Yesterday was Mother's Day in the U.S., and across the country people gave shout outs to their moms for all the amazing work they do. But Sheryl Sandberg, a mother of two herself, took the opportunity to call for something that was a little bit more than just flowers and brunch in bed. In a Facebook post, she called for federal and corporate policies aimed at making parenting (for both moms and dads) way less of a struggle.
"It's time for our public policies to catch up with what our families deserve and our values demand," she wrote. "We all have a responsibility to help mothers as well as fathers balance their responsibilities at work and home."
She has a point. The U.S. is one of the only developed countries in the world without guaranteed paid leave for new moms (and in some cases dads), which makes having children a serious financial burden for a lot of families. But Sandberg also pointed to minimum wage policies, the cost of childcare, and other changes that would make the economic toll of parenting less of a burden for lower income families. “The United States is one of the only developed countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave – and we’re the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave. That means many moms are forced to return to work right after giving birth to keep their jobs,” Sandberg wrote. “They deserve more support. So do dads, LGBTQ parents, adoptive parents — families of all kinds. We shouldn’t have to risk losing a job or being able to meet the basic needs of our families to do that.”
"How are parents supposed to work if they don't have a safe and affordable place to leave their kids?" she continued. She also pointed out the calculation too many women have to make: their career or kids? "We shouldn't have to risk losing a job or being able to meet the basic needs of our families to do that."
Her message featured a picture of her with her mother and mother-in-law on the day of her wedding to her husband Dave Goldberg, who died suddenly in 2015. Sandberg just wrote a book about the loss and grieving called Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.
Will Sandberg's call to action make a difference? It's hard to say, especially as similar calls have become a staple of Mother's Day. But if we keep talking about the real ways we can honor moms and dads all year round, maybe we can finally get them the support they definitely deserve!
Photo: Vincent Isore/IP3 / Contributor for Getty