“I don’t think we have such a drumbeat to cut SNAP or school lunches if we had more single mothers” in Congress, said Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of California and a single mother. “They could say, ‘No, no, no, we can’t cut this.’”
For single parents especially, paid family leave can be a particularly important issue, said Rebecca Ennen, the development and communications director at Jews United for Justice, the anchor organization in the Campaign for DC Paid Family Leave.
The campaign helped push the City Council in 2016 to pass the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act, which grants up to eight weeks of leave to new parents. Ms. Ennen said Ms. Bowser had been “lukewarm” to the law, allowing it to take effect without her signature.
“We’re really curious to see how becoming a parent might shift her position on the subject,” Ms. Ennen said.
Ms. Moore emphasized that even for female politicians not living paycheck to paycheck, access to adequate and affordable child care to help cover for late-night meetings or early-morning rallies can be difficult.
“The cost of child care itself, she’ll definitely feel it, ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching,” Ms. Moore said, referring to the high cost in Washington, where a single adult with one child could pay as much as $12,250 a year.
Ms. Bowser, who declined to be interviewed for this article, took a little over a week off before jumping back into political life. It was a maternity leave that Ms. Ennen called a Catch-22 “tragedy,” noting that women with high-powered jobs can be criticized for taking too much or too little time off to care for a newborn.