Pass a Paid Leave Policy in Montana

Thursday, January 26th 2017
Helena Independent Record

For most of my life, I’ve worked at jobs that didn’t offer any paid leave. Since I worked remotely, hours after the births of both of my daughters I did something I should not have had to do – I opened my laptop and got to work. During the first few sleepless months, I chugged espresso and got to work.

One would think women would have the right to some rest after the physical toll that having children takes on your body and the sleepless nights an infant brings after that. Children should have the right to a rested, devoted mother, at least for a little while.

Now I have a job that does offer me paid leave. It is such a relief not having to worry about losing my income or my job if anything serious should happen to my daughters, my husband, or myself. It is amazing how relaxed and happy I am at home after working at a place where I get full benefits including paid time off to care for my family. Paid leave helps me be a better mom, wife, employee, and member of my community.

Unfortunately, there are too many people in our state who don’t have access to the time off they need to take care of their families or themselves. I’m excited about what is happening around the country with paid family and sick leave. I hope during this legislative session, our elected officials pass a paid leave policy in Montana.

Natalie Peeterse – Letter to the Editor

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