I work for a really great company. As mentioned before, I really love my coworkers, my work keeps me busy and I really appreciate the level of support and understanding that I receive on my team. We are able to work from home if we have a sick child or adjust schedules for our children as needed (it probably helps that I work with a lot of mothers.)
But I know that this is not a reality for everyone. In the past, I've worked for lots of companies that do not have a "family first" policy. Although the U.S. has made some strides toward helping families overall, it turns out that my state could be doing a lot better.
The annual Expecting Better report came out in June with a state-by-state breakdown of the laws that affect families for better or worse. In addition to talking about the important federal issues - like the U.S. doesn't offer paid leave for families (although New Jersey and California both do, providing a working model for that program's success) - the report provides a breakdown as to where your state falls in providing laws that strengthen family bonds. The report takes a look at how pregnancies are accommodated in the workplace, flexible use of sick time, nursing mother's rights and the availability of family leave.
The stark reality is that more and more families are structured with two breadwinners. And both those jobs need to be protected. A mother shouldn't be penalized for becoming pregnant; couples should have time to bond with their children - whether through a natural birth or adoption.
The report itself even comments that Eighty-six percent of voters say it is important to them that the president and Congress consider new laws to help keep working families economically secure.
But clearly there is work to be done across every state. To find out where your state falls (California is the highest scored state with an A- and a sad 17 states received an F), check out page 26 of the report.
So now I want to hear from you. I wonder if my situation is because the company I work for is just exception or if it is based out of California. What have your struggles been between work and family and fitting it all in?