If a quarter of women in the U.S. return to work just two weeks after giving birth, what does this mean for their babies? Glamour Magazine has a pretty grim idea.
The magazine is partnering with the national campaign Paid Leave for All to advocate for paid family and medical leave for all working people by launching a petition and promoting it through a series of satirical baby books titled “Get Your Sh*t Together, Baby!” The books are meant to “teach” babies how to clean their own bottles and video call their pediatricians, because “your parents can’t afford to quit, so neither can you.”
The books, though humorous, are meant to demonstrate the gravity of the paid leave crisis. Because the United States is just one of six countries with no form of paid leave, and only eight states have leave policies enacted right now, workers are mostly at the mercy of their companies. And though 25 percent of workers receive paid family leave through their jobs, most aren’t so lucky.
Last year, after President Joe Biden’s proposal to fund just four weeks of paid leave was discarded, Glamour followed eight women through their first 28 days postpartum to illustrate the importance of that time. Ashley, a marketing manager for a large media company who was allowed up to a year of maternal leave with her full salary paid, said she was grateful she didn’t have to worry about the high prices of baby formula and the cost of hiring a nanny to watch her older son. Diana, who received no paid leave, said the 12 unpaid weeks allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was not enough time to care for her newborn twins.
The baby book campaign falls in line with the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The leave provided by this law is unpaid and only applies to organizations with 50 or more employees – meaning that small business employees and employees who can’t afford to lose a three months’ salary are left without help.
Two-thirds of small businesses want a national paid leave program to support their workers, according to the campaign’s letter to Congress. Plus, the letter states that four in five American voters support a national paid leave program, which both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have called for.
“We want to break through the noise of Washington with comedy, with storytelling, with anger, and with optimism, and this partnership with Glamour aims to do that at a scale we haven’t reached before,” Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, said in a press release. Since it was founded in 2019, Paid Leave for All has organized numerous campaigns and partnerships to advocate for government-mandated paid leave.
In its most recent campaign, the “Get Your Sh*t Together, Baby!” books will be read aloud across Glamour.com, Instagram, and TikTok by comedians, actors, television hosts and parents, such as Jenna Dewan and Karamo Brown. By promoting the campaign, the parties hope to reach their goal of 20,000 signatures on the petition.
If you want to support paid family leave for all – or if you don’t agree that babies should learn to boil water on their own – you can sign here.