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When it comes to supporting families, paid parental leave is a solution to a number of problems. Studies show that paid leave can reduce infant mortality, increase breastfeeding rates, can improve maternal mental health and strengthen the connection between fathers and babies.

There are a ton of benefits to parental leave, ones that American families should be seeing, but aren't. While some employers have been modernizing parental leave policies, federal policy lags behind. The last major policy change came in 1993, when the Family and Medical Leave Act passed with bipartisan support, guarantees more than half of American workers 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave.

The passing of that act has been called a case study in uniting Democrats and Republicans, and now Ivanka Trump is calling for that kind of unified support once again.

In an op-ed published by Fox News Wednesday, the advisor to and daughter of President Donald Trump called on lawmakers to "reach across the aisle, and create smart and lasting policy that does right by all."

"Paid family leave enables parents to balance the competing demands of work and family, pursue their careers, and build strong and thriving families. It is an investment in the future of our workers, our families, and our country," she writes, noting that paid family leave is endorsed by some social conservatives as a way to encourage "tightly bonded families and protect infants and parents at their most vulnerable."

Trump notes that Americans are having fewer babies, and suggests paid parental leave could change that. "If executed responsibly, paid family leave is targeted government action with the right incentives – designed to increase the independence, health and dignity of our citizens."

Trump's letter comes the same day as a U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy hearing on paid family leave policy.

The subject is a legislative proposal championed by senators Marco Rubio that builds on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It would see businesses given a tax credit for offering workers partially paid parental leave, as well as leave for family health issues, and is in line with polls that suggest that while most Americans support paid leave, the majority also want employers, not the government, to shoulder the cost.

Critics of Trump's op-ed note that democrats have been working on parental leave for years. On Twitter Wednesday, Chris Lu, former White House cabinet secretary and assistant to the president during the Obama administration, responded to Ivanka Trump's promotion of the op-ed by pointing out the existence of a Democrat plan, The Family Act. which would be funded by employers and employees.

Trump replied that while true, the efforts have failed to gather bipartisan support, which is what her letter is officially championing.


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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

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