The past week’s political firestorm in the presidential race focused on stay-at-home moms, but two-thirds of women with young children now work. Nearly half are their family’s primary breadwinner. What some feel is being lost in the political debate are the challenges they face in the workplace.
“We unfortunately have a number of workplaces that operate as if workers are still men, with wives at home full-time,” says Ellen Bravo, who heads Family Values at Work, a coalition that promotes paid-leave programs.
“So many moms are dying to be able to stay home at the most important moments — namely, when they give birth, and when their kid is sick — and aren’t allowed to do so,” she says.
That was the case for Marianne Bullock a few years ago, when her 18-month-old had a stomach virus.
“It was the first time that my daughter had really been sick,” she says. “She was not nursing, and she was lethargic.”
Bullock was a personal care assistant in Massachusetts; that day, she called in sick. The next day, she had to take her daughter to the hospital, where she was hydrated. The third morning, her daughter seemed better and Bullock got ready to leave for work.
“As I was walking out the door, she vomited again,” Bullock says. “And I was like, ‘I just have to take her to the hospital.’ And so I called in — and when I called in, the care manager that I spoke to said, ‘You just might as well not come back.’ ”
Bullock was fired. She says the manager actually told her they’d rather hire someone without a child…
Read the full story from NPR: Working Moms’ Challenges: Paid Leave, Child Care