White House Working for Parents Who Work

Dailypost130 335

For parents that work out of the home, or I should say that are employed by a company other than themselves, finding a balance between busy work schedules and busy family schedules is a moving target. President Obama recognizes this challenge, and is making good on his promise to keep issues like paid maternity and sick leave in the spotlight of political arenas.

President Obama attended a major policy summit on Monday to discuss how policies can be changee to benefit working parents. On the agenda: workplace flexibility, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and universal child care access. As so many of us moms who work outside of the home know, having a baby costs us. The U.S. is only one of three countries in the world doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. Sure we are guaranteed to keep our jobs; and if we are in a company that offers plenty of PTO and short-term disability, we can keep some income coming in for awhile. There are many jobs out there, however, that don’t offer those financial benefits to women, and all women should be granted that time with their babies without penalty.

I heard President Obama on NPR make a comparison of how when a working dad says he has to leave early to go to his children’s parent-teacher conference, workplace peers might say ‘ah how sweet,” but when mom has to go, she may get questioned if she really takes her job seriously. Such a double standard does still exist.

If you could change a workplace policy to help with the balancing act of work and life, what would it be? I posted the question out there to our Facebook fans and got this comment, a good one indeed: “I’d like to see more companies offer part time (25-30 hours a week), flex time or job share for professional positions. I was laid off from a large corporation after 17 years of service. I had a flex scheduled and worked from home. It was an ideal situation for me and my family. I have younger children and I’d like to work while they are in school, be off while they are home and then work as needed when they go to bed. I have a lot of skills to offer a company, but most of jobs I have found so far in my search are full time and require you to be in the office from 8:30 to at least 5:30 each day,” Andrea MacMeccan.

I think Andrea’s desire to have a flexible schedule is something all working moms want. I hope the conversation about federal policy changes continues, and in the end some major actions happen to move our country up the scale as a country that supports 21st-century families and values and intelligent workforce. Speak up, let your congressman know if this matters to you!