Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Contradiction of "Family Values" in the US

I don't generally get political but it truly amazes me that in a country where our politician spew forth comments about bringing family values back, the US is towards the bottom of the list of progress when it comes to things like maternity leave and childcare options.

In various European countries, paid maternity leave is the norm and family leave is common. There are also options for subsidized childcare.

Yet here in the US, female employees are lucky if they can take their FMLA leave and many organizations do not pay for maternity leave. And forget the concept of men taking FMLA - I am told by my male counterparts that any man who asks for this is laughed at and this is not considered acceptable.

So while in many countries there are various resources that families can take advantage of, in addition to cultural norms that involve the help of extended family in raising children, we are not so fortunate. I am sure that you can relate - as American families, we are very much on our own. Unless we have relatives who live close by and have the availability to help, we are left to find childcare, babysitters, programs and activities that enable us to be working parents. But wouldn't be amazing if we had some help instead of feeling incredibly alone in this endeavor?

I challenge you all to assemble your resources. Sometimes these come from places that we never think of and sometimes having discussions with other working parents give us new ideas. When "Working Moms Make It Work" launches events, we will do just that. Stay tuned...


No comments: