OP-ED: Time for Mass. to give working mothers a break
In a recent Patriot Ledger op-ed, early education teacher Beth Fauteux and CLU’s senior researcher Nicole Rodriguez discuss how the state legislature can support working mothers and their children by passing paid family and medical leave:
Nearly all workers, at some point in their careers, need to take time off from their jobs to care for a new child or deal with a serious personal or family illness or injury. However, many Massachusetts workers can’t afford to take time from work to address important personal and family health needs. As an early education teacher and a researcher, we know that women especially tend to bear the heavier load of balancing caregiving responsibilities with their careers. This Mother’s Day, the Massachusetts Legislature has a chance to support working mothers and their children by passing the strong paid family and medical leave bill that is currently before them.
Consider the experience of one of us, a state certified early education teacher in New Bedford: In my studies and throughout my pregnancy, I read the research that explains how important bonding is to a newborn’s development. In August 2013, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, Jamison, by C-section. While looking into his brand-new eyes, I promised that I would do everything in my power to give him the best life that I could.
Keeping that promise meant that just three weeks after giving birth to my son, I went back to my minimum wage job because the bills had to be paid. Despite the physical pain of the C-section scar and the emotional pain of being ripped away from my child, I returned to work to provide him with the basic necessities of warm water, electricity, and a place to live.