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Work-Life Balance in America

When both parents have full-time jobs, child care and work-life balance is a challenge.

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-One, two. -Our work policies today were really created under the assumption that there will be a stay-at-home parent. And that's no longer the case in America. There's just not the same type of safety net that we once had in our families. -I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. They were training me for a management position and I was so excited about it and then they just stopped training me and they never brought it up to me again. My husband wanted a career in management, but because of our son, he had to give up on certain jobs. I have 2 children who are autistic and 2 children that are typical. It was very difficult to work while the daycare will be calling me and saying your kid is screaming. I don't think people understand how much time you had to invest with helping a child with special needs. -More than a quarter of our kids have chronic health conditions. Many parents have no paid time off. They would have to call in sick. They have to find somebody else who can do it or they simply have to let the child fend for themselves while they go to work. -If it was overtime, weekend, vacation, anything, I was willing to do the work, but I needed to be there for my child. My son got lost. He got lost on a bus. When the bus driver arrived, there was another child standing in front of me. When I said, "This is not Justin" and the bus driver was so sure. He was telling me, "Yes, this is your son." I was frantic. So, I called my boss and I told him I'm gonna be late. The bus driver came back and Justin-- he had a black eye. I just towed him and something said, "Okay, I gotta go to work. We need this overtime." So, I got to work and my boss told me, "I don't care. You were supposed to be here on time." Sorry. I had to make a choice to keep working or be home for my son. So, I chose my kid. I chose my baby. -Parents are being asked to make real tradeoffs between having an income to support their children or having the time they need to be there for their children. -I always recommend that you're upfront with your employer. Boss may not understand, so you have an opportunity there to educate. -We don't have pro family policies. We're not supporting parents. They don't have paid sick days. They don't have workplace flexibility. They don't have paid maternity leave. They don't have any way to manage their schedules and really be there for their children. -I started to discover we were not the only family going through it. I know families who have typical children going through the same thing. Employers need to be flexible with their employees. -Businesses need policies in place so that when real life happens, parents get what they need to be a good worker and a good parent.