I am blessed with a fantastic mom, a model of love and family. Growing up, my sister and I were lucky to have a mom who was able and chose to stay at home. While I didn’t truly appreciate all my mom did and sacrificed for us until I became an adult, I always knew she loved us unconditionally and her family meant everything to her.
Fast forward to today. I’m a single mom of a beautiful 11-year-old daughter. The basic desires of a mother have not changed. We moms want the best for our families, and we will always sacrifice for the benefit of our children. Unfortunately, today's economic realities mean that many mothers—including myself—must now work outside the home.
Over the years, I’ve have been truly fortunate to have held jobs that always included paid sick days.However, there have been instances in the past where an employer made me feel guilty for using a sick day to care for my sick daughter or ailing parent. Worse still, I’ve watched as friends struggle with the realities sending a sick child to school or leaving them home alone because if they don’t work, they don’t get paid (or worse yet, are fearful of losing their job).
As a society we must realize that mothers should not have to make the choice between caring for family or ourselves and losing pay or a even our jobs. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, please support the campaign for paid sick days and share your concerns with our elected officials. Check out our work on Paid Sick Days, and join us in working on this core employment standard.
Allison Zidek is Interfaith Worker Justice's bookkeeper and a single mother of a daughter who occasionally visits IWJ's national office and lifts the spirits of all on staff. Allison is involved in Girl Scouts and her PTA.