Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Joanna’s Story – Paid Family and Medical Leave


“Had we not had PFML, I would have used the entirety of my vacation bank of 5 weeks, and been back to work around 4 months after giving birth.  Thankfully with PFML I didn’t have to touch my vacation time, and was able to take the entire 24 weeks with only a slight decrease in pay amount – that allowed me so much time to bond with my baby, and for him to be able to sleep through the night so I was actually a useful person by the time I got back to work.  By the end of 12 weeks, I remember thinking to myself that I was still so exhausted that I couldn’t fathom going back to work in my current state and I was so grateful that I wasn’t required to because of our finances.

My husband also used PFML, and I think that was critical to our marriage and his bonding with our child too.  He spent the first 8 weeks home with us, then took another 4 weeks when I went back to work – that helped to ease us all back into the routine of working and splitting family and work time.  I know many women who feel abandoned or completely lonely during their maternity leave, but I didn’t ever have that feeling since I had my husband at home with me for the majority of newborn time.  I’m incredibly grateful for that and I think it’s helped us both feel like competent parents since we both spent so much time in the beginning learning how to be parents and not having to worry about money and missing work during that time.” – Joanna Lyons

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