Sunday, April 20, 2008

One Step Forward and Another One Back

When I first started this blog, I imagined creating wonderfully insightful and thought-leading posts about work-life balance issues. Turns out after spending most of my time thinking about how to cure cancer at my day job and trying to be the best mommy I can be the rest of the time, the brilliance just doesn't seem to flow like I thought it would.

But I have been a faithful email activist, keeping up with my action alerts from, 9 to 5 and the National Organization of Women. I was thrilled to learn a few weeks ago that thanks to some heavy duty lobbying from Momsrising and several other organizations, New Jersey became the third state to pass a law that provides paid leave for workers to care for a sick family member or to bond with a newly born or adopted child. Three down, 47 more to go...I can't wait for this fight to come to Georgia. If you haven't signed up to receive action alerts from at least one of these organizations, you gotta go do it. Go ahead. Do it now. I'll wait till you get back.

At the same time, I was sickened to read that this past week, our federal government let families down yet again when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved cutting a proposed eight weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees to only four weeks. The logic completely escapes me. Our government finally has a chance to prove it's not back-assward by providing American families some much needed support and it can't seem to get it together enough to support its own employees. Talent attrition alone should more than pay for this program, but apparently Committee Republicans argued that supporting this program in a spiraling economy sends a message that our lawmakers are out of touch with American citizens. So instead, they sent the message that they're out of touch with the needs of their own employees. I suppose four weeks is better than nothing, but it's hard to get excited about a program equivalent of holding out a life preserver only to pull it back and yell, "Psyche!"

Clearly the fight for family-friendly work policies is just beginning. Although I won't be leading this fight any time soon, thankfully others are on the forefront. I just stumbled across Washington Post's blog on work-life balance and they offer a super cool widget, now nestled in the sidebar of Up With Moms, so I can offer great work-life balance content even when I'm sidetracked by devotions in soccer or being (NOT) a Top Momma. Or you can read actual thought leaders like MojoMom, who like me is convinced that fixing our corporate infrastructure to support families is the next wave of feminism. Like our predecessors who fought to make it acceptable for women to achieve in the workplace, it's now up to us to make the workplace acceptable for us moms and our dads. Whether you're a thought leader or just a garden variety email activist, New Jersey is proof of the power of moms.

No comments: