Today is November 8th.

This article took me four months to write.

I work in policy, in government, in data, in advocacy.  I write memos and organize meetings and push policy positions for a living.   I care deeply about my work – after all the memos and the arguments and the meetings are over, my fundamental goal is to help advance gender equality.   But for the past two years, this blog has been a small step away from my day job – a chance to write in non-bureaucracy, a reason to get creative, even if it’s just creating dinner.

So I ask your forgiveness when I make this small corner of the web a policy platform, just for right now.

I wrote this article over the last four months, in fits and starts, in gratitude and in anger. I’m so thankful for the community around me that supported me unflaggingly when my husband and I became parents.  I’m grateful for the time I had at home with my little boy. I’m lucky because that time translated into real economic and health benefits for me, my son, and my family.

The truth is, though, becoming a parent in the United States depends a lot on luck and privilege and financial status.  As one of three countries in the world without paid family leave,  for everything I had when my son was born, far too many American women and men had not.

In 2016, in the world’s only superpower, this is indefensible.

I greatly appreciate your time in reading this.  The more we talk about this, the more data and personal stories we collect, the better our chances at changing this policy.

And I promise, back to food in the next post.