In law school, whenever parenthood is brought up (a rare occurrence on its own), parenting is often modeled as something to outsource or minimize. I’ve heard advice like “Get an au pair. Communicate with your boss—just let them know that you’ll be offline for an hour so you can feed your child dinner but you’ll be right back on soon.” Those answers don’t work for me and how I want to parent. I want to be involved and present in my kids’ lives. If that stifles my career growth, that’s a sacrifice I guess I’ll have to make. But at the same time, this is the hill I want to die on: parents deserve more.
Ruth was expecting to lose benefits when she went part time, she was able to retain health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off, thanks to a manager who advocated for her. Ruth says, “Recruiters have come to me just this week with offers, and I haven’t considered a single one. There’s no beating what my company has given me.” Ruth’s story proves an important point: when companies take employees’ family responsibilities seriously, everybody wins.
All Joy and No Fun is a book I would give to new parents. When I was pregnant, I read a myriad of books about pregnancy and having a baby. But it feels like as soon as you are able to keep a baby alive with relative confidence, very few books are written to help you navigate your own experience with parenthood. This book fills that gap.
In Being There, Erica Komisar pushes back against the prevailing commentary on what a mom should do once she has a baby is “find childcare and get back to life as normal.” Instead, Komisar argues that mothers should spend significant time being present with their children in the first three years of life—quitting their jobs if necessary. While this is obviously a big ask, Komisar maintains that a mother’s contribution to her children’s emotional health is invaluable, and she says that she is “not ready to give up on mothers” just yet. However, in the process she paints the commitment to “be there” in such extremes that she manages to offend just about everyone in the course of the book (including stay-at-home moms who are purportedly doing what she recommends).
Why Paternity Leave is Critical for New Moms We’re excited to host our first guest blogger, Clare Thomas-Klemme, who details how paternity leave is critical for new moms, and how parental leave is a human right that should be available to all families. Clare Thomas-Klemme is a Family Sciences scholar and PhD candidate at the …
America’s Family Policies Failed to Keep Me at Work I made the decision to stay at home in 2019 when our son was born. It was a very difficult decision for me as I was just coming off my first year of teaching with Teach for America (TFA)—a year that had been as rewarding as …