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Men Are Idiots to Not Fight for Paternity Leave

Erstellt von Hans-Georg Nelles am 5. Mai 2009

Nathan Hegedus ist Vater, Schriftsteller, Journalist und Kommunikationsberater und lebt mit seiner Frau und zwei kleinen Kindern in Stockholm. Er bloggt über Work – Life Themen, lebt ohne Auto und genießt die fürsorgliche und manchmal erdrückende Umarmung des schwedischen Wohlfahrtsstaats.

Der Beitrag ‚Männer, die sich nicht für einen Vaterschaftsurlaub einsetzen sind Idioten’ erschien Mitte April in der Huffington Post.

‘The chance to nap. The chance to ponder NBA playoff match-ups or your favorite baseball team’s pitching rotation. The chance to hang out on a bench in the sun with a friend.

Men. You are missing this.

Thanks to the Swedish welfare state, I spent six months on paternity leave with my daughter last year. And I will be home with my son for nine or ten months next year.

These are not times to be missed. Yeah, for all that bonding time with your kid. Yeah, because your family does mean that much more than your career (You know all the deathbed cliches? I suspect they are true). Yeah, for equality in the marriage and family and society. Yeah, to set a good example.

I could do some research and cite studies that show the benefits of involved fathers for small children but who has time for research with a toddler and baby in the house?

No, it is really about the lifestyle, the pace.

It is all about naps.

When, as a father of small children, do you get to nap anymore?

Now before stay at home parents get all worked up, yes, parental leave is hard, often grindingly hard. It is harder than any job I have ever had. It is likely harder than Barack Obama’s job.

All the diaper changes, all the food planning and cleaning and crying. You never get a moment to yourself. Your work day lasts all day.

But this is beside the point. I was home for only six months. And I got to nap almost every day.

I pondered all this the other day, off for a few weeks on a short term paternity leave, as my daughter wandered around our local park, and I reviewed the Buffalo Bills 2009 schedule (impossible) and the San Francisco Giants’ starting rotation (good).

Maybe I am more Type B than I previously suspected but would you not like to have a stretch of naps and sports and the like?

It is only for a couple months. Go back to work after with a vengeance. You are not killing your career. Or it should not mean that.

But of course, in America, it does mean wounding your career.

Still, dude, it is your own fault. You are not trying to change the culture, you are not making noise about your wife getting maternity leave, and you certainly are not fighting for your own time with your kid. …’


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