag, please remember that there are many, many fellow Americans, Canadians or Australians who work just as hard as you have and yet, through the simple fact that they are not YOU and haven’t had the exact same opportunities you have had, may not have been able to get themselves into such an ideal position in life for children. Life is unexpected, opportunities are different, yet this doesn’t always reflect work ethic or efforts. As a result, a system that provides a little bit of support to a very financially, emotionally and strategically complex state that is motherhood, should really be commended.

As for Ellen…I think it’s great that she’s made a decision that works well for her. I have a rewarding career that I enjoy (but also which is necessary for me to support myself and my husband). After having a baby, I’d make every effort to reduce my workload to devote time to being a mother, but ultimately finances can get in the way – or sometimes, simply the fulfillment of that career or the opportunities that are occurring at that time, might dictate things differently.

I think there’s no right or wrong with staying-at-home-with-baby versus going-back-to-work. Every new mum is entitled to do what works best for them.

Just my two cents.

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