Parental leave: a story for strong families

Monday, September 27, 2010

By Dana Ginn Paredes

It has been a month since my return to work from parental leave. The transition has been relatively easy. I mean, there are days where my eyes burn from lack of sleep or when I forget what I want to say mid-sentence, but really… I have no complaints.

I had 2 months off to welcome and nurture my little one into the world and to support my wonderful partner who labored him for three and a half days and who is amazing! My family and I rested well knowing that our health insurance would continue while I was on leave and that I would have a good job to return to. I felt fortunate to have the option of flexing the time I had left towards a shorter work week (for the remainder of the year) so that I could have more time with my new family.

Unfortunately, my story is not common. I am lucky to work for an organization that supports its workers and supports family. But I am just beginning to deeply understand how lucky I really am.

I was at a meeting the other week with Netsy Firestein of the Labor Project for Working Families where I learned that parental leave just became California policy in 2002 and that California was the first of 3 states to pass this policy to support working families.

We have along way to go. The only way we are going to get there is by moving together, organizing and sharing what our families need to be strong. Be part of ACRJ’s new Strong Families Initiative and tell us your story of what your family needs to be strong!

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