Why is he taking paternity leave? First of all, it should be obvious. His wife is giving birth to a baby. Have you given birth or witnessed a birth of a child? You do know that besides being “beautiful”, it also takes a huge toll on the mother. Weeks and weeks of recovery. Stitches. Soreness. Emotions and hormones going wild. It’s a shit show. I KNOW THIS. Husbands SHOULD be able to take leave (hopefully paid) to HELP their wives in such a crazy time of their lives. Women should not have to do it alone.
Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will be taking two months of paternity leave when his wife gives birth to their second daughter later in the year, I have read numerous articles and heard many conversations about the what seems to be controversial topic. Why is he taking paternity leave? Is 2 months too long for someone to take paternity leave? Maybe he should only take 1 month instead of 2 months. He didn’t give birth! He is not a mom, why does he need time off? Should companies offer paternity leave?
The comments and opinions are out of control and I feel the need to weigh in with my thoughts.
A lot of people are questioning Zuckerberg’s decision to take two months of leave. It’s his life. He owns a company where Paternity leave is offered to employees (up to FOUR MONTHS!). Why WOULDN’T he take leave? It would be silly not to. I am pretty sure Facebook will survive without him for 8 weeks.
One of the most ridiculous comments I heard so far is “He is not a mom, why does he need time off?” Ummm, really? It is 2017. Moms don’t just take care of the kids and house while the dads work all day. The duties are shared. Women work. Life is hard. As a mom, I can tell you. We need help. I remember being on maternity leave while my husband was at work. I hated every second. I hated that I had to do everything by myself, hated that I had to witness baby milestones by myself, and hated taking the baby to doctor check-ups alone…it was just a hard time. Having a partner at home with me throughout that time would have been a major game-changer. Dads, if you have the opportunity….take paternity leave.
Employers that offer paternity leave, in my eyes, have an advantage in the competitive working world. They are making a difference and stepping up, acknowledging an issue that needs acknowledged . Something tells me that a lot of workplaces will start offering this benefit more and more…but will new dads take advantage? Will they be “looked down on” and “judged” if they decide to take leave? Absolutely. It will take years and years for this to be socially acceptable and for paternity leave to be the norm. Hell, we are still trying to improve maternity leave here in the US.
Enough of the judging and ridiculing Zuckerberg for taking time off to help his family. I am sure that he is not alone in being judged for this act. Believe me, being at home on paternity leave is not as glamorous as it seems. It’s not going to be a vacation for him. He should be praised and applauded for stepping up and pitching in to help during some of the toughest times of parenting.