Last week Newsweek was exploring the idea of a new macho man, one who changes diapers with as much confidence and authority as he runs board meetings or repairs motorcycles.
This new man, should he exist, will certainly be popular with the ladies. Alison Stevens writes in Women’s News that real men know how to take paternity leave.
Her husband did, and she makes a compelling case for other men to follow suit.
Most men don’t take paternity leave. In every other developed country, both parents get paid leave when a new child comes into the home. Only the U.S. offers no paid parental leave of any kind. As a result, families are forced into difficult economic compromises about who will stay home with the baby, starting the day that baby is born.
As men work longer and longer hours, they’re doing less childcare and housework. Not surprisingly, women are working less outside the home to make up the difference. As the article puts it:
We have to open up a national conversation about the gender pressures on men that are making them feel so unable to change. Women will continue to lose in kitchen-table bargaining over child care and housework until we open up successfully that conversation about men and masculinity.
Her own husband’s paternity leave strengthened their marriage and his bond with their kids. It gave her a smooth entry back to her own job, knowing their baby was being cared for by his father. His paternity leave gave their whole family the work/life balance so many families struggle to achieve.
Did you (or your partner) take paternity leave? For how long? How did it affect your career?
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