It is always very exciting when a woman gives birth to a baby. Of course, once a woman gives birth it is also a time for a great deal of change. That change does not just involve a woman's home life with having a new baby, but also with her work life. For one thing, a new mom will very likely be on maternity leave.
Mat leave is pretty common for women to take. What is far less common is for the dad of the new baby to take paternity leave. Of course, maybe paternity leave should not be all that uncommon. If a person were to think about it, that person probably could not come up with a lot of ideas as to why a man should not take paternity leave.
In fact, that person may just come up with a lot of ideas of why a man should take paternity leave instead. There are certainly benefits to a man going on paternity leave and those benefits probably are not all that obvious to a man or a woman for that matter. So here are 15 reasons why a man should take paternity leave in addition to, if not instead of, a woman taking maternity leave.
15 It Gives Dads A Much Needed Break
There is one obvious advantage of a dad taking paternity leave and getting time off work, because time off of work is always nice. Granted, since the dad will be at home with a newborn baby it will hardly be a vacation. Nevertheless, it is still time off work.
It is not hard to imagine that pretty much every dad would want some time off work. Paternity leave allows dads a break from the grind of work, being out and about, and instead be at home. Furthermore, many dads are the primary money maker in their family, and work very hard to provide the bulk of support for his family. Those dads could probably use a break from the monotony of their careers.
14 Moms Get A Break Too
Just as paternity leave gives dads a break from work it can also give moms a break from the kids. When a new baby arrives it is often assumed that the mom will take maternity leave and handle everything with the new baby and whatever kids they already have while dad is at work. Of course, if dad takes paternity leave then mom does not have to do everything, all the time anyway. Dad can help mom out with the kids, dishes, laundry, feedings, changings, cooking, etc.
Then again, mom might not even take a long maternity leave and have her husband simply take paternity leave instead. That means dad will be doing everything with the kids and mom gets a chance to focus entirely on her job. A mom might not get much of a chance to simply focus on her job because she tends to handle everything at home with the kids. Paternity leave provides an opportunity for all that to change.
13 Baby-Daddy Bonding
Often when a baby is born, mom stays at home and dad continues to go to work. When that happens, mom of course gets to spend more time with the baby than dad does. However, if dad takes paternity leave then he gets to stay home with the baby. That means he gets to spend more time with the baby than he typically would.
Spending more time with the baby naturally allows dad to bond with the baby more than he usually would. It is not hard to imagine that some dads actually become jealous of mom for getting to bond with the baby day in and day out. Fortunately, paternity leave solves that problem.
12 Dad Can Use The Confidence
If a dad does take paternity leave, he will naturally be spending more time at home with the baby. With that time, dad will will almost certainly do more tasks around the house. In essence a man on paternity leave will become something of a homemaker not unlike stay at home moms.
That is somewhat an advantage in and of itself. The other notable advantage of this is that dads will, no doubt, gain more confidence in the home. Dads on paternity leave will become more comfortable and at ease in the home by doing more to maintain in. No longer will the home be viewed simply as a woman's domain. The home can be just as much for dads as it is for moms.
11 A Much Needed Helping Hand
When a woman goes on maternity leave and stays at home with the baby, she will get more involved with the baby rather than if she continued to go to work. One might even argue that mothers tend to be viewed as more involved with a child's life and upbringing than fathers. However, if a father was to go on paternity leave that perception could change. What is pretty certain is that if a dad takes paternity leave he will feel more involved with the child.
No longer will a dad be away at work while mom spends most of the baby’s waking hours alone with him or her. That is bound to make any father feel more hands-on when it comes to the child. That is a definite advantage to a man taking paternity leave.
10 Some Sympathy Please
It has been said that being a mother is that hardest job in the world. That may very well be the case, buy it is not hard to understand how someone would not necessarily agree with it. After all, spending all day with a baby does not seem like the most taxing thing a person can imagine. Dads who work all day may particularly have a hard time understanding the hard work a stay at home mom does.
Of course, if a man was to go on paternity leave and essentially become a stay at home dad for a time, that would likely change. A man on paternity leave will see first hand just what a mom has to do all day with a baby. Not only will he see it, he will actually have to do it.This will no doubt help a man to understand just what a woman does in caring for a child.
9 A Chance To Change Things Up
It would be wise for anyone to not underestimate the power of a trend. Trends have gotten people to do a great many things. With that in mind if one man takes paternity leave it could easily lead many men to take paternity leave. The truth is one man taking paternity leave will likely encourage other men to do the same.
There is something of a stigma to a guy taking paternity leave. Any man taking paternity leave, and doing well with it while being happy helps to remove that stigma. It also shows other men that paternity leave is something that can be done, and probably should be. All that could make it more likely for more men to take paternity leave.
8 Time For Legal Change
So a man wants to take paternity leave, but the only problem is that his job does not actually offer it. It is pretty commonplace for jobs to offer women maternity leave, but not so much with paternity leave. Of course, if a man’s job does offer paternity leave it is a good idea for him to take it. The more that companies see other companies offer paternity leave the more likely they are to do so as well.
Again, no one should ever underestimate the power of trend. If companies see that paternity leave is popular, and more importantly can work, they are very likely to offer it as well. That means even if a man is a little hesitant to take paternity leave, he should definitely break tradition and take it! Taking paternity leave in the hopes that it might start a trend with various employers is not a bad idea.
7 New Found Appreciation
If a dad’s job does offer paternity leave for whatever reason, that is certainly good news for any dad wanting to stay at home with his newborn. Surprisingly, it could also be good news for the company. A man wanting to take paternity leave and who is able to is bound to be happy with where he works. It probably goes without saying that a happy employee is a good employee.
In fact research has shown that companies that offer paternity leave tend to have more loyal employees. It could actually be beneficial to a company’s bottom line to offer paternity leave. Sure, a worker that goes on paternity leave will not be able to do anything for the company when actually on paternity leave, but when he comes back he may be a better worker. It is not hard to imagine an appreciative worker becoming a harder worker.
6 If Mom Has PPD
Whenever a woman has a baby it is a joyful event. Of course, not everything that comes after a baby’s birth is joyful. It is not uncommon for women to go through postpartum depression after giving birth. This can be both unfortunate for mother and child. However, paternity leave can help this.
Studies have actually shown that women are less likely to become depressed if the man in their life takes paternity leave. It is likely that at least part of this is due to a mom having more help at home with the baby. Also, even if a woman is suffering from postpartum depression she will at least have someone else around to help with the baby while she is going through it. Either way, paternity leave is a pretty good idea to take as far as postpartum depression is concerned.
5 One Is Great, Two Is Better
It has been shown that paternity leave can be both beneficial to men and women in various ways. It can actually be beneficial to both of them as a couple as well. When a man takes paternity leave he will likely help out his wife with the baby. In that sense they are equal partners doing their equal share at the job.
Some men who have taken paternity leave claim to enjoy the feeling of being equal partners. In that way paternity leave can actually make marriages stronger. There is no resentment among couples if they feel as if they are equal partners. A lack of resentment can only be good for marriages, and can help make it stronger.
4 Women Of The Future
If a man was to take paternity leave, it will give the woman the unique advantage of possibly not going on maternity leave. That would allow a woman to continue to greatly focus on her career. It a woman does want to move ahead in her career then taking time off and being away from it might not help than much. However, it does not stop there.
A study has shown that companies that have a long paternity leave often have women in higher ranking positions. As one might imagine this is due to child care. The study links this to child care being more evenly divided among men and women. This study further goes to show that paternity leave can be a good thing for women's careers.
3 Cutting Costs
The reason not a lot of companies may offer paternity leave is because of the cost they think is involved with it. That does not altogether make sense. It does not seem very cost effective if an employee gets paid leave. However, companies need to be aware that paternity leave does not cost as much as they might think.
Companies also need to keep in mind that not offering paternity leave can actually be costly. Companies might actually lose people if they do not offer paternity leave. Some potential employees might chose to not work at a company that does not offer paternity leave. That means a company could lose the best possible people for the job due to a lack of paternity leave.
2 For Baby's Benefit
One thing that might be somewhat forgotten during this whole discussion about paternity leave is the baby. There are advantages for the baby in terms of paternity leave as well. Those advantages extend beyond the time the baby gets to spend with dad. The real advantages come later in life.
Studies have shown that kids that have dads who took paternity leave are more social. It has also been shown that they do better in school, and even have higher IQs than other kids. It has also been demonstrated that kids benefit from watching the different parenting styles of their mom and dad. That just goes to show that there are several benefits to kids when paternity leave is concerned.
1 Hey, It Works Everywhere Else!
There may still be some that are not sold on paternity leave. They may be uncertain that it can actually work for them. Paternity leave is still pretty rare, after all. Those people need to know that paternity leave works everywhere else.
That is to say that in other places in the world paternity leave is much more common. It works just fine in those places of the world. In fact, the U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world where paternity leave is not common. If the rest of the world encourages it, then surely paternity leave cannot be all bad because it usually works pretty well for them. Dads should take comfort in that.
Sources: TheAtlantic.com, NYTimes.com, WorkPlace.Care.com, FitPregnancy.com, TheBump.com, FastCompany.com