Happy Mother’s Day to all of the proud parents of the State Department. We honor and thank each of you for the sacrifices you have made in order to serve our country while raising your family.
I know how challenging it can be to balance the demands of work and family. Whether you're welcoming a new baby, juggling soccer practice and piano lessons, or even helping plan your daughter's wedding - parenting can be more than a full time job.
So today I’m recommitting the State Department to do all we can to support parents, especially new mothers and fathers. We will continue to do all we can to advance paid sick leave to new mothers recuperating from childbirth, family members caring for the mother, as well as those caring for a newborn with a serious ailment or disability, and the employees that are in the process of the adoption efforts that I know can be so difficult.
We will do all we can to support requests for advanced annual leave to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Many of you have been taking these steps for years on your own, but I want to encourage all of you to ask for and grant this time - time that I hope will help make you and your families healthier and happier.
We can and should do more to provide public servants with the same maternity and paternity leave benefits that many private sector employers already offer. They’re standard for many other governments around the world. It’s not enough to just talk about the importance of family - our policies must reflect our commitment and our values.
This is something I have worked for over my entire career and I am proud that President Obama shares this goal. And while we work with Congress to take additional steps - steps that are overdue - the State Department will do what we can for you and your families.
Together we are working all over the globe to ensure that children have the health, support and the chance to live up to their God-given potential. Well of course we want the same thing for all the children in the State Department family as well, from Washington to our posts around the world. We say it all the time, but boy we sure do believe it and are reminded of it every day - they are our most precious resource and responsibility.
So once again, thank you to all the parents and I wish all of you a safe and happy Mother’s Day.