“Last year my fiancée and I were excited to welcome our firstborn. I went to my manager to request time off to be with my family for the birth and weeks after but I was shocked when I was told that WMATA only provides 2 DAYS of leave to new dads (women are entitled to six weeks). I thought, what kind of a message does that send about the role of men in their kids’ lives?! I knew I wanted to spend more time with my family when our son arrived, but when my now-wife suffered preeclampsia during labor, it was even more critical for me to be home taking care of her and our son. We couldn’t afford to be without both incomes for long, though, so I had to return to work much sooner than I wanted and sooner than my fiancée’s health condition demanded. Now, we share childcare responsibilities by working alternate shifts – I work nights while being the primary caregiver for our son during the day. He comes with me to union rallies and meetings, on grocery store trips, and when I volunteer at the local youth centers. Childcare is just too expensive here, even with both parents working full time.”