Sunday is Father's Day. A day when dads everywhere will feel a sense of pride, get their 453rd pair of socks, and if they're like me, proudly tape an illegible Father’s Day card their daughter scribbled at preschool to their refrigerator.
I love being a dad. I love seeing what makes my girls laugh, listening to them compile their first words, and the food/snot stained hugs they give me unexpectedly. My kids are my world. I cherish the time I've had to spend with them, every step of the way.
When they were born. Their first steps. The first time they said my name. The first time they muttered “wub u.” You can't put a price on that.
I want that for every dad. For every parent.
And it's just not acceptable that only 17 percent of workers in the United States have employer-provided paid family leave.
I'll say that again: ONLY 17% have paid leave.
To keep it REALLY real, it’s un-American. (And 84 percent of voters agree.)
This sends an alarming message to people across the country that when it comes to embracing one of life's most important and challenging roles — being a parent — you're pretty much on your own.
What does that say about our society? About the value we place on families even as politicians talk about family values.
It’s heartbreaking. That’s why I’m so happy to send a different message.
Check out this short video that I put together for the National Partnership for Women & Families and the #ThinkBabies campaign about the importance of paid leave, especially during a child's early years.
If this stirs something inside you, please share the video (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with all the parents you know. Thank them for stepping up for their kids ... even when our country hasn't stepped up for them.
More importantly, if you're interested in becoming part of the solution, tell your members of Congress to support paid leave and prioritize the FAMILY Act.
Maybe someday soon we’ll be able to celebrate our nation having the world’s greatest paid leave policy!
We could put that on a tee shirt … I’d wear one.
La Guardia Cross is a proud father, husband, Floridian and social media “star” according to NPR. His videos are funny, real and candidly depict his unique take on fatherhood. Check out his New Father Chronicles and Daddy Matters series.Back