It may surprise you to know that a lot of people would choose more time off or flexibility over an increase in salary. People want time to spend doing what they love outside of work. It's no longer the norm to "live to work" like our parents' generation. We want flexibility and time to be the healthiest versions of ourselves - time to engage in our hobbies, catch our kids' soccer practice, get the dog to the vet on a weekday.
Even though it's true that working parents want more time with their kids, people who don't have kids also want more flexibility in their work-lives, it's not just a working parent or working Mom issue. Personally, I am grateful for that flexibility, so when I was asked what I would change for working parents, paid and extended parental leave for U.S. employees came to mind. Please read this Care.com article if you get the chance, it's titled 8 Things Working Parents Wish Their Boss Would Say and my full quote is accessible from that link.
It's about having options and figuring out what is best for your family. Some Moms want to return to work as soon as they are able, and they are happy and healthy and their children are happy and healthy too, but compared to other nations, the U.S. is way behind in the amount of time it allows parents (check out this awesome graph from the NYT), as well as pay offered during leave (most countries offer some paid leave). Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women and Families is also a strong advocate of paid family leave and when it comes to how to pay for paid leave (someone has to pay one way or another), I think we can look to other models of successful programs, such as Canada, New Jersey, and California.
Tell me in the comment section below, if you could ask your boss for one thing to make your work-life easier, what would it be?
And for those of you who may want to ask your boss for something but can't in person, there is always Tell Your Boss Anything, a website that allows you to send an anonymous message to your boss. This may or may not be a good thing!