Working moms are waiting for their own stimulus package—maternity leave, affordable childcare, flexible work arrangements—and they’re looking to Michelle Obama to push it through, Reuters reports. The new first lady began discussing these issues during her husband’s presidential campaign. “She's saying: ‘I’m here, I get it, let's do something about it,’ because she was living it,” said her spokeswoman.
Critics complain US policies lag behind most industrialized nations, which mandate paid maternity leave and help parents afford childcare. “Our family economic security policies are stuck in the 1950s, but we have a modern workforce,” said one. The first lady “will have enormous influence. Just the bully pulpit she has will have an extraordinary influence on the debate.”