April 2018 Moms

Maternity Leave as a Public Safety Issue

I’ve been enjoying reading hilarious message board posts about “mommy brain fails,” and have a few zingers of my own to contribute, but they have also got me thinking.  With the minimal parental leave policies in the U.S., how many of the employees who serve and care for us on a daily basis are suffering from severe sleep deprivation?  I’m serious.  We laugh about sleep-deprived moms pouring coffee into the cat food, but what if that mom goes to work and fails to follow the procedure to sterilize medical instruments, or runs a stoplight in a delivery truck, or gives the wrong medication to your grandpa in a nursing home?  If an employer does not provide adequate parental leave time to their employees, doesn’t that open them up to liability for accidents like this?  If not, it should!  I am not a fan of frivolous lawsuits, but maybe a few lawsuits of this type would get the message across.  And from a government standpoint, shouldn’t the agencies responsible for public health and safety be concerned about this?  If our society doesn’t see the importance of giving parents time to bond with their new babies, shouldn’t it at least protect public safety by allowing employees time to physically and mentally recover from the dramatic lifestyle disruption of having a new baby, instead of returning to work early and exhausted and putting the rest of us in danger?  #leavemommybrainathome

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