Families Speak Out at Strolling Thunder

It's time for babies to be a national priority.

Social media feeds are filled with parents detailing their day-to-day challenges. Why? Because they need to be heard. They need comradery. They need change.

That’s what our Strolling Thunder™ event is all about. We bring families from all 50 states and Washington, DC to Capitol Hill to tell Congress it’s time to #ThinkBabies.

Putting Parents in Touch with Congress Since 2017

Members of Congress have heard firsthand stories from parents across the country during our annual Strolling Thunder event — both in person and virtually during the pandemic.

A mother from Maine who was forced to fall behind on bills due to a lack of paid leave after a difficult birth. A family from Kentucky who lost their home during the COVID-19 pandemic, stretching their finances and making child care unaffordable. A father from Louisiana who was laid off without access to unemployment benefits, struggling to care for seven children at home. A single mother from Massachusetts who struggles to raise her child on a teacher’s salary.

The event is a cornerstone of our Think Babies campaign, a national movement and a call to action for policymakers to prioritize the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families and to invest in our nation’s future. Federal priorities include:

  • Increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care;
  • Creating a national paid family and medical leave program;
  • Increasing investments in Early Head Start so that more families living in poverty can benefit from the program’s comprehensive services;
  • Increasing support for infant and early childhood mental health services;
  • Providing support to transform the child welfare system; and
  • Making the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent to increase families’ economic security.
strolling thunder life-sized baby monitor
Strolling Thunder™ brings parents like these straight to Congress.

Families need affordable, quality child care.

I would literally have to make an extra $1,000 a month just to afford daycare.

@sistersarahcatharine Replying to @user8415328051011 STOP BLAMING INDIVIDUALS FOR SYSTEMATIC FAILURES #pandemicparenting #workingmom #parenting #poverty ♬ original sound - Sarah

I can't get a better job because then we'd have to pay child care. I cannot get a job that pays for child care with two kids.

Families need paid leave.

I'm not getting maternity leave because I don't qualify. I have, like, seven days of PTO that I'm going to use for my hospital stay and maybe a few days of recovery after.

@romiejohns #ad Dads, taking #paternityleave is the best decision ever. Just ask toddler dad and @dovemencare! #dovemencarepartner #dadsoftiktok #family #paidleave ♬ Countless - Official Sound Studio
@mandywarren56 Reply to @adventuresof_hannah ♬ original sound - Mandy Warren

I was able to learn how she needs love. How she shows love. What she loves.

Families need economic security and mental health support.

We know government programs work. Eliminating poverty should be a priority in the U.S..


Extend the child tax credit !

♬ original sound - LaysieB

I need help. It's so hard to manage a household and try to care for myself, let alone care for a baby.

Do these stories seem familiar?

See how to represent your state at the next Strolling Thunder! Sign up for updates from our Think Babies advocacy team.

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