Let's Give DC Dads a Happy Father’s Day!

This Father’s Day, we are excited to share stories from Jews United for Justice’s  members about why fatherhood and care-giving is so important. If you think DC needs Paid Family Leave, click “Take Action” at the top of this page and join us. Cute pics and stories after the jump – 

“We are blessed to have two children, ages 4 and 1. When my kids were born, I had the incredible privilege of 8 weeks of paid parental leave. This meant I could really be there for my wife as she recovered from giving birth. When my son was born last year, paid parental leave also allowed me to be 100% ‘on point’ for my daughter as she became a big sister. Paid parental leave is so important for keeping families together and strong, and as a city we need to make sure everyone has the same ability to be present for these life-changing moments.”

-Eli Kasargod-Staub 

“With our first child, my husband was able to take one month of paid leave. Among other benefits, this was critical to establishing breastfeeding, which was a challenge at first. I'm grateful for the time we had, but wish that he had been able to take the same 12 weeks I was able to take. Equitable, gender-neutral paid leave is critical to laying the foundation for a fair division of labor between parents; it sets the stage for many years to come. Unfortunately, my husband's new job provides no paid leave in the first year of employment, so when our second baby arrives in September, he will have very little time to be with our growing family.”

-Liz Ben-Ishai, a mother and advocate with Center for Law and Social Policy

The six paid weeks of parental leave I took when our daughter was born allowed me to find my footing as a dad firsthand, setting me up with a role as the type of active parent I wanted to be right from the start.  And the six additional weeks I'll be taking just before she turns one will help allow her mom to transition back to her career, giving me a chance to step up as the primary parent at a time when our daughter is changing so fast. 

 What I've learned as a parent is that there is no substitute for digging in and being there for your kid from dusk until dawn, day-in and day-out.  The bonding that happens is irreplaceable, and the confidence and skills to take a leadership role as a parent are directly proportional to the time spent parenting.  I'm excited to see what my upcoming leave brings, especially to grow even closer to my daughter, and I think every dad should get the same opportunity at some point in the first year of a child's life.  It's good for me as a dad, it's good for my daughter, and it's good for my co-parent!”

-Matt Blumin

“My daughter's birth was easily one of the greatest days of my life.  Afterwards, I was fortunate to spend four weeks at home.  During that time, I learned to be a dad, bonded with our daughter, and parented with my wife.  The time was invaluable in contributing to my strong relationship with my daughter and wife.”

-Dan Zytnick