Maternity leave important for both parents and children

Women make the world go ’round, yet we don’t give them the time they need after giving birth to a child.

The United States’ current maternity leave policy is directed by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), which includes a provision mandating 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers of newborn or newly adopted children. How is just 12 weeks with a child you just met fair to either parent or child?

There is a special bond between a mother and her child the moment they meet. I believe that bond should not be broken after only 12 weeks. More so, the mother should have paid leave from work during that time. She has a brand new family that she needs to take care of at home. Plus, she needs to catch up on sleep with either a newborn or a new family member. She has to cook for herself and she needs to feed her family. She needs to keep the house clean for her newborn. She is still doing work, and as such she needs to get paid. How do we expect mothers and fathers to succeed if we cannot give them the proper tools to do so?

Additionally, why should only the mother get leave? In our society, the father is generally expected to fend for his family, yet we criticize every man who tries. I think that the fathers should get at least six weeks of paid leave to be with his brand new family along with the mother of 12 weeks should be granted paid leave.

A family is just a special bond of people. Why break that bond so soon? Why should we put America’s future in the hands of anyone except their parents at such a young age?

This nation has come a long way in terms of maternity leave, but it still has a long way to go. I believe if we make a few simple changes, then we can make America a great place to raise a family.

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