This article was originally published in The Hill on May 10, 2022. Access the full article here.
Every year in May, we commemorate our mothers and mother-figures for all they do every single day. Still, new mothers in the U.S. are forced to choose between priceless moments with their infants or quickly returning to work. We can do better to honor them than merely a symbolic holiday. By guaranteeing paid parental leave nationally, we can ensure every new parent has the opportunity to take paid time off in the weeks following the birth or adoption of a child.
The first weeks and months of raising a child are exhausting. When new parents are also juggling work commitments, it can be completely overwhelming. Surveys suggest that one in four employed women in the U.S. return to work within two weeks of childbirth, while most new dads use under two weeks of parental leave. This reality is at odds with the advantages of paid time off, including: better health outcomes, sustained household income levels, and family bonding.
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