It's Mother's Day weekend! Yes, moms certainly should be showered with laughter, love, and leisure. The more, the better. But mothering, of course, is an everyday thing. It's hugs from banana-smeared faces and spit-up on on your one clean suit. It's a child awake before the crack of dawn or finally hungry as soon as all the dinner plates have been put away. It's endless stories, giggles, and attempts to enforce screen time. And it's worrying — worrying about their health, their learning, and how you're going to pay for all those diapers or save enough for college tuition. Ultimately, it takes more than kindness and respect to get the job done. Moms (and dads) need supports that allow them to properly care for their kids and for themselves.
So, in addition to the cards, calls, flowers, and brunches, here are three things moms need on Mother's Day and every day.
1. Paid Family and Medical Leave
The first few months of life are crucial to a child's emotional and cognitive development. However, many new moms (and dads) are unable to spend a sufficient amount of time with their children, since only 13 percent of the workforce has paid leave through their employers, and plans vary widely. Paid leave is good for kids, encouraging bonding time during those emotionally and educationally critical first few weeks and months. It enables more mothers who want to breastfeed longer to do so and encourages fathers to play a lifelong role in the family. Learn more
2. Paid Sick Days
While many of us take it for granted that we can stay home from work when we're sick, many lower-income moms have to choose between paying the bills and taking care of a sick child. More than 43 million Americans do not receive designated sick leave at their jobs. Paid sick days are good for moms and kids: parents with paid sick days are 20 percent less likely to send a sick child to school. If sick children receive the parental care they need, they get better more quickly and are less likely to spread illness to other kids and adults. Learn more
3. Affordable Child Care
Now that 61 percent of families have two working parents, child care is a necessity for many families. However, according to Child Care Aware, center-based child care is less affordable than the average tuition at a state college or the median mortgage in most states. Since quality early care is vital to child development, our representatives must make affordable and high-quality child care a top priority.
This Mother's Day, do something for yourself, for your mother, and for mothers across the country: take action for things that make every day Mother's Day!