Real Men Take Paternity Leave

This past week baseball player Daniel Murphy took paternity leave and (oh my gawd) missed a game or two while he bonded with his wife and child. The guy took major heat for this decision at the hands of two jackass sports radio men who went as far as to say that his wife should have had a c-section so that he can "get back to the team."And I'm left sighing a big, "What the fuck!?" It makes my blood boil.

One would think that in a day and age where we're all so bent on having equal rights, that men could also be treated equally. Though I will say I also feel that we are completely out of touch for both women and men when it comes to parenting leave in this country. That issue aside, many other countries have PAID paternity leave for new fathers, and the US is lagging severely behind these 60-some odd countries.

But it's more than just paternity leave that leaves me angry in this situation...I really feel like the United States has a masculinity issue that bleeds into these other areas and colors the way that we perceive issues like paternity leave.

I'm so endlessly tired of hearing phrases like "man up" and seeing instances where a man clearly has his priorities in check as in the case of Daniel Murphy (hello, family should ALWAYS come before ambition!) being raked over the coals. What type of men do we want in our society, exactly? I don't want or need a man who is built on a foundation of macho at the expense of my family life. I want to be with someone who is strong of heart and is there for me and my family when we are in need, regardless of what those needs are.

The bond between fathers and their children are extremely important, and those first days are paramount for the entire family in finding a new groove. You will never get them back. Not to mention that moms who have been through nine full months of growing a baby and then delivering that baby are tired, vulnerable, and in need of their husbands during that time. Fathers who take paternity leave are real men who love their families and it should be celebrated, not criticized.

Granted, not all men are going ot be able to take time off for whatever reason. Certainly, that doesn't make them less than. But I also argue that those men should be able to take time, just like moms. I would love to see more companies who offer it. As for us? My husband will not get paid leave, but he will be taking time off. There is no price we could put on having him here once our baby arrives. By him taking that time, it sends me the message that I am important and so is our new family, and that means the world to me. 

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