Advocate & Make a Change!

Parental leave map

They say you should advocate for what you’re passionate about and attempt to make a change. Since having LilKsby in 2019, I’ve wanted to advocate for better paternity leave in our country. This week, I got a wild hair, and decided to contact my state legislators asking them to do something about improving parental leave. The next day a co-worker sent me a Tweet saying the Louisville Metro Council approved paid parental leave for city employees for twelve weeks following the birth or adoption of a child. Their approval was unanimous! City of Louisville employees are very lucky that the Louisville Metro Council has their back on parental leave. Many people in the United States aren’t so lucky.

Until having LilKsby, I didn’t know much about parental leave. All I knew of it had come from working in the Personnel Department before taking the job I have now. Based on that experience, I assumed that it was the norm to give new mothers six weeks of leave (eight weeks for a C-section) and require the mothers to use either a combination of sick and personal days if they wanted to get paid (and were lucky to have 30-40 to cover the time) or take leave without pay. I had never had reason to look into the policy of other places, so foolishly I made a presumption that this was just how it was everywhere. SHAME ON ME! One should never make presumptions!

My first taste of better parental leave came from Mr Kisby’s job at the time. He was provided with quite the combination of fully and partially paid leave, and he did not have to use any of his vacation time! I was shocked when he told me how good of parental leave his employer provided. His was so good that when you added his time and my time together, LilKsby didn’t have to go to a babysitter until he was three and a half months old!

Since our experience with parental leave, I’ve found myself frequently thinking about the parental leave provided around the world. Did you know that “the United States is the only high-income country, as classified by the World Bank, that does not have paid maternity leave” (Hernandez)? Yes, the United States has employers who provide paid parental leave; however, there is no federally mandated parental leave for births or adoptions. FMLA does cover 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents, but the only thing that helps with is securing a position to return to after the time is up. Anyone who has ever had a baby or adopted a child knows that there are A LOT of expenses incurred during parental leave. Unless you’ve been saving for a long time or are willing to rack up debt, going unpaid for 12 weeks is not a viable option for many people.

Here’s another fun thing I learned while on maternity leave with LilKsby that I never knew. Did you know that the recommendations of pediatricians is that babies should not be going out in public until after they’ve had their first vaccinations at 8 weeks old? I didn’t know that! I found it very interesting that pediatricians make this recommendation, yet employers force parents to put their children in daycare at 6 weeks old (or younger) by not paying the new parents beyond that point. Something doesn’t add up with that math!

I can also speak from my own experience that six weeks (or eight weeks in my C-section having case) is not enough for a lot of babies to start breastfeeding consistently and correctly. Our journey was 10 1/2 weeks to achieve accurate breastfeeding. If I hadn’t have been able to fenagle 11 weeks of leave because of summer break and skipping workshops, then we never would’ve achieved the breastfeeding success that I knew would provide the best health for my baby.

I fully realize that not everyone in the world will ever need parental leave. However, I guarantee you that everyone will have a friend or family member that needs to use parental leave at some point. That said, I think it is time that we (everyone who comes across this and all of their family and friends) advocate for better parental leave in this country. America loves to say they are the best at everything, so it is time to make that a reality when it comes to parental leave. I encourage all of my readers to do some research, write to their legislators, and take action to help encourage improvement in the area of parental leave!

I’ll put my soapbox away now. I love you and good night!


The Great Kaysby

Hernandez, D., 2018. Fast Facts: Maternity leave policies across the globe – Vital Record. [online] Vital Record. Available at: <; [Accessed 28 March 2021].

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The Great Kaysby

I’m a wife, mother, daughter, cat lover, believer in Him and His word, teacher, beauty consultant, actress, costumer, and avid volunteer. 👩🏻‍🦰 My biggest gift in life is how I can still experience the world with childlike wonder as an adult. 🤩 I love winning, prizes, shiny objects, travel, food, and games! I use emojis way too much but they make me happy! 😊

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