Paid Family Leave is a Right, Not a Luxury

Mercury News and East Bay Times  •  Aug 14, 2019

In support of the All Together Now campaign, which is coordinated by the First 5 Center, colleague Jonathan Rubinsky of First 5 SF wrote this piece about how paid family leave affected his family.

As our Oregon neighbors celebrate the recent signing of one of the most progressive Paid Family Leave laws in the nation, I’ve been reflecting on how important parental leave was to my own family not long ago.

It was shortly after my son was born that my wife and I had our first “this is real” moment of parenting. A cold dunking of new routines — diaper changings, nursing, sleepless nights, third and fourth cups of coffee — helped us quickly realize that our infant was the one regulating everything.

It was in the sleep-deprived days after his birth that the three of us came to know each other. No matter how tired we were, whenever David reached some new development or milestone, my wife and I would turn to each other with awe. It was incredible to watch his immediate and drastic growth — a daily reminder of the monumental task of infancy.

It was always apparent in those first weeks and months that the realities of life with a newborn change everything. At the time of David’s birth, my wife, Ashleigh, was a preschool teacher and I was working as an office administrator. Ashleigh was provided six weeks of partially paid leave at a great financial loss to our family.

Read the rest of this piece on the East Bay Times site.