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I am a mother to a beauti...

I am a mother to a beautiful 3 year old daughter and am currently pregnant with our Son who is due July 26th. I feel very fortunate to have a job but am often concerned about my value to the company when I am faced with normal parenting challenges that I can't prevent. Whenever my daughter is sick, I feel it necessary to be there for her. To comfort her, to care for her but because I am forced to choose between pay (which is our total livelihood) and being there for my daughter, I have a moral battle every time she does get sick. In addition, I am facing mounting pregnancy problems. I've had much nausea, sickness and now extreme pelvic pain. Because I have no paid maternity leave and no sick time in the work place, day after day, I trudge in to fulfill my duty as an employee. I do this not only because my family needs the money but also because I fear being looked upon as a weak employee. My job is so important to me and in the current economic climate, competitiveness is everything. I know there would be many people lined up for my job and if I can’t be there to compete to keep my job, who knows what will happen?

I feel we need legislation to help people like me. There are many American’s out there who are truly dedicated to the cause. I am one of them and as I continue to power through my pain, daughter’s sickness, and all of the rest of life’s unknowns, I just want a balanced path. If families are allowed to stay home more worry free, we will all benefit. Less illness and more productive employees during time of health, will be a certainly and folks like me will no longer have to worry about a basic need to care for one’s self and family during time of illness.

—KimberlyWashington
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