Should Fathers Take Paternity Leave?

N.Y. Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy was blasted for missing two games to be with his wife and newborn baby. He then goes on to say “my wife and I discussed it, we felt the best thing for my family would be for me to stay the next day” (Susteren). Is this the message we want to send to fathers when their newborn child is born? No, we want to encourage them to take paternity leave from work just as mothers get maternity leave from work. The few days that he takes off work once the baby is born and is still in the hospital is not enough for him to bond with the child because there are doctors and nurses coming in and out the room checking on mom and baby. Then there is also family and friends coming to visit and see the new bundle of joy. So during this time there is really no time for daddy and baby bonding time or daddy, mommy and baby family bonding time and not to mention if the family has other children they need to have the proper bonding time as a family with the new baby. If the father does not get paternity leave when it is time for discharge from hospital it will be time for him to go back to work and he will have not started that important bonding time with the baby.

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If he gets to have this important time off from work not only will they bond with their new baby together and by himself it will most likely strengthen his relationship with his wife or girlfriend by showing her that he values his family over his job. Also if they have other kids she does not have to worry about being home with a newborn and older child/children by herself for a while because he will be there helping her with cooking, cleaning and being with the older children while she’s’ with the baby and vice a versa. Also, they can have this time to bond as a family and let the older child/children know that this baby is an addition to our family and not here to replace you. This time off for him will be circuital especially if his wife of girlfriend had a long and hard labor or even is she had to undergo a C-section. Not only would he be home bonding with the newborn or spending time with the older children if they have any he can be helping the mother of his child recover.

A C-Section is major surgery it takes time for the mother to recover from that, if she is not careful with the way she moves, remembers not to pick up heavy objects or even the way she picks the baby up she can reopen where they cut her at or get an infection and end up back in the hospital for an extended stay. With dad being home her chances of reopening her wound or getting an infection declines because she has help. According to the study drawn from data from Australia, Denmark, Britain and the United States fathers who take a long period of leave (two weeks or more) after a birth are more likely to regularly engage in early child-caring tasks such as feeding and reading bedtime stories than fathers who do not take time off. The study, which will be presented to a conference in Melbourne next month, also found that those children did better in their early years, had greater cognitive development and better school readiness (Miletic).

This study shows why fathers taking some time off even if it only two weeks is important to his childs greater cognitive development and school readiness because of the things started during the father and baby quality bonding time that he would have missed out on if he was at work. Yes, we all can agree that the father is not the one carrying the child and he is not the one going through labor and pain but in the end when the baby is born he would like to spend some quality bonding time with his child. He does not have to take 6, 12, or even 18 weeks off of work like the mother but just some time to spend with the baby and his family and here are a few of the option that are available to him through his job (pending how long he has been there) and how much or if any of his income he will receive while he is out. Paid Leave is the time off granted to a new parent during which he or she receives all or part of his or her income. Parental Leave is the general term for any time off from work, paid or un-paid, granted to a new parent of either gender. This may include the birth of a biological child, the adoption of a child, or the placement of a foster child in a new foster parent’s home.

Paternity Leave refers specifically to the time a new father can take off from work following the birth or placement of a new child.Unpaid Leave is the time off granted to a new parent during which he or she is not being paid, but during which his or her job will be held for his or her return (DiLascio). Some people say fathers should not take time off from work because he is the breadwinner of the family and with him being out of work there is no income coming in, or that he can bond with his child/children after work, when he is putting them to bed or on the weekends. Also, they say that during the first few weeks to months of a baby’s life the new father may feel left out because the entire time all the baby does it eat, sleep and poop and would mostly rely on mom especially if she is breast feeding. In conclusion I am for fathers’taking paternity leave from work when their wives/girlfriends have babies because fathers just as well as mothers need time off from work to spend with their newborn child.

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not have mandatory paid parental leave for either mothers or fathers (DiLascio) but a compromise for the families would be for the fathers to take a few weeks off and use either paid leave in which he will get all or part of his income and then the new family will not have to worry about money, parental leave he can either take it paid or un-paid pending upon how it’s done through his employer, paternity leave he can save up if his employer does not offer him any income or even unpaid leave where he would have to save because this is unpaid time off, whichever is offered to him through his employer then they will not miss out on important family time. With the father having a few weeks off everyone can be happy because the fathers want to have that special time with their newborn but he also wants to still provide with his family and the options mentioned above will help him do that. So with fathers being able to get paternity leave from work this will help them in succeeding in that quest. In the end the family core values would be strengthened and the babies will have greater cognitive development and better school readiness.


Miletic, Daniella. SOCIAL AFFAIRS EDITOR. “Paternity leave delivers dad a hands-on benefit – and a surprise.” Age, The (Melbourne) 12 Oct. 2013: 1. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. Susteren, Greta Van. “N.Y. Mets’ Daniel Murphy Gets Blasted For Taking Paternity Leave.” On The Record With Greta Van Susteren (FOX News) (n.d.): Points of View Reference Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. DiLascio, Tracey M. “Parental Leave Laws: Overview.” Points Of View: Parental Leave Laws (2013): 1. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

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