Obviously, military families make incredible, admirable sacrifices, and many personnel can't be allowed to leave for longer blocks of time. But if the Navy can part with new moms for 18 weeks after a birth, it can part with at least some new dads for more than 10 days total during the child's first year of life.
Whenever I'm heading off to Mongolia for research, colleagues and friends react with a mix of bewilderment and concern -- as if I'm flying away to a faraway planet.
I want my little boy, and his big brother, to grow up in a world of real gender equity. Of equal pay for equal work. Where moms are proud of their work both out in the world and at home -- and where dads get credit only when we take on a fair share of parenting.
Maternity leave is still perceived as a key barrier to women's success in the workplace - so much so that women still talk of a Motherhood Penalty.
American companies can do better. When we are behind Saudi Arabia in an issue relating to women's rights, you know there is a problem.
A recent Harvard study finds the vast majority of top executives are men who admit not making their families a priority. They see work-family conflicts as primarily a "women's problem," even though studies have shown that working dads are experiencing as much work-life conflict as moms -- perhaps even more.
This workplace gender policing is hurting everyone -- men, women, children and the businesses themselves. Across the country, men are joining with women to rise up against the backward policies, laws and stigmas that are damaging us and preventing us from achieving gender equality.
Providing supportive parental policies benefits business as well as families. Parents, especially mothers, often leave the office for an extended period of time to care for their families.
I asked for help for my family, as I felt it wasn't possible for us to slip much lower than we already were at, and His answer to me was that we still were able to help. To still love. To still be selfless. To still give. To still think of the needs of others. That there was still so much hurt, so much need, more so than what we were going through.
To prepare for the arrival of my daughter, fourteen months old this Mother's Day, I turned to friends and family for advice on strollers, swaddles, bottles and more. Many had long lists of registry suggestions, from life-saving nipple cream to hands-free pumping bras (all very new to me).
The U.S. stands alone with Papua New Guinea in having no paid leave program for new mothers. By comparison, all of the countries we trade with and a total of 178 nations across the globe have a form of paid family leave, usually for women after childbirth but in many countries, for men as well.
Recently, during a trip to Boston, I invited Emerge Massachusetts alumna and Boston City Councilwoman Michelle Wu to lunch. I was excited to meet her because I knew that her race and win were "historic"--Michelle was the youngest woman elected to the Boston City Council at 28 years old.
New moms deeply cherish the time they have with their newborns and should not have to worry about paying their bills while out on leave. They should not be forced back to work too soon. They should not have to delay pregnancy for years.
Now that a woman is running for president of the United States, there is sure to be increased media dialogue about women's issues. But the one issue that is finally getting long overdue attention is the one about which Americans have had the least productive dialogue: the need for funded maternity leave.
The case's effects on pregnant workers overall is not immediately clear. But as an experienced attorney dealing with these kinds of cases, I believe that it will ultimately help make the playing field a little more favorable for workers who have faced discrimination.
My husband is always doing bath time and reading books at night, helping with piano practice and making it to parent teacher conferences. And on the weekends, it's non-stop between piano lessons, gymnastics, multiple trips to the playground, family dinners and much much more.