If men were forced to take off 50% of the parental leave time, it’d be better for everyone all around.
So if a mother would take a year off, she would now split that time with the father. 6 months and 6 months. Or 9 months and 3 months. Whatever it is, the minimum amount of time to take off should be enforced on all men.
Right now in Quebec it is 5 weeks, which I find very low in terms of time. I think 3 months, ALONE, is the minimum amount of time a father needs to bond with his child.
#1 – FATHERS WOULD SEE HOW TOUGH (& WONDERFUL) IT IS
When my partner took the time off and took care of The Bun while I went to work, he started to realize after a week or two what a seriously full-time job it was to take care of him.
It was 24/7.
He would just pass him off to me when I came in the door and go into the bedroom and lie down.
I didn’t particularly find this fair in the sense that I never did that to him when he was working and I was a home, but I did understand.
I was still even getting up early in the mornings before work to take care of The Bun, knowing he had a full day ahead with him.
He now has a much better idea of what it means to take care of The Bun and has a heck of a lot more respect for it.
Plus he loved it. He loved bonding with The Bun in only the way his mother ever did with him.
#2 – FATHERS WOULD BUILD A STRONGER BOND WITH THEIR CHILDREN
It’s not babysitting. It’s taking care of your child, which is part of your parental duties.
Fathers would learn how to bond with their children, and when things go wrong they won’t run to Mommy or their main caregiver right away, they would actually have to decide between one or the other.
..it would also give everyone a break if the child is able to be passed off to their fathers while others are busy. Like taking a shower. Or eating.
#3 – THINGS WOULD CHANGE IN THE WORKPLACE
All men, and in particular fathers would now push for more equality in childcare, flexible work hours, paternity leave, and the right to have your job after coming back from leave.
Everything would improve once fathers would see that their careers DO get affected by being out of the workplace, even for a scant 6 months and if everyone forced fathers to take paternity leave, they would understand the struggles of a working mother in greater detail now that they will have to deal with it.
Men would push for everything because they would now be the ones affected by the situation.
Think about it — men in power and in high up positions, probably have wives who stay at home full-time to manage the entire personal side of their lives so that they can go out and conquer the world, but what if we BOTH want to conquer the world? Who takes over then? The nanny?
Fathers never seem to have to answer questions like:
- Oh when are you planning on going back to work after having the baby?
- Are you going to stay at home and watch your baby?
- Are you going to be able to travel with a child at home?
- When you go back to work, who is going to take care of your child?
ALL of these questions (and more) have been directed to me at one time or another. NEVER, EVER to my partner.
He has never once had to answer any of the above questions. In fact, when we were interviewing daycares, they all started with: “When Mommy goes back to work….“, at which point I had to stop them and correct them because it was the other way around.
Then I’d get a weird look.
#4 – FATHERS WOULD TAKE ON HALF OF THE WORKLOAD
Now knowing that taking care of a child is not easy, and sometimes going to the bathroom can be the only break you get all day, they would be more willing to help out with cooking, cleaning and all the household chores that are currently on the shoulders of women, even ones who are in the workforce.