Taking leave also set me off on the right foot for sharing parental responsibilities.Two years later, there is no stigma in our house about me changing diapers, feeding Olympia, doing her hair or anything else I might need to do in a pinch.
So why aren’t they taking the leave they’re entitled to?
Why aren’t expectant fathers demanding time off to care for their families? Men are conditioned to be breadwinners, exclusively — and another mouth to feed calls for more bread on the table (to say nothing of college tuition) — so off to work we go. I get that not every father has the flexibility to take leave without the fear that doing so could negatively impact his career.
Whether I’m taking Olympia to the aquarium (she’s really into fish right now) or just hanging at home torturing her favorite doll, Qai Qai, spending quality time together is of the utmost importance to me, and I really learned that through the experience of taking leave.
All people deserve fulfilling work close family ties.
• Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? Now, for the sixth year in a row, we’re inviting you to make those thoughts into something a little more formal: short, evidence-based persuasive essays like the editorials The New York Times publishes every day. Choose a topic you care about — whether it’s something we’ve addressed on this site or not — then gather evidence from sources both within and outside The New York Times and write a concise editorial (450 words or fewer) to convince readers of your view.
Because editorial writing at newspapers is a collaborative process, you can write your entry as a team or by yourself — though, please, only one submission per student.
Nearly a third of dads think that taking leave could negatively impact their career. Spending a big chunk of time with Olympia when she was a newborn gave me confidence that I could figure this whole parenting thing out.
As an only child with no cousins, I didn’t grow up around babies; in fact, I had never held one until my daughter was born. I didn’t — which was encouraging — and then I learned how to calm her crying, rock her to sleep and handle her toddler years with grace.
No dad should feel forced to wholly prioritize work over family at a time as important as the arrival of a new baby — a time that is not only critical in the beginning, but has far-reaching impact years down the line.
Getting dads (and in turn, families) off on the right foot begins at birth, and it can’t just be up to individual businesses to ensure that happens.