Friday, August 28, 2009

Paid Parental Leave in Different Countries

Thanks to Women in Astronomy for pointing out this work illustrating the different levels of paid parental leave guaranteed in 18 different countries. I wanted to reproduce the figure here. I think I've already made my opinions of the US federal minimum of 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave quite clear. This kind of makes my point for me I think!

I'm not sure why Canada was left of - 52 weeks of paid leave would put them right in among the Scandinavian countries! Way to go Canada!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Owl Babies - dealing with Mum being away.

The favourite book in our house right now is "Owl Babies", by Martin Waddell. We read this pretty much every night, and it never fails to produce smiles of delight in little one when the owl babies' mother flies home. It occurred to me while reading it last night that since this book is actually a great tool for helping children deal with time when their Mummy must travel for work I should share it here. (AstroMaman already posted one of the tools they use in their house when one parent has to be away in Counting Days.)

In the story the owl babies wake up to find their Mummy is gone. They think about where she's gone (probably out hunting to get them food) and they try to deal with their worries as they wait for her to come home (what if she got eaten by a fox). Just as they are giving up hope, in she flies (to the delight of both the owl babies and my little one). "What's all the fuss, you knew I'd come back" she says. The owl babies agree - and finish "I love my Mummy". At the moment we only have this as a library book, but I think I'll be buying it to keep soon.


This year is the International year of Astronomy (IYA2009). The project sponsors a number of cornerstone projects, one of which is close to my heart - She's an Astronomer. Another neat cornerstone project is the Galileoscope. This is a low cost, high quality telescope designed to make astronomy accessible to all. I've been meaning to get one (although a bit turned off by the high shipping cost to Europe, which for one telescope is more than the cost itself!), but I thought I'd write a quick blog post about it as a reminder to get around to doing this.

What prompted the post this morning is that I just noticed Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) just wrote a review about his Galileoscopes which arrived this week. He includes a useful link to simpler assembly instructions than are included in the box.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Breast Feeding is Offensive

Just wanted to share this blog post from Green Kiddos, which pokes fun at the whole "breastfeeding is offensive" argument.