Truth is, i've been scared.
A lot of people know me as a young successful PR graduate who works in entertainment and gets to be on TV and work with really cool musicians. That's so true! I've been working as a publicist for Melissa DiMarco's national entertainment show since my second semester at Humber College. I sent a crew to Cannes, helped host three TIFF events, introduced Out There to Canadian Music Week, and ran CMW for a second year. I'm Too Legit To Quit!
But I was quitting...
As I approached College graduation this June I was sooo thankful to have such a great resume thanks to the show. I was excited to take what I've learned and play on the other side. I was looking for a new life, new job and more money. Heck, Melissa and I even drank wine to celebrate! She knows! Well I got my new job- Hi Motherhood, and Melissa let me stay. She wants nothing to make sure our little family is okay. Someone decided it was my time as I was entering my little midlife crisis. Maybe I was heading in the wrong direction? I was already moving in with Phil to begin with so we could pay off our debts and move on together. I guess throwing a baby into the mix didn't hurt.
Our baby is already so well taken care of and surrounded by love and support. I'm so humbled and learning to accept the extra help and support. My only regret would be as a young professional diving in to the workforce, I wasn't educated on different kinds of work agreements, contracts and benefits. I was just accepting cheques every two weeks like I always have and I didn't ask for a copy of any contract.
It wasn't until I became pregnant that I realized I didn't have anything. No benefits (especially now that school was done), no E.I., NO MORE OSAP and no safety net.
So please. I urge you whether you're 16 yrs old, 19, 23, 30 or more, know your rights and contract agreements. I was hired as a freelance publicist, meaning that I need to take care of my own taxes and write off's and pay into my own unemployment. I didn't do any of that and now I feel real bad and so do my employees. Frankly although I felt a lot of anger it is no one's fault. It wasn't up to my employer to hold my hand and make sure I did all my paper work. It was up to me as a responsible, working young adult. No one expected a pregnant woman on the show! And you could be in the same situation so read these links and be ready for anything to happen:
Having a baby: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/lifeevents/baby.shtml
Self-Employed: NOTE: In order to be considered for maternity benefits you have to pay into EI for at least a year: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/benefits/examples/self_employed_workers.shtml
There are links for parental benefits as well for you dads.
Even if you think Oh that'll never happen to me at least make sure you make your Service Canada account and a CRA profile TODAY. Keep the logins and passwords safe in a private folder on your computer or in your e-mail. The time will come when you need to access the services...ASAP.
I'll be okay. It's a personal battle with myself and my own personal income but that's the beauty about my line of work- I can easily work from home once I get a decent plan in motion. I almost sold my MAC and a few other investments until my partner in crime and lover made me realize we will double what the MAC is worth once we get our game plan in action. Until then, I need to focus on my job as a mother and bringing this baby safely into the world and know that for once, I have to let my man be my man and keep calm around everyone else's support.