Where you live plays a big part in your quality of life. In the United States, choosing where to live is especially important due to the varying laws in each state. For moms, analyzing how each state approaches motherhood and the logistics of raising children is incredibly important. More often than not, moms have to fight for what should be guaranteed, like affordable childcare and a reasonable amount of paid leave. Now that the GOP controls the Senate and the House, everyone should be paying attention to the one state doing the most for working moms.
In 2013, the Department of Labor found that about 70 percent of moms with children under 18 make up the workforce. Given the huge amount of working moms in America, you'd think states are doing all they can to support these types of families. Unfortunately, a lot of states aren't doing enough to provide accommodations for moms trying to balance family life with work responsibilities. The good news is, the state of Vermont is doing a lot to improve the quality of life for its working moms. According to a 2017 report from WalletHub, Vermont is the best place to live if you're a mom with a career.
Per WalletHub's report, Vermont ranked number one out of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) surveyed. The "Best and Worst States for Working Moms" rankings were further analyzed by the categories of "Child Care," "Professional Opportunities," and "Work-Life Balance," which were also scored on a scale of 51 to one. The closer to one a state scored, the better it ultimately ranked. In those categories, Vermont scored a three for "Child Care," a seven for "Professional Opportunities," and a five for "Work-Life Balance." To determine the scores for each category, the report relied on 13 different factors, like women's salaries, parental leave policies, and day-care quality, to name a few. The lowest score, 32.75, was given to the state of Alabama.
Statistics aside, Vermont also has a very notable politician fighting to provide more to working moms. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont's longstanding Independent senator, has a really strong voting record concerning paid family leave. On the matter of maternity leave, in 2016 Sanders essentially shamed America for its policies, according to On The Issues:
Here's the point: Every other major country on Earth, every one, including some small countries, say that when a mother has a baby, she should stay home with that baby. We are the only major country. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. [It's not right.] That's not what the American people want.
While on the campaign trail, Sanders' campaign produced a video on working moms at the same time that Vermont won WalletHub's top ranking in 2016. In the video, working moms in Vermont discussed their love for the state and why it's so important that moms with careers receive as much support as possible.
Obviously, the concerns of all moms are important. Working or not, moms deserve support and resources to thrive with their children. Although Vermont ranked as the best state to live for working moms in 2017, there's more than enough time and opportunities for other states to follow suit. Although politicians are responsible for putting laws in place, moms and Americans hold the power to enact true change. More and more, America is seeing how grassroots efforts and protests are influencing what happens in Washington, D.C. Hopefully as time goes on and more moms continue to band together, more supportive laws will be put into place.