White House summit aims to help working families strike balance

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some people have to find the right balance between career and parenthood. On Monday the White House held a Summit on Working Families to talk about policies that might increase the chances of succeeding at the workplace and at home.

One of the hardest parts about being a parent is getting that time of to spend with your newborn while getting paid. When mother of two Carly Allegri had to take maternity leave to care for her newborn, she was ready to take a huge pay cut.

That's the norm. A study shows that the United States is the only high-income nation not to mandate paid maternity leave. When Allegri first became a mom to lorelei, she worked at another company that offered no compensation for her 12 weeks off.

"I planned ahead and saved to be able to cover those three months without any income," she said.

That changed when baby Dominic came along.  She switched to another company where she was partially covered, 60 percent of earnings for six weeks.

"Then I think there's about three weeks left that I'll go unpaid as well," she said.

That's just a part of maintaining a career. But for Aishah Parham, witnessing the milestones of her children was enough to become a stay-at-home mom to two girls.

Parham's husband took a week off to spend time with his girls, but she wished it could've been longer.

"It's important for parents to feel comfortable in their jobs to be able to take off when they need to," Parham said, although she is grateful for whatever time her husband was able to take off.

But for someone who has taken leave, going back to work can sometimes a struggle.

"It'll be hard to leave them that first day for sure," Allegri said of baby Dominic. She has about nine weeks left with him.

Both mothers said that any time spent with their children is worth the sacrifice. To catch up on the White House Summit, check out their blog at this link.

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