Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Man Up!

My father was only as close as the waiting room and believe it or not, with a cigarette in his hand as my mother gave birth to each of their seven children. My husband was not only in the labor room but delivered two of our children. My daughters also had the opportunity to have their husbands in the labor room and my son also was close at hand during the birth of his child. Yes, the times are changing. But there is more left to do according to the September 20th, Newsweek article, Men's Lib.

In a changing economic world, men are finding opportunities to reevaluate their roles in the workplace and in the home. Sweden allows for a 390 day split for new parents to use weekly, monthly, even hourly. But in 1995 they passed a new law - a use it or lose it leave for fathers. If the father did not use a month of his new parenting leave, it was lost. This allowed for a 4% increase in men taking time to bond with their children.

By taking paternity leave, men become more involved as fathers. Seems simple enough but the bottom line is impressive - more kids might stay in school, steer clear of crime, and avoid poverty as adults. Gender parity in the workplace creates an optimal balance of fully employed men and women, increasing the gross domestic product by as much as 9 percent as described in a recent study of the World Economic Forum.

The U.S. is currently the only wealthy country in the world that doesn’t bankroll a bonding period for either parent. I propose that instead of subsidizing banks and Wall Street, could our money be better spent funding paid parental leave? That's what a wise grandma would do.


Mrs.G said...

reThis grandma agrees with you!!!
I and my family reside in the prairies of Canada, and my son in-law was given 4 days after their babies were born to bond...not enough I say.
Enjoyed your post.

Jen said...

Totally agree!! Well said!


Stephanie said...

In 1979 my husband asked for paternity leave after the birth of our daughter. His request was denied by the school board but I have always felt that he was, and still is, a true parenting pioneer! Now he is the most amazing grandpa ever. (You ARE a wise grandma!)