A COAST GUARD FAMILY LIFE
LT Amanda DiPietro and LCDR Josh DiPietro are both currently stationed in the Washington, D.C. area, one at the CG Yard in Baltimore and one at CG Headquarters. They have two daughters who were born under the previous six-week maternity leave policy, and one new son, born just a couple months after the implementation of the newer 12-week maternity leave policy.
On the new maternity leave policy
“I had been planning and prepping for six weeks of maternity leave at work and had prepared my relief with a great pass down,” said Amanda. “When I learned that I had 12 weeks, I was overjoyed to learn I would have more time to recover and bond with the baby.”
On dividing and conquering
Once on maternity and paternity leave, Amanda and Josh worked as a team. Josh was able to support the logistics with pharmacy and food runs and took care of their two young daughters while Amanda cared for the newborn. The two older siblings had some trouble adjusting to a new baby, and Josh helped them feel loved while Amanda worked on bonding and feeding the baby, which proved a little difficult for the first week.
On extra time for extra TLC
Knowing that this new addition to the family would need some TLC, Josh had preemptively requested an additional 20 days of regular leave to supplement his 10-day paternity leave so as not to overwhelm Amanda. “The result for us was a better transition and normalization of our family routine,” emphasized Josh. “We really bonded as a couple and as a family during this time away from work.”
On pregnancy and promotion
One anxiety Amanda felt when she learned of her pregnancy was the concern of her next OER, which was the last before her promotion board. “I did have concerns of how my absence would affect my selection for O-4,” said Amanda, “especially as this was a new command and I had just established myself in our office. I am very grateful to my command, who was very supportive of me and my professional development in the time leading up to the board and my maternity leave. Their support was a key contributor to performing well in my job and to a successful selection to O-4.”
On the Coast Guard work-life balance
“We are very thankful for this policy,” Josh stated. “Its actions like this that really show the Coast Guard is dedicated to the well-being of its people. When you make this policy a priority, it speaks the strongest to young families. We recognize that these types of policies must be more difficult to enact in our small service compared to our DOD counterparts, so it really displays our Commandant’s devotion to improving the work-life balance of our service members. It’s wonderful that the big Coast Guard family made this investment in our little Coast Guard family.”