Dear Future Presidential Candidates,
For a few moments of your time, please picture the following:
A mother has a c-section. She is forced back to work just 6 days after giving birth. Yes, just six days after having her stomach cut open and handing over her, less than one week old baby. However, this mother must go back to pay for her rent and utilities and to put food on the table. This mother is at work as her stitches are popping and she is bleeding from her surgery. She wants to nurse her baby but isn't allowed to pump in her place of work so this mother runs out to her car every 2 hours to rush to pump for her 6 day old baby. This mother also isn't allowed to store her breast milk in her place of work so runs across the highway to a Denny's restaurant that "allows" her to store her breast milk there.
And we are living in the land of free, the country of opportunity ... or are we?
This is neither a Republican issue nor Democrat issue.
This is neither a mother issue nor father issue but rather a family issue.
This is neither a low class nor middle class issue, but unfortunately, the majority of every working family's issue.
We are being given no choice but to hand over our very new babies before they have even have gotten a chance to know who their parents are, let alone have sufficient time for mothers' bodies to appropriately heal.
We are being forced to choose between the families we love and the jobs we need.
We are cashing out retirements 25 years too early, and declaring bankruptcy despite honest efforts as working families go into, well... survival mode.
We are being confined to the unnerving task of trying to pay the bills while trying to afford the ever increasing childcare fees.
We are being prevented from arguably, the most critical time for both a parent and newborn, to simply be -- to bond -- to develop a relationship that we have been anticipating for nearly 9 months.
No, this is not a handout that American working families are pleading for, but rather, as a country, this is our moral responsibility to begin putting family first and recognizing the human needs that families are being deprived of.
From the story of the mother above or the father who has to leave his newborn's bedside just hours after birth to return to work, it has to stop.
Almost 4 million babies are born in the United States each year.
Approximately 334,000 babies are born each month.
Approximately 11,000 babies are born every single day.
As Blake Mycoskie says, "The power of a single idea, acted upon, can change people's lives."
So, I ask of you, Future Presidential Candidates, are you ready to act?
Because we, the most powerful country that prides itself on the safety and fulfillment of its people, are long overdue.
It is time that America catches up with the rest of the world and put a paid family leave policy in place.
A Working Mother of 4, One of Millions Who Has Endured the Unthinkable