Family Values?

For anyone who occasionally reads this blog, you might have noticed that I tend to have a passion when it comes to supporting issues that support women with families. Having a child ended up being a big shock for me. Not so much in the it changes-your-life-as-you-know-it way (although there was quite a bit of that, too), but more in the realization that my partner and I were really on our own for figuring out how to care for our new baby. If we couldn’t afford daycare, we were pretty much screwed, and daycare definitely wasn’t cheap. I wasn’t even able to stay home the full length of my maternity leave because we couldn’t afford for me to take unpaid leave and have to pay full price for health insurance. And my partner was only able to take a week of paternity leave – and even that came with questions.

That’s why I found this article so particularly interesting:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/19/campbell.brown.nebraska/index.html

Over and over I have heard the parents discussed in this article criticized, but I really believe that the writer of this article makes and extremely valid and important point: does this not provide proof that we are not supporting families? How desperate do you have to be to drive from Georgia to Nebraska just to drop your kid off somewhere that they will be taken care of because you just can’t handle it anymore? It was hard enough for me as someone with a partner, I can’t even imagine what tackling the same issues would be like for a single parent.

Even beyond the question of children, what happens when we all have to start taking care of our parents? More and more, adults are being sandwiched between supporting our children and our parents at the same time. And studies show that the majority of the time, the caretaker is female. What is it going to take to get our government to see that these are important issues, life-threatening issues, that need to be addressed NOW?

Let’s hope they see this safe haven as a the wake up call it is.

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