Nearly one in four American women take less than two weeks off of work after giving birth, according to the story “Family Leave: A Luxury for a Few American Women” on today’s edition of The Takeaway on WNYC. “We all want to bond with our children…and when we can’t, its traumatic,” said Sharon Lerner, author of the report The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Family Leave Now.
After listening to the story on WNYC then reading Lerner’s report, this mommie is definitely on board with extended family leave time for new parents. The account that I cannot shake is about a mother who just three weeks after having her son would pump in the parking lot crying because she wanted to be holding her baby, not sitting in her truck outside factory where she worked with suction cups on her breasts. She even got up at 4:00 a.m. to pump before she left for work so baby would have enough breast milk for the day. I remember nursing my little girl in the bathroom on a TV set feeling overwhelmed and out-of-place in my old life in a new role as a mom. BUT at least baby was with me. As tough as it can be working with baby by my side, I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to leave her full-time in the weeks after giving birth. No parent should be forced to choose between family and career in the months following the arrival of a new baby.
Hear the full story from The Takeaway here: