When I tell friends that the federal government does not provide paid maternity leave, they are always surprised. It is true that federal workers are luckier than many who have little or no paid leave. We can use our accrued leave as maternity leave, if we have enough. Despite hoarding my leave since the moment I began working for the federal government I had fewer than two months of paid leave following the births of each of my two children. While I am fortunate to be able to manage with a reduced income for some time, the fact that I do not get paid family leave pressured me to return to work quickly. And those with lower salaries feel the pressure even more keenly. Providing paid leave to all new parents - including federal workers - would enable people to take the time they need to care for new additions.