Here Are The Best Countries To Be A Mother And Surprise, The United States Isn’t Anywhere Near The Top

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With this being Mother’s Day weekend and all, what a perfect time to remind everyone just how much it stinks being a mother in the United States! Now granted, there are far worse countries one could reside in and be a mother. I don’t want this to read like a #FirstWorldProblems list (okay, well, I guess it kinda is). But really, it’s almost embarrassing to live in such a progressive nation that is still seen as “The Land Where Dreams Come True” to many potential immigrants and have such a shitty attitude toward mothers at the same time. Especially compared to our neighbors to the North in Canada, a country that bypassed the good ol’ U.S. by thirteen spots on The Washington Post rankings list.

As someone who just finished up the paperwork for her own dismal maternity leave, I am in awe that countries like Norway and Iceland (taking spots one and three, respectively) provide their mothers with the option of a full year of maternity leave. At first, it sounds kinda crazy but mostly crazy AWESOME. The more I thought about it, however, the more it made sense. Think of all the developmental milestones your child hits in the first year, and how vital that mother/child relationship is during that time. I mean, come on. Here in the United States, we’re like “Oh you just delivered a child a month-and-a-half ago? Cool. BACK TO WORK, BITCH.”  Not to mention the whole unpaid maternity leave thing.  You’re actually punished for having a child here, because right when you need money the most, it’s like “LOL sry.”

Now, to pull us all out of our self-serving pity party: most countries at the bottom of the ranking are located in sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly all of the bottom-ranked countries are affected by conflict. That’s a lot more depressing than what we’ve got going on here, for obvious reasons. But I still feel validated in complaining.

The index took into account factors that determine a woman’s as well as a child’s well being. The report’s authors focused on five factors in compiling the index: maternal health, children’s well being, economic wealth of a country, and the participation of women in national politics in order to be able to shape policies and debates. Also factored into the index–and I think this is particularly interesting– were the average years of formal schooling for children.

God bless the USA, good ol’ number 33.

(Photo: Washington Post)