Is Paternity Leave A Necessity Or Luxury For Soon-To-Be Father’s?

November 22, 2015  |  

Back in July, Facebook founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan were expecting their first child.

In addition to their burgeoning bundle of joy, Zuckerberg recently revealed that he would be making a “very personal decision” to take two months of paternity leave once his daughter is born, as reported by The Telegraph.

“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a post on the social network. “At Facebook we offer our US employees up to four months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.”

Since Zuckerberg’s announcement, there’s been much of discussion about time off policies, especially in the tech world. According to The New York Daily News, “Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix recently announced extensions for paid paternity leave, ranging from five months to a full year. But such privileges remain rare in any industry: Only 12% of private sector workers even have access to paid family leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Interestingly, as the stats clearly show, Mr. Zuckeberg’s personal decision is one that is uncommon among many those in senior ranks of powerhouse tech firms — even for regular Joe’s, too. Whether you’re flipping hamburgers, working a steady 9 to 5, flexing your entrepreneurial skills as a self-made boss, or just as heralded as Zuckerberg, it actually seems like paternity leave isn’t a necessity but a luxury these days. But it should honestly, be the other way: a necessity not a luxury.

The idea of paternity leave is great as both mother and father will be able to fully bond with their new baby and make their new family their top priority, but the sad and honesty truth is not everyone is privy to such an ideal situation — unless you’re ridiculously financially stable because this kind of leave is rarely paid.

For all the women I know that have been pregnant, they’ve all took maternity leave, but none of their significant others took paternity leave. I’m honestly not even sure if their jobs offered it to them. In my own perfect world, when I decide to get pregnant, I’d want to have the option of both myself and my significant other having idle time away from work to focus on building our family.

What about you? Has your significant other ever taken paternity leave during/after a pregnancy? If so, how did it work out for you and your family?


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