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NPR's New Series on Working Parents

October 17, 2016




This may be some of my favorite NPR programming yet (which is saying a lot, because I love me some NPR)! As part of the newest series by All Things Considered, NPR has been interviewing and sharing the stories of American working parents in a brilliant and enlightening series of tasty bite-size segments they’re calling stretched: working parents’ juggling act. If you have 3-8 minutes, pop an ear bud in and take a listen, or read their online transcripts. It’s totally worth the time.




Not only will you get an intimate snapshot into the lives of moms and dads across America, but you’ll also hear from international families who were eager to share their experiences with paid parental leave policies in their respective countries. Some of the accounts in “Countries Around the World Beat the U.S. On Paid Parental Leave,” are going to sound too good to be true, and you may end up wondering, “How is that even possible?”


Take this, for example, from a French woman: “I left six weeks before the birth, as any mom would do, and I stayed for one year.” (Hold up! “As any mom would do…” did that make anyone else’s brain pop and jaw drop?)


You’ll hear how they do it, ideas for how we can do it, and in other segments, how U.S. employers like Hilton and even the Pentagon are already doing it to bring better work-life balance to families.


Hear from Dr. Benard Dreyer, the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who is advocating, along with other organizations, for national family friendly leave policies because the wealth of research, proving infancy is a critical period for infant health and child development, cannot be ignored.


“Nurturing or lack of nurturing can lead to epigenetic changes which can lead to lifelong problems in social/emotional health and school performance,” Dreyer states in “A Pediatrician’s View of Paid Parental Leave.”


The conservative Washington think-tank, American Enterprise Institute, even chimed in as one of their Economists, Aparna Mathur shared, “What we care about when we talk about paid family leave is the issue of workforce participation. In states like California that have implemented paid family leave, research suggests that women are much more likely to get back to work. They have higher wages. They’re able to participate more actively in developing a career, you know, improving lifetime earnings. And that helps the economy as a whole.”


Find more in the segment, “State Laws Build Momentum for First National Family Leave Program.”





Beyond its great content, the very fact this series is even happening shows that momentum is definitely building. Become a part of it! Like us, and join in the discussion on our Facebook page.


You can also share your story by recording a voice memo of your experience as a working parent and send it to nprcrowdsource@npr.org (remember to include your name and where you’re from). Who knows, you may end up getting a ring from NPR.


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