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Dear Reader: Let's Raise Our Voices for Paid Family Leave

Alayne Sulkin

Published on: April 22, 2016

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Mother’s Day is often marked with varying degrees of joy, angst and longing. Like most who have lost their mothers, I desperately yearn to steal back a flicker of time with my beloved mother. I wish I knew more about her choices, joys, challenges, motivations and sorrows. I wish she had more time with her five extraordinary grandchildren: Arielle, Eli, Simon, Sophie and Maya. The emotional pendulum of Mother’s Day can swing from the nostalgic heart pulls of our memories to the blissed-out gift of being luxuriously revitalized by an Ayurveda wrap supporting our quest for balance. (Ask for it and you just may in fact avoid the annual tumultuous and boisterous brunch in favor of a spa trip!) Blessedness resides in all of it.

Pictured is my inside-and-out lovely 14-year-old adorning her size 9.5 pink Converse that will grace the cover of the upcoming Spare Me ‘The Talk’! A Girl’s Guide to Sex, [oy!] Relationships, and Growing Up. This sister title to author and veteran sex educator Jo Langford’s successful A Guy’s Guide goes places no other book has journeyed. I deserve a solid D minus for my repeated failures in communicating with my kids around these sensitive but vital issues that will better ensure their safety — emotional, mental and physical. I am taking the oath to share this unflinchingly honest (and often funny!) book to help my youngest, Maya, navigate the danger-laden world of teenage sex and sexuality in the digital age. (Don’t miss Langford’s riveting, May 24 lecture, “One Click Away: Encouraging Smart Choices in a Wired World” at Seattle Children’s.)

I’m also taking the oath to get the word out about paid family leave. This year, we need a humongous number of citizens to raise their voices in order for paid family leave to become law in Washington state. As part of our Making It Work mission-driven content, “The Push for Paid Leave” will inform and drive you to action. Whether you elevate these fundamental life issues within your workplace or family, whether you email your candidate or legislator or post on Facebook, your voice needs to be heard!

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