While an ever-rising share of men say they want to have this kind of time with a new child, [Kumar] Chandran is among a lucky few who actually do. In the U.S., paternity leave is a luxury. It’s the only developed nation that doesn’t guarantee paid time off, even for new mothers.
Scott Coltrane, interim president of the University of Oregon, who researches fathers and families, says more young men want time off with a new child — but just 10 to 15 percent of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave, almost all in white-collar professions. “The main reason men don’t take it is because they don’t have wage replacement — so they can’t afford to,” Coltrane says.
Some states are acting on their own, mandating paid family leave for most workers. In California, the number of men taking it has doubled in a decade. Coltrane says that’s good for men, kids and women. “Fathers who take leave end up doing more of the routine work later,” Coltrane says. “They do more of the transportation, more of the cooking, more of the child care, more of the doing homework with the kids. It’s just kind of an early buy-in that helps men stay involved later.”
Women still don’t have paid maternity leave in the United States. Basically, this whole system of being a working parent is broken.
But still, go, Dads. Hey, since we’re talking about dads, let’s also watch this commercial, because it’s great. #howtodad