At writing this, Pickle is tucked soundly in bed with his lovey clutched tightly to his chest. It is 30 minutes into a school day, he’s home sick and I am lucky enough to be home with him. We have a lot of advantages that most families don’t have. I have been at my job for 12 years so I have a lot of paid time off (by USA standards), I have a flexible work schedule, and because there are three adults in our home I don’t always have to be the one who stays home.
It is a startling when you think that 23% of all US workers have no paid vacation time at all. If you only work part-time your odds are even less. 65% of part time employees have no vacation time, and the percentage of employees in the USA that work part time is on the rise. While the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993 was a decent start, it has a lot of shortcomings. FMLA does not cover colds or upset tummies, and employees don’t get paid.
This a problem that affects a lot of families in the US, most parents are in the workforce. In 59.1% of married couples both parents work, 73.3% of single mothers and 81.7% of single fathers work.
What is the solution to this problem? I think mandated paid vacation/sick time is the key. Being able to take time off either for your health or your families health should be considered a basic right. Not all parents can, or even want to, be home full time.
I guess this is mostly a short post to prompt thinking and get ideas from other parents. Pickle is up and now comes the time when I have to figure out how to get a bored seven year old to rest and get better. I’ll happily take suggestions on how to solve either problem in the comments!