I think it's a shame that more men don't take off time when their babies are born. For a first time mom, especially if you have a difficult baby or had a difficult labor, the extra help at home can be really valuable. And why shouldn't new dads have time to spend at home to bond with their babies?
But men almost never take more than a week or two off when their babies are born. So I tried to brainstorm why that is:
1) It's not "manly" to take off time for the birth of your child.
2) Since nobody else does it, bosses frown upon paternity leaves.
3) Loss of income since it's not supported by short-term disability.
4) If in training, that time will need to be made up.
5) Work is the only place for a new dad to escape his screaming newborn.
The main reason I think men should take paternity leave is because I think it might result in more understanding toward women taking maternity leave if both sexes are entitled to time off. Then we'll just all be hated by childless people.
Agreed. And yes, work can be the only place to escape. I worked with male intern who just had his second child born. His wife was stay-at-home. He was walking around asking other interns to donate their calls to him (without payback). He said sleeping 2 hours in between night time admissions was ausome. He was just hoping for a chance to sleep in the hospital.ReplyDelete
Ahh I think it would be awesome if men got paternity leave too. *sigh*ReplyDelete
Also, enjoyed your post on Mothers In Medicine today!
Thanks. I was worried I might get attacked for it.Delete
I work with a guy who said that after his baby was born, call days were the best because after he handed off his pager, he'd retreat to the call room for 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep before he went home. I hated him a little when I heard that.ReplyDelete
What bothers me is that men who think that way STILL hate women for getting maternity leave.Delete
I haven't gotten THAT impression from this particular guy. He's really pretty decent. I think I was mostly jealous of the 5 consecutive hours of sleep. I don't think I had that for the first 14 weeks of my kid's life even once.Delete
Well, I just mean in general that men know how hard it is, yet they still persist in calling maternity leave "vacation".Delete
We just welcomed our second last week. I did take that week off and my wife's mom is with us this week. I might have taken more time off if I had it, but I don't. Only two weeks PTO and five sick days doesn't leave much time since I'll probably have to stay home with my oldest who is sick at some point. Just hope our newest is on a regular sleeping schedule by then (e.g. sleeping between feedings at night and not all day long).ReplyDelete
Paternity leave is becoming more and more common in Canada, where #3 is not as much of an issue. A family is entitled to a total 12 months or so of parental leave per birth and can split the time between them. When I was in grad school a few years ago 3 different male profs went home on paternity leave when their babies were a few months old so their partners could go back to work.ReplyDelete
Yup, I live in Canada and my husband has informed me that he is taking "at least" 3 month of the parental leave (the first 17 weeks HAVE to be taken by the mother but the remainder can be taken by either parent). Since, like the above poster said, its paid leave, we will have some money coming in (though substantially less, but we will manage) when both of us are on leave.ReplyDelete
My husband though, is one of those guys who just does not give a crap about looking "manly" from a professional stand point.
I'm definitely looking forward to having the help (and being able to brag about my awesome, family oriented husband!).
I hate you Canadians :PDelete
This makes total sense. There is no reason for 2 parents to take more than a week or so off right away - there isn't that much physical work. Being a new parent is all consuming - the last thing I would want is my husband hanging around wanting something to do. Let Dad take a substantial time later on to give an assist when Mom goes back to work. I was so impressed by my Canadian friends who traded off so baby got to be home and cared for by a parent, yet mom got back to work and kept her career on track.Delete
We are planning on having our 3rd child during my medical school rotations. My wife actually doesn't want me to take time off during rotations to help out with the baby. Since we have a limited time that I can take off during rotations, she doesn't want me to "waste" it. Since her family lives in China, her reasoning is that we need to save up all the time off we can so we have enough to go to China. This is all preliminary discussion... I'm not sure what we'll actually do,ReplyDelete
I am Canadian too, and my husband and I split parental leave. I took the first six months and he took the second. Six months was long enough for me to be off, I love my girls but being at home by myself with twins was a bit crazy inducing. I was glad to get back to work and my hubby really wanted to stay home with them.ReplyDelete
My husband took 3 months off after my 3 months off and it was so awesome. It felt like I had 6 months off because I didn't have to worry getting a baby ready for daycare or anything and he could bring me the baby a lot during lunch so I only had to pump 2 times a day instead of 3. He did this as a 3rd year fellow and ended in August instead of June so it wasn't so bad. We often wondered why dads didn't take leave. Under the FMLA they are legally able to get at least some protected time off.ReplyDelete
My husband took one week off. He could have legally taken leave, but he wouldn't have gotten paid. Plus I think he would have wanted to shoot himself in the head if he stayed home three months with the baby.Delete
My husband couldn't take time off after our first because, well, we were poor. While parental leave is covered under EI, it's only 55% and we couldn't afford both of us being on half pay. As I was breastfeeding and he earned more, it made more sense for me to stay home.ReplyDelete
With our second, he stayed home for 3 weeks because he wanted me to be home with both kids as long as possible, but still wanted some time off. I didn't actually end up going back to work, so he probably could have taken longer, lol.
And while 17 weeks of the 52 are considered maternity/recovery leave (women who place for adoption or have a stillbirth are still eligible for this time), dad *can* take his weeks/months off concurrently. He doesn't have to wait until 17 weeks after the birth to stay home.
I'd love to be able to take paternal leave, then again I'm gay so I guess a guy will have to look after the baby either way! I can't say that it would bother me at all although I would certainly like to go back to work as I enjoy it so much.ReplyDelete
Saying that, my grandfather had huge issues with my father pushing me in the pram n the late 80s. Times have changed quite a bit!