I was watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games with my husband tonight. He saw a country’s 5 athletes and asked who that country was. Neither of us had heard of it or countless others participating I’m sure. My response was, “I don’t know but they’ve got paid parental leave!” I say that because we are one of the only TWO COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD that don’t have it. The first option sounds good and like compromise, but it’s not. Women take 6 weeks of leave and then have to work 6 weeks longer later? That’s not paid time off. Of course men could use this too but most families can’t afford to go 6 weeks at 66% or less total income, especially when bringing a child into the financial mix. Aside from that, we all have been told ( people of child bearing age) that we’re not going to see any of the thousands or millions of dollars we paid into the social security system. The second option is a more sincere choice. Yes some people won’t personally benefit from the taxes they paid but everyone will benefit when children get to form a strong emotional bond to their parents in those first few weeks, New parents aren’t as exhausted, mothers get to heal their bodies, Fathers get to participate in bonding/learning/adjusting from the beginning- leading to happier, healthier, safer and more productive society members. We all pay taxes to things we don’t personally benefit from currently, they were just in place when you started working so you don’t mind them as much because that’s the way it is. Employers would lose an employee for the time off but they gain a better employee in the long run because they got the physical and emotional time to heal/adjust they need. As far as covering the work, all the other countries have figured it out & so would/will we. Neither option gives the citizens of this country what it should, but the fact that there are options being legitimately offered now is a great start. Let’s just do something. We can always make it better as we go on. Doing nothing is the worst choice. I have one child and don’t plan on having more, so I won’t benefit. But the world around me does. People are capital to a country. People must reproduce in order to have a country. No babies no citizens, no future producers, entrepreneurs or labor force. No tax payers. No more human race. Paid paternal leave is just a minute investment for the country.