The Case Against Paternity Leave

by Phil Stott | April 03, 2014

Ever thought that dads these days just have it too easy with all that time off they get when their kids are born? That childbirth and rearing is the realm of the mother? That, when it comes down to it, there's just not that much for a dad to do in the days and months following the birth of a child? 

Good news: you're not alone. 

The bad news: with company that talks as much as NY-based sports radio personality Mike Francesa, you might wish you were. 

Here are a few highlights of a recent 20-minute segment of his show that Francesa dedicated to discussing paternity leave in general (although he referred to all parental leave as "maternity leave" until corrected at around 15 minutes into the segment), and the paternity-leave decisions of NY Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy in particular.

 

On fathers spending time at the hospital with their partner and newborn child: 

"I have no problem with being there [at the birth]. I don't know why you need three days off. I'm going to be honest. You see the birth, and you get back [to work]." 

"What are you doing the first couple of days? Maybe you take care of your other kids—well you've gotta have someone do that if you're a Major League Baseball player."

 

On finding out that employees of the radio station hosting his show are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave:

"That's ridiculous. What do you need 10 days for? What are you supposed to be doing? Vacationing?"

 

On finding out that those 10 days can be used over a period of one year from the birth:

"What a gimmick."

"If you're not taking them right away, then why are you getting them? What are they for? I mean, if you don't have to be there at the time for 10 days, why would you get 10 days off when your wife has a baby. You didn't have the baby."

 

Some of Francesa's suggestions for how men might use those days:

Bonding with their child and playing a full and active role in its life.

Participating equally in childcare and other household activities.

Staying home when the child is sick, so that the mother can go to work.

 

Just kidding—here are three things he actually said that men might do with those days off instead:

"Vacationing."

"Have a party."

"Take pictures."

 

The full clip is below. For a fun party game, you might want to try and count how many times Francesa says "back in the old days" and "I don't get it."

 

Filed Under: Workplace Issues


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