Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

This Working Mom Who Is In Labor Trying To Explain To Her Boss Why She Can't Come Into Work Is Shedding Light On All Sorts Of Sad Truths About Women In The US Workforce

Actually, can you just wait to have the baby until after your shift?

A woman named Marissa Peirce recently caught the attention of over 5 million people after she posted this video of herself worrying if the email she was about to send her boss while she was in active labor sounded OK:

@mpmoney27

labor is stressful, calling out is even more stressful #pregnancy #birth

♬ original sound - marissa

In the video, Marissa reads the email out loud. "I am in labor. I just got admitted to the hospital — smiley face. Would it be OK if my mom or brother picked up my paycheck tomorrow — question mark." Marissa then asks her partner if her message sounds OK, and he quickly lets her know that it is "perfect."

@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

We've all related to that overthinking an email moment, but thousands of people saw this as an opportunity to shed light on some very real truths about women and moms in the workforce:

Like the fact that moms are just expected to be ready to be back at work a couple of days after delivering a human being from their body...

One person commented "My boss texted me while I was in the hospital asking if I was going to make it to work at all that week [two crying emojis]
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

...And they're often made to feel guilty if they can't.

Another said "I had to have my son 3 and 1/2 months early and the first thing I said when I realized I was having him was 'what about work' [laughing crying emoji]
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

Sadly, some people are even expected to find someone to cover their shifts while they're in labor.

@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

And one mom was literally asked if she could pause her labor and finish her work first. 🤦‍♀️

Literally me and they asked me if it could wait [three laughing, crying emojis]
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

An accurate trolling of the US workforce also ensued.

One person said "Please come in with a doctors not next day, the baby will not count as one seeing as we need it on file"
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com
"I understand but next time please do not let us know last minute"
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

But even with the comic relief, it is still hard to overlook comment after comment of women sharing their awful firsthand experiences working in the US.

I literally had a seizure at work and my boss called to ask me why I di
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

It's disheartening to see how many employers lack basic human empathy.

My job called me while I was in the hospital after delivering my stillborn son (they knew this) to ask when I was coming back
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

Amen.

omggg being a woman in the (sic) workforce is something else
@mpmoney27 / tiktok.com

BuzzFeed spoke to Marissa, who said the video was from last July when she gave birth to her and her boyfriend's first son, Charles.

Marissa
Marissa Peirce

Her job at the time was and still is at a drive-thru coffee shop. "I went into labor at 2 a.m. on a day that I was scheduled to work at 10 a.m. I was overthinking this text message to my boss mainly because I have anxiety. I was a week and a half from my due date, so I was a little early for a first-time mom and no one really expected me to go into labor," she said.

Marissa standing at the beach at sunset cradling her baby bump
Mark B. Carrier

And Marissa said that while she wasn't worried her boss was going to be upset that she was missing work, she was just very anxious about the entire situation. "I was a young parent, giving birth in a hospital in the middle of the pandemic — a week and a half early. Having to call out of work was the cherry on top for my anxiety."

Marissa's child playing with leaves outside
Marissa Peirce

"I empathize with all of the commenters talking about their lack of parental leave. I am extremely disappointed in the United States’ lack of maternity and paternity leave. Most people that I know worked up until they went into labor, like I did. I know people who have gone back to work just weeks after having children. I was unfortunately offered no maternity leave and my partner was offered no paternity leave. He went to work less than 24 hours after we came home from the hospital," said Marissa.

Marissa holding her newborn baby who's swaddled in a cow-print blanket with her partner sitting next to her
Marissa Peirce

Even though Marissa did not get maternity leave, she said she still feels lucky that her boss and work team were happily willing to cover her shift and duties the day she was in labor.

The happy family smiling while standing on a scenic bridge
Marissa Peirce

To me, this is all a big, sad SIGH for parents, but I want to know your thoughts. Have you or someone you know been stressed out about having to take off work due to having a baby? What are your thoughts about maternity and paternity leave in the US? Let us know in the comments!

Oh, and you can follow Marissa on TikTok here!