The Double Big Sister doing what she does best, love her family. In this case, her baby brother. She is so unbelievably sweet with Sanderling. This video reminds me of her with newborn Courtland, when she was only 2! She truly delights in baby handling. On Friday, she didn’t have school, so she spent a hour letting Sander nap on her chest.
It took us over four months, but James and I finally finished compiling the video of our sweet Fairy Goddaughter’s birth in time to gift to Courtland’s FGPs for Christmas. This labor was so quick and smooth that the video required only one song to capture the labor, delivery and wonderful postpartum bonding. In fact, I think James’ timing of the delivery in the video is actually longer than the IRL version.
Regardless, I was humbled and awed and inspired to be with people I consider family during these precious, vulnerable, life-altering moments. And I’m so happy to share a piece of the magic with all of you.
As I contemplate my family’s upcoming parental leave, I recognize that I am one of those 12% of families in this country that have the luxury of paid leave. But it shouldn’t be a luxury. I shouldn’t feel lucky that my husband and I get paid time off from work to heal and bond and nurture postpartum. In fact, though I recognize that by US standards my four months of paid leave, and my husband’s four months of leave (2 months paid, 2 months unpaid) are unbelievably generous, I am still critical of how limited this time is during such a fleeting yet crucial stage in a person’s life (mother, baby and partner alike). An investment and commitment to breastfeeding alone is enough to warrant a minimum of 6 months paid leave for all mothers given that solid food isn’t introduced until that time.
One of my dearest friends welcomed her first child into the world last month, and because she lives in Stockholm, she and her partner each receive 285 days of fully paid leave from work to be used however, and in whatever arrangement, they deem best for their family and their careers over the course of the baby’s first five years of life. Talk about empowering families and providing a work/life balance! And once they return to work, their child will have fully subsidized (read: free) childcare, so economics does not have to be the primary driver of their family’s decision-making.
As conveyed in this talk, the US is one of only 9 nations (all the rest of which are countries with fewer than 8 million people, as compared to the US’s 320 million) that do not offer paid family leave. If the rest of the world can figure out how to support new families, we sure as hell better be able to come up with a reasonable solution for our country.
It is long since time for the most powerful country on Earth to offer national paid leave to the people doing the work of the future of this country and to the babies who represent that future. Childbirth is a public good. This leave should be state-subsidized. It should have no exceptions for small businesses, length of employment or entrepreneurs. It should be able to be shared between partners.
We have been singing Adele’s latest single ad nauseam chez Cart (I have a feeling our family is not alone in this). This SNL sketch absolutely killed me. While my family of liberal, Vermont socialists will likely be on the same page during Thanksgiving supper, we may just break out in song for the love of Adele.
Just one of her many made-up songs that she performs on a daily basis – over breakfast, in the tub, on the way to school, swinging in the backyard, at bedtime, sitting on the potty, during story time – our budding performer. Always looking to make us smile. I am obsessed with this kid.