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When I got pregnant with my first child, I was a new employee at Nebraska Children’s Home Society.  I didn’t have time to accumulate much paid or sick time to use for maternity leave.  Fortunately, NCHS offers employees 6 weeks paid leave for the birth or adoption of a new child.  Because of paid leave, I was able to afford staying home full-time for 8 weeks and then ease back in by working part-time for another 4 weeks.  People say infants spend all their time sleeping…not our child!  Our son was on the colicky side, so my husband and I had to take shifts staying up all night with him for 2 months.  I have no idea how we would have managed this if I had to go back to work sooner.  I would not have been able to function well on the job or have the time to properly bond and care for my son.  Everyone would have lost.  Instead, I was ready and excited to start easing back into work at 8 weeks.  Paid family leave strengthens families as well as the staff-employer relationship.

Amanda, Omaha, Nebraska