We’ll never go numb to it: each month of the pandemic-era, new statistics emerge showingwomen leaving the workforce at 4x the rate of men, and that women of color have been disproportionately impacted. It’s an insult to the injury of this grief-filled year, a brutal step backwards on women’s path to economic power. Last week, when 50 powerful leaders signed a letter of support for theMarshall Plan for Moms, led by Girls Who Code CEOReshma Saujani, the topic came into the national spotlight. F*#king Finally.
The MarshallPlan for Moms proposes a temporary $2400 stipend and calls for policies regarding paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity. And hell-yes,a care czar? Our septuagenarian congressional leaders aren’t faced with the realities of childcare costs, let alone the multi-mastering demands put on a generation of millennial moms, a majority of whom are in the workforce. While there are details left to iron out,theMarshall Plan for Moms is a step in the right direction.
This pandemic (11 months and counting…) has forced working families into a corner:schools are closed, childcare is unaffordable, and we can’t mix households. As a result, staying home wasn’t a choice for millions of moms, it was the only option. Our capitalist society uses dollars to signal value. Putting a price tag on care isn’t a handout, it shows we value this work — and it is work. As Eve Rodsky, one of the 50 supporters of the Marshall Plan for Moms, writes, “This isn’t about paying women to stay home,it’s about the opportunity cost of their lost time this year… when we value care, we ALL win.”
In cyberspace, it’s easy for each of us to retreat into our mom identities (suburban vs city moms, liberal vs conservative, corporate vs stay at home moms). But we’re missing the point.This is not about what kind of mom you are — this is about challenging a status quo that’s not working for anyone.So check your negativity and let’s move the conversation FORWARD, not back. Let’s channel RBG and “fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” We’re relieved that this topic is making buzzy headlines — but those passionate about this topic have an obligation to get informed, find common ground and build on shared truths. Aren’t we all in this together, parents?
We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what single platform, stimulus or leader is going to finally move the needle. But today’s families desperately need policies that reflect the complexity of modern life.We can no longer brush our job as parents under the rug*.