In today’s day and age, as gender equality is drastically increasing at home and in the workplace, men and women are splitting more child care and domestic duties. It seems it’s still more common for companies to offer maternity leave. Worldwide, 70 countries guarantee paid leave for fathers after the birth of their children, compared to 182 that ensure maternity leave. On the one hand, this diminishes a father’s right to be an equally engaged parent. On the other hand, it is impractical. Denying fathers time with their babies does no one in the family any favors.
As a family welcomes a new child into the world, both parents need some time to adjust to their new roles as parents and bond with their child as a family. Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie recently did a revealing and very touching interview with Glamour Magazine on how life changing it was for him to be able to spend several months (12 weeks) with his wife and newborn son. He explained how being able to take the time and do so was a great gift in all aspects of his life. He got the chance to bond with his son, which is a luxury that a lot of parents cannot afford. He feels connected to his wife; it was a very romantic experience to have the time together. It is a special time that passes quickly and you can never get back. He felt very luck to have done it.
A very interesting part of his story was that he is now giving all Toms Shoes employees paternity leave. He decided that it is a great value to the company and he recommends any company that can afford to give fathers paternity leave do so. He does this because of how recharged, positive, and inspired he felt when he returned to work, which provided great value to his company and coworkers. He had fresher, better ideas, a renewed optimism, and better attitude upon retuning.
When a father is included and involved in rearing his children, it is very beneficial for the child’s upbringing. Paternity leave is a great way to make a father feel that he is equally a part of his child’s life as the mother. This fosters a greater sense of a present father figure in the child’s life. This is very important for the psychological development of the child and increases their feelings of confidence, security, and mentorship in their life.
When a father gets more involved in the day-to-day care of the child, this fosters a greater family connection between the parents because it takes some pressure off the mother. She does not have to do everything on her own. This helps foster a healthier and closer relationship between the parents, better marriage, and better family environment to help rear the child. This along with the stronger father figure involvement helps create a better environment for the child to grow up in. It tends to help them get better grades, get more involved, get farther with their education, and become more well-rounded adults.
As father’s rights movements advance and spread, they create more opportunities for dads to take charge of their role. Paternity leave is becoming a more widespread benefit in many companies. And to new dads, even if your workplace cannot or does not offer the time off, it is still very important that you get as involved as possible and try to be an equal partner in raising your child. You’ll be so glad you did!
Allen, Sara, PhD, and Karry Daly, PhD. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Father Involvement.” The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence Inventory (2003): n. pag.Http://www.fira.ca/. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2007. Web. 29 June 2015.
Covert, Bryce. “How Everyone Benefits When New Fathers Take Paid Leave.” ThinkProgress RSS. N.p., 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 June 2015.
Field, Genevieve. “Paternity Leave: Toms Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie on How It Changes Everything.” Glamour. N.p., May 2015. Web. 29 June 2015.